- by Taylor Marsh
The above photo was taken on Monday, Aug. 29, 2005. Meanwhile... KATRINA HITS LOUISIANA, THREATENS NEW ORLEANS AND BILOXI.
How cynical can we possibly get?
Or maybe it's just dense.
You don't have to be an Edwards fan or be convinced he's the one for '08 to get that the latest reviews on Edwards' presidential announcement are not only way off base, but missing the point entirely. Or maybe it's just that the spending gluttony of splashy campaign starts has jaded us all into believing that if you don't flaunt it you don't got it, if you'll pardon the slang. If that's the case, then public funding for campaigns, which will make presidential runs less glamorous as well as less expensive, are a non starter.
Between Harry Shearer's Edwards Uses New Orleans as a Backdrop, and Michelle Pilecki's The Media Disconnect of Edwards' New Orleans Photo Op, you've got to wonder if these two people understand what was going on yesterday. Sorry to pick on them, because they're not the only ones. Fox ran an old Bill O'Reilly interview with Edwards featuring questions that would be insulting for the local dog catcher.
It's called an announcement for president not John Edwards solves the problems of NOLA that George W. Bush and his Administration continue to ignore.
I know this may be tough, but try to follow along.
A Democratic candidate for president goes down to the Lower 9th Ward of NOLA to announce his candidacy and people are complaining that he didn't clean up the mess while he was down there.
People, come on, when was the last time we ever saw a candidate for president announce his intentions so, er... modestly?
No podium. No pomp. No pandemonium. Just John Edwards in jeans and a shirt, no tie or jacket, announcing from the devastation of NOLA that he gets it and wants to represent people who've been devastated by government incompetence. He showed up in NOLA to prove his intentions are real. But that wasn't good enough, as people piled on.
Where are the solutions?
Hey, don't forget about the levees!
Was it "a moment"?
That southern drawl!
Is the "two America" theme relevant or just some tired old sentiment that's so yesterday's news?
Though I will say his web team wasn't exactly prepared for the day's events.
But take a look around at where Edwards was when he made his announcement. It's hardly old news that there are two Americas, especially if you're one of the people still trying to get back to square one after Katrina. To recount: there is the George W. Bush - John McCain and Escalatin' Joe Lieberman America, and the America John Edwards took the time to film during his presidential announcement.
I know we're all critics when politicians run for office, especially the presidency, but this is getting ridiculous. I'm becoming more convinced that the American people are getting the president they deserve, because what people choose to talk about has nothing to do with the message being sent. If we want things to change, at some point we will have to give the brave souls who take on the run for the presidency a little slack, even if we eventually end up delighting that they hung themselves with it in the end.
For the American people to get our government and the people who populate it to change, we will have to give them an opening to prove that they can.
The only way Republicans can continue to win is if Americans continue to distrust government; the less faith voters have in government, the more they will support the type of cynical candidates who attack government and suggest tax cuts as the only prudent policy. Accordingly, if the Democrats can increase the number of Americans who believe in the government's capacity to do good above 50 percent, they will achieve as permanent a majority status as can exist in today's political environment and progressivism will once again become the dominant political philosophy it once was decades ago.
I sure as hell can't tell you if John Edwards is the man for the Democratic Party in 2008, but I know one thing for sure. He's the first candidate to show up like a real human being and dressed like your average American, while standing amidst the tragedy of a city and region that is still not close to being fixed, among people who have been completely forgotten by the current president and many other Americans who just spent Christmas shopping, eating and drinking in houses that are whole and lives that remain untouched by Katrina or the Iraq war.
If we want better leaders then we should look to ourselves and our cynical outlook on anyone daring to take the plunge.
John Edwards announced his presidential campaign launch from the devastation of NOLA and all he got was a bunch of people bitching that he didn't create a miracle while he was at it.
Cue the clucking.