Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Okay, John, I Heard You

Yesterday and this morning I put the knock on John Edwards for what sounded like him taking Howard Dean to task for his harsh words for the Republicans. Well, turns out he says he was taken out of context. Wow — that never happens! Thanks to dK at A Silent Cacophony (who atones for his sin as well), there’s a link to what John Edwards really said via DailyKos.

What a flap has arisen over a disagreement about the way something is said! I was in Nashville over the weekend, thanking the good people of Tennessee who supported the Democratic presidential ticket this year, when I was asked whether I thought that it was fair to say that people who were Republican hadn’t done a good day’s work. Of course, I didn’t think so, and I said that. I don’t think our DNC chair, Howard Dean, would put it that way again if asked either. I disagreed with him, and I said so. And, I want to be clear, I would have to say so again if I were asked again. I said a lot of good things about Howard’s outreach program and invigoration of the internet as a communication and fundraising tool, but no one wrote about that. Instead the headlines blared that I disagreed with Howard. And then the flap arose: A chasm! A split! A revolt!

Instead, how about: Nonsense!

We are both talking about the Republicans and their failure to address the needs of working people. We both agree with this basic truth: This Republican president and this Republican majority are not doing what they should be doing for working people in this country. That’s a core belief we need to fight for. And what’s more, we agree that we – all Democrats and all working people – should be complaining, criticizing, and generally speaking out about this critical failure of the Republican party and offering our positive vision for America. And we have.

Howard and I have been saying the same thing about this for years. Hear that? The same thing. For years. Have I ever put it some way that Howard wouldn’t agree with? Probably. And he put it in a way, once, just the other day, that I can’t agree with, since I come from a place where hard-working people, who are better served by the agenda and passion of the Democrats, somehow still vote Republican. But Howard and I are committed to a 50-state strategy that will reach out to those voters, in North Carolina, and in Kansas, and in Tennessee, across this country and tell the truth about what is happening in this country to their jobs, to their health care, to their forests and streams, to their vision of what this country is and should be.

Glad we could clear that up.