Thursday, February 08, 2007

Edwards in '08

I suppose that I sort of gave the game away back in the previous post, but I thought that I'd go ahead and sort of say it formally here. For what it's worth, John Edwards is my guy for '08.

Yes, I know that my libertarian friends are taking great delight in making fun of Edwards for the phrase "Health Markets." (Note to Mr. Edwards: hire me and I could catch those sorts of things for you.) But really, you know, Edwards' plan isn't actually that terrible from a libertarian perspective. No, it's not 1st party payer, which libertarians would presumably prefer, but, it does begin the (I think) necessary task of disentangling health insurance from employers. And let's face it; if Wal-Mart has joined with a labor union (of all things) to start pushing for universal health care, then we're probably going to end up with some form of it. The advantage of Edwards' plan, as opposed to those we might get from many on the left, is that it's not automatically a single-payer plan. People can opt in to the government plan as one of a number of options. They could also, one presumes, opt out into something else if that's a better deal. Edwards' plan at least lets the market decide; if the market moves everyone toward single-payer, well, then, the market will have spoken. Right?

On defense, I think that Edwards is saying some good things. He's pretty solidly opposed to expanding war into Iran, which, at the very least, shows that he can do basic math. We're more or less out of boots to put on the ground in the two Middle Eastern nations we're already occupying. Finding troops for their way bigger neighbor seems rather hard to do short of a draft. And let's not even go there.

Is Edwards a bit more of a populist than I might like? Yes, somewhat. But it's not clear who in the mix of current candidates is going to be any better on that score. Obama? Who really knows. Most of his proposals are way too vague to be able to tell. Clinton? I actually like her in general, but I think that (a) she's a bit too hawkish right now and hawkishness doesn't really seem to be what's called for at the moment, and (b) she's totally and completely unelectable now and forever, Amen. And Republicans? You're kidding me, right? They're all way, way too busy trying to figure out who will best instantiate God's Own Theocracy.

That paragraph is unfair, though, now that I look back on it. It's not like I've decided that Edwards is merely the least bad option. I supported him in '04. I thought then that the ticket should have been Edwards/Kerry rather than the reverse. And I like him still. I like much of his platform. And most importantly, I think that he can win a general election. Kerry did surprisingly well in NC last go 'round, and that was with Edwards on the bottom of the ticket. Edwards won a statewide race in NC already, and while I doubt that he could win SC, I think that he'd be competitive enough that he'd force Republicans to spend money there.

Anyway, that's my two cents. I guess now that my hat is publicly in the ring, I'm committed. Until I change my mind, which I always reserve the right to do. Really, though, it's not like any campaign is likely to start ringing me up offering me a job. This despite the fact that I'd be damn good on someone's staff. I can write a mean campaign ad. I managed to squeeze three fallacies into a single line. And there wasn't even a verb. So if someone out there is looking for a writer with a 14-person blog following who still considers himself a Clintonite neo-liberal with libertarian leanings who is very much interested in taking the theoretical case for a libertarian/Democrat alliance out there to the public, well then here I am. Anyone. Say someone who is already headquartered in the Carolinas.

Is that too much? Yeah, I thought so too. Oh well.


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