Friday, September 28, 2007

I will vote for Obama, because he has money.

After Edwards released his health coverage plan, and after it was roundly praised, the heat was on the other campaigns to provide their own. It was a challenge, and Barack Obama responded to that challenge with his own health coverage plan.

He did, and it wasn't bad - but it wasn't as good as Edwards'; it did not require that everyone buy in, and thus share the cost of health care for all, and it did not permit everyone to choose a public alternative. Obama had an opportunity to shine, and instead, he played it safe and fell short.

But I'll vote for Obama, because he has money.

Similarly, Edwards has never raised money from Washington lobbyists or from political action committees. In 1998, from the moment he entered the race against Lauch Faircloth, that was his promise, and he has never broken it - even when Lauch Faircloth outspent by him by $2.6 million.

In contrast, Hillary has taken no such stand. She's happy to take money from both, even when, as in 2006, she outspent her Republican rival by $35.2 million. She says that there are good lobbyists for good causes, and there are, but I don't think she cares that a system where the influence you have is determined by the number of lobbyists you buy is fundamentally anti-democratic.

But I'll vote for Hillary, because she has money.

Have I convinced you to do the same? No? Well, it hasn't been very convincing to me, either. Which is why I'll still be voting for Edwards.

Money is important. But it is not more important than the candidate. A good candidate is invaluable. And a turd is a turd, even if the turd can spend more than $50 million for a good shine.


Now, I think that $50 million and John Edwards will get you a presidency and some change. But there are those who don't, and they want you to be afraid: "If you vote for John Edwards," they threaten, "and if he wins the primary, the Republican will win."

I say that if John Edwards defeats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, defeats their money, their connections, their compromise and their consensus, then he'll demolish the Republican in the general.

But more than that, I say what I've heard supporters of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton say in the past, and rightly so: "Vote your hopes, not your fears."

America has voted for fear too often, and that is especially true in the past three elections: fear the terrorist, fear the queer, fear the immigrant. But most of all, be afraid. Because if you are afraid, you will do as you are told.

In this primary, at least, I think it's time to stop being afraid, to stop doing what you're told, and to vote for the candidate you want to win.

For me, that's John Edwards. And if you feel the same, I've got a link for you:

$250 will get you $500

And John Edwards will get you the presidency.