The Nation -- In the edgiest debate of the Democratic presidential race, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton repeatedly engaged on Monday night in bitter and at times personal exchanges with one another.
And John Edwards effectively pointed to the heated squabbling between the two frontrunners in anticipation of Saturday's South Carolina Democratic primary as a deviation from the issues that matter…
Clinton accused Obama of doing legal work for a Chicago slumlord and charged that her opponent "did the bidding of the insurance companies" when health care was debated in the Illinois legislature.
Obama told Clinton he was fighting to help workers in Chicago when "you were a corporate lawyer sitting on the board of Wal-Mart…"
Way to go, Obama! Way to go, Hillary! Way to get on a national stage and make a powerful case that Democrats are a bunch of hypocritical stooges for corporate interests!
Karl Rove couldn't have said it better! Or for a bigger audience.
Christ, it's like having Joe Lieberman back in the Democratic primaries. Only worse.
I mean, only centrist Democrats, with their DLC Democratic strategists, could unbelievably make the party, whose leading candidates are a woman and a black man and the son of poor mill worker, look like a bunch of sexists and racists, and corporate lackeys.
In a primary of unprecedented, historical, and progressive firsts--where, for the first time in the history of our country, the two leading candidates for President of the United States were candidates simply as people without regard to their race or their sex--and these two idiots have managed to make race and sex an issue.
They seem unable to stop tarring Democrats as racist, sexist, unreasonable, uncivil hypocrits, all the while singing the praises of Ronald Fucking Reagan.
I can barely stand to listen to either one of them.
The Republicans have handed them this election. It's a Democratic White House. And not because of anything Democrats have done. Lord knows they haven't fought against having troops in Iraq until 2018 and beyond. They haven't fought against that appalling Iran resolution. They didn't fight against that awful bankruptcy bill. If their constituents hadn't howled bloody murder--along with Republicans--Democrats would have "compromised" on privatizing Social Security.
Jesus, Obama was bringing it up even after we shouted it down.
The two of them have no stomach whatsoever to fight the worst Republican president and Congress in the history of our country, but they are ready to go bareknuckled at Democrats every chance they get.
In short order, Edwards had gotten the best of both his opponents. That was the order of the night. Again and again, Edwards took the side of one of the frontrunners against the other, effectively serving as an arbiter between the two.
It was an ideal position for Edwards, the outsider candidate who is struggling to distinguish himself from two opponents with more money and better poll positions.
Not to mention the fact that they, as far as Americans know, apparently exist.
But the former senator from North Carolina had to fight for it. More than half an hour into the debate in South Carolina, where voters will participate in a high-stakes Democratic primary on Saturday, CNN moderator Wolf Blitzer had presided over what was essential a showcase for Clinton and Obama.
"Are there three people in this debate, not two?" interjected Edwards. The 2004 Democratic nominee then delivered what may have been the most effective soliloquy of the night. Referencing the bitter back-and-forth between his two opponents, Edwards asked, "This kind of squabbling -- how many children is this going to get health care? How many people are going to get education because of this? How many kids are going to get to go to college because of this?"
"I respect both of my fellow candidates," he continued, "but we have got to understand this is not about us personally. It's about what we are trying to do for this country,'
Of course, Blitzer interrupted. But Edwards held his ground. "Let me finish here," he said. "Lord knows, you let them go on forever."
The crowd cheered as loudly as it had for anything said by Obama or Clinton.
Anyway, there is actually a liberal media. It's tiny and hard to find. But that's how they saw the debate: Edwards won, while Obama and Clinton continued to act like jackasses who'd throw their own mothers under the campaign bus to get elected.
Course, if you, like most of America, read the corporately owned, conservatively dominated, imaginary "liberal" media, you'd know who the real winner in last night's Democratic debate was:
MYRTLE BEACH, South Carolina (CNN) -- The gloves came off quickly Monday night as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama traded blows just days before the South Carolina primary, and two weeks before voters in 24 Super Tuesday states weigh in on this wide-open presidential contest...
Still, there was no clear winner in this Democratic slugfest, the most contentious yet, unless you count John McCain, the Arizona Republican senator who took the gold in last Saturday's South Carolina Republican presidential primary.
That's right--John McCain.
And it shouldn't surprise you that a Republican, in a field of really sorry hopeless Republicans, won a Democratic debate. If you recall, back in November of 2007:
He was nowhere to be found on stage, but Rudy Giuliani's campaign shrewdly rushed to declare victory after Tuesday night's Democratic debate in Philadelphia - chiefly because the former New York mayor emerged as the preferred whipping boy among the seven Democratic rivals.
Shrewdly, said your liberal media, approvingly.
In November of 2007, the presumptive Republican nominee was the clear winner of the Democratic debate in Philadelphia. In January of 2008, the new presumptive Republican nominee was the clear winner in the Democratic debate in South Carolina.
With such a pathetically weak and unpopular Republican field, one can only guess which Republican will win the next Democratic debate!
And that's what Democrats are up against.
And neither Obama, nor Clinton seem to notice or care.
In our time, there is a very real struggle for the soul of our country.
And neither Obama nor Clinton seem to want to fight for it.
They want to talk about unity and civility and inclusiveness, and whatever.
Four years ago, the highest ranking military officers in this country were publicly discussing turning our country into a military dictatorship.
In seven years, we've gone from a $230 billion surplus to nearly doubling the national debt.
We have secret prisons, "First Amendment Zones", millions of missing White House emails, billions of missing dollars, two hopelessly mismanaged wars, warrantless wiretaps, we torture people and destroy the tapes.
This is not the time to be all fucking touchy feely.
This is a time to scrap. And not with the people--Democrats--who didn't create this godawful mess.
John Edwards was a lousy Senator. And he was a lousy Vice Presidential candidate. But he strikes me as a man who tried to play the game and wound up getting played himself. And he's a little smarter now, and little bit bitter about it, and a little bit angry about it. And he doesn't need the money, and he doesn't need the fame, and all he wants to do is feel his fingers wrap around the tape.
And we ought to put the bat in his hands.
He might be full of shit. But, honestly, he's the only one promising to swing it.