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Edwards Miscalculates, Republicans Recriminate


A sham president's "election." His war for oil. Control of the Senate turns when Democrat Paul Wellstone's plane crashes in Minnesota. The U.S. attorney general makes plans in secret for a Patriot Act II under which the government could expunge people's citizenship for contributing to "terrorist organizations," as identified--after the fact--by the attorney general.

So starts a "Buzzflash Reader Commentary" ( by someone with excellent observational skills and a lot of paranoia. China will take advantage of our Iraq invasion to strike against Taiwan? We'll strike back with nukes? The writer predicts World War III.

"Like Germany in 1932, the intelligentsia, the press and the rest of government grossly miscalculates the depravity of the situation ... (and) a ruling faction that intends to rewrite the rules to an extent that nobody ever dared think possible in the USA."

No question, the Bush administration is trying to rewrite the rules. On the environment. On mixing religious zeal (aka "faith-based organizations") and government authority. On handing control of government to the rich: No taxes on dividends. No taxes on savings. No taxes on estates, no matter how big. In other words, no taxes on wealth, just wages.

Above all, the rules on making war. Pre-emptively. Unilaterally. According to the evidence as Bush judges it. And by the way, we're all on Orange Alert, which Homeland Security Chief Tom Ridge says has nothing to do with Iraq.

How stupid do they think we are?

So here's our own Sen. John Edwards on Hardball, the TV show that's actually dumber in person than as satirized on Saturday Night Live. Host Chris Matthews wants to know about Bush and Iraq. "I think he's doing the right thing with respect to Iraq," Edwards answers.

Oh, no.

The 1,200 N.C. Central University students and assorted Johnny fans who'd cheered so wildly when Edwards came into the gym (Hardball's on a campus tour) are deflated. How many agree? Matthews asks the audience. From the applause: Not many.

For that matter, we know that Johnny doesn't agree, either. Because he says so, backpedaling hard amid the bombastic Matthews' hectoring and frequent commercial interruptions. "We should lead in a way, Chris, that brings others to us," Edwards says.

Bush hasn't done that, he adds. Bush is telling the rest of the world it's our way or else, never having built the international consensus necessary to remove Saddam Hussein the right way. But then Edwards says Bush can invade Iraq "with the allies we have." We'll be hailed as liberators, Edwards thinks. Anyway, Saddam must be disarmed.

Edwards isn't the only Democratic wannabe straddling the war issue, we note. The Washington Post recently pointed to Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry's "ambivalence." Kerry'd just blasted Bush's "blustering unilateralism." But Kerry also liked it when Bush told Saddam he's got a month--or else. And, like Edwards, Kerry voted for the congressional resolution that will let Bush invade with or without United Nations sanction.

Among announced presidential candidates, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and civil rights activist Al Sharpton are the most anti-war, Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman and Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri the most pro-war, the Post reports.

Open Mouth, Emit GOP. Must be no black people at their country clubs. No Asian or Arab Americans either. How else to explain the candid bigotry of our N.C. Congressional Republicans?

Last week, Rep. Howard Coble of Winston-Salem, on a radio call-in show, said he's not for rounding up all the Arabs. Yet. Not like the Japanese in World War II. "We were at war (then)," he said. "For many of these Japanese Americans, it wasn't safe for them to be on the street. ... Some probably were intent on doing harm to us, just as some of these Arab Americans are probably intent on doing harm to us."

The same day, Rep. Sue Myrick of Charlotte, at a Washington forum, commented on the danger posed by Arab Americans in so many places. "You know, and this can be misconstrued, but honest to goodness, Ed (her husband) and I for years, for 20 years, have been saying, 'You know, look at who owns all the convenience stores across the country.' Every little town you go into, you know?"

This on top of Rep. Cass Ballenger of Hickory, who told the Charlotte Observer back when Trent Lott's fate was in the balance, that he too has had "segregationist feelings" when around black Georgia Democrat Cynthia McKinney.

Miller time. We wondered if U.S. Rep. Brad Miller of Raleigh, a Democrat, would be at the anti-war rally Saturday at the State Capitol. Nope. "He and his wife have personal time scheduled," Miller's spokesman said.

Some 300 members of the Democrats' statewide executive committee voted unanimously Saturday against invading Iraq, and Miller, too, "hopes for a peaceful resolution," spokesman Joe Bonfiglio said. But Miller thinks Saddam Hussein must be disarmed and that the United Nations must "live up to its responsibility." EndBlock


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