Friday, July 09, 2004


Prescient Pick

Eleanor Clift's column today is a good analysis of what choosing John Edwards says about John Kerry's view of the election and the electorate. I think she's right: The fuss Republicans are making over the fact that Edwards is a trial lawyer isn't one that's likely to win them points with many voters.

It strikes me as kind of funny, actually, that the G.O.P. doesn't see this. The party relies on middle class schlubs to vote Republican based on the aspiration that they might be rich one day and the mortal fear that the government might tax the daylights out of their future riches. Can't Santorum & Co. see the same process at work here? Tort reform that limits jury awards might make sense; it might even benefit society as a whole. But for Republicans to sell people lower taxes for the very wealthy based on aspirations AND fail to understand that those aspirations are based on the very same lottery mentality that makes people hesitant to close the leaking faucet of lawsuit money that they might one day drink from--that's a level of disingenuous that seems beyond even the Rick Santorums of the world. If we want to have an honest discussion about how wealth is created and shared in America, very well: let's get going, and prepare to lose your shirts, Republicans. But the G.O.P. should know by now it can't have it both ways on this particular issue. Appeal to the craven nature of Americans and you have to deal with all of it, not just the parts you can exploit for your electoral benefit.

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