John Edwards may not have had the most stellar debate night, but he got out
in front on something very important. This has been widely missed.
I didn’t catch it until earlier today (likely because I was dealing with a massive tech crash all day Thursday and beyond). So I wanted to make sure it got some attention. Edwards earned it with this remark.
Edwards aide David Ginsberg confirmed that the former North Carolina senator
had not raised his hand in response to Brian Williams’ question,”Do you
believe there is such a thing as a global war on terror?”
He also noted that Edwards elaborated later in the debate.
“I believe — and this goes to the question you asked earlier,
just a few minutes ago — global war on terror. I think there are dangerous
people and dangerous leaders in the world that America must deal with and
deal with strongly, but we have more tools available to us than bombs. And
America needs to use the tools that are available to them so that these people
who are sitting on the fence, who terrorists are trying to recruit, the next
generation, get pushed to our side, not to the other side. We’ve had no long-term
strategy, and we need one, and I will provide one.”
It’s a beginning. Democrats should take Edwards’ lead and continue to build
on it, challenging Mr. Bush and the neocons every chance they get.
Since I’ve been critical of Mr. Edwards’ performances lately I feel compelled to add something here. Does it seem to you that on many risky issues Edwards continually comes out to lead? He was the first to publicly apologize for his Iraq vote. He was the first to walk away from the Fox debate, long before anyone else, when it was still quite risky. He’s got Bill-O targeting and attacking him as a result. Now he’s the first to boldly and openly challenge the neocons and Mr. Bush on their whole notion of the “global war on terror.” Not for nothing, people.
As I said before, the
“global war on terror” is a Republican talking point that hasn’t
made us safer. Does anyone believe at this point that military action or war
can solve the problem of terrorism? If it did Iraq would be an unqualified success and terrorism would have ebbed by now.
But as we all know the Iraq war has only fueled the furor of our enemies. As
Edwards said, it will take more than bombs to defeat terrorism. The first step
is defeating neocon rhetoric, which includes the “global
war on terror” and all GOP talking points associated with it.