John Edwards’ really bad idea
Democrat John Edwards’ call for voters to speak out against the Iraq war on Memorial Day weekend has drawn criticism from a leader of the American Legion, who called the effort “revolting.”In an e-mail message and on his Web site, Edwards asks supporters to honor and pray for the troops over the Memorial Day weekend and to send them care packages and treats. But the presidential candidate also urges supporters to use the holiday to denounce the war an effort Paul Morin, national commander of the American Legion, decried as an attempt to “politicize” the day. “Revolting is a kind word for it. It’s as inappropriate as a political bumper sticker on an Arlington headstone,” Morin wrote on the Legion’s Web site. “Edwards is hardly the first politician from either political party to exploit this day, a holiday that was consecrated with the blood of American heroes. But the e-mail makes me sick nonetheless.”
Before going any farther, I learned a long time ago not to trust rhetoric purely because someone says it happened. So, I looked up John Edwards’ website. Sure enough, here it is:
This Memorial Day weekend, we will all take responsibility for the country we love and the men and women who protect it. We will volunteer, we will pray, and we will speak out. In the days leading up to Memorial Day, we will take action to support our troops, end the war, and bring them home to the heroes’ welcome they deserve. And on Memorial Day, we will honor and remember all those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
I tend to agree with Morin on this one. Using a day to honor to people who have died defending our country is the worst possible day to politicize someone’s own personal beliefs. It’s a day for them, not for John Edwards. I doubt Edwards had much support from military voters in the first place, if this word gets spread around much, he’ll probably have none.
However, the bigger issue I see for John is that he is apparently making the War in Iraq his central theme by focusing on it on his website, and starting a website specifically to protest the War, http://www.supportthetroopsendthewar.com/ Now, as I noted strongly earlier, this rigid anti-war rhetoric hasn’t done Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats any good at all. Her ratings have fallen precipitously since she went hard-line on the issue. That’s something Nancy can work her way out of over time, she’s not gonna get voted out any time soon. Not so with Edwards. The primaries are right around the corner and the places he’s leading, such as Iowa, are strong conservative areas where he’s perceived as the least liberal of the Dems running. He can’t afford to slip in those areas. He won’t win in New York or Illinois, or probably California. He HAS to win in the bread-basket. And, by alienating the military, he won’t.
The American Legion is huge across the US. Count Edwards out IMO.