Okay my friends (I sound like John McCain don't I?), today we will have a lesson in "practical" politics. It's not that I don't respect high idealism--it's just that I would like to believe that it's useful to understand how this system truly works. Practical politics is neither good nor bad, it's just the way it is.
John Edwards, hero to many of us on the left (two Americas, poverty, New Orleans), is holding "secret talks" with both Clinton and Obama concerning an endorsement. What do you suppose this means--what are secret talks? Wouldn't you think that Edwards would decide who is the best candidate, and then endorse that person?
NO! Edwards will endorse who gives him the best deal. What the hell do you think they are secretly talking about? He wants something: the vice-presidency, supreme court appointment, attorney general, secretary of labor, ambassador to Kazakhstan.....I don't know, but he is negotiating for something.
When he gets what he actually wants, he will announce that he is supporting Clinton/Obama because that candidate cares about ending poverty and helping the poor. That will be bullshit, but the public and the press will lap it up. Just like Mitt Romney withdrew from the Republican presidential race to protect us from terrorists--or some crap like that.
John Edwards will endorse whomever promises him the most. I suspect he wants to be attorney general in the new administration--which would really piss off the corporations wouldn't it?
This is the way of American politics and it always has been--I don't blame Edwards one bit. Yet the public seems uncomfortable with these backroom, negotiated deals. Keep this lesson in mind when the endorsement "spin" hits the news early this week.