01/15/2007 06:17 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Edwards on MLK on Iraq

To celebrate Reverend Martin Luther King this week, John Edwards delivered a stern anti-war speech at Harlem's Riverside Church, where King famously spoke out against the Vietnam war. Edwards cited Rev. King's anti-war legacy, clasped hands with his son, Martin Luther King III, and called on Congress to stop funding the war.

"If you're in Congress and you know this war is going in the wrong direction, it is no longer enough to study your options and keep your own counsel. Silence is betrayal. Speak out, and stop this escalation now," said Edwards.

Was that a shot at Hillary Clinton?

Her advisers sure thought so. Howard Wolfson replied with this complaint: "In 2004, John Edwards used to constantly brag about running a positive campaign. Today, he has unfortunately chosen to open his campaign with political attacks on Democrats who are fighting the Bush administration's Iraq policy." (Huffpo's Melinda Henneberger has more.)

But is this really the way to celebrate Reverend Martin Luther King? With political speeches, war debates and arguments over what his legacy means?

In a word, yes.

Reverend King was a politician and an activist. He knew the only way to solve America's most fundamental problems was through protest and political debate. As Americans commemorate his leadership and courage this week, we should continue his tradition of protest, politics and social change.