02/04/2008 08:57 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

It's Still Edwards

One of my readers asked who I'd vote for, now that Edwards has left the race.

If I were going to cast a ballot Tuesday, I'd still be voting for John Edwards. Why?

Because I don't trust either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton to carry the banner of progressive causes. The only power we have is in our votes, and if one of them walks off with enough delegates to pin down the nomination Tuesday, they have no incentive whatsoever to keep their word to Edwards. They will immediately start moving to the right and currying the conservative vote.

We're supposed to take it on faith that both of these candidates are a lot more liberal than they appear. Well, it's going to take more than a few speeches to convince me.

What would convince me? A candidate who takes a strong, uncompromising position on something that would benefit us instead of industry. Neither of their health care plans does it for me, although I'd give Hillary's the edge. Obama lost points with his various comments about how universal health care isn't possible. (Or practical, or whatever.)

Hillary is a triangulator and a corporatist; I think we're all familiar with her liabilities. Obama is someone who came up in Illinois statehouse politics - a place that's hardly a bastion of ethics. He showed exceedingly poor judgment in allowing his friend - someone who was then already under a cloud - to cut him a deal on the land next to his house. (Didn't I just hear him say today that it was just as important to be right on the first day as it was to be ready?)

And finally, I'd like to note that I do have exceedingly sound instincts. (Go back and read my posts from the past six years.) Although I was a big Dean supporter and someone who didn't think John Kerry had what it took to win (or govern effectively), it didn't make me sick to my stomach to vote for him.

I feel sick now. I don't believe Hillary will back down from the unitary executive trend if elected, and I don't believe she's strong enough to prevent another war. If anything, I think she's raring to prove herself "strong enough" to be commander-in-chief.

And I don't believe Obama is either strong or ruthless enough to root out the right-wing extremists with whom Bush has populated the government.

I hope I'm wrong. I pray I'm wrong. But I fear for our country. I don't think either of them will do what needs to be done. Yes, there will be some improvements. But as to the future direction of our country, I don't know where they want to lead.