By Matthew Rothschild on January 07, 2008

I saw the Democrats debate Saturday night, and my first reaction was: I want John Edwards to be my lawyer.

Because he did such a stellar job at being Obama’s lawyer.

When Clinton made the disastrous choice to go after Obama, it was Edwards who pounced.

“Any time you speak out powerfully for change,” he said, “the forces of the status quo attack. . . . Every time he speaks out for change, every time I fight for change, the forces of the status quo are going to attack: every single time. . . . I didn’t hear these kind of attacks from Senator Clinton when she was ahead. Now that she’s not, we hear them.”

Clinton flipped out at that, and took the low road, attacking—of all things--Obama’s eloquence.

“Making change is not about what you believe,” she said. “It’s not about a speech you make. It is about working hard.”

Then she reverted to bragging about her record: “I’m running on 35 years of change.” And after that, she criticized Obama for the sin of raising people’s expectations.

“We don’t need to be raising the false hopes of our country about what can be delivered,” she said.

Obama played it cool throughout and projected calmness to Clinton’s desperation.

And after she derided his eloquence one more time, he finally dispatched with her petulant point by saying:

“The truth is, actually, words do inspire, words do help people get involved, words do help members of Congress get into power so that they can be part of a coalition to deliver health care reform, to deliver a bold energy policy. Don’t discount that power, because when the American people are determined that something is going to happen, then it happens. And if they are disaffected and cynical and fearful and told that it can’t be done, then it doesn’t.”

Hillary is in deep trouble. Her options are limited. She can attack and look awful, as she did Saturday night. Or she can revert to her experience theme, which went nowhere fast in Iowa.

She’s stuck between Barack and a hard place.

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This Halloween movie will scare anyone who cares about news.

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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