He calls a recent statement by John Edwards "demagogic nonsense," and "dreadful."
What did Edwards say?
“When I’m president I’m going to say to members of Congress and members of my administration, including my cabinet: I’m glad that you have health care coverage and your family has health care coverage. But if you don’t pass universal health care by July of 2009 – in six months – I’m going to use my power as president to take your health care away from you. There’s no excuse for politicians in Washington having health care when you don’t have health care."
Garance Franke-Ruta of The American Prospect also flips out, writing:
"Edwards' above promise is very likely unconstitutional, and someone running against him ought to have the nerve to say so. It's ridiculous for a lawyer running for president to turn a promise to violate the law into a platform plank. I nominate former constitutional law professor Barack Obama, especially as the Hillary Clinton campaign hasn't been willing to elevate any of her competitors by going negative on them.
People in Iowa may like Edwards' rhetoric on this -- and they do, which is why his campaign has made this ad -- but Democratic voters there are also smart enough to understand that this is a promise to strengthen executive power at the expense of the Congress..."
Can put away the fainting couches and calm down for a second?
As far as I can tell, John Edwards promised in a campaign ad to "use [his] power as president" to try an effect a change in policy. Last time I checked, that was somewhere in the general job description. If someone can show how that is unconstitutional, or demagogic, I sure would like to see it.
To be fair, Franke-Rute is also very worried that Edwards is in effect proposing to give:
"George Bush and Dick Cheney and every future Republican president the power to push bills on Congress..."
Oh my god! The power to push bills on Congress!
Why, that could lead to the President having a role in the legislative process! Or influencing Congress!
You can see what the next Democratic President is in for now.
If he, or she, so much as dares to propose a bill to Congress, Joe Klein will go on tv wearing a tricorn hat, carrying a fife and drum, with a bloody bandage around his head, and start sobbing about the Constitution until his beard is soaking wet.