In a post on Daily Kos that I wish I would have written this afternoon, David Sirota furthers my point about the uniquely and deeply disruptive progressive populism of John Edwards:

We are at a historic moment right now — and I say that not in the way the Monday Night Football-mimicking political media bills every single election as “the most important election in our lifetime.” I say it because I believe America is, for the first time in many generations, starting to think in terms of economic class. Put another way, the battle between Democrats and Republicans is being superseded by the battle between The Money Party and The People Party. How this new class awareness manifests itself in one election cycle is far less important than the fact that awareness is rising at all.

This, beyond everything else, is the storyline that will never be written by the Beltway media — because class awareness among the masses is something that threatens the powers that be. The system in Washington is set up to crush class awareness and solidarity among the masses — to break us up along racial, ethnic, geographic and religious lines so that we do not unify in support of an economic agenda based on fairness and equality. This Washington system exists, ironically, to preserve a well-coordinated class war being waged by an economic class very aware of itself — a class war by the wealthy against the rest of us. This may sound like hyperbole, but polls show most Americans know this is the undeniable truth. And no matter whether your personal preference wins or loses tonight in Iowa, We The People have already won, because class awareness and class-based politics is on the rise. [my emphasis in bold]

I am pleased that Edwards fared so well tonight, holding his own against two extremely well-funded opponents. I remain ever hopeful about his prospects in the coming weeks, as I believe Barack Obama clearly benefitted from having Independents and Republicans vote for him in Iowa (not a complaint, just a point to keep in mind). Edwards’ continued viability will take his message to more and more people, and force Obama and Hillary Clinton to sharpen their rhetoric as well.

Beyond that, I am even more heartened by the overwhelming enthusiasm and support for our Democratic candidates:

Percentage of total vote:
24.5% Obama
20.5% Edwards
19.8% Clinton
11.4% Huckabee (R)

No matter who gets the Democratic nomination, America is clearly over the unscrupulous and overly sanctimonious Republican party. That to me is the greatest victory of all.

On the monumental misjudgment that is George W. Bush’s War on Terror for oil in Iraq, and the fact that we will be dealing with his failures for many years to come, Digby saidbest:

The world is running out of oil and the US government wanted to insure that they had a permanent beachhead in the biggest oil rich region in the world. What a good idea to turn it into an anarchic free fire zone in the process. But as Henley and Drum both point out, it will probably end eventually.

I wonder what would have happened if they’d spent the trillion or two (by the time it’s all done) on alternative energy instead.

Not only has Bush failed to get the oil, he’s also squandered our national treasure and tarnished our prestige. His last remaining chance at vindication is to wait until one of the many Iraqi factions vanquishes the others, so that he too can declare victory. If we leave now, there is no glory for Bush. Is it any wonder he will not end this war? This is all about Bush now, we are all just pawns in the game…

So don’t ever let anyone say there is no difference between the two parties. The Dems are flawed to be sure, but the Republicans have consistently held this man in high esteem, pronouncing him a visionary and a great leader (and now cleverly punt that final judgment down the road so that ‘history’ may decide once and for all).

But we don’t need to wait for some mythical or mystical date in the future, only Bush does. The rest of us can plainly see that he, his administration, and his Republican party have completely and entirely lost it all. They stood behind him and cheered, even as it became abundantly clear he had blown it. We are much worse off then when he started, and have since lost seven years of money and enterprising effort to chart a more prudent course.

America will recover, as she always does, and soon shine more brightly than ever before.

Let us make sure that Bush and his Grand old Republican Party do not.

On Rudy Giuliani’s groundless and shameless claims that he alone can save us from the terrorists and win the War on Terror (or as he prefers it, the Terrorist’s War on Us™), and the fact that we must begin to challenge him and his ‘facts’ openly and forcefully, Anonymous Liberal saidbest:

Giuliani is the Republican frontrunner and his claim to expertise in this area is the central rationale for his candidacy. It’s well past time to start tearing that image down. The Republican candidates are all attacking Hillary, Obama, and Edwards already, building narratives about them and planting the seeds of general election themes. It’s silly to allow Giuliani free reign to construct his public image as a seasoned terrorism expert, particularly when lack of such experience will almost surely be a major attack theme used against whomever manages to win the Democratic nomination. Giuliani is no more an expert on terrorism than Ray Nagin is an expert climatologist or the mayor of Tokyo is an expert seismologist.

Republicans almost always craft an identity to directly cover up (or at least get out in front of) their obvious flaws. Wisely, they then invest heavily in embedding that narrative into our collective psyche, building enough brand equity to withstand and a familiar refrain to combat our feeble future attacks. We never build a competing narrative, therefore there is no sustaining attack, and certainly no lasting damage, which leaves us lamenting the fact that the world cannot see the obvious truth…

Rudy is yet another Republican farce, a caricature of himself and his party’s wet dreams. We have already allowed him to march forward with his charade, but it is a house of cards, the truth of which will be so easy to uncover and dismantle with a concentrated and sustained effort to paint his true picture.

So let’s stop complaining and get to work.

Slowly catching up on the past two weeks…

John Gruber, on the unique constraints and enormous potential of the iPhone interface, saidbest:

The iPhone’s screen measures just 3.5 inches, but it’s now the biggest frontier in interface design.

I am so much more dependent on my iPhone after traveling for the past two weeks. It performed flawlessly. In fact, I have since become very attached to Twitter’s mobile interface (it’s much less cluttered) and I am truly blown away by the iPhone specific Facebook interface (though far from perfect, it may be the one thing that keeps me interested in Facebook, for now). I have an idea for game too, but no idea how to make it happen. =)

Fred Wilson, on the near ubiquity of Twitter and his desire (mine too) to see it work natively with Facebook, saidbest:

I want to use Twitter to update my Facebook status. I don’t update my Facebook status. I twitter it to my blog, my friends phones, and countless other places on the web. I hope that Facebook will be another of those places soon.

Easy prediction: Twitter is the next big thing for everyone. My mom will never join Facebook, but I bet she’s following my tweets by year’s end, and adding her own shortly thereafter. Without a doubt.

Khoi Vinh, on consuming information online not for convenience alone but for the opportunity to do something with it, saidbest:

But, truth be told, the lion’s share of my recreational non-fiction reading happens online now. It’s not just that the diversity of content and the immediacy of that content is so much richer online, it’s the fact that there’s so much more one can do with content when it lives online.

Even my modest attempts at joining the conversation are incredibly satisfying and richly rewarding. I find I’m much more engaged with my thoughts, more coherent in their expression, and more passionate in their application (no doubt much to my father’s dismay).

Seth Godin, on using contrast to define an identity, saidbest:

One of the hardest things to do is invent a brand with no opposite. You don’t have an anchor to play against.

Perfectly obvious, yet often forgotten, and even then rarely done well. See the following for proof.

Digby, on the overwhelming data that indicates an incredible opportunity for Democrats to change the terms of debate in America, saidbest:

But you have to be optimistic, at least, that the American people are eager to hear a new story. The question is whether the Democrats can tell it.

I have some thoughts here, as you might imagine. Now if only I can find the time…

Peter Semmelhack, on the absolute brilliance of his just-announced Fred Wilson-backed company, BUG Labs, saidbest:

So what is BUG exactly? It’s Legos meets Web services & APIs. Imagine being able to build any gadget you wanted by simply connecting simple, functional components together. Now imagine being able to easily program, share and connect these gadgets in interesting ways. In essence, we’re building an open source-based platform for programmers to build not only the applications they want but the hardware to run it on.

You had me at legos. Sign me up now!!

Umair Haque on the creative bankruptcy, strategic blunders, and epic failure of imagination of old media’s new internet plays, saidbest:

More simply: before you can worry about capturing value, you’ve gotta understand how value is created.

There is a lifetime of wisdom in that one simple sentence, and a fortune for whomever figures out how best to apply it.

John Edwards, on the dichotomy of being hopeful by nature but incredibly frustrated by world we have allowed George W. Bush to dictate, saidbest:

“I’m a naturally optimistic person who feels an outrage that should be expressed, and I think that will come across as genuine and authentic. There is no strategy to it. I just have to be myself.”

This is me to a tee. Consider yourself warned. =)