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 Put another way, the battle between Democrats and Republicans is being superseded by the battle between The Money Party and The People Party.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.

Please tell me why each and every one of our Democratic Senators and Representatives isn’t fighting to get in front of this one. It defies common sense.

Where are our esteemed Presidential contenders? Hillary Clinton? Barack Obama? Not a thing. No leadership. Their silence suggests complicity. Is that really so? We’re not only listening, we’re watching your every move.

Harry Reid? He’ll sell out the American people for $22,000 in Telecommunications contributions from 2001 – 2006 (I can only imagine what his take will be for 2007, now that he’s the Majority Leader). And seriously, $22,000 — is that all it takes? He could easily raise much more in an hour with a decisive stand, and motivate thousands of people to become even more intimately involved in his cause.

Jay Rockefeller? Sure, he’ll write a stern letter and talk a mean game, but folds at the first sign on conflict. Is it really this hard? Yet again, he seems perfectly content to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Not even George W. Bush is this incompetent.

It seems only Chris Dodd understands what’s at stake. And it’s clear to me that this isn’t about politics, or winning the election, it’s about standing up for what is right; it’s principled leadership, pure and simple. And just in time too. George W. Bush and his corporate cronies are hell-bent on “saving” us from our freedoms, the very way of life that is guaranteed by the Constitution.

Thus far, only one man stands in between democracy and the destruction of all we hold dear. It sounds preposterous, hysterical even, but think about it: are we all subject to the same laws, or are the President and his benefactors / beneficiaries solely above the law?