The Corner

Edwards Drops Ashcroft Attack

I kind of like what Edwards has been trying to do lately, stay above the fray as the optimistic candidate. But this campaign season he has been one of the worst Democrats in terms of demagoging John Ashcroft, especially given that Edwards voted for the Patriot Act. This contradiction has so often come back to haunt him that he has dropped Ashcroft from his stump speech, according to the New York Times: “He also no longer regularly rebukes Attorney General John Ashcroft, even though it got him some of his biggest applause. To rousing cheers he would accuse Mr. Ashcroft of ‘taking away our rights, taking away our liberties, taking away our freedoms’ for his handing of the antiterrorism legislation that gives the federal government more powers to search private records. The problem is that Mr. Edwards voted for the antiterrorism legislation and often found himself explaining that vote to confused listeners.”