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Ending Poverty in Presidential Politics

February 4, 2008

With the exit of John Edwards from the race last week, the Democratic Party can congratulate itself for at long last ending the issue of poverty in America. Sure, the remaining candidates briefly mentioned it in last Tuesday’s Hollywood Debate (a venue that seems to fittingly describe the spectacle), but they’ve been wonderfully silent about it ever since. Maybe that’s because Edwards himself told us that he had secured personal assurance from Obama and Clinton that they would carry on his work. Well then, no need to actually talk about the issue. Mission accomplished — done and done! Of course, the Republican candidates have done the Democrats one better. Poverty never has existed as an issue for any of them.

Anyway, with this little item scratched off the national to-do list, both parties can focus on what they do best: servicing the corporate giants and pandering to the comfortable classes. Ah, the sweetness of democracy under empire!

We just hope that someone will give the good news to those who’ve been left behind to carry on somehow in the real world — the 36.5 million Americans in poverty, and the more than 50 million near poor who are uncomfortably sandwiched between the poor and the middle class in that “sweet spot” where public programs do not kick in but necessities like health insurance are far beyond reach. We’re sure they’ll be glad to know that the presidential hopefuls won’t be bothering themselves with poverty any more.

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