Don Williams
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Don Williams is a prize-winning columnist, blogger, fiction writer, sometime TV commentator, and is the founder and editor emeritus of New Millennium Writings, an annual anthology of stories, essays and poems. His awards include a National Endowment for the Humanities Journalism Fellowship at the University of Michigan, a Golden Presscard Award from Sigma Delta Chi Society of Professional Journalists, a best Commentary Award from SDC, Best Feature Writing from the Associated Press Tennessee Managing Editors, the Malcolm Law Journalism Prize from the Associated Press, Best Non-Deadline Reporting from the United Press International, Best Novel Excerpt from the Knoxville Writers Guild, a Peacemaker Award from the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, five Writer of the Month Awards from the Scripps Howard Newspaper chain, and many others. In 2011 he was inducted into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame. His 2005 book of journalism, Heroes, Sheroes and Zeroes is under revision for a second printing, and he is at work on a novel and a book of journalism. His columns appear at and have been featured at many other well-known websites. To run his column, gratis, at your website, post this link to a dedicated spot: Need a speaker, panelist, tv commentator or teacher for your group or to lead a writing workshop, in your town? Email

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Obama, Edwards sweep aside Hillary's brand of change
(Copyright by Don Williams, All rights reserved   01/04/2008)

Split screen:

On the right, a cast ranging from teens to boomers, from cream-colored to deep roast coffee, clasp hands aloft in victory. Behind Obama a giant blue banner pronounces:


On the left, another story. Hillary clutches a microphone like a lifeline in Nashua, N.H., and says this:

“When we talk about change, we need somebody who won't just SAY change… What we need is somebody who can PRODUCE change, just like I've been doing for thirty-fiiiiive years.”

Never has a phrase sounded so tired. The irony of the statement seems lost on Hillary. Just so it's not lost on you, please consider:

Hillary voted for the war on Iraq.

Hillary voted to give Bush power to do as he will with Iran.

Hillary hinted she might nuke Iran.

When it comes to diplomacy Hillary's stated she'd be slow to talk to adversaries.

Hillary's health care plan is much like Mitt Romney's. It leaves in place the same old incentives by which we all find ourselves over-prescribed, under-funded, and under-treated.

That's the kind of “change” that makes us sicker, poorer, gets generations killed, and keeps the military-industrial-media complex fat and arrogant the world over.

She's Republican Lite in my book, sort of like her much maligned husband. Yes, during these past seven years of hell, Bill Clinton's been refreshing to watch and give a listen to when addressing this

or that policy group. With his ready command of facts, grammatical sentences, ability to conceptualize, to ponder conflicting forces, and his generally sweet vibe, he's good medicine.

As I wrote `long about Halloween, I wish I could say I was a great admirer. I really really wish that. But I'm not. I look at the genocide in Rwanda during his watch. The half-million dead children in Iraq.

The blown up aspirin factory in the Sudan. The decrepit space program. The mess in the Middle East, the Rubik's Cube of a health scheme he and Hillary launched. The coercion of much of his Cabinet into marching out on the White House lawn and (by saying they believed him) turning his personal lies about Monica into a big, national lie. No, I don't believe that was an impeachable offense, certainly not comparable to the house of horrors of the Bush / Cheney administration. I just wish I could admire Bill's legacy more.

And just as I wish I could like Bill more, I really really want to like Hillary. Despite her shaky performance in Iowa, she's normally poised, quick on her feet, attractive enough in manner and looks, has a ready wit, pretty good ideas on a range of issues, says many of the right things about the environment, social justice, health care. Moreover, how exciting it would be to inaugurate our first woman president in 2009.

Aye, but here's the rub. She strikes me as a hazard to the planet. One beholden to outdated ways of looking at war and armaments. One who'd demonize Iran's leadership unnecessarily, then nuke them just to “prove her manhood.” After all, she did vote for war with Iraq. No matter how she spins it, she signed on.

Yes, she was misled, the nation was misled, but she shouldn't have been. I wasn't. Molly Ivins wasn't. Helen Thomas wasn't. Kucinich wasn't. Mike Gravel wasn't. Even those conservatives, Charley Reese,

Paul Craig Roberts, Jimmie Duncan and Ron Paul weren't.

More to the point, neither were Obama or Edwards, both of whom can claim a victory in Iowa.

They point to real change. For 2008, they just mignt be the ticket. To understand why, read my last posting.

Yes, it's already dated in some ways, but insightful, nonetheless, : ) and at .