Bambi Meets Godzilla


The handbills distributed along Euclid Avenue before the big fight Tuesday night promised an epic struggle where St. George would slay the mighty dragon, where Dorothy would expose the wizard behind the black curtain.  The actual confrontation between Vice President Cheney and Senator Edwards fell far short of the hyperbole—instead it was just an ordinary scolding of an adolescent by an adult, a rare occurrence these days, reminiscent of Ward Cleaver and Eddie Haskell.

John Edward's reputation as a knock—out litigator, persuading skeptical juries that they themselves are plaintiffs and victims—in—waiting, was nowhere to be seen last night. Instead, John Edwards looked as if, after many attempts, he had just passed the bar exam and still didn't know what he didn't know. While we ordered a mince pie, we were served only the fine pastry crust. Where we expected a cherry tart, we got the tart but no cherries.

John Edwards had much to prove.  Prove that he was a man of substance and in command of a central theme.  Give us compelling reasons why he is uniquely qualified to be Vice President and why he is running for office. After 90 minutes,  John Edwards never gave us a single reason to respect him, let alone vote for him.

During the first twenty minutes, Dick Cheney landed blow after blow clearly correlating John Kerry's voting patterns with political expediency, and nothing more, but also showing how John Kerry's 30 year record of indifference, even hostility, to military defense has disqualified him from even  remotely being considered as Commander—in—Chief.  Soon thereafter, Cheney's most serious punch, knocking Edwards on his heels, was the devasting remark 'If John Kerry and John Edwards can't stand up to Howard Dean, how can we expect them to stand up to Al Qaeda?'  This was followed by mocking Edward's dismal US Senate attendance record, sending him to the canvas with this line,  'In the four years that I have been president of the US Senate, tonight is the first time I have met John Edwards'.

To his credit, Edwards got back up and shook off the shooting stars. Yet he could only muster a weak comeback, replete with tentative bravado, dancing around the fringe, going through the motions without landing a counterpunch or requiring his opponent to catch his breath let alone break a sweat. But once more, why is John Edwards running for office?  Why should the rest of us buy into a candidate whose home state of North Carolina now rejects him?

Dick Cheney had little to prove, save for reassuring the American people that he is reliable and even fearless.  He left no doubt that the defense of this Nation is the primary job of the federal government and his personal ambitions are perfectly aligned with that task and not more. 

Apart from the enduring clich surrounding this event—— the sumo wrestler over—shadowing the gymnast, the mature bull toying with the young calf, the middle linebacker smothering the punter—— we learned something else about the Democratic party. Democrats can no longer lay any claim to being doers, makers or builders. They are the book reviewers who can't write, the pathologists who can't save a life, the building inspectors who can't saw a board or drive a nail.  Kerry and Edwards are the soul of the Party, now empty opportunists who capitalize on the creativity and sacrifice of others for their prosperity;   parasites, leeches and carrion feeders who depend on the misfortune and demise of others for their sustenance.

The mainstream media bet that John Edwards would show us that he was a  young buck,  ready to challenge for superiority over the herd. Instead we saw Bambi—but not the Disney version.

Geoffrey P. Hunt   10 05 04