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Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Jonah on the Veeps

Cheney the Veep Man

I enjoyed Jonah Goldberg's take on the Veep debate last night:
On substance Cheney was an incontrovertible winner on foreign policy. In the first half, Edwards was preening that he could remember the name of the pizza joint that got blown up in Israel. Anybody who's read foreign-policy theorists from Grotius to Kissinger fully knows that this is the stuff of statesmanship. Meanwhile, Cheney not only scored stronger and better points about what's going on in Iraq and Afghanistan, he managed to do it while simultaneously underscoring the Breck Guy's weakness and Kerry's inconstancy.

Cheney attacked Edwards for not showing up for his job, for not having a serious record, and for being a political weathervane. Edwards responded by attacking Cheney's record, which included voting against the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and - shudder - meals-on-wheels. That's all fine. But Edwards's attack reinforced the image that Cheney is a man of conviction willing to buck politics for principle (He voted against meals on wheels!). Edwards meanwhile had no defense on the charge that he's a show pony, not a workhorse.

On domestic policy, which came in the second half, Edwards won marginally, but at that point it was clear that we were watching Serious Guy and his amusing sidekick.
Some other articles were also interesting in National Review Online's "Veep Night" section (such as these fun points from David Frum):
Yet Gwen Ifill in her question on flip-flopping suggested that Kerry's deep indecisiveness on the question of war or peace was no more serious than the Bush administration's internal debate over whether Homeland Security was best overseen by a secretary or an assistant to the president! Yes it's true: The Bush administration has sometimes changed its mind about how to fight this war. Kerry can't make up his mind whether to fight it--or even whether there's a war on or not.
and... have to say that he [John Edwards] would fill the role of First Lady much better than Teresa Heinz is likely to do. It would all have been very impressive--if Cheney's scalpel had not so swiftly and mercilessly sliced Edwards's living liver out of his body, impaled it quivering on a stick, and paraded it before Edwards' soulful eyes before the poor man expired.
I'm not so sure I agree - about the liver stuff - but still fun!


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