Wednesday, October 06, 2004

One big fat liar

I thought Edwards did an excellent job last night, keeping the "Democrats' rally" going (in the words of Saletan over on Slate this morning). Then again, Kerry could have chosen a broken down horse for his running mate and it would have looked preferable to El Vice Presidente. Cheney had trouble handling his anger, but more important...he had trouble handling his lies. And Edwards knew it and didn't back down on them (a vast improvement over Lieberman's sorry performance in 2000). He was tough on Cheney from the start, saying:
Mr. Vice President, you are still not being straight with the American people. I mean, the reality you and George Bush continue to tell people, first, that things are going well in Iraq -- the American people don't need us to explain this to them, they see it on their television every single day.
He kept the heat on Cheney from there. Perhaps his most devastating attack came when he pointed out that when Cheney was a member of the House of Representatives:
he was one of 10 to vote against Head Start, one of four to vote against banning plastic weapons that can pass through metal detectors.

He voted against the Department of Education. He voted against funding for Meals on Wheels for seniors. He voted against a holiday for Martin Luther King. He voted against a resolution calling for the release of Nelson Mandela in South Africa.

It's amazing to hear him criticize either my record or John Kerry's.

The MLK holiday is damning, as is the vote against the Mandela resolution. And that's a key. This administration loves to distort the record of its opponents when the reality is that they will say and do anything to keep attention away from their own awful records. I thought Edwards did an excellent job of continuing to bring up the facts of the Busy-Cheney administration - the mess in Iraq, the failure in Afghanistan, the mess of the budget and economy, the awful jobs situation, the corporate welfare and handouts, the miserable environmental record, etc.

Cheney's performance was awful. In some ways, worse than Bush's last week. Edwards got under his skin several times and caused Cheney to snap and be nasty, something he has a reputation for and the public loathes. Moreover, Cheney made three bold-faced lies, something that is being heavily mentioned in the media today. With a straight face, Cheney actually said "I have not suggested there's a connection between Iraq and 9/11." That's funny...he's said it repeatedly, on tape and in interviews. Then he went on to allege that the jury was still out, despite multiple and numerous sources that have concluded there is no link between al Queda and Saddam Hussein, and no link re: 9/11 at all.

But my personal favorite lie - one that is getting quite a bit of attention in the media today - was Cheney's claim that, until last night, he had never met John Edwards (despite Edwards being a Senator and Cheney "presiding" over the Senate).

Well...that's just flat out wrong. Cheney has met Edwards twice, including publicly thanking him by name once. Even better, we have photographic proof of one of the encounters:

Maybe El Vice Presidente just forgets, yes? Understandible. Did you see how tired and old he looked? He looked terrible. What are they feeding him in that "undisclosed location?" Maybe he hasn't been able to eat enough small children. ;)

Reviews this morning are in...most national polls have Edwards a clear victor and the commentators (even the conservatives) seem to believe that Edwards was particularly strong on domestic policy. The Edwards win probably doesn't result in a big boost for Kerry (though he might - you never know) but they won't lose points either. And with persuadable voters, I think Edwards probably will have a larger impact than Cheney will. But most importantly...the GOP spin machine will have a tough time focusing the debate away from their own miserable record in power and away from El Vice Presidente's outright lies...which keeps the heat on their floundering campaign going into Friday night's "town hall" debate.


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