Wednesday, October 06, 2004


Some of you veterans may recall a BushWatch post that I sent in 2000. It said, in a nutshell, don’t be fooled by Dick Cheney’s grandfatherly persona – his voting record in the Congress is to the right of Attila the Hun. I then detailed that record – a record that was in fact much more conservative than even Jesse Helms. Unfortunately, Joe Lieberman, desperately trying NOT to make himself useful to Al Gore, refused to bring up any of these details in his debate with Cheney.

Well, thank heaven for John Edwards.

During the debate, Edwards remarked, "I'm surprised to hear [Cheney] talk about records. When he was one of 435 members of the United States House, 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 [founding] 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."

Every one of these details is so true on its face that Cheney didn’t even bother to respond. He literally said nothing about any of these votes. What they show is a man who abhors democracy and fair play and is in lock-step with powerful, cynical corporate and defense-industry lobbies. Dick Cheney speaks in lofty terms about democracy when it suits his purpose, as it does in Iraq. But his voting record in Congress suggests that he couldn’t care less about it. Thanks to John Edwards the public now sees this with real clarity.

The other compelling storyline of the VP debate is that Cheney was caught red-handed telling some ridiculous lies. The worst kind of lies – i.e., the kind which are easily refuted by video tape. In one, he made the dramatic accusation that, because Edwards allegedly never shows up for Senate votes, Cheney (who, as VP, is President of the Senate) had never met Edwards until they sat down to debate each other. Within two hours Democrats had produced C-SPAN footage of them meeting on three separate occasions. Secondly, Cheney claimed that he had never suggested that there was a connection between Sadam Hussein and the attacks of 9/11. Once again footage was produced immediately of Cheney on "Meet the Press" suggesting exactly that. More examples quickly followed.

As much as I don’t like Cheney I was shocked at the recklessness and sheer stupidity of these particular lies. Some of his other lies were more dexterous.

The post-debate polls, both on-line and scientific, suggested an Edwards victory. More importantly Kerry-Edwards continue to surge in the national Presidential polls.



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