Sunday, February 22, 2004

Today's Hoot

Mark Steyn, of course, who asks So which would America rather have: Pretty Boy or Long Face?
So the race has come down to a weak default candidate v a glamorous insurgent who is not quite glamorous to insurge sufficiently. Other than that, there is not much to choose between them. Both men are enormously wealthy. Kerry was a blueblood of relatively minor means who married a woman worth $300 million and then traded up to a woman worth $500 million. If I were Teresa Heinz Kerry I'd be worried, now Massachusetts is introducing gay marriage, that hubby may start giving the come-hither look to some of the state's elderly bachelor billionaires.

By contrast, John Edwards had a dirt-poor hard-scrabble childhood but managed to sue his way out of poverty. He has made 25 million bucks just from suing tobacco companies. His is an inspirational message: If I can do it, the rest of you haven't a hope in hell. But fortunately I've got a thousand new government programmes and micro-initiatives that will partially ameliorate your hopeless mediocrity. (I paraphrase.)

My favourite line in the Edwards spiel comes about two-thirds in, when, after outlining the regulatory hell in which he is going to ensnare banks, the pharmaceutical industry, etc, he confides: "But I'll be honest with you. I don't think I can change this country by myself." It's good to know the other 280 million Americans aren't entirely redundant. His basic pitch is that the entire electorate are victims, and his candidacy is the all-time biggest class-action suit on your behalf.

Edwards is condescending. Kerry is far too grand to condescend. But both are agreed that America is a vast wasteland of unemployed, shivering, diseased losers. For single-issue guys like me, Edwards barely says a word on Iraq and the war, though I am inclined to think he'd be better than Kerry. The latter seems eager to do whatever Chirac and Kofi want, whereas with Edwards there's always the possibility he will wind up suing the UN Security Council for emotional distress.
Only if he gets a percentage.