Skip to comments.John Edwards Has His ‘Strangelove’ Moment: ‘Mein Fuhrer, I Can Valk!’
Posted on 10/15/2004 2:35:45 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob
Well get back to John Edwards extraordinary comment about how the Kerry/Edwards ticket will cause cripples to walk and raise the dead. We begin, however, with one of the more extraordinary remarks by the tickets minions who now blanket the nation and infest the airways.
This week on Linda Vesters Dayside program on Fox, I saw an incredible burst of honesty by Chad Clanton, Deputy Director of Communications for the Kerry Campaign. The subject was the proposed broadcast on the 62 stations of the Sinclair Broadcast Group of Stolen Honor, a documentary which focuses on the reaction of veterans and especially former prisoners of war to John Kerrys war crimes charges in his testimony before the Senate in 1971.
The discussion was about the First Amendment rights of this (or any other) broadcaster to exercise their own judgments about what to put on the air. Here is the chilling threat that Mr. Clanton issued at the end of that discussion: If they show this film on their stations, they better hope we don't win the election.
I add that Ms. Vester has a live audience for her program. When Mr. Clanton said this, the audience booed him.
In considering the words and actions of Chad Clanton, folks should think back to another minion in another day. Chuck Colson was famously quoted as saying, I would walk over my grandmother for Richard Nixon. Thats the very definition of what we call today, Kool-aid drinkers. Of course, after Colson went to prison, he changed all of his attitudes and became a responsible member of society. We can only hope that Mr. Clanton has a similar chance of heart and of ethics, even without the educational opportunities of a stay in a federal prison.
Mr. Clanton also demonstrated on this program a technique which I refer to as the Carvillization of the Democrat Party. Because its used by dozens of representatives of the Kerry/Edward ticket in live news programs on all networks, I conclude this is a deliberate policy choice. Ill describe it, and youll recognize it from dozens of examples over months of political programming. Heres how it goes:
The person conducting the program Linda Vester, Tim Russert, whoever asks a question on a single subject to a Democrat representative, with a Republican representative waiting on the split screen to respond to the same question. Sometimes the first sentence spoken by the Democrat relates to the question asked, sometimes not. But the tactic is displayed by what follows.
The question may be about tax relief. The Democrats answer might touch on that. But immediately following in the same answer will be charges about Iraq, bad schools, unemployment, abortion and George Bushs Air National Guard service. Some of the additional charges are matters of opinion. Others are factually false, and could be easily refuted with available facts. But each of the additional charges would require at least fifteen seconds to refute. There is never time available to the Republican representative to reply to all of them, even if he could remember all of them.
I call this machine-gun lying. The point of fighting with a rifle is to aim and hit the target. The point of fighting with a machine gun is to lay down a field of lead so that one bullet might hit the target, no matter which one.
The reason I think this debating tactic comes from James Carville is he has been doing this for far longer than all other Democrats. Also, hes developed it to a fine art.
Professional singers have breath training, as well as learning the words and music. This means knowing when to take a breath to be ready to handle the longer series of notes. Consider how Carville handles his machine-gun lying. He breathes in the middle of his sentences so he can jump immediately from the end of the sentence with one charge into the beginning of the sentence with the next charge.
Why is this so effective? Because most people who engage in debates or discussions are trained to be polite. You wait until the other person has finished his/her statement before you begin to speak. The Carville technique eliminates that opportunity for the other side to respond.
And what is the result of the Carvillization of Democrat statements on live TV programs? It is that the Republicans seeking to respond must jump in, and talk over the other person, in an effort to blunt the attack. Have you noticed how so many news programs have degenerated into clones of the McLaughlin Report, which I among others have long since ceased to watch precisely because of everyone talking over everyone else. The discussion degenerates into a shouting match, which is worthless from the standpoint of advancing the discussion whatever the discussion was intended to be about. But I digress. I came to talk about the worst statement made by any Democrat spokesman this week.
There are many contenders for this award. John Kerrys gratuitous comment about Mary Cheneys sexuality in the final Presidential Debate was obviously both intended and inappropriate. Still, a comment by John Edwards takes the cake for this week.
On the campaign trail this week, John Edwards said this: We will do stem cell research. We will stop juvenile diabetes, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and other debilitating diseases. America just lost a great champion for this cause in Christopher Reeve. People like Chris Reeve will get out of their wheelchairs and walk again with stem cell research.
What was going on here? Overwhelmed by the belief that the election of the Kerry/Edwards ticket was a matter of cosmic truth and justice, Edwards allowed his mouth to get ahead of his mind. He actually suggested that his esteemed running mate, John Kerry, would heal the cripples and raise the dead. It was an absurd thing for any candidate, even for Vice President, to say in front of God and everybody.
But Edwards said that. It was his Strangelove moment.
On the 35th anniversary of Stanley Kubricks classic movie Dr. Strangelove, its worthwhile to reconsider the final scene of that black comedy about government and war. The director had intended to end the movie with a food fight in the War Room. But as the final scene was being shot, Peter Sellers, playing the dark genius Dr. Strangelove, forgot his lines. At the end, when Strangelove was outlining his plans for the survival of a nucleus of civilization in mine shafts after the nuclear destruction of the world, he was overwhelmed by the great opportunities for himself and his leader, President Muffly Merkin (also played by Sellers).
So what Sellers did then, ad lib, became the end of the movie. It was such a perfect moment that the actor playing the Russian Ambassador lost his composure and had to suppress a smile on his face, which is visible in the movie. It was a darkly perfect parallel to John Edwards heal the sick stump speech this week.
Dr. Strangelove pushed himself out of his wheelchair and staggered to his feet. His uncontrollable right arm shot out and up in the familiar salute. And he said to his great President, Muffly Merkin:
Mein Fuhrer, I can valk! John Edwards could not have said it better.
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About the Author: John Armor is a civil rights attorney who lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. CongressmanBillybob@earthlink.net
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John / Billybob
Kerry was going to appoint Benny Hinn to be Surgeon General.
Edwards should lay on his hands and heal Bob Dole's arm...
Ya think that if I stick my foot up Kerry's butt, my athletes foot will be cured?
..."...the Carvillization of the Democrat Party..."... This is the Democrats' antidote to what was the daily, endless Clinton-bashing done by Rush Limbaugh.
Carville is not news, he is entertainment and editorializing. Carville should not be included in any serious political interview done on any News show.
Carville is an unelected propagandist, just like lots of talk-show people are----let him buy his own air time. To have him presented on a news show as a serious analyst is bunk.
Thanks for this- excellent!
I can remember that scene so well...it was PERFECT:)
Kedwards elixir - the new cure for Alzheimer's, paralysis, and baldness. Limited time offer - get a free bottle with every vote.
Who knows? Definitely worth a try.
I never really thought about the 'breath control' issue. You are right. All the dim spokesmen/people practice this. They leave no room for rebuttal. They also talk over the pubs.
So incenses me that I usually channel surf when the crude behavior starts.
Yes, but after all Kerry did revive Licorice. And Teresa prescribed her magic elixer for arthritis (raisins and gin)
It's Brother John's Travelin' Salvation Show!
Think what he could do for all the folks who are buying Viagra!!! No question for their vote he would do it...come on Breck boy....handle me!!
Ha! I was thinking along the same line!
The dead will be raised just long enough to cast their ballot(s).
I was wondering what you think the 'right' tactic is to counter machine-gun lying.
It probably depends on the setting. My own speculation was to have an ejaculation (look it up) of some kind - "Bull!", "Oh, come on!", which you could interject without really interrupting them. I suppose a cluster of them, increasingly more exasperated might work. Your thoughts?
That's a fine piece of writing there, CB. For a minute I thought I was reading Mark Steyn and you know how high a compliment that is.
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