Wednesday, October 06, 2004

The MOST Important Issue of the VP Debate

See, this is why I’m not paid to be a pundit. The most important issue of last night's VP debate flew past without me noticing.

Sure, I heard Cheney zing Edwards with the follwing:

"Now, in my capacity as vice president, I am the president of Senate, the presiding officer. I'm up in the Senate most Tuesdays when they're in session.

The first time I ever met you was when you walked on the stage tonight."

And I thought, “Eh.” We know all about the fact that Kerry and Edwards have lousy Senate attendance records. This is rehashing old material. Wasn’t a big point in the debate to me.

But this morning I found that the big right-wing pundits generally seized on that as one of the defining moments of the debate. Surprising to me. But ok, so maybe Senate attendance does matter to undecided voters. Maybe it's not old material to everyone.

And then the lefty pundits explode in a “gotcha” proving that Cheney had indeed met Edwards before. At a prayer breakfast. And I immediately thought, “huh?” Wasn’t the statement about Senate attendance? Do we really care whether or not Cheney and Edwards shared a photo-op once? How does that rebut the point?

And then I went over to the Moderate Voice, a source I often turn to when I want a genuine non-partisan perspective, and Joe is also huffy about the fact that Cheney did indeed meet Edwards previously three whole times. The fact that not one of them was actually in the Senate – and if we'll recall, the comment was chastising Edwards for his Senate attendance record – has now been forgotten by pretty much everyone.

Which in a weird way sort of brings me back to my initial reaction. Eh.

I suppose some people might get extremely excited about the fact that two Senators running for president spent very little time in the Senate during their runs. I happen to think any serious political thinkers only use the issue attempting to fool people they think are less intelligent than themselves, because, well… duh! Of course they’re going to put more energy on running for president than showing up for votes – 99% of which have the outcome predetermined by prior negotiation between the parties, and in which the voting is a mere formality. If you put a lot of stock in a candidate's Senate attendance, you’d die of shock if you looked a tad deeper to find out how that place actually operates on a day to day basis.

And then there are the people who seem to think discovering that Cheney and Edwards bumped into one another outside the Senate totally undercuts Cheney, and results in a triumph for Edwards. Once again, these are people trying to play the unintelligent for suckers. There were contradictory factual assertions Cheney and Edwards made last night which also might deserve a little fact checking. But those were about national policy and stuff, so by all means let’s ignore those in favor of the bigger story, which apparently is about Edwards feelings being hurt because Cheney doesn’t remember meeting him. Or maybe he's only pretending he didn't meet him, because like, that would totally show Edwards up. Which is just mean. Or something.

Again, I highly encourage both camps to adopt my initial spin about the issue. Repeat after me: Eh.

The more you try to beat this dead-horse of an issue, the sillier you're going to feel later on.


Blogger LKBM said...

He says 'The first time I ever met you was when you walked on the stage tonight'. But this stage is not in the Senate, and thus it can only be true if by 'met', he meant 'met anywhere', not just 'met in the Senate'. They /still/ haven't met in the Senate.

Of course, Cheney mostly goes to the Senate for run Republican meals and stuff. He meets very few Democratic Senators at all there.


1:23 PM  
Blogger Army of Mom said...

I think Cheney did a great job overall. I found that comment to be very enlightening, personally. I just wish he would have used a little clarifying statement so all the lefties of the world don't crawl out of the woodwork to say what a big liar he is. I'm NEVER watching the Today show again. After three days for Kitty Kelley's piece of shit book making up crap about the president, making up quotes, etc. and then this morning they lined up about a jillion people to say how Cheney had met Edwards on Meet the Press and some breakfast thing, etc. Hellooooo people. He is saying that the dude never voted ... I find that important. I would rather you vote for things that I don't agree with and at least vote. Why did people elect him if he can't represent them? I'd feel cheated to know if my elected officials never voted.

2:07 PM  

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