If last night’s debate proved anything, it was that the Bush-Cheney people have not lost their extraordinary sense of entitlement. It’s our White House – we stole it fair and square – and you Democrats have a lot of gall trying to take it away from us. This represents a pattern of both behavior and attitude from the Republicans that they are somehow the Rightful Heirs of the leadership of this nation and they will do anything in their power to hang on to it. This leads the Republicans, and especially the Bush administration, to take some pretty extreme measures to ensure that their grip on power is not loosened. Lies, exaggerations, distortions, bribery, and coercion are all delivered in a way that would make Don Corleone proud. The crocodile tears that the Vice President shed last night over the lack of civility and cooperation the Bush administration has seen in Washington was just another side of it: “Everything would be hunky-dory if only the Democrats would be reasonable and do exactly what we tell them to do.”
A number of bloggers have been very good in pointing out the variations from fact and truth that Vice President Cheney foisted on the American public last night, not the least of which was the line to Senator Edwards, “I’ve been the presiding officer of the Senate for four years now and this is the first time we’ve actually met.” Not so, according to Atrios and others – and they have the photos to prove it. And of course there was the real whopper of the night where Mr. Cheney claimed that he’d never said there was a direct link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11. Huh? Is he forgetting his appearances on Meet the Press, not to mention on many other occasions where he’s gotten so close to saying it that it’s on the level of Bill Clinton saying that a blow job doesn’t constitute sexual relations.
Back during the primaries, John Edwards spoke often about the “two Americas.” Last night showed the best example of what he was talking about. The closing statements of both Senator Edwards and Vice President Cheney were clear indications of where the choice lies in this election. Mr. Edwards spoke eloquently of the hope and opportunity that he sees ahead if the country elects John Kerry as president; better health care, better education, and keeping the jobs at home. Vice President Cheney said nothing about the future, but warned darkly that the only viable option for America was to stay on the path we’ve been led down for the last four years or risk total Armageddon. But Mr. Cheney never said how they’d lead us away from that. They never will, either. It’s how they keep in control.