Sunday, July 11, 2004

On Sept. 11, 2001, America suffered the deadliest attack ever by a foreign enemy on its own soil. Fanatical Muslim terrorists hijacked four commercial airplanes, crashing two of them into the World Trade center and a third into the Pentagon. The trade center was destroyed, the Pentagon badly damaged. A fourth plane, which might have been bound for the Capitol, crashed in a field in rural Pennsylvania after passengers overpowered the hijackers. Some 3,000 people perished that day, and America has been at war ever since.

Nearly three years later, a presidential campaign is under way. One of the wonders of American democracy is that elections have always gone on as usual during wartime--even in 1864 during the Civil War and 1944 during World War II. The president has to defend his record to the voters even as he is fighting the country's enemies--and so it should be.

So, what is John Kerry's argument for turning President Bush and Vice President Cheney out of office and replacing them with Kerry and John Edwards? Here is what he had to say yesterday: "We've got better vision, better ideas, real plans. We've got a better sense of what's happening to America--and we've got better hair."

And here we thought Kerry was a Democrat, not a Whig. As reader Bill Bruer asks (in response to Peggy Noonan's column), "Has Bush-Cheney vs. Kerry-Edwards been reduced to a race between the tortoise and the 'hair'? We know who won that contest."

On the other hand, at least it's nice to know at last what Kerry and Edwards plan to 'do about terrorism.

In January the New York Times described this great moment in personal-injury law:

In 1985, a 31-year-old North Carolina lawyer named John Edwards stood before a jury and channeled the words of an unborn baby girl.

Referring to an hour-by-hour record of a fetal heartbeat monitor, Mr. Edwards told the jury: "She said at 3, 'I'm fine.' She said at 4, 'I'm having a little trouble, but I'm doing O.K.' Five, she said, 'I'm having problems.' At 5:30, she said, 'I need out.' "

But the obstetrician, he argued in an artful blend of science and passion, failed to heed the call. By waiting 90 more minutes to perform a breech delivery, rather than immediately performing a Caesarean section, Mr. Edwards said, the doctor permanently damaged the girl's brain.

At the vice-presidential debate this fall, someone should ask Sen. Edwards to demonstrate this technique by channeling the words of an unborn baby about to undergo a partial-birth abortion.

Both items courtesy of the Wall Street Journal.

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