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COLUMN

The Dark Lord and the Kid

Alexander del Nido

Gwen Ifil, Moderator: Good evening and welcome to the 2004 Vice-Presidential debate. With me tonight are the Republican nominee, Vice President Dick “Darth” Cheney, and the Democratic nominee, Senator John “Sonny Boy” Edwards. Our first question tonight will go to the Vice President. Mr. Vice President, things are pretty bad in Iraq, aren’t they? No weapons of mass destruction, even Donald Rumsfeld says there was no connection between Saddam and al-Qaeda, and the former head of the U.S. occupation says that your administration ignored his pleas for more troops.

Dick “Darth” Cheney: We have to remember that our glorious victory in Iraq is part of a global war on terror. Terrorists struck us on September 11th. Terrorists want to smuggle nuclear or biological weapons into our cities. Terrorists probably want John Kerry to win the election in November.

Ifil: Senator Edwards, your response?

John “Sonny Boy” Edwards: Well golly gee, Gwen, it’s just great to be here in the great state of Ohio on this great stage at this great university! I want to thank the great people at Joe’s Barber Shop round the corner for doing up my great hair before this great event tonight. I’d also like to thank my great wife, Elizabeth, and my great kids; Gwen can you get the camera to look at them? Ain’t they just so cute? Now, what was your great question?

Ifil: Sorry Senator, you’re out of time. New question: You and John Kerry both voted for the resolution to go to war in Iraq, then you voted against $87 billion to fund the war, then you said you weren’t an anti-war candidate, and now you say that the war is the “wrong war at the wrong place in the wrong time.” Care to clear up these little inconsistencies?

Edwards: Gwen, John Kerry has been consistent in his position on Iraq since day one, and he’s never wavered. This administration made a heck of a mess in Iraq, and it’s up to us to fix it.

Ifil: But, what is your position on how to go forward in Iraq now, Senator?

Edwards: Gwen, we have a real plan to fix Iraq and bring our troops home. It’s a great plan Gwen!

Ifil: ...but what specifically...

Edwards: A very specific plan! This administration had no plan at all when they invaded!

Cheney: Now look here, young whippersnapper, you and your French-loving boss can’t even be trusted to show up at the Senate to vote, let alone to deal with al-Qaeda and the terrorists who want to smuggle nuclear weapons into our houses.

Edwards: The fact is that this administration totally bunged up Iraq -- I mean, they don’t even have working court systems; think of all the trial lawyers over there who don’t have jobs!

Cheney: I find your lack of faith disturbing, Senator. And did I mention that terrorists want to release biological agents on our children’s playgrounds?

Ifil: New topic: Domestic issues. Senator Edwards, John Kerry is from Massachusetts, and they allow same-sex marriage there. Isn’t that a little out of touch with the rest of America?

Edwards: Gwen, I’d actually like to talk about health care. Costs have gone up 300 percent...

Cheney: The question was about gay marriage, dimwit. Despite the fact that I have a gay daughter myself, I support a President who would deny her the right to marry who she wants to marry and receive benefits from the government for making that decision.

Ifil: But, isn’t there a conflict there?

Cheney: There is no conflict!

Edwards: Gwen, I’d really like to talk about health care. Did you know that health care costs have gone up 9,000 percent over the last four years?

Ifil: The next question was actually going to be about education, Senator.

Cheney: Speaking of education, Gwen, we should remember that just last week, terrorists massacred hundreds of innocent schoolchildren in Russia.

Ifil: Um, why don’t we just go to closing statements? Senator Edwards.

Edwards: Well, thanks Gwen. I’d like to say one thing more about health care; while the Vice President here was receiving millions of dollars in kickbacks from Halliburton, health-care costs have gone up over 15,000 percent...

Ifil: Senator, these are supposed to be closing statements.

Edwards: Aww, shucks Gwen. Well, middle America, I’m the son of a mill-worker, so despite the fact that I’m now a millionaire, I sorta remember what it’s like to be poor like you; I’d love to have the chance to be your President in 2012!... uh, oh yeah, and Vice President in 2004.

Cheney: I’d just like to remind everyone that we live in very, very dangerous times. I am the only candidate who has the steadfastness and experience to confront terrorists armed with technological terrors like nuclear weapons. Senator Edwards has been in the Senate less than a full term, and he doesn’t even show up most of the time. He is but the learner, but I am the master!

Edwards: Can I talk about health care now?