Thursday, February 08, 2007

Practical Factors

It came out today that John Edwards is keeping Melissa McEwan (the witty, semi-profane, and elegant writer who is the main force behind Shakespeare's Sister) and Amanda Marcotte who blogs at Pandagon.

He had them issue apologies for the offense their writings might have caused. Okie Dokie by me. What's important to me is that today, a Democrat did not cave. He didn't really come out swinging, but he didn't run and he didn't bow to the pressure. I really think that there is a decent streak in Edwards that is something real about the man.

In my post about the racist nature of the attack and how easy it is to expose these folks for who they are and what their agenda really is I described the coming election cycle as "a face to face knife fight." One of my older friends who lurks this blog, but calls me instead of commenting (yeah, I'm talking about you Bird!) pointed out to me that when I use a knife fight as a metaphor it has meaning beyond what most folks can imagine.

In between combat tours of Viet Nam, while recovering from some wounds received in my first tour I was tagged with instructing folks who hadn't gone into combat yet in some of the finer points of "hand to hand" techniques. These included how to use a knife.

I would start by first disabusing them of any romance or illusions of style that they might have had from watching tripe in the movies or T.V.

I would tell them that in the jungle, out in the boonies, it wasn't about the Jets and the Sharks with switchblades. There wasn't any choreography or dancing. It was about taking one of the most brutal ways to do damage on another human being and going through with it.

Usually I would warn them against ever throwing their knife. That's another thing that only works in the movies. If you throw your knife in real combat all you accomplish is to anger your opponent by inflicting a painful wound that really won't cause much more harm beyond the pain, and, You. Just. Gave. Him. Your. Knife. Dumbass.

Then I would tell them that there were only two valid reasons for being in a knife fight. First, the task requires absolute silence. Which, technically isn't a fight at all. It involves sneaking up behind the target, pulling their head back while creating leverage in the small of their back with a knee or your hip and jamming your blade down behind their ribcage and stirring the blade around like it was a pitcher of martinis. If this is done perfectly it takes a long time for the person to really die. Blood gets everywhere, they usually lose control of their bowels and bladder. Most of the time the blood makes your hand slip on the knife and you end up cutting the hell out of your hand. That's the best case scenario.

The second reason to be in a knife fight is that you can't find a single other goddamn thing to fight with. I mean, really, get a stick, pick up a big-ass rock. I would rather fight with a baseball bat or an entrenching tool than a knife. If it must come down to a knife fight, this is how it is done.

(at this point I would usually roll up the sleeve on my right arm so that they could see the crisscrossing of scars on the outside of my forearm. today they just are places that don't tan along with the rest of my skin, but back then they were purple and livid.)

Using your dominant hand you hold the knife with its main edge facing up. Grab the knife handle like you would grab a tennis racket. Point the knife at your opponent. Start stabbing straight in and up going for the area under their chin and above their adam's apple. Do that over and over, twisting the blade right before impact. Use your off arm to parry the strokes of their blade. Don't fake or pretend to strike, don't dance around, don't do anything but go straight in. You'll have to take your cuts and keep stabbing away. Over and over. It's not pretty. It's not romantic. You'll be bleeding and winded after a few minutes of this but suck it up and keep at it. You only have to hit this stoke once and you'll live. Cut and bleeding, but you'll live.

That's the kind of combat I'm referring to when I talk about a knife fight. That's what I'm ready for when they come again.

I'm glad Edwards didn't cave. I'm glad Melissa still has her job. Donohue and his idiot followers would never help Edwards get elected if he did a little dance at their children's birthday parties while singing "I'm a Little Teapot" dressed in a Bo-Peep outfit.

Melissa and Amanda will work their asses off for him. Bloggers and the rest of us unruly mob have every chance to have an impact on this cycle.

You ready for the knife fights troops?




Blogger BadTux said...

Edward's problem is that he is a fundamentally decent man. I still remember well the evening he went up against Darth Cheney in the Veep debate. Darth Cheney lies with a straight face, repeatedly, and without shame. Edwards was flabbergasted. You don't just outright lie like that in a courtroom because if you do, your opponent will introduce evidence that you just perjured yourself and you go to jail. Edwards had a look on his face like some of my algebra students got when I handed out the algebra exams. He literally didn't know what to do.

Edwards' sole winning experience in politics was against Senator Lurch, a stump-dumb pig farmer whose stupidity and incompetence were an embarrassment even to North Carolinians (given that they sent Jesse Helms to the Senate every year, that says a lot). Yes, I was living in North Carolina at the time. Yes, I voted for Edwards -- what, you thought I was going to vote for Senator Lurch? Sheesh! But running against a stump-dumb pig farmer is a lot different from running against condensed evil like Cheney/Rove. Neither Edwards nor Kerry seemed to "get it" that they were in a knife fight and fighting by gentleman's rules was going to get them dead, and they lost. Given this limp response from Edwards on this issue, I'm not seeing much better next time if he wins the primaries.

BTW, if you want the best qualified man to be President of those thus far announced -- Bill Richardson. Congressman, ambassador, Energy Secretary, governor of New Mexico. About the only thing he hasn't done is be President. Do we really want amateurs running the country? Didn't we have enough of that with Bush?


1:37 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

i have a lot of respect for richardson. the way he handles the immigration issues in his state are in stark contrast to the pandering to hysteria that i've found in california and arizona. of course, he's latino, and the overwhelming majority of his state is also latino. the problem would be getting heard among the rock stars. a long, vocal primary process might be something that would help him. he has run good, long campaigns before. he is one of the voices that i want to hear.

7:27 AM  
Anonymous amish451 said...

I'm with you on Edwards, at least he didn't cave ...
I'm damned weary of the right attempting to dictate and define who we, the liberals may be, what we believe, and what we stand for ...and a MSM that seeks to empower them ..Liberal Media my bloody ass .. last, at least one Dem. who may stand and fight ..and he fought for our girl Sis ...
and if I have never thanked you for the scars ...thanks

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also thank you for the scars, and the arthritis, and all the rest of it.

- oddjob

10:05 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

we were just a bunch of people
doing the best we could

just a bunch of people
doing the best we could

you know, i think we did it
pretty up and walking good

john stewart - mother country

11:12 PM  

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