Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Things I've learned from a week's worth of the Kerry/Edwards ticket:

1. Bush is bad. Bad bad bad bad. BAD.

2. John Kerry was in Vietnam. He was.

3. Bush is bad. Really, he is. Bad. Bad bad.

4. John Edwards's daddy worked in a meal. But not a happy meal, apparently. As Sidney Blumenthal breathlessly informs us: "John Edwards carries his log cabin with him. The son of a mill worker in Robbins, North Carolina, he bears the memory of his father taking the family to a local restaurant after church only to leave when he realised he could not afford anything on the menu." The full quote from Edwards is even more impassioned:

"Our family went to a fancy restaurant one Sunday after church. I was still looking at the menu, when my father announced that we had to leave. Everything cost too much. At the time, I was young and embarrassed. But it shaped the way I look at the world. Why does somebody who works in a mill 40 hours a week get less respect than someone who was born into a rich family? That's an outrage. And it's a lot of what drove me after that. Growing up, whenever I felt in over my head, which I felt a lot, being from a small town, I would think, 'Wait a minute. We can compete with anybody, if we just get the chance.' "

This stirring little story has been duly Fisked by Mark Steyn: Really? Robbins was a town of just over 1,000 people, so presumably it was, if not the only restaurant, one of only two or three. In small towns, folks generally know what the local eateries charge. And, while the Edwards family was poor by comparison with John Kerry, dad was in fact the mill's production manager (though the son tends to leave that bit out). So, in a mill town, at a restaurant presumably priced to cater for mill workers, the management of the mill couldn't afford to eat?

Steyn's point rings true. My grandfather lived in roughly the same area of the Carolinas that Edwards grew up in, along with all his children save my father. These people weren't wealthy, but in the North Carolina of the fifties and sixties, you didn't have to be. The idea that a mill manager--whose wife worked in the Post Office, let us not forget--couldn't afford one Sunday meal out really beggars credulity.


Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?