Tuesday, July 06, 2004

U.S.: Marking time...

until my muffler is replaced, and then I hit the road. We're still doing the floor, and the deadline is this weekend.

John F'fin Kerry announced his running-mate this AM. It is Breck girl John Edwards. If Kerry had been really smart, instead of just another poll-reader, he would have gone with Sam Nunn from GA or with Dick Gephardt from MO. As it stands, Edwards is a trial lawyer running for election at a time when trial lawyers are doing their damnedst to ensure that Americans do not have doctors to provide health care; worse yet, he is a man totally without experience on the international front, at a time when America's is the sole hyper-power and the rest of the world wants to see her weakened.

What does that mean? Well, it means that frivolous lawsuits and astronomical medical malpractice insurance premiums are putting a lot of doctors out of business. For instance, Illinois alone has lost 11% of its OB/GYNs because of liability concerns; another 20% have signaled that they're likely to stop practicing entirely. Worse yet, 89% of the Illinois' OB/GYNs are not recommending that new doctors open a practice there, and the average liability premium is $93K annually. It's not any better in West Virginia, Florida, Missouri, and Ohio, or in the remainder of the states.

That a doctor has no lawsuits against him does not mean his insurance premiums won't rise; in fact, such doctors have seen a 50% spike in the cost of insurance. Consequently, doctors who can't afford these astronomical malpractice insurance premiums are either leaving medicine or bare-backing it, going without malpractice insurance, and demanding to be paid in cash. All because of the frivolous lawsuits brought against doctors by trial lawyers and the refusal of trial-lawyer-funded Democrats, in Congress and in states' legislatures, too legislate caps on malpractice suit awards.

The media mavens are talking about how John Edwards experience as a trial lawyer -- supposedly he is like Chaucer's Pardoner and can move a jury to tears and a huge payout -- will be an asset to Kerry. After all, Edwards can arguethe case for Democrat against GWB and the GOP. However, Edwards is a first-termer in the Senate and he hasn't done much, if anything at all. Then, factor in the disgust of people in states in which physicians have been forced out of practice cuz oftrial lawyers; Edwards' utter lack of administrative experience (okay, so a VP doesn't need much, but he needs something); his lack of military experience; his dearth of legislative endeavors and other such; and, suddenly Edwards does not look so hot a choice.

If the Democrats have the trial lawyers -- who do get the bulk of the payouts when lawsuits are brought -- then the GOP will have the doctors in their corner, and the patients who are needing doctors and can't find them.

The legend is that Edwards will bring excitement, verve, energy, zest, trial lawyer persuasiveness to the campaign. However, I cannot help thinking that Kerry has doomed any chance of being elected with his choice of Edwards. No matter how we got there, this is a nation at war, and we'll continue to be so for some time into the future. Now is not the time to be electing a waffler and a smoothie fast talker. The future of America and the West is at stake, and we face an opponent who cannot be reasoned with or persuaded into peace because, in the words of Bin Laden himself, the basis of the war is creedal, and, as Massawi has said, their intent is not negotiation with us but elimination of us.

Therefore, excitement, verve, energy, zest, and persuasiveness are all wonderful things; however, what America needs is rock-stubborn determination to win this war against terrorists. That requires a recognition of who the enemy is, that we have an enemy at all, and a willingness to call him by name without reckoning politically correct sensibilities and pieties. Had Kerry paired himself with either Sam Nunn or Dick Gephardt of Missouri, he would have indicatedthat he takes the WoT seriously. His choice of Edwards tells America that the WoT is not a priority.

In sum, Kerry's VP choice says that the candidate's gaze is turned inward. It is likely that Kerry is looking at domestic social issues only; on the home front, Edwards abilities are an asset. On the international front, confronted with a relentless enemy; with the increasing dhimmitude of many in the EU; with the threat of terrorism at both borders and in the regional neighborhood (Caribbean and South America), and with a renascent socialism/communism in South America; with France, Germany, and Russia who are pursuing a course that is inimical to the continued freedom of the West and whose only desire is to see a weak America, it is highly unlikely that Edwards abilities will be helpful. The rest of the world will not be persuaded by an America that remains a hyper-power. Should that power weaken itself, or be weakened by some disastrous attack, then the EU and all the rest might be amenable to telling to the U.S. what to do and how to go on.

Therefore, given these considerations, I believe that the Kerry-Edwards ticket is a signal to terrorists, the EU, the renascent socialist-communists out there that America will fold up its tent and yield.

That is why Kerry-Edwards is not a winning ticket.

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