Bellbottom Blog

Scratching A Writing Itch From Time To Time

Rules? There’s No Rules In A Knife Fight

As the V.P. debate was starting I thought of a movie scene that I love.

It is from Butch Cassady and the Sundance Kid.

Early in the film, Butch and Sundance come back to their hideout at Hole-In-The-Wall.

They find that Butch’s role as leader of the gang is being challenged by Harvey.  Harvey is a huge man and after a bit of negotiating, they decide on a knife fight to figure out who will be in charge.

Butch, as he approaches Harvey:  “Now before we get started, let’s get the rules straight.”

Harvey: “Rules? There’s no rules in a knife fight!”

Butch, hauls off and kicks Harvey square in the groin. Harvey doubles over in excruciating pain

Butch: “No rules?. Okay. somebody say 1,2,3 go!”

Sundance: “1,2,3, GO!”

Butch puts both hands together and knocks Harvey flat.

Well, boys and girls, tonight Joe Biden showed just how you handle a guy who isn’t all that familiar with the truth and the bright lights of the national stage.

You let him know right from the start that this isn’t releasing a position paper in front of a friendly crowd.  Or talking to people who have paid $5000 a plate to be there.

You call bullshit right from the start, although you call it malarkey.

You never let him breathe.

You watch him, in a great tell, constantly sip from a cup of water.  Always a sign of nerves.  The younger guy falling apart on the big stage.

You have a moderator who stays awake and focused.  Shoutout to Martha Raddatz.  Well done!

The young guy gets all tangled up in his word salad answers.  Nobody there to bail him out.  His staff looking on anxiously, wondering why the damn clock seems to be moving so slow.

Veteran of the Senate that he is, V.P. Biden constantly uses the words “my friend”.  In the Senate, they have a code of decorum that insists on using polite language when debating no matter how hot the debate gets.

Mr. Ryan works in the House whenever they are in session.  His party is in charge so they don’t have to pretend to be civil.  My way or the highway is their theme. I bet that is fun for them, but it served Mr. Ryan poorly this night. ( I would call him Congressman but his staff insisted on Mr. Ryan for the debate) I understand. The less they remind people he is a congressman the better it is for him.  With that 13% congressional approval rating and all.

Mr. Ryan is what passes for smart in D.C. these days.  He reads books. That was how one person on Twitter defended him.

I wrote the above last night.  This morning, I listened to a variety of morning shows.

A lot of focus was on Biden’s demeanor. That is when you know who won.  If you can’t attack the substance, find something shiny to pick on.

I stand by everything I said.

Mr. Ryan just wasn’t ready for the bright lights.  There is nothing wrong with that.  Few are.

Nice work, Mr. Vice-President.



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