Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Why don't we have this?

Unsurprisingly, Tony Blair is being grilled by the British Parliament about possibly misleading the people on the Iraqi War. It reminds me of that time when I saw him debating the leader of the Conservative Party (I think), Iain Duncan Smith. I watched this video clip on, of all places, Comedy Central's "The Daily Show." This clip first showed Smith giving Blair a verbal thumping (or boxing of the ears, in the English parlance I guess) accusing him of distorting intelligence. Then we cut to Blair giving his rebuttal. I don't even remember what they were saying, but it was one of the most visceral segments I have watched recently on TV. The set up was so simple: Blair and Smith standing opposite each other, separated by a single table in between them. They seemed to be locked into a duel to the death, mano a mano, with words as their weapons, attacking and parrying. None of this wimpy Jim Lehur-moderated presidential debate. None of this hiding-behind-evasive-Whitehouse-spokesperson bullshit. None of this verbal constipation that's exhibited by Dubya every time he opens his mouth. Just good old-fashioned, bare-knuckled forceful debating. Why isn't our government like this?