Saturday, July 05, 2003

Duel of Wits

All right: where is the poison? The battle of wits has begun. It ends when you decide and we both drink, and find out who is right and who is dead.
But it's so simple. All I have to do is divine from what I know of you. Are you the sort of man who would put the poison into his own goblet, or his enemy's?
He studies the Man In Black now.
Now, a clever man would put the poison into his own goblet, because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I'm not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool; you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.
(And now there's a trace of nervousness beginning)
You've made your decision then?
Not remotely. Because iocane comes from Australia, as everyone knows. And Australia is entirely peopled with criminals. And criminals are used to having people not trust them, as you are not trusted by me. So I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you.
Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.
Wait till I get going! Where was I?
-- The Princess Bride, by William Goldman

Well, Karl Rove, Georgie Bush's Svengali, has a favorite Democratic presidential candidate. He likes Howard Dean:

As a dozen people marched toward Dana Place wearing Dean for President T-shirts and carrying Dean for America signs, Rove told a companion, "Heh, heh, heh. Yeah, that's the one we want," according to Daniel J. Weiss, an environmental consultant, who was standing nearby. "How come no one is cheering for Dean?"
Then, Weiss said, Rove exhorted the marchers and the parade audience: "Come on, everybody! Go, Howard Dean!"

One of the side-scandals in Watergate was the revelation that the Committee to Relect the President (CRP) (Doesn't anybody say these out loud before they start using them?) had funneled a fair amount of money to George McGovern, who CRP considered the weakest of the Democratic candidates.

Is Rove saying this because he thinks it's true, or because he's really afraid of Dean? No way of telling. So what to do? If we spend our time trying to psychoanalyze Rove, we're not going to get anything done. Best to ignore it and go on.

Oh, and be sure to remember how the scene in the movie ends:

(a final glance back toward Vizzini)
To think -- all that time it was your cup that was poisoned.
They were both poisoned. I spent the last few years building up an immunity to iocane powder.

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