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What this country needs

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/24/2010 at 15:48
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By Steve Kerch, MarketWatch

CHICAGO (MarketWatch) -- It's time to revive the custom of dueling to resolve our disputes -- and not just political, although certainly that would be the first place we'd like to see some diehards on both sides of the aisle squaring off. But duels in media, academics and corporate boardrooms would also be welcome.

Project Gutenberg

American politics is as nasty as ever. But unlike in days of yore, today we are deprived of the spectacle of something like the great Aaron Burr-Alexander Hamilton duel of July 11, 1804, at the Heights of Weehawken in New Jersey. In the culmination of a longstanding political and personal feud, the sitting vice president, Burr, fatally wounded the former Treasury secretary, Hamilton.

Now doesn't that beat getting all indignant over some partisan issue or another and declaring that the voters will throw the rascals out come the next election? Heck, elections only happen every two years. And we're on a 24/7 news cycle. A good duel now and then would certainly liven up the cable day!

Indeed, this would be the perfect pitch for a new reality show, because let's face it: Contestants only figuratively bumping off the competition on faux-reality shows like "American Idol" and "Survivor" couldn't hold a candle to the real thing on what we could call "I'd Rather Duel Than Debate!" The dueling ground could be in Weehawken again; it can probably use the economic stimulus.

First up on the firing line could be Congressmen Bart Stupak, a Michigan Democrat, and Randy Neugebauer, the Texas Republican whose outburst of "Baby killer!" ("It's a baby killer!" if you accept his version) disrupted the House of Representatives debate on the health-care reform bill.

It would be a perfectly representative face-off for our times: a Blue Stater from the most heavily unionized part of the country against a Red Stater from the republic that embodies the pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps mentality. Let's see whether Obama Socialism or Laissez-Faire Capitalism is the stronger with pistols at 10 paces!

'Think of the outstanding matchups, not to mention the ratings.'

We'd want to adhere to tradition here. Dueling pistols all around. And powdered wigs. Since we could never assume the parties themselves would agree to ground rules, the show's producers will have to set them: Start back to back, walk 10 paces, turn and shoot. Only one shot each -- if neither can hit the other, well, they're both losers.

Think of the outstanding matchups, not to mention the ratings: Glenn Beck vs. Keith Olbermann, Ken Lewis vs. Henry Paulson, Sandra Bullock vs. Jesse James, Sarah Palin vs. ... no, wait, she's too good with a moose rifle.

Yeah, sure, there might be some liability issues. And maybe a few criminal laws to skirt. But even if we ended up having to use paintballs instead of pistol shot, it could still be a lot of fun -- especially if the participants didn't know we were using paintballs.

Steve Kerch is assistant managing editor and personal finance editor of MarketWatch in Chicago.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/24/2010 at 15:57
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Sounds like a good show, I'd DVR it. lol
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/24/2010 at 16:04
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  Maybe we could build a colossium and do the gladiator thing with 'em.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/24/2010 at 16:39
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Hey, if your company pays for your insurance and your in the union your not going to be taxed on your health care package. The rest of US will pick up your tab. Of course I personally think the supreme court is going to rule this junk unconstitutional. Everyone has to buy healthcare, unless your unionized. Hummm, sounds like pandering, what do you think?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/24/2010 at 16:48
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I think democrats should standup for their principles in these duels. Republicans will be given a single shot duelling pistol, and democrats will be given a can of mace or a cell phone to call for help (gun control advocates that the dems are we know they don't want a HAND GUN).
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