American Tort Reform Association
A Horse Manure Lawsuit
By Ann Coulter
FrontPageMagazine.com | July 8, 2004
I guess with John Kerry's choice of John Edwards as his running mate, he really does want to stand up for all Americans, from those worth only $60 million to those worth in excess of $800 million.
In one of the many stratagems Democrats have developed to avoid telling people what they believe, all Edwards wants to talk about is his cracker-barrel humble origins story. We're supposed to swoon over his "life story," as the flacks say, which apparently consists of the amazing fact that ... his father was a millworker!
That's right up there with "Clinton's stepdad was a drunk" and "Ted Kennedy's dad was a womanizing bootlegger" on my inspirational life-stories meter. In fact, I'm immediately renouncing my university degrees and going to work for the post office just to give my future children a shot at having a "life story," should they decide to run for president someday.
What is so amazing about Edwards' father being a millworker? That's at least an honorable occupation – as opposed to being a trial lawyer. True, Edwards made more money than his father did. I assume strippers make more money than their alcoholic fathers who abandoned them did, too. This isn't a story of progress; it's a story of devolution.
Despite the overwrought claims of Edwards' dazzling legal skills, winning jury verdicts in personal injury cases has nothing to do with legal talent and everything to do with getting the right cases – unless "talent" is taken to mean "having absolutely no shame." Edwards specialized in babies with cerebral palsy whom he claimed would have been spared the affliction if only the doctors had immediately performed Caesarean sections.
As a result of such lawsuits, there are now more than four times as many Caesarean sections as there were in 1970. But curiously, there has been no change in the rate of babies born with cerebral palsy. As the New York Times reported: "Studies indicate that in most cases, the disorder is caused by fetal brain injury long before labor begins." All those Caesareans have, however, increased the mother's risk of death, hemorrhage, infection, pulmonary embolism and Mendelson's syndrome.
In addition, the "little guys" Edwards claims to represent are having a lot more trouble finding doctors to deliver their babies these days as obstetricians leave the practice rather than pay malpractice insurance in excess of $100,000 a year.
In one of Edwards' silver-tongued arguments to the jury on behalf of a girl born with cerebral palsy, he claimed he was channeling the unborn baby girl, Jennifer Campbell, who was speaking to the jurors through him:
"She said at 3, 'I'm fine.' She said at 4, 'I'm having a little trouble, but I'm doing OK.' Five, she said, 'I'm having problems.' At 5:30, she said, 'I need out.'"
She's saying, "My lawyer needs a new Jaguar ... "
"She speaks to you through me and I have to tell you right now – I didn't plan to talk about this – right now I feel her. I feel her presence. She's inside me, and she's talking to you."
Well, tell her to pipe down, would you? I'm trying to hear the evidence in a malpractice lawsuit.
To paraphrase Oscar Wilde on the death of Little Nell, one must have a heart of stone to read this without laughing. What is this guy, a tent-show preacher? An off-the-strip Las Vegas lounge psychic couldn't get away with this routine.
Is Edwards able to channel any children right before an abortionist's fork is plunged into their tiny skulls? Why can't he hear those babies saying, "Let me live! Stop spraying this saline solution all over me!" Edwards must experience interference in channeling the voices of babies about to be aborted. Their liberal mothers' hands seem to muffle those voices.
And may we ask what the pre-born Jennifer Campbell thinks about war with Iraq? North Korea? Marginal tax rates? If Miss Cleo here is going to be a heartbeat away from the presidency, I think the voters are entitled to know that.
While making himself fabulously rich by taking a one-third cut of his multimillion-dollar verdicts coaxed out of juries with junk science and maudlin performances, Edwards has the audacity to claim, "I was more than just their lawyer; I cared about them. Their cause was my cause."
If he cared so deeply, how about keeping just 10 percent of the multimillion-dollar jury awards, rather than a third? In fact, as long as these Democrats are so eager to raise the taxes of "the rich," how about a 90 percent tax on contingency fees?
For someone who didn't care about the money, it's interesting that Edwards avoided cases in which the baby died during delivery. Evidently, jury awards average only about $500,000 when the babies die, and there is no disabled child to parade before the jury.
Edwards was one of the leading opponents of a bill in the North Carolina Legislature that would have established a fund for all babies born with cerebral palsy. So instead of all disabled babies in North Carolina being compensated equitably, only a few will win the jury lottery – one-third of which will go to trial lawyers like Edwards, who insists he doesn't care about the money.
Despite the now-disproved junk science theory about C-sections preventing cerebral palsy that Edwards peddled in the channeling case, the jury awarded Edwards' client a record-breaking $6.5 million. This is the essence of the modern Democratic Party, polished to perfection by Bill Clinton: They are willing to insult the intelligence of 49 percent of the people if they think they can fool 51 percent of the people.
So while Michael Moore, Al Franken, George Soros, Crazy Al Gore and the rest of the characters from the climactic devil-worshipping scene in "Rosemary's Baby" provide the muscle for the Kerry campaign, Kerry picks a pretty-boy milquetoast as his running mate, narrowly edging out a puppy for the spot. Just don't ask the Democrats what they believe. Edwards' father was a millworker, and that's all you need to know.