Ladies and Gentlemen....
In the Blue "alpha" Dog corner, Former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. looking for a shot at the title in New York.
In the Red "meat" corner, winner of the Polk award, the Grammy award, the Emmy ward, a member of the US Olympic team and Nobel laureate-to-be, Dr. Stephen Colbert.
Tonight's fight is a scheduled six-minute bout. Scoring will be by New York Rules. Judges will count how many times each fighter nails their opponent. There are no technical knock-outs and you can't be saved by the bell. Shake hands and come out fighting!
Colbert entered the ring, shooting the crowd with guns in both hands,"Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang!". One wonders if that was the Colbert equivalent of Babe Ruth's "called ball", a prediction of the final score? Will we see Ford get nailed five times? We'll know soon enough.
Colbert started off marking the ring as his home turf. "When anyone wants to get elected in New York City, this is where they come."
Ford, agreed, ceding authority before the fight even began. Sensing an easy mark, Colbert lured Ford out at the glove touch.
"You ready for the bump, the Colbert Bump?" Colbert asked as he put his fist out for Ford. Ford returned the bump, effectively accepting Colbert's terms. Foreshadowing a beat down, Colbert smiled and said, "Baby you are about to...."Colbert's hands made the gesture of a mushroom cloud. Would Ford explode in popularity or simply be blown to bits? In case there was any doubt, Colbert obliterated it by saying "You're about to blow up." The pinched smile on Ford's face betrayed the fact he knew he had just been served with the Colbert equivalent of an Ali poem.
Not one to disappoint the hometown fans, Colbert attacked first. He hit Ford with a stinging backhand "compliment" detailing his reasons for putting Ford in the dog house last week. Ford, caught flat-footed took the shot to the face and responded with a weak canned intro. Trying to curry favor by stroking Colbert's prodigious ego, he offered congratulations for the recent Grammy win. The crowd, comprised of Colbert Nation heroes,knew their hero was scoring without even trying. They went nuts and Stephen soaked in their adulation.
Ford took the momentary lapse in hostilities to sneak in a counter punch "I'm pro-choice. I've always been pro-choice." It's clear he had not thought ahead before going with that line of attack. No combinations, no lead-ins, no follow-through. He would soon learn the error of his ways.
Before Ford could even try to generate some momentum off that move, Colbert blocked, stopped the advance, parried, then hoisted Ford on his petard. Leading Ford to the left by repeating his words of recent weeks, he then quickly shifted to the right and hit him with his quote from four year's earlier.
"No. No. No. I was not pro-choice at one time."
Not waiting for Ford to catch his breath, Colbert unleashed a wicked combination that ended with a solid jab to the face.
"Did you change? Did you change from not pro-choice to pro-choice? Was that your choice?" The crowd came alive as Ford stumbled back, collecting his wits. Spinning, ducking and weaving, Ford went with the classic "Kennedy thumb" motion to emphasize his consistent position. Colbert, ever the sportsman, left an opening for Ford to work his way out of the corner.
"By pro-life you don't mean anti-abortion?" Ford took the opening and ran. "Absolutely, National Right To Life Committee never endorsed me. NARAL gave me... a lifetime score of 83." Feeling safe, he got sloppy. "This is politics." He said, as if that distinguished this topic from all the others. Pausing to collect his wits, Ford started to stutter. Colbert went after him like a dog with a bone. He grabbed the initiative by the throat and shook it harshly. "But what does that mean, 'I was not pro-choice at one time?'" He asked, reading from the note card with Ford's quote. Ford began flailing like a drowning junkie caught in the undertow of denial. "I've always been pro-choice." He gurgled.
Having scored four times already, with only half the bout over, Colbert let him slide with "So you're for some restriction on abortion." The damage done, Colbert launched a fresh line of attack. "On Gay Marriage in 2006 you said, 'I've never flip-flopped on gay marriage... I've always been opposed to it.'" Colbert followed the shot with a solid combination. He reminded Ford of quotes from a more recent vintage where Ford said he was for same sex marriage. Colbert finished the combination by drilling it home with "You were against it now you are for it."