Thursday, February 16, 2006

more about the shooting

First referencing the previous post - the NRA doesn't get money from me. Not till I see them condemn the poor gun safety of Cheney. No noise, no money. I say this because I just got one of their fliers. On to the meat of this post.

Let me begin by saying I believe the incident was an accident. That is, the shooting of Whittington was not intended. It was the result of some stupid act on the part of the VP. However, just as with every shooting accident, the shooter should not get a free pass. I believe the VP should be required to take a gun safety class. And that he should not be allowed to hunt without a minder for at least a year - the minder having full authority without repercussion to take the gun away if he/she thinks the VP is on the verge of doing something stupid (again).

What I really find stupid, but no longer a matter of gun safety, is the 22 hour delay and the story used to explain it. Allegedly, everyone was so concerned about Whittington's condition that nobody though about the press. That'd be great, except Karl Rove got called within the first two hours. So, how many people honestly believe Rove was called because of concern over Whittington's condition? Uh-huh. Suddenly the smell of lying is in the air - and lying about a politician's actions (even in a non-political event) smells like coverup. Anyway, 20 hours after calling Karl, Ms. Armstrong becomes the spokesperson - raising the second thing bad odor. Ms. Armstrong reported everything as though she was an eyewitness. Bad thing, however, is that she wasn't there. Remember, she was in the car. The first she knew of a problem was that Secret Service and medical personnel were rushing toward the hunting party. Every part of her story between "they got out of the car" and "I saw people rushing to the party" is what she was told happened, except she passes it off as "what happened".

Two stories with equal proof at this point.
Cheney shoots Whittington, and is in shock. They all get back to the house and he mixes a cocktail in desparate hopes of soothing his nerves. He can't see anything but doom about it all, and goes into dithering indecisiveness due to it. Indecisive, that is, except an adamant statement that nobody does anything. It happens to a lot of people - a hope that it's all a bad dream and if everyone pretends hard enough it'll all go away. And it took almost a day before enough people could get the man in charge out of the loop enough to do what needed done.

Cheney drank a sixpack of beers at lunch, and brings a six to the car for the hunt. He sips them as he gets thirsty - about one an hour. About 5:30 he's halfway through the fourth when someone spots the covey, and they get out to pop them. Being a bit inebriated he loses a bit of control and gets stupid - he shoots the lawyer. Everyone's a bit flustered, but Cheney knows that if he's interviewed and tested for the next eight hours that the alcohol will show up - boom, his political career is completely gone is the best thing, and possible criminal charges are reasonable expectations. He clamps down hard to try and let the BAC drop to zero. Just in case - because Whittington might say something to the hospital staff - he drinks a cocktail for the classic "the BAC is from after, not before, the accident" defense. And everyone starts plotting stories - one if Whittington dies, one if he lives. A day later Whittington's apparently going to live and the BAC is clear, so off to the presses.

Both stories stand.

For what it's worth, this will be Cheney's albatross. It's Carter's rabbit and Ford's stumble and Clinton's stained blue dress. No matter that in relation to the position held and issues of much greater significance done both well and poorly, this will always sit in the room when Cheney is present. How heavy it weighs will depend on what Cheney does from here on, but he's made a very poor start if he wants it to be a feather instead of a stone.


Anonymous Yanei Wu said...

Yes. Cheney has just ruined any future chance to run for president.

Of course, he never wanted to run for president inthe first place, so he probably does not care.

2/18/2006 7:24 AM  
Blogger Quilly_Mammoth said...

Never attribute to guile what stupidity does on its own. The more rational answer is that, as per usual, members of the Administration chose to try and control the news cycle. I suspect they thought that if they released their version first they could avoid a hostile press corps.

The press corps is often hostile to the Bush Administration. But trying to change that is like trying to herd cats. One would think the Bushies had learned that by now.

2/18/2006 12:55 PM  
Anonymous Prince Hydrajak said...

You forgot the option that the Bush administration and everyone associated with it really thinks that the American people are completely retarted (an opinion I agree with) and that they don't DESERVE the truth or "unspun" facts. (an opinion I disagree with).

Given thier choice they would implement a facist information control state that would make the Lyran Monarchy Blush.

Hi Kirk!

2/28/2006 1:56 PM  

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