A Few Thoughts on Dick Cheney Shooting A 78-Year-Old Man In The Face

There is something blissfully absurd about the recent incident wherein Cheney shot a man in the face.

It was basically a perfect tableau of surreal incompetence. Dick Cheney, who was elected by a nation-wide cabal of morons to sit a heartbeat from the Presidency, was gunning down fattened quail for no clear reason with a few colleagues. And then, as one flew overhead, a man who clearly enough at least knows what you do and do not do with weapons, and that this is not one of them, turns around and blasts at it, instead hitting a 78-year-old man in the face with a shotgun.

I can only imagine the look on Dick Cheney’s face then. It would be like the expression George Bush is in the habit of making, transposed onto the visage of a man whose conscience was strangled by a malign intellect rather than buried by a malicious negligence: the sudden realization that he might just have done something terribly, terribly wrong, struggling against the dyed-in-the-wool belief that he never does anything wrong – because that is his job.

And it would evolve a little, as his big, clever brain cycles through all the possible ways to spin this and realizes there is no possible way to make this look like anything but a monstrous fuckup.

He has just shot an acquaintance and colleague in the face for no good reason, and at least to some degree, he is going to suffer. One imagines the long-time Texas Republican fundraiser cursing Cheney’s name furiously with what might be for all he knows his last breath, and Cheney, upon finding words, saying ‘Well, fuck me’.

The ironic part about this is that had he served in Vietnam, nothing about that would be new to him. This is the first time in Dick Cheney’s life he had seen a man shot, and he did it. Must have been fairly confusing, that – a mix of exhilaration, shame, and unshakeable remorse. He probably threw up a little – all the more if he was drunk, as I’ve been told he might have been – and once he regained his composure, got the dried-up GOP whore who ran the place and formulated an alibi. A legitimate reason to shoot a 78-year-old man in the face.

The game warden, of course, called bullshit. You do not shoot a man in the face. If he jumps up in front of you while you are firing, it might be excusable. Even the NRA, which takes what you might call a cavalier attitude about the prospect of aggravated assault, advises one to think first, shoot second.

Cheney sobers up a little – drunk or no, you kind of need a bit of time to recover from shooting a dude in the face – and realizes that nobody who doesn’t need to can know about this. Once word gets to Scott McClellan, he probably unceremoniously shits himself. Grows apoleptic with rage at the Vice-President. ‘You thought we could cover up *what*? You dumb motherfucker, we’re going to fry over this. It’s a fucking election year and you’re trying to cover up an *accidental shooting*? I’m going to pistolwhip your entire fucking family. You need to keep the fuck out of DC or I swear I am going to.’

McClellan immediately, over Dick’s objections, starts making the appropriate calls. George Bush, about a day after the fact, learns that the man who would replace him were the unthinkable to occur has recently shot a man in the face. I can’t imagine him being too pleased.

Condoleeza Rice, who is probably Cheney’s biggest political rival among the lot – he repeatedly sytmied her rise to her current position out of a sort of intra-partisan rancor – probably felt giddy at the prospect of Cheney stepping down; not only would a major rival in the White House be out of commission, but she’d be that much closer to the line of succession and chances are fairly good she’d be tapped as a replacement VP. She’s fairly popular and I don’t think people would accept, or the Bush team would try, another Ford-esque faceless stand-in.

And Rumsfeld, being a ferocious fan of any kind of wanton bloodshed, probably went home and laid the pole to the wife so hard she could barely walk come Monday.

7 thoughts on “A Few Thoughts on Dick Cheney Shooting A 78-Year-Old Man In The Face”

  1. It was basically a perfect tableau of surreal incompetence. Dick Cheney, who was elected by a nation-wide cabal of morons to sit a heartbeat from the Presidency, was gunning down fattened quail for no clear reason with a few colleagues.

    This is going to go well…

    *sigh*

    First, hunting is a sport. A lot of people enjoy it. You might not, that is fine, but many do. People also enjoy the taste of quail. They have a different taste that what you find in the poultry section of your local supermarket. To say there was ‘no clear reason’ shows your ignorance.

    Are you going to talk about the shooting, or hunting in general? Make up your mind.

    Must have been fairly confusing, that – a mix of exhilaration, shame, and unshakeable remorse. He probably threw up a little – all the more if he was drunk, as I’ve been told he might have been – and once he regained his composure, got the dried-up GOP whore who ran the place and formulated an alibi. A legitimate reason to shoot a 78-year-old man in the face.

    He wasn’t drunk. They had one beer like four hours before the incident, according to the news reports I read. Quit making shit up. And why do you think he immediately started to form an alibi? From what I read, he was mostly interested in making sure his friend was ok.

    http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/02/15/cheney/index.html

    The vice president said that after the shooting he ran to Whittington, who was bleeding, and that Cheney’s own medical team — which always travels with him — administered first aid.
    “I said, ‘Harry, I had no idea you were there,'” Cheney recounted. “He didn’t respond.”

    Yeah, that’s forming an alibi.

    “I am the guy who pulled the trigger and shot my friend,” Cheney told Fox News in an interview broadcast Wednesday evening. “That is something I will never forget.”

    But Cheney said Wednesday, “Ultimately, I am the guy who pulled the trigger and fired the round that hit Harry.
    “You can talk about all the other conditions that existed at the time, but that’s the bottom line,” he said. “It’s not Harry’s fault. You can’t blame anybody else.â€?

    Here’s the full transcript of the interview, if you care to read what actually happened:

    http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/02/15/cheney.transcript/

    Cheney sobers up a little – drunk or no, you kind of need a bit of time to recover from shooting a dude in the face – and realizes that nobody who doesn’t need to can know about this. Once word gets to Scott McClellan, he probably unceremoniously shits himself. Grows apoleptic with rage at the Vice-President. ‘You thought we could cover up *what*? You dumb motherfucker, we’re going to fry over this. It’s a fucking election year and you’re trying to cover up an *accidental shooting*? I’m going to pistolwhip your entire fucking family. You need to keep the fuck out of DC or I swear I am going to.’

    But Cheney defended his decisions, saying he needed to wait for accurate information about Whittington’s condition. And he said it “made good sense” for Armstrong to deliver the news rather than to release it through his office.

    She was an eyewitness, had hunted on the ranch all her life and was the immediate past head of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department — “an acknowledged expert in all of this,” he said.

    He denied that notifying a South Texas newspaper was an attempt to bury the report, saying, “There wasn’t any way this was going to be minimized.”

    Essentially, he let the people who were there tell their side of the story before the Whitehouse applied their spin to it. What would you have preferred, a full press release before they even know for sure what happened? I like my news to be informative, not hype.

    George Bush, about a day after the fact, learns that the man who would replace him were the unthinkable to occur has recently shot a man in the face.

    The shooting was Saturday evening, Bush found out Saturday night. Get your facts straight.

    What I don’t understand is that there are 3463653454 things to complain about this administration, yet you liberals cling to the 3 or 4 things that aren’t really worthy of complaining about. ‘OMG BUSH’S EYES ARE BEADY!’.

    /me shakes his head and realizes why the democrats are doing so shitty politically, if they’re all like Alec

  2. Heh, okay:

    One: Like Cheney is really going to be completely open and honest with everyone about “what actually happened”. Because we all know this administration has been so totally honest about everything else.

    Two: Cheney waited an inordinate amount of time prior to reporting the incident. By many accounts, the amount of time in the delay was about the same as the amount of time it takes alcohol to leave the bloodstream. How many people do you think have “just one beer”, especially while hunting? Think about the people with whom we went to high school.

    And why do you think he went back and made it a point to make himself a cocktail in front of everyone? Sure, maybe he felt shitty and wanted to blast it out of his brain with booze. But also, it’s like that thing that happened with Stoel’s brother where he was drinking and driving and crashed into a tree and then pulled out a flask and got drunk so that he could tell the cops that the reason there was booze in his system was because he was drinking after the accident. This is mere speculation, but I’m skeptical enough not to take Cheney at his word.

    Three: There’s no reason to hunt in the way Cheney was doing. In fact, it can’t really even be called hunting, unless you consider grouping a bunch of animals together and releasing them and shooting at them as they run away “hunting”. I think that might be what Alec was implying with the “fattened quail […] for no reason”. It wasn’t that he was hunting quail for no reason, it was that he was hunting them in the way he was doing it. And there was no reason for them to kill as many as they did. (Many hunters agree that you don’t kill something unless you’re going to eat it.)

    Four: “you liberals”: Think about what the reaction would’ve been had this been Gore who shot a man in the face. Considering the conservatives made Clinton receiving a blowjob into a circus so big it makes Cirque du Soleil look like a homeless clown with half his makeup on standing in an alleyway jerking off, I don’t think the “you liberals are so petty” argument has much credibility. And there’s difference, even though it might only be so very slight, between saying “that man has beady eyes” and “that man shot another man in the face and there are questions that we want answered that they’re avoiding.”

    Said questions, by the way, include (but are certainly not limited to): Why didn’t the Secret Service let the police come in to investigate and make a report? Why was this handled in such an unusual way, by a sheriff with ties to the administration? Why didn’t Cheney’s medical team send the victim immediately to a trauma unit, considering that any medical professional should know that the most important factor in a gunshot injury is how quickly the victim can get to a trauma unit?

    But, yeah, um, “shoots a man in the face with a shotgun”, “shoots a woman in the face with a spurt of jizz”. Which do you think was more important? Which do you think was blown more out of proportion? Let’s go back and rethink that “you liberals” criticism.

    Also, didn’t Cheney criticize Kerry for hunting in a similar fashion (i.e. Killing birds that were rounded up and centralized) back during the election campaign? Wasn’t it sort of a big deal that Kerry was such a pussy because he was hunting like that?

    Five: Don’t you think it was fucked up that the immediate response was to blame the victim?

    Six: Do you not realize that the way this was written by Alec was intended for kind of a more humorous purpose? I’d have hoped his prose style would’ve been an indication that he wasn’t entirely serious about this whole post.

    Honestly, though, one would hope you’d have the sense not to take politicians at their word.

  3. one

    No, I don’t expect him to be completely honest. But his reasons given sound good, so unless you can show that he’s lieing, it’s hard to fault the guy, right?

    two

    Report it to who, the police or the media? All the whining I see is that they didn’t tell the national media right away. Do you have a source that shows they kept it from the police?

    Do you have a source on the cocktail thing? It was never mentioned in any of the news reports I saw, so I can’t comment on it.

    Three

    So it wasn’t a normal hunt? They just said they were hunting, didn’t mention that the birds were planted. I didn’t realize people did this. How many birds did they shoot? Why couldn’t they give them to friends to eat?

    Why didn’t the Secret Service let the police come in to investigate and make a report?

    source?

    Why didn’t Cheney’s medical team send the victim immediately to a trauma unit, considering that any medical professional should know that the most important factor in a gunshot injury is how quickly the victim can get to a trauma unit?

    Source? All I’ve read is that they gave him first aid, and then sent him to a hospital. Do you fault them for giving him first aid first?

    But, yeah, um, “shoots a man in the face with a shotgun�, “shoots a woman in the face with a spurt of jizz�. Which do you think was more important? Which do you think was blown more out of proportion? Let’s go back and rethink that “you liberals� criticism.

    Sigh. The problem with clinton isn’t that he got a blowjob. It’s that HE FUCKING LIED ABOUT IT TO A GRAND JURY. That’s perjury, btw. Which I think is one of the worst crimes to commit. Personally, I think he should have gotten 15 years for it, and I didn’t even give a shit about the blow job.

    “you liberals�: Think about what the reaction would’ve been had this been Gore who shot a man in the face. Considering the conservatives made Clinton receiving a blowjob into a circus so big it makes Cirque du Soleil look like a homeless clown with half his makeup on standing in an alleyway jerking off, I don’t think the “you liberals are so petty� argument has much credibility.

    Conservatives being petty doesn’t mean you’re not petty as well. You’re both fucked up 🙂 You’re like the little 3 year old who whines that since johnny is picking his butt, he should be allowed to pick his butt as well.

    Five: Don’t you think it was fucked up that the immediate response was to blame the victim?

    Who’s immediate response? Everything I’ve seen from Cheney has shown that he takes 100% complete responsibility for the shooting. Prove me otherwise?

    Six: Do you not realize that the way this was written by Alec was intended for kind of a more humorous purpose? I’d have hoped his prose style would’ve been an indication that he wasn’t entirely serious about this whole post.

    This justification is starting to get lame. You’re making shitty ass arguments, and when you get called on them you use the ‘oh, I was just being funny’ card. You can be funny and correct, they’re not mutually exclusive. And if it was an attempt to be humorous, it failed. It just sounded stupid 🙂

    Honestly, though, one would hope you’d have the sense not to take politicians at their word.

    There is a difference between not taking politicians at their word, and making shit up because it might have happened. I hope you’d have the sense to know that.

  4. The problem is that the circumstances surrounding the incident are so suspicious that it calls his report into question. Security people didn’t allow the police in to investigate, the sheriff had personal ties to people involved and didn’t really allow other officers to follow up on the event, etc. Nobody was given any kind of tests for alcohol, and by the time the media finally asked that it be done (as is often the case in hunting accidents), it was far too late to be able to detect it anyway.

    The cocktail thing was mentioned by Katherine Armstrong on MSNBC. I think it was put up online, but disappeared for some reason.

    It was a canned hunt, not a normal hunt. 500 birds were gathered and released for Cheney and his hunting party. They shot well over 400 of them. It was all orchestrated, and really rather lame.

    Security people didn’t let police in to investigate.

    I’m sure you can easily find a source on the way it was handled by Cheney’s medical team as well. They took him via a nice, easy ambulance ride to the local hospital, where the doctors there said to get him quickly to a trauma unit. Though Cheney’s team really ought to have known that trauma unit care is extremely important after a gunshot wound. It’s not like they didn’t have the resources available. I’m sure they could’ve called in an airlift, even, if they wanted.

    Clinton lied about getting a blowjob during a trial about a real estate venture gone sour. If someone asks you if you ever used God Mode in Quake during a trial about your having raped a girl and you say “no” and they find console logs or something that indicate you did, in fact, use God Mode in Quake, should you face perjory charges for it? That’s pretty fucking dumb. He was asked an irrelevant question that he should never have been asked.

    And while we’re on the subject, how come conservatives aren’t asking for Bush to be impeached for the NSA wiretaps that have both Democrats and Republicans alike in an uproar? I guess we should only worry about presidents breaking the law if it has to do with dicks getting sucked and not, y’know, anything that might be at all important. Our legal system should be entirely dong-centric when it comes to the Executive branch.

    The immediate response of Scott McClellan–who is supposed to be kind of the interface between the White House and the press–was to say that the reason Cheney shot the man was because he didn’t approach using the appropriate signals, or somesuch. They tried to shove the responsibility onto the guy who was shot. It wasn’t until everyone started bitching about it that they dropped that attitude. Even the NRA was pissed at them for that, and they’re extremely open about firearms. Cheney only took responsibility several days later, and only then at extreme pressure from the media.

    The humor thing isn’t a justification. And I wouldn’t say Alec was necessarily wrong. Hell, he didn’t say Cheney was drunk, he said he may have been drunk. He didn’t make any claims that aren’t, by this point, fairly common knowledge, and regarding alcohol, he only implied the possibility. You don’t know Cheney was drunk. Hell, nobody but the people involved do because the police weren’t able to investigate properly. This is actually, I’d say, a fantastic example of how the “cover-up” attitude can backfire: Had Cheney allowed the normal investigative procedures to take place, we’d have a clearer image of what happened. But the fact that they were so suspicious about it makes it seem like there’s something wrong. And hey, using their logic (with domestic espionage and such), if he didn’t do anything wrong, what did he have to hide?

    Given that you don’t know what happened either, you’re as potentially wrong as Alec. So I’d lay off of that argument.

    If you look at his prose and instances of hyperbole, and especially the way he finishes the whole thing–a punchline about Rumsfeld nailing his wife–, it seems pretty obvious that this wasn’t an entirely serious piece of commentary. Sure, it wasn’t all a laugh riot, but it wasn’t entirely serious, either. Just because you don’t get it doesn’t mean it’s not a joke. But, again, you can’t really say he was wrong, either. Comparing this to all the other reports I’ve seen, there’s not much of a difference other than speculation into what Cheney was feeling at the time.

    And this really is about taking politicians at their word. Cheney doesn’t allow a typical investigation to take place, and there’s a great deal of suspicious behavior that takes place, and then you just believe everything he says? If I shot someone, didn’t let the police in to investigate, called my buddy sheriff to tell him what happened, blamed the victim, and then four or five days later went on the news and said “it was my fault, but no alcohol was involved”, would you just believe me flat out like that?

  5. If someone asks you if you ever used God Mode in Quake during a trial about your having raped a girl and you say “no� and they find console logs or something that indicate you did, in fact, use God Mode in Quake, should you face perjory charges for it?

    Of course.

    He was asked an irrelevant question that he should never have been asked.

    His lawyers objected then? And the judge decided it was irrelevant as well, so that he didn’t have to answer?

    I guess we should only worry about presidents breaking the law if it has to do with dicks getting sucked and not, y’know, anything that might be at all important.

    Quit being so obtuse. It’s not about dick sucking, it’s about lieing to a grand jury. It’s a MAJOR wrongdoing.

    Hell, he didn’t say Cheney was drunk, he said he may have been drunk. He didn’t make any claims that aren’t, by this point, fairly common knowledge, and regarding alcohol, he only implied the possibility.

    He probably threw up a little – all the more if he was drunk, as I’ve been told he might have been – and once he regained his composure, got the dried-up GOP whore who ran the place and formulated an alibi. A legitimate reason to shoot a 78-year-old man in the face.

    Cheney sobers up a little – drunk or no, you kind of need a bit of time to recover from shooting a dude in the face – and realizes that nobody who doesn’t need to can know about this. Once word gets to Scott McClellan, he probably unceremoniously shits himself. Grows apoleptic with rage at the Vice-President. ‘You thought we could cover up *what*? You dumb motherfucker, we’re going to fry over this. It’s a fucking election year and you’re trying to cover up an *accidental shooting*? I’m going to pistolwhip your entire fucking family. You need to keep the fuck out of DC or I swear I am going to.’

    McClellan immediately, over Dick’s objections, starts making the appropriate calls. George Bush, about a day after the fact, learns that the man who would replace him were the unthinkable to occur has recently shot a man in the face. I can’t imagine him being too pleased.

    So it’s common knowledge that Cheney immediately tried to formulate an alibi, then tried to cover it up, Bush didn’t find out till more than a day later, and it was finally McClellan who set the record straight. Sorry, I thought all of those were false, my bad. Guess CNN had their story wrong.

    Of course, Cheney MIGHT be an alien, so then he used his death ray on all the birds, and then he challenged FDR to a race around the world, and used the death ray on FDR as well, but FDR stole Cheney’s flying saucer and got away. Hey, he MIGHT be an alien, right?

    Hell, nobody but the people involved do because the police weren’t able to investigate properly. This is actually, I’d say, a fantastic example of how the “cover-up� attitude can backfire: Had Cheney allowed the normal investigative procedures to take place, we’d have a clearer image of what happened. But the fact that they were so suspicious about it makes it seem like there’s something wrong. And hey, using their logic (with domestic espionage and such), if he didn’t do anything wrong, what did he have to hide?

    From what I’ve read in the articles you’ve sent to me in aim, it’s not so much that Cheney blocked them investigating, as much as the Sheriff decided not too. Are you calling for the Sheriff to be fired? Sounds like all your complaints are with him, not Cheney.

    Given that you don’t know what happened either, you’re as potentially wrong as Alec. So I’d lay off of that argument.

    True, but I’m not the one who wrote an article saying ‘this is how it happened’. Plus, a little known fact used in this country is that people are innocent until proven guilty. Why assume he was drunk? Why assume he tried to cover it up? Why assume he tried to formulate an aliby? All evidence points to this NOT being the case. Is it possible? Sure. I guess everyone on the ranch, including the guy who got shot, could be lieing to cover Cheney’s ass. He could also be an alien using his mental ray on me right now. Hold on, let me grab my tinfoil hat.

    If you look at his prose and instances of hyperbole, and especially the way he finishes the whole thing–a punchline about Rumsfeld nailing his wife–, it seems pretty obvious that this wasn’t an entirely serious piece of commentary.

    But see, I still have a problem with this. You’re (in this case, Alec) making statements that such and such happened. When you get called on it, you just pull the ‘oh, it was hyperbole’ card. And really, they’re somewhat serious allegations. What if I wrote a peice about how John Kerry wasn’t in Nam, he made it all up, he doesn’t deserve his purple hearts, and he rapes goats. Only, I said it in a ‘humourous’ way. Would still be kinda stupid, right?

    Comparing this to all the other reports I’ve seen, there’s not much of a difference other than speculation into what Cheney was feeling at the time.

    Again, didn’t realize that Cheney’s first move was to make an aliby, and then to cover it up. Guess all the news outlets missed that too.

    Cheney doesn’t allow a typical investigation to take place, and there’s a great deal of suspicious behavior that takes place, and then you just believe everything he says?

    I don’t believe everything he says. He COULD have been drunk off his ass. But I don’t KNOW that he was, so I’m not going to assume it. Why do you?

    And from what you sent me, Cheney didn’t block the investigation, the sheriff decided not to investigate until the next day. Blame him, not Cheney.

    And, what this is REALLY about is you guys choosing to try to make fun of the present administration in the dumbest ways possible. It’s like you’re missing the forest for the a dandelion in the field right next to it. These guys are doing some of the most fucked up shit imaginable, but the best thing you can come up with is that ‘he MIGHT have been drunk, he MIGHT have tried to cover it up, he MIGHT have tried to make up an aliby, he MIGHT have tried to stop the investigation, and damnit, if he did, he’s a bad guy’. Give me a break!

  6. I assure you, this hack-job is intended as humor. It is purely conjecture – I presume to know fairly few of the details of the sequence of events wherein Cheney shot a man – and I don’t intend any particular grasp at the behind-the-scenes action to be taken seriously.

    Except for the part about Rumsfeld, because, well.

  7. I assure you, this hack-job is intended as humor.

    But, man, there is so much shit to make fun of this administration about, there’s no need for conjecture 🙂

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