Wednesday, February 15, 2006

UPDATE ON PREVIOUS POST

While I still refuse to make fun of Cheney for accidentally shooting a hunting partner, I am going to be critical of his response to the incident. I know the guy doesn't like the media, and tends to shun them, but not making a public statement or appearance in which he deals with what happened makes it look like he doesn't care about it.

Lots of hunting accidents happen every year, but the reason we don't hear as much about all the other accidents (and we are hearing more about this one), is of course because Cheney is our Vice President. It appears the accident victim will live, although doctors are having to keep a close eye on him. Meanwhile, Cheney hasn't said much of anything. Whether this is in spite of (or because of) his being devastated by what happened should be beside the point. Because of his position of leadership, I think he needs to face the media and make an apology.

Bush has allowed this guy to become way too powerful and have far too much sway over the way our government has operated during the last five years. I suppose I should like the fact that he isn't saying anything about the accident because it will allow the Democrats to make hay... but it pisses me off that he has remained silent. Making an apology in this case isn't just something that would be politically expedient for Cheney... it would be the human thing to do.

FURTHER ADDENDUM AFTER CHENEY SPOKE TO FOX NEWS:

Well, I won't give Cheney a full "hats off" for admitting he was at fault and expressing his remorse, because he was doing what most anyone would have done, but I will say I believe he ultimately did the right thing. Did I actually say that? That I thought Cheney did something right? Hmmm. I had better go take my temperature! Heh!

I'm glad Cheney did speak up, but I am having some difficulty with the way in which he did it. I wish he would have spoken a bit sooner, and that he had chosen to provide the interview on a network other than FOX "News". Because he is a neoconservative Republican, I can see how he would have chosen Brit Hume and FOX, as those are the kind of conditions in which he would probably feel most comfortable discussing something as unpleasant as what happened (and because of possible political ramifications). That doesn't mean I think his choice of FOX was a good choice, because I don't like FOX at all. I'm just saying I can see how Cheney might view that as the best choice for himself.

As for the timing of the dissemination of (and/or acknowledgement of) information, that's something the Bush administration seems to have a problem with. In this age of instant information, I think the public will be more likely than ever to jump on the White House for not providing us with what we want to know, NOW! I think that's just a sign of the times. However, the problem with not acknowledging incoming information quickly enough does seem to be a problem. But that's probably for a future soapbox.

20 Comments:

Blogger Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

The human thing to do would be to apologize to the person he accidentally shot. Whether or not such an apology has been made is not currently available; however, given the fact that the two were friends before this incident, I wouldn't bet against him having apologized to Mr. Whittington. I agree that he needs to make an apology in front of the news media, but I don't think he should apologize to the media or the American people for this incident.

One possibility you overlooked is that his public silence may be out of respect to Mr. Whittington's privacy, or could be at the advice of his attorneys. And, as you stated, he may still be too devastated by this incident. You see his silence as a sign of a lack of humanity, when it could be an expression of the opposite.

8:54 AM  
Blogger Snave said...

No, he doesn't need to apologize TO the media or TO the American people, but he needs to apologize THROUGH the media so the American people know he is apologetic.

And it looks like he IS going to do just that, albeit through an interview on (where else) FOX News!

I don't necessarily see his silence as a total lack of humanity... but I sure think he should have come out right away with some kind of statement. You are correct that he may not have been speaking out due to the advice of his lawyers. It is possible that Cheney might not have spoken up yet out of respect for Mr. Whittington's privacy, although as a notable GOP campaign donor, I would tend to believe that Mr. Whittington (even given what happened and that he could be a bit p.o.-ed at Cheney), might not mind if Cheney did what would appear to be best politically.

I suppose I ought to give Cheney some benefit of the doubt, although it is extremely difficult for me to do so in nearly any circumstance.

In addition to what I posted earlier, I find the White House and GOP reactions to the accident to be appalling. Like I mentioned earlier, hunting accidents are no laughing matter. Instead of putting on a serious face, Bush and others appear to be doing what the late-night comedians do: joking about it. I wonder what other kinds of things they joke about... If Bush really did mock Karla Faye Tucker when she begged him for mercy, I can only imagine.

9:23 AM  
Blogger Snave said...

Big OOPS:

"although as a notable GOP campaign donor"

that was referring to Mr. Whittington, NOT to yours truly!!

9:24 AM  
Blogger Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

But Snavey, you look kinda chunky, like Rush Limburger. :P

I think, frankly, that those who are joking about this, be they the White House, other ranking GOP officials, or comedians, are doing so in the worst possible taste.

One of the things I've respected about you for as long as I've been visiting your site, and a trait I try to display as well, is that you admit your bias, and that takes a certain courage I wish I saw more frequently in all areas of the news media.

11:13 AM  
Blogger Snave said...

Thanks MC, I do try to freely admit my bias because... gasp... I actually don't believe I'm absolutely correct about most things. Some things yes, other things no. I find myself UNcertain about many more things than I'm certain of. Due to this, I tend to view absolute statements from others with a high degreeof suspicion... despite the fact I tend to make absolute statements myself from time to time!

Looking like Rush Limburger might be one thing... I don't look like him, but if I did, I could live with it although it would be tough to look at myself in a mirror in the physical sense. What would worry me would be if I started to SOUND like him! Heh...

"I think, frankly, that those who are joking about this, be they the White House, other ranking GOP officials, or comedians, are doing so in the worst possible taste."

Amen.

As far as being critical, I'll give Cheney the benefit of the doubt, at least enough to see what he has to say. If he says something like "Har har har! That was lots of fun!" I'll be surprised. He's probably feeling kinda lousy about the whole business.

As far as the left making political gains from this issue... I won't be running around saying this is a reason to be anti-GOP, because I think there are plenty of other good reasons for that.

If there is some political fallout over the issue? Well, as they say, stuff happens... but I'm sure it would be only a temporary boost for the left. The GOP leadership seems to wear teflon suits, and their spinners will probably have us all soon forgetting anything ever happened at all. The Democratic leaders still haven't done much in the way of leading. In this case, I think leadership is more than pointing out the other guy's faults.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

I heard a saying somewhere that I have found to be true about 90% of the time or better, regardless of who is in power: The party in power is arrogant, and the party out of power is insane. Look through our history, and the only thing I'd add is that the party in power is arrogant and crazy enough to believe their power cannot be challenged. I don't care if you're talking about Dems, Reps, Whigs, Federalists, Jeffersonian Republicans, or whatnot.

12:51 PM  
Blogger Damien said...

I was tempted to leave it too. Basically the same reasons.
With further thought I said I just can't leave it, I think I said it on Lizzy's blog but Cheney is part of a Presidency which has seen thousands of innocent people put in harms way and killed. I just can't let it go.

Although my thoughts do go out to Mr Whittington hope the guy pulls through.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Sharon Porter said...

Will this finally be the tipping point to get these bozos out of office???????

2:56 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

Heyya Sporter! I sure as heck hope so! Thanks for stopping by!

I know what you mean, Damien. I have to admit I thought about how mortified Cheney said he felt when he watched his friend go down, and then I wondered if he ever feels that mortified when he thinks about fallen U.S. troops.

I do believe it's past time for a change at the top...

6:34 PM  
Blogger Lizzy said...

I keep hoping maybe this or that will be the tipping point for this administration, but it never comes. It's a very powerless feeling.

6:43 PM  
Blogger Biff said...

In all I’ve read and listened to about the shooting of (Larry?) Whittington by Dick Cheney, I have yet to come across anything even questioning, let alone condemning, what Cheney was engaged in when the accident happened, that is the intentional killing of animal life, - in this case quail - just for the hell of it, for I don’t think Dick was out there shooting quail for his dinner.

It is truly amazing that the enormity of what Dick was doing – killing animals for fun, that posed no danger to him – hasn’t penetrated the thick heads of all the nice folks out there in the Great American Heartland.

No doubt it is because it is part of our collective received wisdom – inculcated into us since we were babes and sucklings – that the hunting of animals is a Good Thing, since all aspirants for high political office in the USA, whether Republican or Democrat, whether Dick Cheney or George Bush or John Kerry or Jimmy Carter – defend the legal and moral right of Americans to hunt and shoot animals.

But isn’t anyone who gets his kicks out of killing animals for fun a psychological mutant? Think of those TV pictures many of us have seen, of rich white men spending a vacation somewhere on the plains of Africa, shooting fleeing animals from the safety of a helicopter hovering overhead. These men are of the sort we all look up to, who live in airy suburban houses with white picket fences, who are lawyers and dentists and doctors, uxorious Family Men who love their wives and children, who pontificate that abortion is the taking of a precious human life. But if their faces reflected the monsters they are inside, we would flee from them in horror.

So Dick Cheney and (Larry?) Whittington are just two more monsters or psychological mutants posing as normal. So if Larry became hoisted by his own petard through getting his backside and heart muscles peppered with buckshot designed for a harmless quail, and nearly died of it (and may succumb yet), isn’t this what he deserved?

9:04 PM  
Blogger Kvatch said...

Instead of putting on a serious face, Bush and others appear to be doing what the late-night comedians do: joking about it. I wonder what other kinds of things they joke about...

Well Bush's response to Katrina--I'm thinking specifically of the party town comment--seems to be right in line with joking about a hunting accident.

9:22 PM  
Blogger Sheryl said...

I don't think joking about it is in the worst possible taste. This guy was a big time republican contributor trying to influence the political system with some good ole boy machismo hunter cronyism, and it bit him in the butt.

I don't see any need to tiptoe when thugs like this get wounded in the process of trying to buy out our democracy.

12:12 AM  
Blogger Sheryl said...

And as long as I am being feminist about it, I think there is a reason all this political ass licking happens while hunting. You don't see a lot of females out shooting quail. It's to protect the good old boy sexist buyout of our democracy.

And all this deference to these thugs seems over the top to me.

12:20 AM  
Blogger GTX said...

Reading all this reasonable opinions, I must say that I'm very well impressed with the level of the dialogue between all of us. That's very symptomatic of respect.
Being I a man of few words (genetics fault) I must say that indeed the ways of God are truly mysterious on this matter, but I couldn't avoid the thought of that some days we feel peaceful and in harmony with the people and we tend to excuse and help the persons but Sheryl is also right about killing animals. So, really I'm tempted to believe in an accident though - come on - drink a single beer being the excuse, (Snave is right about the need of speed "in locco" to give a good answer, not bad excuses), as flipped a spin 3 quantum question: are guns the worse or it's the alcohol or the person that deal with those things?
For myself, I feel a little guilty by always beating around the bush with hipotetic scenarios, like Snave, (if I don't have misunderstood him).
Finally I hope that no one dies or get crippled and I hope those two guys have learned the lesson: we must no spit against the wind.

9:27 AM  
Blogger Snave said...

Good commments all!

Personally, I don't hunt. I don't like to kill things. I don't even like to swat flies, hornets, yellowjackets... I don't step on spiders or ants... I catch such things when they're in my house, and I release them outdoors. By all rights I should probably be a vegetarian. I really do enjoy a good steak, but after reading "Fast Food Nation" I have a hard time with the concept of industrial agriculture and the conditions in which the livestock often have to live. I won't rule out vegetarianism for the future. I think about it more and more.

Nonetheless, I do still eat meat, and I'm not against hunting if it's for putting food on the table. The kind of "hunting" Biff describes is something I find disgusting. I don't know if Texas has done anything about it or not, but for a period of time there were people there going out and shooting hundreds of ducks and geese, even more at a time, just for "fun". That's just wrong. Biff is correct to point out that not enough of us are looking at what they were doing out on the ranch in the first place.

I wish I had a reference to where I read this, but I read during the past few days that Cheney once killed over three dozen pheasants in one day. I wouldn't really call that hunting as much as I would call it killing for fun, or slaughtering things.

I have known people who don't have much money and who are good hunters. For the price of a deer or elk tag, they can go out and get their deer or elk, and keep the meat in his freezer to consume throughout the year. That's the kind of hunter/hunting I'm o.k. with.

Cheney wouldn't need to go out and kill quail for the purpose of stocking his freezer. He could probably have quail for dinner every night if he wanted; he doesn't need to slaughter large numbers of animals in order to feed himself. So why does he do it in the first place?

Whether or not women hunt might depend somewhat on where one lives. My wife's supervisor is a woman who gets deer and elk tags every year, and she is pretty decent at hunting. We have other friends who do likewise... but I'm sure Sheryl is right, that is, talking about business while slaughtering large numbers of animals is going to be more of a guy thing.

1:50 PM  
Blogger Sheryl said...

I think you guys missed my point. My point was not that hunting was evil. I'm practically a carnivore, so that would be disingenuous of me.

They could have been playing golf or having a night out at a male only strip bar or whatever. My beef is with elitist machismo cronyism.

Maybe I see it a little more strongly coming from Texas. I know how the good old boy politics work. It's not remotely democratic. It's the good old boy buy out. These people don't care about democracy. They think might makes right. Power to the highest bidder.

9:45 PM  
Blogger Sheryl said...

Have you guys seen the movie "The Distinguished Gentleman"? There is a scene in that movie where the good ole boys go hunting. I think that scene sums up what I am trying to say very nicely. If you have not seen that movie, it's an absolute must see.

9:50 PM  
Blogger Catnapping said...

Up here in Montana, we don't have much patience for dangerous "hunters."

His accident was due to negligence... Was he so excited he couldn't control himself?

Was he DRUNK????

Consider how long it took them to report this...it can be argued that they broke the law in NOT reporting this shooting right away.

I think evidence was destroyed...evidence that cheney was drunk.

12:50 PM  
Blogger Catnapping said...

by the way....NRA - 18 years, and proud of it.

12:51 PM  

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