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Friday, March 03, 2006

Potter Shotting Your Political Future About the Face And Neck: Another Visit with Dr. Pete


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I have deliberately waited awhile before commenting on the whole Dick Cheney shooting incident.

Not that I didn't want to. The jokes were there waiting to be told, ready to burst from my seams.

But my heart wasn't in it.

After all, it was an accident and he did shoot one of his best friends, and that has got to hurt. Having just lost a friend to an accidental death, it just did not seem to be the kind of thing that I could or should take pleasure in.

And after news of the heart trouble was released I was glad for my initial caution.

But now, a few weeks have passed and suddenly I feel like I should write something about the incident.

After all, after a really close look at the Newsweek color graphic of the site, it is clear to me how it happened, but also clear to me that our Vice-President did break one of the fundamental laws of sports hunting - know where and what you are shooting at.

So basic, so simple, like all those other things we heard as children,

"Now Peter, don't run with that stick in your hand, you could scratch someone's face up".

"Now George, don't run down the hall with that screwdriver, you could scratch someone's face up."

Now, I don't come from a shooting family, but it seems to me that if Dick Cheney has been hunting for as long as it has been implied he has, that someone in the Cheney family was probably nagging at him with something like,

"Now Dick, don't just turn and shoot with that shotgun in your hand, you could shoot someone in the face and neck with it. I don't care if it's only bird shot, if you don't look before you shoot every time, or one of these days you're going to shoot someone in the face, then what are you going to do? Get a pardon from the President?"

Of course, it may be that that kind of memory was the first thing to enter his mind the split-second after Dick Cheney realized that he had shot his friend Harry Whittington.

Dr. Pete, who has made an earlier appearance in the Peter Files Blog, and is our expert in the psychobabble of political hunting accidents had this to say:

"Vell, I tink dat, dere may be more to dis dan it maybe virst appearz.

Vile it eez true dat wit age zee older men half troubles distinguishing between de tiny leetle birdies in zee bush und zee great big lawyers who half come back from der ezz-u-veez, because of de aging eyez zyndrome, vitch means you can't zee notink no how. It zeems to me dat annoder vactor might have come into play.

I notice dat both parties to de accident had zee same virst name, Dick Cheney and Dick Whittington; vile sometimes a cigar eez just a cigar, it may be zat same-name envy vas in zee subconscious ov Vice-President Cheney ven he maded ze big boom vidth the birdshot.

Eet may even half been zat veer ov beeing overwhelmed by ze prezence ov the other Dick, made Mr. Cheney vorget briefly zat Mr. Whittington vas even der, und so ven he made wit ze boom boom, he did not bodder to zee if der vas room vor Mr. Whittington, whom Dick zen shot in zee face wit zee birdie shot."

Thank you Doctor Pete. As always we remind our audience that Dr. Pete is not a real doctor of any kind. That he is just a Quackpot who appears to remind us all that we are zee zane ones. I mean that we are the sane ones. Dr. Pete, next time please bother to learn the names of the people involved, Mr. Cheney shot his friend Harry Whittington. As far as I know there is no Dick Whittington.

Ah, Harry? Und now he haz und scar on hiz vorhead? Und Cheney does not evun zound a bit like Voldemort or zlithereen...

Vell, I can zee zat zer eez zome fertile ground for analyziz der too. I regret zee error. But even if I had, had zee information that two Dicks were not involved, I still vould half thought zat Mr. Cheney vas compensating for somezing ven shooting, perhaps zat something vas Harry, perhaps not.

In any case, I zink zat zee American People vill stand by my decision to invade Iraq, oh, -- zorry, wrong notes, I wrote zat for zomeone elze. Zo Zorry.

So are we Dr. Pete, so are we.

Whether Dr. Pete's theory holds water, now that we know that it was Harry rather than Dick, and that no WMD's were involved, I imagine that still, the whole thing was quite shocking to Mr. Cheney. Very shocking.

First of all, he missed, and that's a no-no for any experienced hunter.

Next, he shot his friend instead. Now that is a real downer. AND, and he could not even put him out of his misery like he would a favorite horse in that situation. Well, at least he could have offered him a beer, since he only had one for lunch. And what's all this hoo haa about drinking and shooting?

Beer and guns don't kill people. Drunks with beer and guns may kill people, but as we see here they are more likely to wound them. Besides, as he says, Cheney had only one beer so that was hardly likely to have made much of a difference in a split-second decision on whether or not to fire a loaded weapon.

I don't blame Cheney for wanting a little time before the media jumped. After all, some of the comments made were, well, you might call them a little bit mean. You've probably already heard this clip by now, but just in case, click the arrow to restart it if you were not paying attention.

News Coverage from the Daily Show brought to you by Wimp.com Your home for Bush Cheney Coverage

So the comics are being a little mean right now.

Now we can't help the pundits for that can we?

After all, was it Jay or Dave who first said "Who knew - that Bush was the smart one?"

They haven't had a newsday like this since Monicagate. This was bigger than Billy Bear. Better than Carter's swimming killer rabbits. Funnier than Ford's pratfalls. More, er, loaded with potential than Dan - er Q's spelling of a brown tuber used to make French Fries. (Come on Dan, you can do it, just leave a comment and prove you have learned how to spell it.)

Still, after the example above, I can't fault the man that much for wanting to duck, or should I say quail the press a little on this one, especially when he was probably more worried about his friend than, well, wait, I don't know that. But I'd like to think he was more worried about his friend than the media.

One thing I do know is that I found a certain bumper sticker very tacky. I am not about to repeat it but those who compare the past to the future in that way, do so at the risk of looking like vultures picking at the bones of tragedy. If you were responsible for the B.Sticker in question, you know what I am talking about.

So, I can't fault Dick so much for the way he acted, a lot of men would have done the same, except, except, he is the vice-president. The way he acted worried me. It worried me a lot. What if the mistake he made was in a time of war and he made a mistake that led to a serious loss, even the loss of a city. That could happen. But what he does next is crucial less we lose more cities. Can Dick take the heat of a serious error? Some can survive the aftermath of a Gettysburg and some cannot.

In such moments our Republic needs great men but we never know when we shall face such moments again.

Can we afford to have a President who might crumble under that kind of pressure into indecision? No.

Is Cheney such a man? Up until now, most voters did not think so. But episodes like this can define a person for the rest of his life either favorably or unfavorably.

Now this may be an apples to oranges scenario. It is often easier to deal with the problems of others more easily than your own, and truly, this accident was mostly a personal problem for Mr. Cheney.

Still. I wonder if Mr. Cheney did more than put some birdshot into his friend's face. He may have put buckshot or worse, into his future Presidential chances. Moreover, that buckshot might be on the faces of quite a few other Republican candidates as well.

From now on, however, I prefer not to focus on the politics and say this. Let's hope that Mr. Whittington recovers nicely. I mean that.


This post was written using melt-o-memory, the synaptic circuits so overloaded from recent personal events that text written during this session may not vary significantly than that of the combined best of an infinate number of monkees typing for 12.5 minutes. Errors of fact or spelling are likely when melt-o-memory is in use. In no way does the above represent reality in this universe, it in fact describes reality in a very similar but different universe in which names are the same but individuals may look, dress and act completely differently. Sponsored by Richard Simmons Tuxedos, for that Elegant Fashionable look for the complete male.
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