acquainted with the touch of a velvet hand

2/15/06

Oh, Bush Administration. Why are you full of such crappy people? Lord knows the blogosphere doesn’t need another leftist stooge like me to comment on the Cheney shooting, but does anyone really realize that the vice president of our country just shot another American in the face? And before the poor old victim had his heart attack, the White House was joking about wearing orange, and joking about hunting, and joking and joking and hardy har HAR HAR HAR!

It doesn’t matter that Cheney took 18 hours to report it to his superiors, or that he might have been drinking (there’s no way he wasn’t drinking, if you know these kind of hunting trips), or that he didn’t have a license, or that he was “hunting” quail that had been pen-fed, clipped and thrown into the wild like fat bastards at Fashion Week. What does matter is that Cheney just seems like a really twisted dude.

Bill Clinton may have lied about having sex with an intern, but he never filled his best friend’s aorta with buckshot, whether it was a mistake or not. And don’t fall for the “he only got peppered” line – if you’ve been hunting, you know that kind of shot can fucking kill you in an instant. What kind of compensation issues do you have if you’re killing canned birds released for your pleasure, and just shoot at anything that moves?

Maybe this whole incident will play up Cheney’s “tough guy” image, although when you see his arteriosclerotic, wobbly mass of a body, it taxes the imagination. Maybe it’s the kind of thing that red-meat Republicans love. I don’t know. I absolutely loathe guns, and hunting makes me sick to my stomach, but there’s something more about this event that strikes me as pathetic, sad and nauseating.

Of course, our “press corps” went into overdrive, with headlines like “Cheney Prays For Victim,” “‘The Worst Day of My Life’,” and “Silence Broken, Cheney Points Only to Himself,” as though it were an unusual sacrifice (and like there would be someone else to blame).

This Administration went from “doing no wrong and thus having no dissent” to “doing everything wrong and thus benefiting from scandal fatigue” without the middle part, where Americans were supposed to be “outraged.” How they pulled off that act of transubstantiation I’ll never understand, and like everything else we’ve seen over the last three years, Cheney will shoot a 78-year-old man with a shotgun and somehow come away with more gravitas. The irony of shooting first and letting God sort them out will be lost on almost everybody.

0 thoughts on “acquainted with the touch of a velvet hand

  1. Matt

    You knew I’d have to chime in on this one! First, Cheney did have a hunting license. He didn’t have a $7 upland bird stamp that went into effect just months ago and so few hunters even know about it that officials are only giving out warnings at this point for not having one. Second, I highly doubt that anyone was drinking while hunting. Fishing, of course, but not hunting. Third, the pen-fed and wing-clipped part tells me this blog is mostly hyperbole, so I’m probably not telling you anything you don’t already know.
    But the part about press corp headlines is what truly highlights the differences in the way we see things. I recall headline after headline of “Cheney shoots old man”, “Cheney violated hunting laws” and other similar unflattering lines. And don’t forget Dana Milbank appearing on the Keith Olbermann show wearing orange hunting gear and mocking the VP.
    If we’re going with jokes, however, I prefer, “I’d rather go hunting with Dick Cheney than ride in a car with Ted Kennedy.”

  2. Piglet

    The amazing thing is that, suddenly, every conservative on the internet is an avid hunter who has been shot multiple times, it’s no big deal. And, as everyone knows, shotguns are just toys, they can’t really hurt a person, what kind of wuss would complain about a faceful of birdshot for pete’s sake? And, any responsible hunter can tell you, the most dangerous, irresponsible place to stand during a hunt is behind the guys with the guns.
    If Dick Cheney were revealed to be an authentic, bloodsucking Nosferatu, a million Limbaugh listeners, who support racial profiling by law enforcement and the stategic bombing of muslim holy sites to teach those pesky towelheads a lesson, would blisteringly denounce Democrats as BIGOTS for implying that there was something wrong with vampires holding high office. Several would patriotically volunteer to donate their own blood to him.
    The Bible teaches us that a man gains no profit from obtaining the whole world in exchange for his soul. And every day we see legions of self-proclaimed Christians giving theirs away to the utterly, utterly corrupt Republicans for NOTHING.

  3. Laurie from Manly Dorm

    Excellent post today. I was wondering when you would comment on the Cheney incident.
    I take back every judgmental thing I said about Bill Clinton and Monica. Who really gives a damn about people trying to find a little sexual gratification, when compared to something like THIS. Killing defenseless animals for pleasure has never made sense to me — part of me wishes hunters would shoot each other more often (did I really say that?) — and the whole incident is quite nauseating.

  4. Matt

    Ahem, it wasn’t simply about “a little sexual gratification,” LFMD, it was about committing perjury in a sexual harassment lawsuit.
    I’m no Clinton basher, but this framing of the issue is rather dishonest, and I don’t think any of you would stand for it if he had an R after his name instead of a D.

  5. Joe

    I already knew what I’d find when I looked at the comments for this post.
    One of the regular Bush apologists would seize on some minor detail – say, the issue of Cheney’s hunting license, or perhaps the pen-fed quail issue – and run with it. This, rather than saying, “Vader got drunk and shot an old man in the face.”
    When too many other posters agreed that Cheney was not exonerated by his scripted non-apology on Fox (shocker there, huh?), then Bush apologist would latch onto the Bill Clinton aspect of Ian’s post.
    I see I’m batting .400 so far today – thanks for being so routinely predictable in your wobbly, flimsy defenses Matt.

  6. tregen

    First. The guy was not “Peppered” he was shot. There is a big difference. Peppered has the connotation of not breaking skin. Having buckshot enter the chest cavity is being shot.
    Second. Cheney should have taken responsibility and anyone who said that Cheney was not at fault clearly has a misunderstanding of the “rules of hunting”. If you are in holding and firing a weapon, you are responsible for the outcome….period. I”m glad he stepped up to the plate, but all those folks who initially tried to blame the “shotee” were wrong, and should now at least try to follow Cheney’s admission and admit they were wrong.
    Third. I do not believe the birds were pen fed or clipped but I do believe the birds were released from cages on the day of the hunt or possibly exactly at the time of shooting. Either way, it is hardly sporting. The guys were riding in some type of vehicle which would stop, they would get out and “presto” there is a covey of quail. It doesn’t work that way generally and it seems classless to me personally. There has been no mention of how many birds they had shot that day but given that they had been “hunting”, a term I which is a stretch in this case, all morning and had started again in the afternoon, and they birds were releaseed, my guess is these guys had killed more than a few birds that day. More than what you are planning to eat, is, again, wrong.
    Fifth. These are a couple of adults engaged in a highly risky activity. The guy who was shot knew it was a risky activity, as does everyone else who shoots. In the end, they both accepted the risks and in this case one of them is paying a price.
    Sixth. If this is the worst day in his life, maybe Cheney will put a bit more thought into what it is like for our guys in Iraq and for the citizens of that country. Folks who are subject to being shot at on a daily basis.

  7. Beth

    Well, I’m enjoying the comments–“Vader got drunk and shot an old man in the face” in particular. Also liked Piglet’s Nosferatu postulation. And Matt, Cheney has admitted to drinking a beer at lunch, after his brigade had steadfastly denied that anything but Dr Pepper was served. So who knows, underneath the spin, how many beers that actually translates into?
    But that issue aside, why is the frigging vice president even allowed to go hunting? With his own taxpayer-sponsored retinue of ambulances, no less, because his battery pack might fail.

  8. Dave

    Good points, one problem. “[T]ook 18 hours to report it to his superiors”? Who do you have in mind?
    I suspect you’re right on the drinking issue, and that’s why the sheriff’s visit was delayed until the following morning. Even if he wasn’t actually drunk at the time of the shooting, it’s not unlikely that he’d had a few. But we’ll never know. The victim now has a great favor to call in and will not be shedding any new light on what actually happened.
    Long time listener, first time caller. Love the show.

  9. Matt

    “This, rather than saying, ‘Vader got drunk and shot an old man in the face.'”
    Drunk? Says who?
    “then Bush apologist would latch onto the Bill Clinton aspect of Ian’s post.”
    Uh, sorry, Joe, but that was LFMD who brought up Clinton in the comments. Am I forbidden to correct the record? I’m not a Cheney apologist, by the way. The accident was indeed his fault, no matter where the old man was standing or what he did not announce. Every hunter knows this. From the only interview I’ve, seen, Cheney said he himself “was responsible.” Funny what it takes, though, to get lefties sympathetic toward a millionaire Reublican contributor.

  10. Vader

    “Second, I highly doubt that anyone was drinking while hunting.”
    Matt, you’ve been exposed. You can’t scurry off to an argument on drunkenness when you went out on a now-pruned limb for Dick with this baseless speculation? You still have to answer for that before you wriggle free.
    “Am I forbidden to correct the record?”
    Like you did above? You have no credibility, so you are forbidden from being taken seriously.
    “I’m not a Cheney apologist, by the way.”
    Maybe you weren’t yesterday, but you certainly are now. You’re even suddenly an expert on Texas hunting license regulations. If you are not an apologist, then the word has no meaning.

  11. caveman

    You are so off base here Ian. Cheney is rich enough to hunt on Texas farms where the quail are wild. Jeez, gets your facts straight.
    And as far as the “just one beer” comment goes, I thought that was the universally accepted answer to that question when someone of authority is asking. Maybe “just two beers” in certain cases where you actually cant stand up straight.
    Finally, Joe, great work today. Anything useful you can predict like 10 yr treasury rate or price of Microsoft in 18 months or are you just the resident expert on this blog? Thanks.

  12. ducky

    I love that we’ve now seen a new depth to how far Republicans will descend to protect their guys – and leave the Administration blameless on all counts, all the time.
    I thought that taking the fall for the crappy CIA “yellowcake” memo was devotion, but now….
    Are all the conservatives willing to take a bullet in the heart? To pose for pictures looking perfectly fine and happy about said bullet so everyone will stop criticizing poor Cheney? To ask the hospital to stop commenting on your condition so that no one will know about your pesky little heart attack and give the Vice-Pres the stink-eye?
    Phew.
    Being in the GOP is hard, hard work. I don’t envy you guys one little bit.

  13. dean from Bub's and Troll's

    I think this is a lot of hullabaloo about nothing. Cheney screwed up and has admitted it and never denied it. This means he used very poor judgment and is extremely lucky the consequences were not dire. It does not mean he is evil.
    Analagously, Clinton used very poor judgment with Monica and Teddy Kennedy used very poor judgment with Mary Jo. Their two acts do not make them evil. The main difference is that they each denied responsibility. The controversies surrounding Monica and Mary Jo really only swirled when they tried to escape culpability. But, as with Cheney, I do not think Clinton or Teddy are evil.
    Now, just so you do not think I am picking on Dems, I would throw Nixon into the same category. He and his cronies used extremely poor judgment, but the controversy swirled only with his denials of responsibility.
    I just wish that Repubs and Dems could see this incident for what it is and stop attaching larger connotations to it. It was not a sign that Cheney is evil and it was also not a silly little gun accident. It was a serious accident that could have been tragic. Nothing more.
    The delay in notifying the “mainstream media” is the reason everyone now has their panties in a wad. But, every poll taken by both sides indicates that those of us who live in the real world do not give a rat’s ass about the media and always think it a bit funny when they get their panties in a wad.
    It is not as if Cheney was trying to hide the incident. Hello!? — he took the victim to a public physician instead of stashing him in the secret Cheney medical hideaway. All of must know that this entire incident could easily have never seen the light of day if Cheney so desired.
    The latest salvo from the “mainstream media” is that Cheney should not have given his interview to FoxNews. First, it ain’t as if he gave his interview to Hannity. And, anyone who thinks Brit Hume is an extreme rightie should ask ABC why they had him as their White House correspondent for a million years. Second, if CNN had anything close to the ratings of FoxNews, then maybe Cheney would have gone there.

  14. Matt

    This is too much. The VP is involved in an accident in which he is at fault and all the BDS sufferers pile on with exagerration and hyperbole. Talk about being predictable.
    “Matt, you’ve been exposed. You can’t scurry off to an argument on drunkenness when you went out on a now-pruned limb for Dick with this baseless speculation? You still have to answer for that before you wriggle free.”
    What on earth are you talking about?
    “You’re even suddenly an expert on Texas hunting license regulations.”
    Never said I was an expert, but I can read. Where am I wrong?

  15. Ian

    dean – Brit Hume went from being a decent reporter to an unbelievable GOP shill overnight, I suspect largely due to his paycheck from Fox. Some of the shit he says these days is embarrassing. Someone else can do the research, but I saw a three-page bullet of quotes from his show last year, and it was harrowing.

  16. dean from Bub's and Troll's

    Ian — thanks for the reply. I agree that Brit leans right. But, guess what, he (like Hannity & O’Reilly) are not newscasters. They provide analysis a la Chris Matthews. The difference, unlike Chris Matthews or CNN in general, is that FoxNews also has Colmes to thrust/parry Hannity and Brit has the round table that includes lefties from NPR, etc. So, please list for me the righties that make nightly appearances on CNN, etc.
    . . . .
    What is that I hear? Sounds like crickets.
    By the way, Ian, how about our boy Tyler last night? 40 points!
    BABY ALERT — all of you probably know Greg From Winston Dorm on this site. He and his wife are pregnant with their 1st kid and were scheduled to be induced yesterday evening. So, keep baby Jake in your thoughts.

  17. Kevin from Philadelphia

    Dean:”…So, please list for me the righties that make nightly appearances on CNN, etc.”
    Lou Dobbs is more a bit more right than left.
    Bill Bennet has just been hired as a political commentator.
    Glen Beck (Headline News) is an echo-chamber for GOP talkign points, and an all-around disgusting excuse for a human being.
    Wolf Blitzer vomits up hugs and kisses for the Bush White House daily.
    Please examne these links for more proof,should you need it, just for the past few days:
    Bruce Morton – http://mediamatters.org/items/200602140015
    Jonathan Klien –
    http://mediamatters.org/items/200602140001
    Kyra Philips and Susan Malveux –
    http://mediamatters.org/items/200602150015
    Please, for the love of god, think before you respond. I am not trying to be rude, but took all of 1 minute to find. Your intellectual laziness is stunning.

  18. ian

    I think Dick Cheney is an evil old bastard, but I hate this whole story, because it has driven real news off of television.
    This hunting accident, even though there’s plenty wrong with how the administration handled it, only affected 2 guys. Cheney’s long career has been about killing people and harming our nation and the world. Even if he killed the guy with a rusty barman’s knife in a Juarez nightclub, it would only be the latest in a long string of crimes against humanity.

  19. craighill

    thank god bird hunting (quail hunting) is not for the masses. can you imagine all the whining that would go on when a covey of 20 gets up and not everybody got to shoot one?
    i mean, doesn’t everyone deserve an equal number of quail in each covey rise?
    ps…cheney shoots a .28 guage side by side – and i thought he couldn’t get any sweeter.

  20. Vader

    What am I talking about? Where are you wrong? Try to keep up, Matt, I even quoted the offending statement for you.
    You went out on a limb and said that you HIGHLY doubted that anyone was drinking. Well, you were wrong. When you go out of your way to defend the veep without a single fact to back it up, you lose credibility.
    And you said you were not an apologist for Cheney in the midst of apologizing for and defending him, with baseless speculation and minutia like the hunting license. So, you were wrong there, too. You are, in fact, a Cheney apologist.

  21. Phillip S.

    Ian, how the administration handled it IS the real news. Your concern buys into how the conservative media is trying to spin this–a hunting accident that doesn’t deserve the coverage it is getting. Well, the accident isn’t getting the coverage, the attempt to spin, hide, and cover-up is.
    It’s indicitive of how the White House handles so many bigger issues. At least the press corps is finally standing up and examining the standard operating procedure (secrecy and cover-ups) of this White House.

  22. Matt

    Vader, my friend, YOU are the one indulging in baseless speculation about drunkenness. And minutia about the hunting license? The accusation was that he didn’t have one. I noted, correctly, that he in fact did have one.
    Sheesh.

  23. dean from Bub's and Troll's

    Greg From Winston Dorm’s wife had their baby last night (this morning) at 1230am via C-section. 7lbs, 5 oz. Boy — “Jake”. 21.25″. Mom and baby doing well.

  24. scruggs

    Hopefully they had ESPN in the L&D room. Emma, next time I see an email from him in the inbox, I’m going to grab a cup of coffee first…this one should be an opus!
    Congrats, Greg…ours was the same exact weight and height, and you know what a hoss he is now.

  25. dean from Bub's and Troll's

    Aww, come on. Can’t you crazed liberals show me a little love for taking the time to share the Greg baby news? Geez . . no nice deed goes unpunished.

  26. Anne D.

    Dick Cheney: Scariest mouth of any elected official! 8-O
    Relevance? Hardly any. I just can’t stand watching him as he tries to turn even his glaring incompetence into an opportunity for heroic, self-sacrificing rhetoric.

  27. J.Boogie

    took 3 days before we learned about Harry Reid’s stroke
    from Wikipedia : Ted Kennedy managed to escape from the submerged car, but he left the scene and did not report the incident or Mary Jo Kopechne’s whereabouts to the police until the following morning, after which authorities recovered Kennedy’s car and Kopechne’s body.
    Clinton did not come out and tell us when he bombed that Tylenol factory
    took months before Clinton admitted to cheating on his wife in the Oval Office
    bombs dropped on wrong targets overseas, woman in her 20’s dead in a car, adultery taking place in the Oval Office, and the Democrats don’t rush out and tell us
    but a 78 year-old man that is not part of the government takes part of a bullet to the face on a hunting trip and suddenly the DNC needs to know about it within 48 hours
    as usual the hypocrisy of the DNC and left-wing stooges like Ian is 100% evident
    you know the left-wingers and NPR/NY-TIMES crowd are really running out of ideas when this is the only thing they can try to make an issue out of

  28. Vader

    Booger,
    First of all, half of your items are Congressional.
    Second of all, even that heavily padded list (I’ll even though in Whitewater, “Travelgate” and Vince Foster, all of which turned up nothing) is tiny compared to the FOIA requests and congressional and PRESIDENTAL commission requests for information that the Bushies have stonewalled in the past year alone. Not to mentioned the various prosecutions going on for just this sort of thing.
    It’s kind of amazing that a mere google search turns up different issues with every link:
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&rls=GGLR%2CGGLR%3A2005-40%2CGGLR%3Aen&q=bush+stonewalling+request
    Compared to: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&rls=GGLR%2CGGLR%3A2005-40%2CGGLR%3Aen&q=clinton+stonewalling+request+-bush
    This administration has plunged executive branch accountabilty to new lows. Not exactly what Bush promised, is it?

  29. CP

    so has cheney or anyone even apologized to the poor mofo he shot? he’s taken responsibility, said it was the worst day of day of his life, taken pains to get his story straight re: the drinking and the timeline and the sheriff, but was there ever an actual public apology? because last I checked, shooting people is OUT. like pretty HIGH on the list of things you don’t do to your friends. it’s not enough to merely take responsibility for things like iraq (bad intelligence), FEMA (their fault), even old james frey profiting on a certain level from the train accident of two girls he didn’t know (come on, I’m a drug addict.) frey was flogged and whipped, apologizing in essence for getting caught and fucking with oprah, but was there ever a public apology to the families of those girls? this may seem like a small point, but anyone with even a shred of Home Training will tell you that an apology makes what you did about the people it affected, as opposed to how it affected you. being able to say I fucked up and I’m sorry, even if it is just spin and lip service, is something no one in our country, starting at the top, seems to be able to do anymore.
    also, jokes on this subject (and the broader theme that dick cheney is the devil/antichrist/darth vader/evil incarnate/part-cyborg) are important and useful and to be encouraged. I guess it’s an issue of who’s doing the joking and (more importantly) is it funny? the bumper stickers are lame. are there any funny republicans out there? does being in power make you automatically lose your sense of humor? are repubs even allowed to joke about this? is it in poor taste for the bush administration to do so and good taste for the rest of america to make tasteless jokes about this? is humor about commentary and dissent (dysentery) or diffusing the situation? I don’t know. here’s what I find funny: 1) that there are people who actually use both the internet and the term left-wing stooge. 2) that the VP of a bible-beating dry-drunk ex-coke addict president who seems to really like killing people fucking SHOT a dude, and in texas. 3) that aaron burr did too. 4) that that happened over 200 years ago. 5) that dick cheney gave someone else a heart attack (as opposed to nightmares, which he’s been giving americans and arabs for two terms now, and small children and animals his whole life.)
    jokes serve a public utility, are integral to the moral fabric of society. they just have to be funny and brutal and rude.

  30. Matt

    “jokes serve a public utility, are integral to the moral fabric of society. they just have to be funny and brutal and rude.”
    Yes. One thing they don’t have to be — indeed, shouldn’t be — is accurate. Being accurate severely limits the comedic potential of an event. One often needs to exaggerate the truth to aid the punch line. Now, if only some people (—-> http://news.yahoo.com/s/thenation/20060216/cm_thenation/160649;_ylt=A86.I2iZt_RD5qsAVAj9wxIF;_ylu=X3oDMTBjMHVqMTQ4BHNlYwN5bnN1YmNhdA– ) understood that. . .

  31. CP

    ah, matt. see, now THAT’s funny. I disagree with you on the accuracy issue but I have to work I should be doing so let’s just agree to disagree. you’ve taken a lot of flack here today, thanks for being a sport and linking that.

  32. Rebecca

    The thing that really bothers me about this whole Cheney story is his statement that it was the “worst day of his life.” Feeling personally responsible for injuring someone is a pain in the neck! (pun intended) Maybe it will give him a new perspective for how our troops feel on a daily basis.
    It also begs the question: Ian, what was the worst day of your life?

  33. Matt

    “Maybe it will give him a new perspective for how our troops feel on a daily basis.”
    Gee, Rebecca, why don’t you ask them? The thing of it is, when polled, over 70% of the troops consistently agree with the mission and think what they’re doing over there needs to be done.
    Going back to an earlier point about accuracy in jokes… the author of that piece cracks that Cheney admits to being “intoxicated” at the time of the accident. The VP said he had one beer with lunch and went hunting with the group at 5:30 PM. Somehow that makes him “intoxicated” or, as Vader framed it, proof of drunkenness. Please. Voltaire’s only prayer was, “O Lord, please make my enemies ridiculous.” Vader, you’re the answer to that prayer.

  34. Vader

    Matt, you are as disingenuous as they come. When cornered by the facts, you reframe the debate. When recornered, you accuse others of the reframing that you yourself did.
    1. at 4:42 am, you said: “I highly doubt that anyone was drinking while hunting”.
    A dubious assertion at best, and one that was quickly proved wrong.
    2. At 6:02 am, you responded to someone else’s facetious post (“This, rather than saying, ‘Vader got drunk and shot an old man in the face.'”) with:
    “Drunk? Says who?”
    3. I merely pointed out that you made an unsupportable (and ultimately incorrect) assertion that no drinking took place, and when then was proven wrong (by Cheney himself), you retreated to saying “well, he wasn’t drunk”.
    I never mentioned drunkenness except for in this context. My point was not about the vice president, but about you.
    4. Twice after that you accuse me of accusing Cheney of being drunk, or of trying to reframe the debate. Never happened — as anyone with a scroll bar can tell you. You are either being disingenuous or are just not that bright. I vote for the former.
    5. Similarly, I accused you of being a Cheney apologist, which you denied above. My evidence was your trotting out meaningless factoids about Texas hunting license regulations when in fact the only time they had been mentioned was to be dismissed as an issue: “It DOESN’T MATTER that Cheney took 18 hours to report it to his superiors, or that he might have been drinking …., or that he didn’t have a license…” (caps and deletion mine).
    Your response to the above quote (which was about Cheney’s character) and to my pointing out that you are, by definition, a Cheney apologist seems to be “he DOES TO have a license”. Clever.
    Are you sure you mean to say “Voltaire” and not “Freedom Philosopher”?
    Now that that’s settled, please source the poll you mention that 70% of troops, etc, etc, (I couldn’t be bothered to finish reading it without any sourcing to back it up). Who conducted it? Who paid for it? Was this a poll of active duty troops, who are barred from speaking out against the war by the Uniform Code of Military Justice?

  35. Matt

    “When cornered by the facts, you reframe the debate. When recornered, you accuse others of the reframing that you yourself did.”
    Ha! Good one! You need to reread your own posts, Vader!
    “1. at 4:42 am, you said: “I highly doubt that anyone was drinking while hunting”. A dubious assertion at best, and one that was quickly proved wrong.”
    No, it wasn’t. Unless you think having one beer 5 hours before going hunting means drinking while hunting. This is why, for Dick Cheney, your the answer to Voltaire’s prayer!
    “2. At 6:02 am, you responded to someone else’s facetious post (“This, rather than saying, ‘Vader got drunk and shot an old man in the face.'”) with: “Drunk? Says who?”
    Right! Who says he was drunk? Only BDS sufferers.
    “3. I merely pointed out that you made an unsupportable (and ultimately incorrect) assertion that no drinking took place, and when then was proven wrong (by Cheney himself), you retreated to saying “well, he wasn’t drunk”.”
    No, I said he wasn’t hunting while drinking. One beer 5 hours earlier hardly makes that incorrect. Get a grip. Others in this thread have alluded to “drunkenness.”
    “5. Similarly, I accused you of being a Cheney apologist, which you denied above. My evidence was your trotting out meaningless factoids about Texas hunting license regulations…”
    Talk about being disingenuous. Cheney was accused of not having s license. I noted he did. You called that “minutia” and now a “meaningless factoid.” Ha! And if you don’t know the difference between a stamp and a license I don’t know why your contribution to a conversation about hunting should be taken seriously.
    I need to catch the Metro, but will finish this when I get a minute at work.

  36. Matt

    Cont. from above:
    “4. Twice after that you accuse me of accusing Cheney of being drunk, or of trying to reframe the debate. Never happened — as anyone with a scroll bar can tell you.”
    After coffee, and upon reread, I see that you in fact didn’t accuse Cheney of drunkeness. That was someone else. I apologize for the error. You do, however, continue to maintain that he was drinking while hunting, a ridiculous proposition according to the facts as we know them.
    “5. …about Texas hunting license regulations when in fact the only time they had been mentioned was to be dismissed as an issue: “It DOESN’T MATTER that Cheney took 18 hours to report it to his superiors, or that he might have been drinking …., or that he didn’t have a license…” (caps and deletion mine).”
    Dismissed after being proposed as fact when it is actually untrue. Surely you see the point.
    “you are, by definition, a Cheney apologist seems to be “he DOES TO have a license”.”
    Dude, I said Cheney was at fault. Apparently I’m an “apologist” because I noted correctly that he did have a hunting license.
    “Are you sure you mean to say ‘Voltaire’ and not ‘Freedom Philosopher’?”
    Voltaire, not John Locke. ;)
    “Now that that’s settled, please source the poll you mention that 70% of troops, etc, etc, (I couldn’t be bothered to finish reading it without any sourcing to back it up).”
    From a Military Times poll conducted last year: “Sixty-three percent of the 1,423 military respondents approve of Bush’s handling of the war, with 60 percent convinced it is a war worth fighting. Among combat vets, that conviction rises to two-thirds.” http://www.townhall.com/columnists/dianawest/dw20050103.shtml A poll taken by the Annenberg Public Policy Center backs that up. http://www.annenbergpublicpolicycenter.org/naes/2004_03_2military-data_10-16_pr.pdf I’ve seen others elsewhere, too.
    “Who conducted it? Who paid for it? Was this a poll of active duty troops, who are barred from speaking out against the war by the Uniform Code of Military Justice?”
    Okay, here we go. First, these polls are taken anonymously. Servicemembers are not barred from participating in them, or even speaking their mind generally (this is slightly more complicated than it may seem). What gets me is the way anti-war folks, when shown these polls, trumpet the familiar refrain that they are just “following orders” and being good soldiers. They don’t *really* mean it, goes the reasoning. Those against the war can’t give servicemembers credit for coming to their own conclusions honestly and making up their own minds, but, hey, they support the troops!
    Just for some anecdotal evidence, my impression at work, since I left the Ag racket (as Counselor Tim liked to put it) and joined the DoD, is that the servicemembers around here, most of them having been in Iraq for at least one tour, overwhelmingly support the decision to liberate Iraq and truly believe in the mission. My eyes and ears tell me this everyday.

  37. Joseph A Caparo

    “…the servicemembers around here, most of them having been in Iraq for at least one tour, overwhelmingly support the decision to liberate Iraq and truly believe in the mission. My eyes and ears tell me this everyday.”
    Don’t even waste your time responding to Matt Skywalker, Vader – the FArce is strong with this one…

  38. Vader

    “After coffee, and upon reread, I see that you in fact didn’t accuse Cheney of drunkeness. That was someone else. I apologize for the error.”
    Apology accepted.
    “You do, however, continue to maintain that he was drinking while hunting, a ridiculous proposition according to the facts as we know them.”
    I maintain nothing, I am just pointing out that Cheney’s admission gives the lie (excuse the expression) to your initial post. You are trying to skin the cat another way now, by saying that Cheney was not actually guzzling PBR while scanning the horizon for quarry. That is an irrelevant distinction, much like “drinking AND driving” as opposed to “drinking WHILE driving”. Though you might have been useful as a lawyer for college students.
    However, if you would now like to clarify what you said to mean not “alcohol was not involved at all” but instead the more literal “The Vice President was not actively consuming beer while cradling his shotgun prior to shooting his friend”. I guess you win. No one is arguing that—and it’s quite a low bar you’ve set for him.
    “Unless you think having one beer 5 hours before going hunting means drinking while hunting.”
    I just don’t think you’re much interested in the truth. Where are you getting “5 hours before going hunting” from? Did you make it up? They started hunting–as you do when on a hunting weekend–before lunch. They broke for lunch (and beer) and then resumed*.
    Unless you are saying he had the beer at 5am. I’d say that–although Cheney has a history of DWIs–you are probably confusing him with his right hand man, George W.
    Anyway, I’m not implying he would have been trashed after one beer, which is all he is owning up to. However, it is suspicious that he had a cocktail (in front of witnesses) instead of going to the hospital. That’s a great way to cover up alcohol content.
    “This is why, for Dick Cheney, your the answer to Voltaire’s prayer!”
    You won’t get under my skin with weak stuff like this, Matt, especially when you misuse the word “you’re”. But thanks for the license to keep it personal. And I don’t even have to pay $7.
    You quoted me and then responded thusly:
    “‘you are, by definition, a Cheney apologist seems to be “he DOES TO have a license”.’
    Dude, I said Cheney was at fault. Apparently I’m an “apologist” because I noted correctly that he did have a hunting license”
    You quoted me way out of context; similar to the awkwardly clipped sound bites of Kerry used in Bush campaign commercials. I’ll give you another chance, since I debated the use of a comma after word “apologist” and decided it wasn’t needed. I guess you were either confused or given too easy of an opportunity for mischief. Read the whole line and get back to me. Hint: look for the subject of the sentence, then its verb. From there, it should be easy.
    “Voltaire, not John Locke. ;)”
    Off topic, but why to conservatives always invoke Locke? You know that John Locke was a hard-line Whig, right? That correlates to us, the liberals. Locke would have been horrified by the Bush administration’s naked grab for prosecutorial over the rights of the people. His ideas on the separation of Church and State would have also made him a persona non grata to the Republican base you got yourselves these days.
    Where was I?
    Oh, the poll… First of all, 60% thinking it is “it is a war worth fighting” is pathetically low for people expected to fight and die for a cause, no? That means four out of ten are not convinced it is a war worth fighting (if the word “convinced” even appeared in the poll, which doesn’t sound too poll-y to me).
    But thanks for sourcing it. (I’m sure you won’t make that mistake again).
    You mean this Military Times poll, right? From their website: “The mail survey, conducted Nov. 14 through Dec. 23, is the third annual effort by the Military Times to measure the opinions of the active-duty military on political and morale issues. The results SHOULD NOT BE READ AS REPRESENTATIVE OF THE MILITARY AS A WHOLE; the survey’s respondents are on average older, more experienced, more likely to be officers and more career-oriented than the military population.” (Caps mine)
    Seems to me that that sampling would tend to support the war more than the grunts. And a mail survey is much less scientific than a phone survey, since only people with strong enough opinions either way would answer. So the survey tends to pick up people who are inclined to support the war AND feel strongly about it.
    But here’s the kicker—you are quoting old data. The 63% you cite as approving of Bush’s handling of the war is from two years ago, not last year (you can do the math yourself).
    “Approval of the president’s Iraq policy fell 9 percentage points from 2004; a bare majority, 54 percent, now say they view his performance on Iraq as favorable. Support for his overall performance fell 11 points, to 60 percent, among active-duty readers
    of the Military Times newspapers.”
    And then you end with a real howler:
    “Okay, here we go. First, these polls are taken anonymously. Servicemembers are not barred from participating in them, or even speaking their mind generally (this is slightly more complicated than it may seem).”
    Wrong.
    “The Uniform Code of Military Justice prohibits those in the military from speaking out in certain ways against the policies of our government. This includes open criticism of the policy agenda of the Bush administration that has resulted in the invasion and occupation of Iraq.”
    I asked, “Was this a poll of active duty troops, who are barred from speaking out against the war by the Uniform Code of Military Justice?”
    You responded with:
    “What gets me is the way anti-war folks, when shown these polls, trumpet the familiar refrain that they are just “following orders” and being good soldiers. They don’t *really* mean it, goes the reasoning. Those against the war can’t give servicemembers credit for coming to their own conclusions honestly and making up their own minds, but, hey, they support the troops!”
    Did I do that? Or are you referring to other “anti-war folks”?
    Don’t bother answering that. I’m done with this. You are a smart fella and a good arguer. But you are wrong on the facts, and that won’t change.
    Thank God that most of the country thinks Bush is doing a terrible job. Come November, my side will have a few years to stop the bleeding before we get down to the real work of cleaning up your mess.
    —————
    * “Ranch owner Katharine Armstrong has said no one hunting that day had any beer. The Los Angeles Times reported on Tuesday that it had been told that the hunters that day “broke for a lunch of antelope, jicama salad and camp bread, washed down with Dr. Pepper.” Armstrong later modified her remarks, saying there may have been beer in coolers but she didn’t think anyone who was hunting that day had any. ”
    Source: http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1002033578
    Note: We now know that the “no beer” story was false.

  39. Matt

    “if you would now like to clarify what you said to mean not ‘alcohol was not involved at all'”
    I never wrote that, did I? This is not skinning a cat. The distinction is important. One beer 5 HOURS prior does not constitute drinking while hunting, which is what I wrote.
    “Where are you getting “5 hours before going hunting” from? Did you make it up?”
    I saw the Vice President in an interview with Brit Hume say that he had one beer with lunch and then went out (back out?) hunting with the group at 5:30 PM. The accident happened sometime after that, right? I estimated that lunch occured around the noon hour, which would be about 5 hours. That could be incorrect, but if it’s anything more than 2 hours, my point still holds. Only teenage girls get tipsy on one beer. And it’s not inconsistent with the cite you offer of Ms Armstrong.
    “it is suspicious that he had a cocktail (in front of witnesses) instead of going to the hospital. That’s a great way to cover up alcohol content.”
    I didn’t hear anything about Cheney having a “cocktail instead of going to the hospital.”
    “You won’t get under my skin with weak stuff like this, Matt, especially when you misuse the word ‘you’re’.”
    I used it right the first time, but not this morning. Anyway, when you nitpick at grammer, I know you’ve got nothin’ left.
    “You quoted me way out of context. . .I’ll give you another chance, since I debated the use of a comma after word ‘apologist’ and decided it wasn’t needed. I guess you were either confused or given too easy of an opportunity for mischief. Read the whole line and get back to me. Hint: look for the subject of the sentence, then its verb. From there, it should be easy.”
    Here’s a sentence you wrote, in its entirety (though not the one I used above): “Similarly, I accused you of being a Cheney apologist, which you denied above.”
    So what’s the beef? Are you saying that you never called me an apologist?
    “You know that John Locke was a hard-line Whig, right? That correlates to us, the liberals.”
    In the traditional sense of the word only. Not the modern definition.
    “Locke would have been horrified by the Bush administration’s naked grab for prosecutorial over the rights of the people.”
    I reject the premise, of course. A debate for another time?
    “60% thinking it is ‘it is a war worth fighting’ is pathetically low for people expected to fight and die for a cause, no?”
    It was 2/3rds for combat vets and that’s still pretty high if you ask me. I don’t know if polls were taken of servicemens’ views in previous wars, but I’d be interested to know how they compare.
    “But thanks for sourcing it. (I’m sure you won’t make that mistake again).”
    I usually try to provide such links, but I won’t neglect one in a debate with you anymore, that’s true.
    “Approval of the president’s Iraq policy fell 9 percentage points from 2004; a bare majority, 54 percent, now say they view his performance on Iraq as favorable. Support for his overall performance fell 11 points, to 60 percent, among active-duty readers of the Military Times newspapers.”
    You shouldn’t mistake disapproval as being against the war. Many are upset that he isn’t prosecuting the war more stringently. Any complaints of the Annenberg Public Policy Center poll? You make a fair point about the sample MT used, but I suspect that no poll going against your own perception is going to suffice.
    “The Uniform Code of Military Justice prohibits those in the military from speaking out in certain ways against the policies of our government. This includes open criticism of the policy agenda of the Bush administration that has resulted in the invasion and occupation of Iraq.”
    May I ask where that paragraph comes from? No source!? Anything against participating in an anonymous poll?
    “Did I do that? Or are you referring to other ‘anti-war folks’?”
    Others. I thought it was clear that I was speaking in general terms.
    “Don’t bother answering that.”
    Too late!
    “I’m done with this.”
    Have a good weekend. I mean that.
    “You are a smart fella and a good arguer. But you are wrong on the facts, and that won’t change.”
    I could’ve written the same about you. ;)

  40. Joe

    Not the bitterest of them, Vader, but thanks for remembering. :)
    By the way, you should drop a line using the hyperlink if you feel like it.

  41. badbob

    Ian,
    You and your band of merry-andrews are mere scrubs!
    I’d insert myself into this moonie-discussion because of my 40 years experience toting a shotgun after nearly all of N. America’s gamebirds, but, alas, I would be wasting your pixels methinks. Can’t reason with un-reason.
    So I’ll offer you this great link, trust me-you’ll love it:
    http://ace.mu.nu/archives/158146.php
    especially this line:
    “…is a balding, 270 pound former Ford Administration chief-of-staff calling herself “Chick Deney.”
    But of course after you laugh you may want to take a stiff drink (or for you druggies-pop a pill) and view this:
    http://www.zipperfish.net/free/yaafm12.php
    Reality bites, eh?
    B2