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about a shooting accident, brought about by the delaying tactics of Vice President Cheney--the other half of an administration that complains about damaging leaks while it selectively leaks intelligence to hurt political enemies.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept earlier this week blamed the V.P. for the shooting of another hunter, and the Kenedy County sheriff's Dept, who didn't interview the V.P. until the next morning, cleared him of wrongdoing. President Bush said he was satisfied the V.P. did the right thing and praised him.
Teeny Kenedy County-- in 2002 the housing units totaled 282
in 2004 the population totaled 407
Which means the sheriff's responsibilities and position are relatively small, no doubt matching his influence, especially in the face of the influence of Katherine Armstrong, a lobbyist, whose ranch is anything but small: 50,000 acres. Property of this size commands respect in most places, especially in Kenedy. Cheney said Ms. Armstrong was a witness, saw the whole thing, whereas she said she saw the Secret Service running toward the V.P., meaning she didn't see the accident.
We are not all equal before the law, folks, which I guess I didn't have to tell you. But it's a wonderful country, right? Because I'm allowed to express that view. As long as I don't say it on the telephone, or e-mail it.
Except for the bunch at Fox News, V.P. Cheney has always been disdainful of the media, and seemingly even more so lately, perhaps because he'll not be running for office ever again. Or, on the other hand, the folks in the administration may be too exhausted by the war and the scandals for them to now have to deal with the shooting, to expedite a more credible time frame and the usual spin, at the least to make the V.P. look less like--or behave less like--a guilty man; which is not to suggest otherwise, but appearances are everything; certainly the Bush/Cheney spin doctors had agreed with that, had previously mastered the discipline and often made real what wasn't, for us and the spineless media who've only recently found their balls. Perhaps Cheney's loss of Scooter Libby is a factor.
A contributing element in this matter is the disconnect between Cheney and Bush; to a great extent Bush's fault, in that he took as his partner a bull of a man who was accompanied by Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle and Donald Rumsfeld, all of whom came armed with a major neo-con agenda--A churning, ignorant and costly fantasy to unilaterally, and by force of arms, democratize the Middle east and stabilize the flow of crude. The disconnect, I believe, due to a great extent to Bush's allowing of what turned out to be two equal points of command--his and Cheney's-- probably as the result of Bush's lack of experience, of knowledge, ceding too much power to a strong man with a relentless focus, which in the end proved injurious to the President; i.e. (allegedly?) delegating Scooter Libby to inadvertently create Plamegate.
And now these points of command no longer converge in the way they used to: Bush first saying there are lessons to be learned, before praising him (but didn't call his V.P. to see if he was okay), and Cheney saying he, Cheney, handled it in the right way; and Cheney, more removed from the center, away from heads more clever than his with regard to the media and--rumor has it--pushed by Karl Rove to make a public statement, he has stumbled in this crisis and revealed an even more remarkable arrogance than previously which seems to have effected his judgment.
What's happened as a result, of course, is that the position he has taken has widened the story of the accident, given it the thousand legs of a millipede, and created enough questions for a thousand conspiracy buffs. And we really should be focused on issues like Iraq, the deficit, and the economy, stupid.