Wednesday, February 15, 2006

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Your pop quiz on politics for today

Let's see what's on the front pages today.... hey, what do you know, both the New York Times and the Washington Post have stories on the fact that:

1) The Cheney hunting mishap story has some surprising legs;

2) The Bush White House staff would have handled the story a bit differently; and

3) There's some new tension between the POTUS staff and the VPOTUS staff

Here's my pop quiz. Beyond the obvious, what do these stories reveal?
A) Bush's staff is delighted to highlight one of the few arenas of press coverage -- presidential foibles -- where they've been perfectly forthcoming;

B) Bush's staff is trying to get as far away from this press debacle as possible -- by leaking to the Times and the Post as much as Brangelina insiders leak to People and Us Weekly;

C) Bush's staff apparently has so little influence with the Vice President that rather than simply, you know, ordering the VPOTUS staff to do what they're supposed to do, they're leaking more than Boston's Big Dig;

D) I really, really like lame leak metaphors similes;

E) The press is overjoyed that they've been able to convert what should have been an inside-the-fold-one-news-cycle story into a story that appears to symbolize how Bush's stonewalling on other issues has made their jobs very frustrating;

F) Cheney has generated absolutely zero loyaly among the Bush 41 team (see the Marlin Fitzwater quotes dotting the media landscape;

G) This event symbolizes two facts that, in combination with each other, are distrubing -- Cheney is the most powerful vice president in recent memory, and Cheney is also the vice president who cares the least about public feedback; and

H) All of the above.

posted by Dan on 02.15.06 at 10:41 AM


"I realy, really like lame leak metaphors"


Or comparison?

posted by: Dave on 02.15.06 at 10:41 AM [permalink]

Or comparaphors?

(Pause for sound of mind blowing)

posted by: Ted Barlow on 02.15.06 at 10:41 AM [permalink]

C and G are the significant items.

All the others pertain to attitudes among the media and White House staff, which are ultimately unimportant. But the White House staff (that is, Karl Rove and Andy Card) would not be able to give orders to the Vice President and his staff only if President Bush felt unable to do so. No Vice President has any power unless the President gives it to him, and no President before Bush -- not the strong ones, nor even the weak ones -- has ever given his Vice President as much authority and autonomy as Bush has given Cheney.

This suggests that Cheney is only the most powerful Vice President in history because Bush is one of the weakest Presidents. If Hubert Humphrey or Spiro Agnew had shot someone, stonewalled local law enforcement for nearly a day and not even informed the White House immediately as to what had happened they would have been sent to work out of a converted closet in the National Weather Service office in Nome.

posted by: Zathras on 02.15.06 at 10:41 AM [permalink]

Everyone is talking about this as though there's obviously no fire, just smoke. How do you know? What if the guy dies? Or just sues, claiming that Cheney was criminally negligent? Because of the spinning, we all seem to think Wittington just got "peppered" in a "common" "mishap." If it turns out he got killed by a criminally negligent Vice President, then it'll stop looking like a symptom of troubling secrecy in this administration and start looking more like a cover up.

posted by: Matt on 02.15.06 at 10:41 AM [permalink]

How about (I) None of the above. The press is obsessed by its own importance.

posted by: Robert Schwartz on 02.15.06 at 10:41 AM [permalink]

Well, hell, Matt, as long as we're doing "what if"'s, why stop there? What if David Gregory and Marvin Fitzwater die mysteriously? What if Chney barricades himself in the Oval Office and holds the President hostage? What if Cheney is a lizardman from tau Ceti?

Personally, I'd vote for Juan Williams' explanation:

(I) the whole mess has made visible the barely-concealed rage the press feels toward Cheney, who not only treats them as unimportant, but keeps winning the big battles, like the energy meeting reports.

posted by: Charlie (Colorado) on 02.15.06 at 10:41 AM [permalink]

Due to the "innocent delay" in reporting the event by the VP, any evidence that Cheney had been drinking some brown liquor during hunt will not be found.

posted by: centrist on 02.15.06 at 10:41 AM [permalink]

Imagine, for a moment, a world with Vice President Scowcroft.

posted by: Jon on 02.15.06 at 10:41 AM [permalink]

All Things Beautiful TrackBack Another Black Eye For The MSM

In the absence of any pressing news these days -- other than Iran's nuclear weapons development crisis, the election of Hamas terrorists in Palestine, ongoing worldwide Muslim riots and killing in reaction to a cartoon, Al Gore's near sedition while speaking in Saudi Arabia, the turning over of our East Coast ports to be managed by a United Arab Emirates firm, the criminal leaking of vital NSA secrets to the New York Times

posted by: Alexandra on 02.15.06 at 10:41 AM [permalink]

Seriously, doesn't everyone agree Dick Cheney is just a fucking bozo? If your a bozo and cocky to boot, then it will require that you not care about public feedback.

The guy is a fucking bozo. He's a poor decision maker. As far as poor decisions go, turning around 180 degrees and peppering someone is the least of his fuckups.

posted by: Chad on 02.15.06 at 10:41 AM [permalink]


If Cheney is a lizardman from tau Ceti, wouldn't his claws have trouble gripping the trigger? He might also not be able to follow a flying grouse smoothly, since he would experience 'jerky' neck movement. But, it could be that he didn't 'see' Whittington because he was using his sense of smell.

Now if he were a lizardmonkey, whooboy!! Might be on to something there.

posted by: wishIwuz2 on 02.15.06 at 10:41 AM [permalink]

Soooo...Cheney, who is taking a handful of drugs
each day for his heart condition is being allowed
to drink beer?

Now that's a cocktail mix.


posted by: James on 02.15.06 at 10:41 AM [permalink]

So Cheney just had Whittington kept at the ranch until he was ablt to pass a sobriety test and then the ambulance took him to the hospital. That is really cruel. Almost as bad as Ted kennedy leaving a woman underwater for several hours before notifying authorities.

posted by: ROA on 02.15.06 at 10:41 AM [permalink]

If Cheney is a lizardman from tau Ceti, wouldn't his claws have trouble gripping the trigger?

Custom stock.

posted by: Charlie (Colorado) on 02.15.06 at 10:41 AM [permalink]

Uh, James, not only are there lots of drugs that don't have much, if any, interaction with alcohol, but a lot of cardiac patients are actually urged to drink a little alcohol every day.

posted by: Charlie (Colorado) on 02.15.06 at 10:41 AM [permalink]

Drugs can be used with beer?

Ok. Lets see the list of drugs Cheney is taking.

Then I'll go to a doctor and see what is what.

My guess...Cheney was drunk enough, and there is
at least one drug that should not be taken if
your gonna drink.

posted by: James on 02.15.06 at 10:41 AM [permalink]

Re: C and G.

What's the difference between a VPOTUS with no political ambitions and a terrorist?

You can negotiate with a terrorist.

(I heard that from a Dean with "Full Professor" replacing VPOTUS.)

posted by: Bob R on 02.15.06 at 10:41 AM [permalink]

Oh, and regarding the "press debacle." Don't speak too soon. Cheney has very publicly bitch slapped the WH press corp. If he gets away with it people will remember. Milbank, Gregory, et. al. stand to lose a lot in this deal.

posted by: Bob R on 02.15.06 at 10:41 AM [permalink]

Oh, I agree, Bob. The rage level is only going to go up.

posted by: Charlie (Colorado) on 02.15.06 at 10:41 AM [permalink]

As well it might, and should. Just you or I try shooting someone, stoning local law enforcement until the next day and drafting a friend to release the news to a "reliable" small local newspaper.

I'm aware that if the media is critical of any thing, that thing will find enthusiastic defenders in some quarters. It doesn't matter how tacky, unworthy or appalling the conduct involved. But the issue here is not people who can only define their politics in terms of opposition to Washington reporters. It is instead the culture of entitlement run amuck, under the benign auspices of a lazy, disengaged President.

posted by: Zathras on 02.15.06 at 10:41 AM [permalink]

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