This has got to be a first: has any sitting vice-president ever shot anyone? H. Ross points out below that Aaron Burr was vice-president when he challenged Alexander Hamilton to a duel and killed him all because the latter led forces which successfully derailed his effort to become president. So Dick doesn’t get a historic first on this one (shucks). But he’s only the second to do so (Burr’s political career was NOT enhanced by his little escapade).
It was an accident of course. But still. Does anyone think wielding a loaded shotgun is advisable for a guy who’s had four or five heart attacks? What if he has another one right there as he’s wheeling and firing? Then he could put a few pellets right between the eyes instead of merely injuring a companion.
I’m astonished by this passage from the NY Times’ coverage of the incident:
White House officials…did not make public the shooting incident for nearly 24 hours…
Asked why the vice president’s office had made no announcement about the accident, [Cheney spokeswoman] Ms. McBride said, “We deferred to the Armstrongs [owners of the hunting ground] regarding what had taken place at their ranch.”
Oh, really. Dick plugs a guy and the White House’s first inclination is to bow to the wishes of their host? Gimme a break. They’re serving up steaming hot bullshit today. And isn’t it typical of the Bush White House. Bad news? Stifle it. Imagine if the poor guy’d been killed and they’d delayed such news. They’d be in deep doo-doo as they deserve to be for this as well.
It does make you wonder if you could carry that shotgun on the floor of Congress what Dick might’ve done to Patrick Leahy besides cursing him with a “fuck you?” Perhaps plugging him with a little buckshot would make that little pansy-ass lib from Vermont think twice before crossing swords with Dick, huh? It takes me back to that famous 1856 incident in which New England abolitionist, Sen. Charles Sumner was cane-whipped to within an inch of his life by a southern House member. It does seem like a more manly way to resolve political disputes instead of those pusillanimous speeches all those Dems like to give to rally the country to their perfidious point of view. A little pistol whipping or grapeshot in the ass should teach them who’s boss right quick.
It’s gotten me thinking about Dick’s ‘dance card’ for future hunting trips. I’m guessing it’ll be a little less desirable to traipse through those South Texas hunting grounds with Buckshot Dick even if you could score a multi-billion Halliburton-type deal for your company. Is it worth such a lucrative contract when you might give your life to get it? I think Dick’s office may start paying people to be Dick’s buddy. But body armor should definitely be included. They can use some of those vests that were destined for our boys on the front line in Iraq.
We wish poor Harry Whittington a speedy recovery. Doesn’t it make you wish ever so slightly that Dick’d put a little buckshot into Antonin Scalia the last time those two geezers were out shooting little birdies in Louisiana? By the way, Mr. Whittington might want to think twice before accompanying Dick on another one of those hunting expeditions. Might be bad for his health.
H. Ross says
Wasn’t Aaron Burr still VP when he shot (and killed) Alexander Hamilton?
Jason Truesdell says
It’s always bad when a Republican shows poor gun control.
Richard Silverstein says
Jason: I was half-tempted to write in this post that if a miracle happened & this incident made Dick Cheney realize how precious life is & how easy to snuff out at the hands of a careless individual like himself (with gun in hand) then perhaps we might have a Saul/Paul conversion moment in which he converts to gun control. But that seems even more far-fetched than the fantastical possibility that a vice president of the United States would actually blast someone with a shotgun.
H. Ross: That’s an interesting question but I believe that Burr had already lost in the House of Representatives & challenged Hamilton because the latter had led the forces seeking to deprive him of victory. That’s my recollection which could be wrong.
UPDATE: You’re totally vindicated buddy. The Times confirms today that Aaron Burr WAS vice president when he shot and killed Alexander Hamilton though of course it didn’t do much to enhance his political reputation. I don’t think Cheney can do much more than he already has to make his reputation and career implode though this incident may help him in that department.