Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Cheney Blasted By Top GOP'ers

You know you're in serious trouble when you earn the wrath of those in your own family. That's just what's been happening to VP Dick Cheney over his bizarre handling of his accidental shooting of hunting pal, 78-year-old Harry Whittington, in Texas over the weekend. Cheney waited 36 hours to speak with President Bush personally about The Birdshot Incident, and took four days to address the nation. A PR disaster? To say the least.

"It would have been better if the vice president and/or his staff had come out last Saturday night or first thing Sunday morning and announced is beyond me why it was done this way," said former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer.

"The vice-president ignored his responsibility to the American people, " said Marlon Fitzwater, press secretary under President George H.W. Bush. He added he was "appalled by the whole handling of this."

Republican Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison said "I don't know what their thinking was in not saying anything about it."

In his Thursday column, Conservative pundit John Podhoretz asked, "Why on Earth did the White House wait nearly a day before informing the American people that Dick Cheney inadvertently shot someone? It's absurd to claim this was and is merely a private matter."

The right-wing National Review wrote that "It was a mistake not to alert the national press of the incident immediately...not talking only feeds the speculation."

In his much-awaited public mea culpa Thursday evening on carefully selected (and "fair and balanced") Fox News, Cheney took full responsibility for the accident (unlike his ranch host Katharine Armstrong and White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, both of whom have placed the blame squarely on Whittington) but failed to apologize for his subsequent bungled, and arrogant, handling of the incident. Surprise, surprise.

So what do we have now? We have a case that grows more bizarre and mysterious with each passing day. Questions: Was Whittington shot in the heart (and possibly lung and liver) as independent doctors are speculating? Did the White House and the veep's office attempt to cover this up? Just how much did Cheney really drink either before and/or during the hunting outing? Was Whittington much closer to his shooter than 30 yards (like a few feet?) Why was the local Sherrif's Department kept away after the accident? Why do several key details of Katharine Armstrong's story keep changing? Did she even see the shooting, or were the initial details of the accident fed to her by Cheney's people and/or Karl Rove? Why was the veep and Whittington on a hunting "double-date" with two women, one of whom is the attractive Lynne Cheney lookalike, Pamela Willeford, ambassador to Switzerland. The rumormill is abuzz that Willeford is quite possibly "Cheney's Lewinsky."

Reckless? Drunk? Adulterous? Even if all this is untrue, which it very well may be, the vice president's curious silence these past four days, and his obvious distance from the president throughout, have justified the media's voracious appetite for the truth. This story has longer legs than Giselle Bundchen. Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

They can't help it. Lying and coverup is just a natural reaction to everything.

Anonymous said...

Of course lying and coverup is what they always do and there is sooooo much to lie about and cover up!

Anonymous said...

To Social Democracy Now: Something is seriously wrong with the current political system in the US. People bought the GOP line prior to 9/11 and now many people are buying the fear line from the GOP.

Now we see the mainstream press being critized terribly for going after Cheney for the way he handled the shooting accident. I have not seen Repubs critizing him in the mainstream press. I have only seen in on the web.

Sad to say we have become a nation divided and we are wimps. Many are too tied to the Repub Party and will not see them for who they are. What is it going to take for people to wake up? I say another Great Depression.


Anonymous said...

This is not unlike Ted Kennedy's accident at Chappaquedic (SP?) yet look at the difference in public outrage. Why did both men wait so long? Probably for the same reason. And why does Chaney excuse himself by saying this was a private matter and not the public's concern? Weren't Bill and Monica having a private experience?