Speaking to reporters Thursday afternoon about The Birdshot Incident, President Bush said, "I thought the vice president handled the issue just fine." Sound familiar? Can you say Michael "Brownie" Brown? The president sure has a knack for rewarding colossal ineptitude, doesn't he?
Bush's praise of Dead-Eye Dick continued: "I thought his explanation yesterday was a powerful explanation....a very strong and important explanation to make to the American people." The only problem with all of this political poppycock is that the president's body language during all this screamed miserable and irritated. He's clearly miffed at his underling for waiting so long to personally inform him of the accidental shooting Saturday afternoon in Texas. And the ensuing four days of Cheney's bizarre silence added insult to injury.
I'm not so sure Bush's misguided support for his veep, in the end, will be remembered as such a good thing for Cheney. We all know what happens to administration officials who reap Bush's praise. If this were the Mafia, it'd be the Kiss of Death. It's like Michael Corleone to his brother Fredo: "I know it was you, Dickie. You broke my heart. You broke my heart."
The post-shooting handling was a botch-job in true Bush & Co. fashion. Think about how they've handled the war, Katrina, Rita, FEMA, the budget deficit, social security reform. Is it any wonder they've failed miserably with Birdshot damage-control as well?
If you listen to the Bushies and their nauseating legion of ass-kissing conservative spin-monkeys, the whole episode makes perfect sense. Cheney had to wait all that time to inform his boss and the media because his first priority was "the care of Henry Whittington," as The National Review and others stated. Additionally, the veep had to wait because there were "too many conflicting accounts" of the accident, as Cheney's flak Mary Matalin claimed. Bullshit, I say. Double-bullshit, in fact. This crap is an insult to our collective intelligence.
First off, exactly which medical school did Cheney go to? Will someone on the right please tell me how a speedy statement to the president, police and press would've harmed Mr. Whittington in any medical way? There are doctors to care for your victim, Dick. Your job is to level with Americans and leave the medical care to the professionals.
Next, can someone on the right also please explain to me how this "conflicting accounts" excuse forced the almighty vice-president of the United States to remain mum, yet ranch host Katharine Armstrong was more qualified than Cheney to handle the "confusion" with the media? Do these talking heads ever listen to the unsubstantiated nonsense that spews from their mouths?
And as for the overall credibility of Armstrong, who was presented as an "eyewitness" to the shooting, she later slipped up when saying she saw Cheney's Secret Service detail rushing towards the veep: "The first thing that crossed my mind was that he (Cheney) had a heart problem." Now had she truly seen the accident she of course would not be worrying about a Cheney heart attack.
On a curious side note, by the way, the ranch is owned by Armstrong's mother, a Halliburton board member who just happened to be among those who hired Cheney as CEO back in the 90's. Oh, what a tangled web the Repugs weave.