Feature

Cheney

A meaningful accident?

Sometimes the metaphors write themselves, said Eugene Robinson in The Washington Post. The hunting accident last weekend involving Dick Cheney was a perfect symbol for 'œa trigger-happy vice president' who lives by the motto: 'œReady, fire, aim.' Around dusk on Saturday, while on a hunting expedition on a private ranch in Texas, Cheney wheeled and fired his shotgun at what he thought was a flying quail, spraying birdshot in the face and chest of fellow hunter Harry Whittington, 78. Whittington, whose injuries are painful but fortunately not life-threatening, is presumably too close to the situation to appreciate the irony. But the rest of us cannot help but recognize the same 'œout-of-my-damn-way inflexibility' that Bush and Cheney bring to all their policies. Whether the issue is Iraq, greenhouse-gas emissions, or secret wiretapping, their philosophy is: 'œJust lock and load. The rest of you, don't forget to duck.'

Cheney's big mistake was trying to cover up the shooting, said John Dickerson in Slate.com. For at least 20 hours, the vice president made no announcement, letting the ranch owner bury the news in a sketchy item provided to the local newspaper, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. This 'œonly points out what we have always known about the vice president: He doesn't give a damn about the public or press' right to know.' Clearly, Cheney's judgment is as errant as his aim, said The Washington Post in an editorial. Accident or no, when the second-highest elected official in the nation shoots a fellow citizen in the head, the public has a right to be informed—'œa fact so elementary that the failure to act properly is truly disturbing in its implications.'

Jonah Goldberg

National Review Online

The New York Times

San Francisco Chronicle

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