Wednesday, February 15, 2006

"home, home on de-range..."

How does the song go? "Home, home on the range, where the deer, and the antelope play, where seldom is heard, a discouraging word," well, you don't want me to sing it to you yet somehow, I think, that song will take on a whole new meaning in the weeks, and months, ahead now that the Veep has proven that birdshot and birdshit can be one and the same thing.

As if it couldn't get worse for the veep, his target is a prominent attorney from Austin, Mr. Whittington, who has now returned to Intensive Care after suffering an unexpected "silent heart attack" as a consequence of a cranky, but persistent pellet roaming free in his chest cavity. I don't know about you, but if the vice president of the United States, and founder of Halliburton, shot me, accidentally or otherwise, my heart attack would be anything but silent.

How can the symbolism, in this made for Letterman tragedy, escape anyone as being anything less than Shakespearean, even strangely reminiscent of Kurosawa's "Macbeth." We hear that Mr. Cheney was out of "the hunting line," and that his unintended victim was merely bending down to retrieve a downed bird. What's really deranged about the whole story, and which no one in the media, or late night comedy shows, is focusing on; forget that the vice president had a hunting accident, statistics show that friendly fire on the hunting range (and on the battlefield) are fairly common; think about this, the vice president of the United States is out shooting at birds for fun! Whoa, mama---what a statement! Can we expect leaders who kill wildlife to make diplomacy their weapon of choice?

Fox will carry Mr. Cheney's news conference live today at 6 P.M. (EST). (unless, of course, Mr. C has another Congress moment in which case there may well be a 5 second delay.) Among the many things the vice president must be thinking right about now is: "Forget Jack Abramoff. Where is the NRA when we need them the most?" And as for John Q. Public, and the lonely hearts club band, we can only wait to see how artful this dodger is when it comes to ducking the inevitable fallout, not from an accidental shooting, but from attempting to put a big, and impressive, silencer on the press.