Monday, February 13, 2006

Trigger-happy Cheney

Trigger-happy Cheney nearly blows hunting partner’s head clean-off.

Harry Whittington, a 78-year-old hunting companion of Vice President Dick Cheney, was recovering in stable condition Monday after Cheney accidentally shot him during a weekend quail hunting trip...

I went to high school in a small town not too far from where this all happened. I know that hunting accidents like this are not uncommon. I even knew a kid in my high school class who was killed as a result of a hunting accident in the early 1980s.
What bugs me the most about this whole thing is the way the Vice President’s office has handled the aftermath. First, they didn’t bother to report it for 24 hours (shades of Chappaquiddick),...

The accident was not reported publicly by the vice president's office for nearly 24 hours, and then only after the Corpus Christi Caller-Times reported it Sunday.

... and then they left it all to the poor people who own the ranch to handle the torrent of media inquiries.

Katharine Armstrong, daughter of Republican Party stalwart Anne Armstrong, did her best to try and spin the story in a way that is favorable to the vice president, but ultimately I think she just made matters worse by making it appear that Cheney is trying to shirk responsiblity for the accident.

Whittington "came up from behind the vice president and the other hunter and didn't signal them or indicate to them or announce himself," said Armstrong.

Oh, so it’s Whittington’s fault that he got shot. I see.

"The vice president didn't see him," she said. "The covey flushed and the vice president picked out a bird and was following it and shot. And by god, Harry was in the line of fire and got peppered pretty good."

Let me just say that Cheney is damn lucky that he didn’t kill Whittington. We’re not talking about a BB gun here. This was a 28-gauge shotgun which can and does kill people at that distance. And he was damn careless to swing around and fire away without knowing where everybody in his hunting party was. So don’t try and blame Whittington for not jumping up and down and waving his arms. Cheney was the one with his finger on the trigger and he alone was responsible for that weapon when it was discharged.


I think fellow Texan Paul Begala sums things up nicely over at TPMCafe.

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