No doubt you recall my old friend, Sid D. Complex, who’s visited with us before in this column, on rare occasions over the last four years. Well, he and I decided to take a final winter opportunity to do some small game hunting. My mouth has been watering thinking about hasenpfeffer, and Sid, as you know, has his own preferences, which don’t usually coincide with mine. But we are both keen on joining the many other carnivores in the predatory pursuit of rabbits. C’mon along, if you like, but keep your safety on when you’re busting brush, and mind where your muzzle is pointed.
“Hey, Sid, where you been keeping yourself – hanging with the rich and famous as usual?” I hailed.
“No thanks, you can have ‘em”, said Sid. “But I guess we aren’t the only ones doing some end of season hunting. The Vice-President bagged hisself a rich Republican this weekend at a ‘canned hunt’. The media and the PR flacks are referring to the campaign donor as ‘his friend’. (They dressed him out right away.) Hope you ain’t that kinda friend.”
“Not unless you grow even bigger ears and learn how to move quick for a change”, I suggested. “Which vice-president are you talking about? Do you mean that arrogant guy with the irrepressible sneer?”
“That’s the one. They’re calling it a mistake. Sounds likely to me. They were loaded for small game and quail, not big old primates and turkeys. Why would Cheney blast someone who’s helped stuff their campaign war chest with cash? – (unless maybe the guy reneged.)”
“You’re probably right”, I opined. “There have been lots of mistakes coming to light lately. Mistakes are what you get when you’re shooting from the hip on full automatic while stumbling through the bush at night under a new moon, paying no attention to weather reports, intelligence reports, or much of anything else except your own power trip.
“I mean, what do we call the repeated rants by Cheney and others in falsely connecting the 9-11 attacks to the Iraqi people or government, and the completely false assertions, repeated ad nausea, that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction that directly and imminently threatened America? What do we call the use of these falsehoods to justify the deliberate “pre-emptive” invasion of Iraq, if we don’t call it a mistake?
“What do we call the official use and convoluted justifications for torture, and the blatant disregard for the Geneva Conventions and our own Bill of Rights, if we don’t call it a mistake?
“What do we call the Administration’s denial of the fact and consequences of global warming, and its derailment of the Kyoto accords and process, if we don’t call it a mistake?
“What do we call the federal fiddling while Louisiana and Mississippi flooded and helpless people drowned and suffered without any help whatsoever from the monster Department of Homeland Security, tailor made (by and for this Administration, with an unlimited budget, in the four years since 9-11) supposedly to protect the American people from a large scale catastrophe? What do we call that, if we don’t call it a mistake?
“What do we call the record high trade and budget deficits coupled with the obscene tax cuts for the super-rich if we don’t call it a mistake?”
“What do we call the manufacture and crass political exploitation of a multitude of wedge issues to ‘divide-and-conquer’ the American people, rather than strengthen the unity we had in the days following 9-11? What do we call the incomprehensible squandering of good will and sympathy for America, almost universally expressed by people and governments all over the world, if we don’t call it a mistake?
“What do we call the massive, secret spying without warrants on American citizens, ordered by this Administration, in blatant violation of our Fourth Amendment rights, of law enacted by the U.S. Congress, and of the Constitutional mandate of separation of powers and checks and balances between the branches of government, if we don’t call it a mistake?
Sid finally found his tongue. “Hey, wise guy. While you’ve been flappin’ your gums, and sprainin’ your brain, two bunnies have made it to that hidey-hole thirty yards behind you. No hasenpfeffer for you.”
We moved ahead through the brush, one at a time. Despite the sparse snow cover, which allowed rabbits the advantage of natural camouflage, and the full amazing speed of which they are capable, we collected a couple each before I commenced spouting off again.
“You know, Sid, when I consider the veep’s latest screw-up in loading one of his Party’s major purchasers of ‘political access’ with bird shot, I’m curious about the fact that no report was made to the police by Cheney or anyone with him for at least 24 hours after the donor was popped and zipped off to intensive care. Go figure how and why that happened.”
Sid mused for a moment. Said he, “I kinda think you and I, in similar circumstances, wouldn’t get away with that, or get to tell the sheriff to go away. I wonder which doctors got the first call from the private hunt club – the ER doctors or the spin doctors. Some treasonous domestic terrorists are suggesting that Dick and his handlers were trying without success to line up somebody else to take the fall for the bad shot. No doubt, we’ll eventually be told that the entire incident had to do with National Security. Hey, the big guy is protecting America (from an undisclosed location) and when you hold that kind of responsibility in your hands, you can’t be too careful of where you’re not aiming all the time.”
“Wait a minute,” I protested, “watch your double negatives.
“But never mind. Whether all these revolting developments were mistakes or something far worse, is not the issue. The important thing is that, with the exception of the bad shot Saturday, these are truly serious offenses, and mistakes or not, this administration oughta be impeached.
“Hey! Good shot, Sid. We got enough for one day?”
“Yup. Time for a cold one and time to coordinate our story”, said Sid.
February 14, 2006