The past few days just haven’t been good days for vice presidents.
First, on Saturday, Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally hits hunting companion Harry Whittington, 78, while the two were stalking little birdies in Texas. Though it appears that Mr. Whittington only received minor wounds—bird shot in the face and chest—the issues surrounding the publication of the accident are receiving much criticism. After Mr. Whittington received treatment from the vice president’s medical team—who travels with the VP regularly due to his chronic heart problems—Mr. Whittington was transported to the local medical facilities. Instead of immediately notifying the Washington press corps by putting out a statement from his office, Vice President Cheney deferred to the owner of the property on which the hunt had been proceeding—Katharine Armstrong—and allowed her to notify the local press. Because the local press waited to inform their colleagues in the nation’s capital, the Washington press corps wasn’t able to get the news out until the next day. So now the cries of ‘cover-up’ ring throughout the land--as if such a thing actually had a chance of being covered up.
And, to top things off, it appears that neither the vice president nor Mr. Whittington had all of the necessary paper-work to legally hunt in Texas.
In its report, the state agency that oversees hunting and fishing said it found neither Mr. Cheney nor Mr. Whittington had purchased the game bird stamp required to hunt quail in Texas. Both had valid hunting licenses, Mr. Cheney's a non-resident license.As if the Bush Administration didn’t have enough problems.
The agency, in a release, said it has not been uncommon for game wardens to find hunters in the field without the required stamps since a new law took effect last Sept. 1. In those cases, hunters have been given oral warnings in lieu of fines or other penalties. Officials said that's common practice for up to a year after such a new law takes effect.
But then on Sunday, nearly right on cue—as if to remind us of the type of VP we had and the type of president we could have had--another vice president visits
Wahhabi-Central Saudi Arabia to denounce the “racist” actions of the Bush Administration in the wake of 9/11.
Speaking at the Jiddah Economic Forum, an event staged by oil-rich Saudi royalty, [former Vice President Al] Gore indicted the American government for its "terrible abuses" of Arabs since the 9-11 attacks on New York and Washington. Such treatment, he charged, played into the hands of al-Qaida.Minor charges, eh? Okay. I suppose that actually enforcing the immigration laws of this country is an anathema to people like Vice President Gore. (To be fair, however, the Bush Administration has been horrible in enforcing these same laws as they apply to those from south and north of our borders—even considering the fact that a relatively small number of those actually have visas/green cards.)
And just what was the nature of these abuses? Arabs had been "indiscriminately rounded up, often on minor charges of overstaying a visa or not having a green card in proper order, and held in conditions that were just unforgivable."
But two things stand out about the former vice president’s charges. First, as the Investor’s Business Daily article points out
[f]ifteen of the 19 al-Qaida hijackers on that fateful day, a day that saw 3,000 Americans go to their fiery deaths, a day that created thousands more orphans, were Saudi citizens. Those hijackers lived undetected in this country precisely because immigration authorities had been permissive.Arab Muslims subscribing to the Wahhabi sect of Islam--determined to create the "Caliphate on Earth" by any means necessary, including inflicting the most grievous wound [then] possible on the "Great Satan".
Second, what is indicated when a former US vice president travels overseas to any destination—much less the seat of Islamo-fascism—to criticize any action of his government—much less the steps it has taken to prevent further terrorist attacks in his country?
Both Presidents Bush’s and Clinton’s love-hate ratio were/are roughly evenly divided. It seems odd that both men would pick two such unsuitable men as their seconds-in-command. But the difference lies here: Vice President Cheney knows that he will not run for president in 2008, so he does what he wants. Former Vice President Gore nearly became president in 2000 and I suspect that he may be gearing up for a run in 2008. He pretty much watched his step during the Clinton Administration--likely due to his presidential plans--but in the wake of his narrow defeat in 2000 no holds seem to be barred for him. He, too, does what he wants, more frighteningly so than the present VP. Was he always like this or did 2000 derange him? Regardless, would you—even you leftists out there—want a man like the former vice president to lead this country?
There are many people who have been clamoring for the impeachment of President Bush due to the NSA Terrorist Surveillance Program. Consider who would be president, should such a misguided effort succeed. Additionally, there are some who think that Vice President Cheney should resign because of the hunting accident; fair enough—the shooting incident is ugly, no matter how accidental. Consider further, however, who might be appointed as VP, should a resignation occur.
It’s almost as if all the stars are in alignment against those who hate the Bush Administration, its actions and what it stands for.
I submit that all VPs should wear an ankle bracelet and a one-way comms device at least ten years after the end of their last term.
“No, Dick, don’t go hunting. The Left already thinks you’re a maniac.”
“No, Al, stay away from the Saudis. The Right already thinks you’re unhinged.”
Just a thought. :-)
UPDATE: Harry Whittington had a mild heart attack.