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The Gang that Couldn't Shoot Straight

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Message John McDonald
The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight

Cheney shooting is symbolic

Apparently there is no truth to the rumor that Dick Cheney thought he was shooting at Cindy Sheehan.

Actually, when I heard about the shooting I figured the VP's target was some reporter in the White House press pool who pissed Cheney off by writing a critical story of his intentional leaking of classified documents. Or maybe some blogger.

But the reality is that Harry Whittington is just the latest victim to get an up close and personal lesson in what happens when you get too close to the gang that couldn't shoot straight.

Whittington wandered a little out of the way and just to show the boy's who was in charge Cheney fired off an errant shot that caught his hunting pal flush in the face. Pretty typical for an administration that seems to shoot first and think about what they are doing later. Let's not even talk about taking aim.

And when things don't go so well, just cover it up. If it gets out, just deny it ever happened, or better yet, blame it on someone else, preferably a Democrat, or a least a Republican who doesn't follow the party line. If things get really tough, you can always play the 9-11 card.

But hey, what's a little bird shot between friends. There are a lot of folks who have come out of this deal a lot worse. Just ask the families of some of the soldiers in Iraq who could have used some adequate armor or maybe some the residents of New Orleans who probably would have appreciated it if the White House would have moved a little faster in response to the levee's breaking during Hurricane Katrina. Hey, who could have predicted that? Certainly not a couple of macho guys like Bush and Cheney, one who was off chopping wood and the other doing his impression of Earnest Hemmingway wandering around in some stream. But as it turns out no one needed to predict it, the authorities told them.

The incompetence of these guys is frightening. Their macho "dead or alive" blustering has placed a lot of people in harms way, meanwhile they are too busy off playing "tough guy" to bother with governing. And besides, its not as much fun as hanging out at some luxury game farm where they drive you out to shoot at the little birds, and maybe once in a while, take a little shot at your friends.

Maybe Americans should start wearing those orange vests. I don't know about you, but the next time I see Bush or Cheney coming, I'm going to duck.
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John McDonald is a writer and consultant in Los Angeles.
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