« Thanks, Guys. | Main | Apologies to Edward »

February 14, 2006

Comments

Dunno - maybe if Clinton had stood up after the Lewinsky thing broke and come clean, he would have caught the wave of revulsion and political attack. There's plausible deniability, and plausible-to-your-partisans deniability, and the chance your opponents will overreact, or Paris Hilton will convert to Zoroastrianism and distract everyone...

"Come to that, most decent adults would tell their press secretaries not to do that even if the person they shot was, in fact, at fault."

Is that decent adults or typical politicians? :)

Seriously, this is going to be seen as emblematically characteristic of Cheney. I can hear the "Iraq snuck up on me" jokes already. I know it isn't all about me, but [email protected]#$%^%$#@% these guys make me ashamed to be a conservative.

Sebastian: that's to your credit. And besides, they are not conservatives by any definition I recognize.

"And besides, they are not conservatives by any definition I recognize."

Ditto. Although, of course, real conservatives, such as Sebastian, have to continue shouting as loudly as they can that they feel similarly, and have to succeed in seizing back control of the labe., and more importantly, of the wing of the Republican Party that proclaims itself to be "conservative," and most particularly and importantly, seizing control of the levers of power that the Republican "conservatives" in Congress (and their little cousins in state legislatures) now control, and succeed in making sure that the panderers don't win the Republican Party presidential nomination in '08.

If they can't do all that, the rhetoric won't much matter.

My own opinion is that electing Boehner over Blunt is only a minor and largely cosmetic improvement (Shaddeg is a real conservative, it seems, that I have an endless number of genuine and important policy differences with, but he looked as if he might have gone for more than fig leaves of "reform").

And, no, in turn, I'm not shy about criticizing Democrats I hold ill opinions of, am I?

The thing about this is that it's just so... unnecessary. Nothing happened, but it sure looks like he has something to hide now. It was the same thing with the oil execs in energy policy meetings - of course they are going to be heard on the matter, they have som knowledge on the subject. But when you lie about it, it tends to look like you are hiding something.

Could someone following this story read this NYT article and tell me whether I'm crazy or naive to think it's astonishingly bad?

John Dickerson is on point.

The nasty, cynical part of my mind wonders how many people Cheney shot before this and the story didn't get out...

I wonder if the reason Cheney tried to cover this up is because he wanted to be able to go on hunting, and figured that if he owned up to making a stupid mistake like this, he might have to give up his favorite hobby - mass slaughter. :-)

But then again, he seems to have simply reacted to this the same way it appears he reacts to any other criticism - he was entitled to do what he wanted, and no one is entitled to tell him no.

I would guess that his usual run of supporters who hunt regularly are swallowing bile right now. I don't suppose the NRA is that happy with Cheney either.

Fortunately, the news of Whittington suggests he's not at risk of dying and isn't seriously injured, leaving those of us not core Republicans free to sit back and enjoy the show, guilt-free.

"I wonder if the reason Cheney tried to cover this up...."

I've been all over the delay in releasing the info, and I think it's utterly fair to characterize it as any number of things, such as "complete indifference to the public" and "general compulsion for secrecy" and "utter contempt for the press," and similar notions, but a passive non-interest in releasing the information is quite different from an active cover-up, of which there are absolutely no signs whatever.

What I find most interesting about that, though, is that Cheney appears indifferent, at least in these early days, to the damage he's done his ostensible boss, Bush, and that, as the WH tells it, Cheney couldn't even be bothered to directly inform Bush. That seems rather remarkable, although not in any way in violation of his past pattern.

"But then again, he seems to have simply reacted to this the same way it appears he reacts to any other criticism - he was entitled to do what he wanted, and no one is entitled to tell him no."

No argument with that.

"Fortunately, the news of Whittington suggests he's not at risk of dying and isn't seriously injured...."

Yes to the first; on the second, I imagine he'll need/want facial reconstructive surgery (neck, also, possibly chest/side also), and has been in the ICU for two days, so I suppose that depends on one's usage of "serious." I wouldn't, myself, equate "serious" with "life-threatening," but some would.

This WaPo article is great, especially the last part. Unfortunately, we have reached the point where someone has to call Cheney a 'stupid SOB', because it is pretty clear that his camp followers won't admit it themselves.

"... if so, admit your mistake promptly" Okay, to whom? His freind? Fellow hunters? Family? You?!?!

And McClellan did pretty good. How could such a thing happen? This is how.

I'll bet he just shit when this news got to him. Talk about a minnow in a turtle tank.

I'll bet Gore's pissed. Kicked off the front pages by a hunting accident. I love this country.

Cheney is more than capable of calling McClellan on the phone and ordering him not to try this sort of thing.

I have to say that this part puzzled me, and may in fact be covered by a generic instruction not to do anything stupid. Warnings not to do specific stupid things require much in the way of imagination, and it's been a long time since Cheney's had young children.

And, by the way, had anyone read the initial WH press briefing on this? It's almost as if there was a contest to see who could ask the dumbest questions. Or maybe there just wasn't anything important happening in the world, that two-thirds of a press briefing had to be chewed up with mostly silly questions. Like this, for example:

MR. McCLELLAN: Go ahead, Connie.

Q Is it proper for the Vice President to offer his resignation or has he offered his resignation --

MR. McCLELLAN: That's an absurd question. Go ahead, Ken.

I'm guessing that's Connie Lawn, who has a history of asking people if they're going to resign. Which is a fairly silly question outside of its relevance, given that an announcement of resignation would have been part of McClellan's initial statement. Can you imagine the response? "Well, I plum forgot to mention it, Connie, but since you asked, Cheney will be resigning. Thanks for reminding me." As little as I like McClellan, "absurd" was putting it kindly.

Ok, to clarify, it's just possible that Cheney thought to himself: "You know, I'd better warn Scottie not to blame the victim, because I sense he's about to" and then had more pressing things to tend to. But it (and related ones) are not the kind of scenarios that tend to exclude all others.

I'm guessing even more clarification will be required, but I'm not done with my fourth coffee yet, and it was a late night.

First of all, you have to keep this all in perspective. Shooting a guy in the face with a shotgun is just a harmless, frat-boy prank--it's the sort of thing all of us did in college. I mean, it's just a way of letting off steam, you know?

Second of all, the pellets that hit that guy? They were just a few bad apples, acting on their own. This was not part of any sort of policy. There's just no evidence that those pellets were directed by the Vice President. Desperate liberals are going to try to draw a line between those pellets and the barrel of the Vice President's gun, and then say that their actions resulted from Cheney's pulling the trigger. But there was no policy of shooting Republican mega-contributors in the face! So it's just irresponsible to blame this on the Vice President.

And of course, Cheney might have warned himself not to shoot Whittington, if he'd had any idea that he was about to do so. Unless of course he did it on purpose, in which case he might have reminded himself to use a ten-gauge with double-ought buck instead of 28-gauge loaded with birdshot. Unless of course he did it on purpose, but just as a fratboy prank, in which case he did it just exactly right and whatever mental note he posted to himself went well-heeded. Me, I would have aimed for the buttocks.

"... if so, admit your mistake promptly" Okay, to whom?"
It's helpful to click on links. As in the John Dickerson piece I recommend above.
Perhaps the even more apt analogy was Bush's own hunting incident in 1994. When the gubernatorial candidate accidentally killed a protected killdeer during a dove shoot, he wrote that he reacted this way: "Karen [Hughes] and I looked at each other. What now? 'We confess,' we both said, almost simultaneously. Bush then called every reporter who had been on his hunting trip. He then announced it at a press conference. The lesson of the shooting, Bush wrote in his biography, is that "people watch the way you handle things; they get a feeling they like and trust you, or they don't."
Hope this solves the mystery for you.

Slart: "And, by the way, had anyone read the initial WH press briefing on this?"

I don't usually link to, excerpt, and quote from things I've not read, yes.

How do you "accidentally" shoot someone who is wearing bright orange? I read the reports of this, where it was stated all of the hunters were in the proper gear, to include the bright orange safety vests. This is what the military calls "situational awareness." But of course, no one ever accused Cheney of having situational awareness, at least not since his 1991 interview of why we didn't go for Saddam...

DrkLameth, perhaps he was momentarily confused and thinking of other orange-clad folks?

Thanks Gary for taking time to share with me. 'Tis greatly appreciated.

Sebastian: "I know it isn't all about me, but [email protected]#$%^%$#@% these guys make me ashamed to be a conservative."

First I want to echo hilzoy's response.

And secondly, to emphasize the fact that just because somebody grabs a label, does not make him/her what that label describes.

I really don't think Bush etal (including the more powerful Republicans in Congress) are either real conservatives or Republicans.

They have actually sullied those terms and, unfortunately, it rebounds on people like you.

My brother-in-law is a lifelong Republican and served under Thompson in HHS for 2 years. He left when Thompson left.

Although he and I may disagree in many areas, he is someone who I can really respect as an honorable person. Based upon reading your posts and comments, the same is true of you and Slarti.

As an outsider looking into the conservative movement and the Republican Party, I liken the current powerholders to a cancer which, if left unchecked can be the death of the party.

Despite being a Democrat since my early 20's, I would not want the Republicans to disappear. The question is how people such as yourself can regain control.

When dealing with a tumor one can excise it, as long as it is not too big and in too vital a location, treat it through some medical regimen, or starve it to death.

I really believe, for the long term good of the Republican Party, these folks need to be starved to death. In other words, withhold financial support and votes from them at the Congressional level and Presidential level until they have lost all influence in the party.

I realize many Republicans, like many Democrats, could never see themselves voting for a candidate of the other party, but that doesn't mean they have to vote for the candidate of their own party.

As long as the current powers that be keep winning elections, the tumor will continue to grow, until at some point it can no longer be tretaed.

And this is not only the deathknell of the Republican Party, but possibly also the nation.

Heh. From thirty-plus years of upland hunting and having been a hunter safety instructor--Cheney was at fault. So was Whittington. They had to BOTH screw up on the basics for it to happen. Which is why we beat those basics into people. Double dumbass awards.

Whittington is unlikely to need reconstructive surgery unless he's really vain. The most likely reason for keeping him in ICU for 36 hours is that they wanted to be sure that none of those 2mm #8 shot had pierced or were actually in any major vessels or glands in the neck. So taek no chances, keep him immobile and tightly monitored until all the scans are done. Penetration of #8 shot on bare skin at that distance would be under an inch. Through most clothing it would barely break skin. It was a warm day, so they were probably in shirts and vests.

I'm pretty sure it wasn't intentional, as in most states larger bore and shot requirements apply to hunting attorneys.

Well, perhaps if we discount one part of the official story, that Whittington's injurious were not-life threatening or serious, the delay might become clearer.

This is not an outrageous leap, considering the time Whittington has spent in ICU and will continue to spend in the hospital. The easiest explanation is that Whittington, having been hit in the neck, might have a pellet or pellets in close proximity (mm) to major blood vessels, carotid for example. The doctors would spend time deciding how safe the situation is, whether or not the pellets would move, how dangerous any attempt to remove the pellets would be. There is also always a danger of infection. In a 78 yr old man, or perhaps any age, the prognosis would not become clear for some time.

And Cheney, for whatever reasons, most likely friendship among them, was spending his time and energy keeping a watch on Whittington's condition.

You can be positive that the Veep's entourage insisted that Whittington get the full medical Monte, regardless of initial assessment. They'll probably do his prostate while he's there, just to be sure....

I think it's most likely the new administration Social Security reform plan - shoot the old people.

Slart, that resignation thing might have been in reference to Howard Dean's attack on Cheney on Sunday, plus the current controversy.

I don't usually link to, excerpt, and quote from things I've not read, yes.

Sorry, Gary, I didn't quite have enough time to peruse the various weblogs of people who comment here for this sort of thing.

I agree with Bob that the delay had to do with Whittington's condition, but possibly not for the same reason. It seems to me that the severity of his wounds determines the possible approaches for damage control. As Bob points out, even bird shot can do a lot of damage to a soft, vulnerable area like the neck. With that many pellets, I imagine it would take a while to figure out where they'd all got to and what they'd been up to on the way. Isn't the most plausible reason for the delay simply that they were waiting for an assessment of Whittington's condition before they decided how to take it to the press? The current "he really brought it on himself by violating hunting protocol" and "hey, accidents happen all the time - who hasn't been peppered in the face with bird shot once or twice?" approaches would have been out of bounds if the injuries had been potentially life-threatening. So they delay until they get an idea what they're dealing with. If his condition is serious, Cheney does the contrition thing and takes one on the chin for being careless with a gun. If it's not too bad, they do just what we're seeing, deflect blame and try to brazen it out. It's a variant of the SOP for this WH. Declare all of your critics to be partisans (or the patsies of partisans), leak information in as piecemeal and confusing a manner as possible, obscure the chain of responsibility, and above all: Never admit a mistake if you can at all avoid it. It just makes you look all weak and Democratic.

The current "he really brought it on himself by violating hunting protocol" and "hey, accidents happen all the time - who hasn't been peppered in the face with bird shot once or twice?" approaches would have been out of bounds if the injuries had been potentially life-threatening. So they delay until they get an idea what they're dealing with.

CNN just reported that Whittington had a mild heart attack after some birdshot migrated to his hear.

I thought the way Cheney's associates have been putting the blame on Whittington and calling it a "peppering" displayed a disgraceful inability to take responsibility. Given latest events, they look even worse.

hear=heart, not ear.

I get my news from TalkLeft, ML, but I was just about to add a note about Whittington's heart attack.

I hope Whittington's going to be okay.

Larv: With that many pellets, I imagine it would take a while to figure out where they'd all got to and what they'd been up to on the way. Isn't the most plausible reason for the delay simply that they were waiting for an assessment of Whittington's condition before they decided how to take it to the press? The current "he really brought it on himself by violating hunting protocol" and "hey, accidents happen all the time - who hasn't been peppered in the face with bird shot once or twice?" approaches would have been out of bounds if the injuries had been potentially life-threatening.

Well, I think they were out of bounds anyway, and appears that they were potentially life-threatening.

Tully: From thirty-plus years of upland hunting and having been a hunter safety instructor--Cheney was at fault. So was Whittington. They had to BOTH screw up on the basics for it to happen.

It would appear that the NRA disagrees with you, Tully.

The National Rifle Association places the onus of responsibility on the person pulling the trigger rather than the recipient of the gunshot.
"If that was just a regular Joe Blow, they'd say it was carelessness," said Peggy Bodner, executive vice president of the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, an affiliate of the NRA.
Bodner compared an unintentional shooting to a motorist who rear-ends another car. "It's like if you were in a car and struck somebody from behind," she said. "Even if the other person stopped short, it's your fault."
The NRA drills its members on three fundamental rules of safety: Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction, always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot, and always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.
Hunters add a fourth commandment: Be sure of your target and what lies beyond it.
"This means observing your prospective area of fire before you shoot," the NRA says on its Web site and in its promotional pamphlets. "Never fire in a direction in which there are people or any other potential for mishap. Think first. Shoot second."link

Further, according to analysis of the accident, it would appear that Whittington was a "dumbass" primarily for, well, going hunting with Cheney in the first place.

(And, via Talking Points Memo:

The shooting, which occurred at about 6:30 p.m. Eastern time, left a prominent Austin lawyer and Republican campaign supporter, Harry Whittington, wounded by shotgun pellets in the neck, shoulder and chest.

"Chief of Staff Andy Card called the president around 7:30 p.m. to inform him that there was a hunting accident," a statement released today by the White House said. "He did not know the vice president was involved at that time. Subsequent to the call, Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove spoke with Mrs. Armstrong. He then called the president shortly before 8 p.m. to update him and let him know the vice president had accidentally shot Mr. Whittington." link

But it was entirely Armstrong's decision to be the one who spoke to the press after she'd had that talk with Karl Rove. Of course it was.)

Whittington's had a heart attack now, the WSJ reports. Birdshot moving into the heart.

I keep forgetting that "preview" button.

"Cheney does the contrition thing and takes one on the chin for being careless with a gun"

Coming from me, it is saying a lot, but even I do not hate Cheney so much that I do not believe he would not sincerely regret harming a friend.

I too hope Whittington is ok, but honestly with birdshot in the heart of a 78 yr old man, I am very worried.

Can we stop with the jokes now?

Fortunately, the news of Whittington suggests he's not at risk of dying and isn't seriously injured, leaving those of us not core Republicans free to sit back and enjoy the show, guilt-free.

Posted by: Jesurgislac | February 14, 2006 at 04:04 AM

...approaches would have been out of bounds if the injuries had been potentially life-threatening.

Well, I think they were out of bounds anyway, and appears that they were potentially life-threatening.

Posted by: Jesurgislac | February 14, 2006 at 01:50 PM

Mm.

All jokes aside, it seems to be getting pretty obvious that the worst effect of the Cheney/Whittington shooting incident (after, of course, the actual damage to old Harry W.) will be not so much from the actual accident (and face it folks, "accident" is exactly what this is); but in the Cheney press machine's slow and sloppy response to it - not to mention the White House Press office's manifest cluelessness (and this from an organization capable of preternatural speed in vigorously responding to criticisms of the Administration or its policies) about the whole matter.
Just as an excercise: imagine if Vice President Cheney had [see note] called a press conference, or released a statement immediately, or a.s.a.p. after the shooting incident: something along the lines of:

"Ladies and gentlemen, I wanted to be the first to inform you of a terrible and unfortunate incident which occurred today at X--- Ranch at Y -o'clock this afternoon, involving my longtime friend, Harry Whittington. While hunting quail with Mr. W., and several others, I inadvertently discharged my shotgun, and wounded Mr. Whittington in the neck and chest. I am appalled and upset at this awful accident, and hope that you will join me in offering my sincerest wishes to Harry Whittington and his family for a swift and complete recovery"

There: how bad is that? A quick and open acceptance of responsibility, a pre-emptive admission that it was an accident (without going into issues of "guilt") - a sympathetic focus on the victim; probably followed up by a visit/photo-op with Harry W. in the hospital just to show there are no hard feelings (assuming there aren't).
Unfortunately, this is VP Dick Cheney, and the Bush 43 Adminstration he is presumed to run - their first reactions?: secrecy, spin, cover-up and blame-shifting. Followed closely by a PR blitz (mostly prompted, and executed, by the starboard blogosphere) to dismiss/denigrate/accuse any criticism of Cheney or Bush: and focus, instead, on lambasting the critics over perceived "biases". Typical.

NOTE: in typing my "exercise" paragraph, I felt like putting "... had Cheney [been a decent human being]..." but, intially, thought better of it.

Also: my personal nominee for the Must Be A Pony In There Somewhere award over the Cheney shooting incident: this clown who posits that the whole thing will be spun for election-day gold for the GOP in November. Heh.

"...I do not believe he would not sincerely regret harming a friend."

I'm unclear that it is known that they were prior friends; I've not seen any such reports, though I certainly may have missed them. Reports have consistently stated that this was the first time they'd ever hunted together.

I don't disagree with your conclusion, and my noting this point is in no way intended as a personal attack of any sort on Bob McManus, but merely as a comment/query on what we do and don't know; if anyone has more information establishing a past friendship between Whittington and Cheney, that would be helpful.

"Can we stop with the jokes now?"

I was pointing out Sunday night that this was serious, in contrast to the way many were characterizing it (I also left comments on various blogs repeating the point) as I re-emphasize in addenda here.

See here, for example.

Jesurgilac, a subjective blamestorming "analysis" by a biased "analyst" with zero knowledge of the subject doesn't impress me in the least. Did you see anywhere where I said Cheney was not at fault? Of course he is. What I said was that Whittington also pulled a dumbass move, and that it took both errors to create the accident. I've taught that course many times. Both violated standard hunting protocols. If either one had not violated them, the accident wouldn't have happened. That's not a moral or liability judgement, just a statement of fact.

So that's why they kept Whittington in the ICU. Pellet(s) in or close to a major blood vessel and/or other complications they felt required observation. In this case, atrial fibrillation from a piece of shot that moved to the heart.

Thing I still don't get is, how do you shoot a hunter if you're shooting at birds? Aren't birds usually up in the air? What was a hunter doing flying around in a hunting zone? And if he wasn't in the air, what was Cheney doing aiming and shooting at ground level? Was he afraid he'd miss unless he got the birds before they took off? It's all so confusing .... maybe actually the real perp is that little kitten in the Obsidian Wings logo ....

Tully; What I said was that Whittington also pulled a dumbass move

Well, yes. He went shooting with Duck! Cheney. That was plainly a dumbass move.

I really do hope he's going to be all right - a "minor" heart attack for a 78 year old man isn't too damn minor.

Jesurgilac, a subjective blamestorming "analysis" by a biased "analyst" with zero knowledge of the subject doesn't impress me in the least.

A casual assurance without any analysis at all that the victim was a "dumbass" impresses me, if possible, even less. You did spot that Josh Marshall asked for input from experienced hunters, didn't you, and that he was summarizing their responses to the story Karen Armstrong told?

dcbob: quail generally spend a lot of time scooting around in the underbrush, until they get flushed, when they take wing.

Awful about the heart attack. And where, exactly, would a piece of shot be that it could "migrate" to the heart?

Yet a new "I am not a" (doctor). Still, I guess it would have to have been in a vein (they get wider as blood flows toward the heart, so it wouldn't get stuck). But then would it have to have passed through the heart to end up in a coronary artery (causing a heart attack)?

hilzoy, it could have entered any of the larger veins close to the surface in the shoulder, chest, or neck, and then been carried to the heart. A #8 shot is about 2.3mm in size. Not huge.

Jesu, I don't trust Marshall to objectively analyze and present all the mail he receives, instead of picking and choosing what supports his pre-determined bias. Or that his mail will itself be anything resembling an authoritative collective source. Marshall obviously has no knowledge of the subject or he wouldn't have needed to ask.

And yes, what Whittington did was dumbass, and in violation of standard upland hunting protocols, which protocols he was reminded of before they went hunting. No analysis really needed there, any more than there is with Cheney. Both moves were Dumbass.

You fail to follow the protocols, you increase the odds of an accident. That's why the protocols exist. Simple enough. You think when we teach hunter safety we tell people it's OK to walk up unannounced on a shooter? "Hey, don't worry about it, they're not supposed to shoot you!" Puh-lease.

Not that it takes a freakin' genius to figure out that sneaking up unannounced on someone with a shotgun who's about to start blasting at things flying in multiple directions is a Bad Idea. That the shooter is not supposed to shoot you does not make you invincible. Pedestrians have right-of-way crossing roads, but that doesn't mean it's smart to jump in front of speeding trucks.

I wouldn't hunt with Cheney either--I don't "road hunt" as they were doing because I don't consider it safe. You walk over a lot of terrain with your party, you KNOW where everyone is after a bit. You're always checking their location. You get practiced at letting them know when you're coming up on them in their blind spots. Jumping in and out of vehicles to pot-hole birds doesn't give you that situational awareness. Leads to sloppiness, which leads to accidents.

perhaps if we discount one part of the official story, that Whittington's injurious were not-life threatening or serious

Of course we should discount it. How in the world could they not be life-threatening? We are talking about a 78-year-old man, for Pete's sake, who has been wounded by a shotgun. I don't care how small the pellets are, etc. It's life-threatening. Now he's had a "minor" heart attack.

Maybe Whittington will be fine. Let's hope so. But it seems far-fetched to label the injury could be considered non-life-threatening.

Of course we should discount it. How in the world could they not be life-threatening?

Obviously, his wounds are life-threatening, but it's not all that far-fetched that they could have been otherwise. This is a shotgun, not a death-ray.

Tully: And yes, what Whittington did was dumbass, and in violation of standard upland hunting protocols, which protocols he was reminded of before they went hunting.

Upland hunting protocols include "don't go anywhere near Cheney, he thinks his 'safe field of fire' is 360 degrees?" Well, maybe so.

Seriously, Tully, your claim that Whittington violated protocols because he assumed that Cheney would stick to the safe field of fire would have a lot more weight with me if, rather than just doing the "me hunter me know" thing (I've seen a good many hunters over the past couple of days say otherwise) you'd link to some source that says, in plain English, that a hunter on a quail hunt may shoot in any direction at any time without regard for any prior arrangements, and that anyone who behaves as if they expect a hunter to stick to the arranged field of fire is a "dumbass".

(My driving instructor told me that I would likely avoid 99% of accidents if I always assumed that everyone else on the road was an idiot who might at any time do the stupidest thing they possibly could. However, I don't think it's appropriate to call someone who assumes their companions will stick to the rules and the agreed arrangements - and who is injured as a result - a "dumbass".)

Bernard: Maybe Whittington will be fine. Let's hope so. But it seems far-fetched to label the injury could be considered non-life-threatening.

Agreed.

Jes, I don't think that Tully is in any way, shape or form, exculpating Cheney. He has said that Cheney was wrong.

All he is saying is that it is both the responsibility of the shooter and his companions to make sure where everybody is, and to make sure others know where you are.

So maybe they both were at fault. I have no doubt believing that if this was a car accident study where they try to assess pecentage of fault, the majority would be Cheney's.

I am not a hunter, but I know several, and the use of the term "dumbass" is probably what most of them would use to describe both Cheney and W. But they might say Cheney was "dumbassier".

(I've seen a good many hunters over the past couple of days say otherwise)

Well, Jes, given that you no hunter, you no know, you're stuck relying on one authority or another. On what basis do you choose JMM's over Tully's or anyone else's? Seems to me that you've decided to go with the authority that tells you what you're predisposed to hear.

To me (also a non-hunter) it's perfectly plausible that both men would bear some blame -- rules for operating any kind of dangerous tool pretty much always have some redundancy built into the system. Why are you so determined to pin 100% of the blame on Cheney?

john miller: All he is saying is that it is both the responsibility of the shooter and his companions to make sure where everybody is, and to make sure others know where you are.

Actually, Tully never said that at all - but if in your view that was what he was trying to say, fair enough.

kenB: On what basis do you choose JMM's over Tully's or anyone else's?

Not just Josh Marshall's: all the other hunters I had seen commenting on the issue (on both conservative and liberal sights) agreed that Cheney, not Whittington, was to blame, and most of them were giving reasons for their belief.

I was trying to get Tully to give some other explanation for his assertion that Whittington was to blame, and especially for his initial assertion that they were both equally to blame (that was certainly how I read the first paragraph of this comment) and he didn't seem to want to do so or was unable to do so.

If John Miller has correctly analyzed out what Tully was trying to say, then I can't argue with that. But it did seem to me that from Tully's first comment on this thread that he was trying to claim this was a "bipartisan accident", equal blame to both sides, but refusing to explain why he thought so.

This is beginning to be a Gary Farber subthread - I'll quit now.

I'm not a hunter but I do have a concealed weapons permit and I did take a gun safety class prior to recieving my permit.

One of the points, if not THEE point, that they hammered into us was that you don't shoot if you don't intend to hit what you are aiming at. In other words, know what is there. Know what is behind whatever you are shooting at. The person with the gun is responisble for what they shoot at and what they hit.
What is it about some Republicans that they just can't hold their elected officals responisble for anything, anything at all?

Jes, it is how I interpreted Tully's comments, perhaps with my own extrapolation added in because it is what made sense to me.

Of course Tully can either correct my interpretation or confirm it.

Anyway, agree with your last comment.

Jes, I also think you're mischaracterizing or mistaking Tully's argument. The original claim that you took issue with was that they were both at fault, that both had violated standard hunting practices, and thus were both dumbasses. This is clearly true, and does not, IMO, imply any equivalence. Look, anytime you're engaged in an activity involving firearms(or any potentially lethal device), you're a dumbass if you don't follow proper safety precautions. In this particular instance, a hunter who leaves his party should always let them know when he rejoins them, rather than just trusting that they know where you are (as they should). You always want to have more than one level of safeguards in place to prevent an accident. Was it a mistake on the same level as Cheney's? Of course not. Is Cheney the primary dumbass? Sure, by a long shot (no pun intended). A lot of hunters have made errors like Whittington's. Not too many have ever shot anyone. But accidents like these are usually the result of a combination af major and minor mistakes. Pointing that out isn't necessarily an attempt to shift blame.

This is a shotgun, not a death-ray.

True. And this is a 78-year-old man, not an Olympic athlete. I obviously don't know anything about Whittington's medical history, but people that age do tend to have frailties, even if they are in generally decent health.

Bernard, regardless of his age, he could still, for example, have been slightly grazed on the arm by a single pellet skimming by. It would not have been impossible for a shot to have inflicted non-life-threatening injuries.

Note that we don't actually know if W walked up whistling the Jagdquartet or if he was standing there when C tripped over a bottle of JD.

At this point I pretty much don't believe anything about this incident besides the basic facts that during a quail hunt, Cheney shot Whittington, who is so far still alive.

rilkefan keeps momentarily confusing me by referring to Whittington as W.

Gromit - my little joke.

"Thing I still don't get is, how do you shoot a hunter if you're shooting at birds? Aren't birds usually up in the air?"

No. Quail run on the ground; when flushed, they fly up, and that's when the hunter takes the shot (this is the way much bird hunting is done). (British style is to flush towards hunters, American style is to flush away, I gather.)

Jes: "This is beginning to be a Gary Farber subthread - I'll quit now."

My comments must be magnificently, awesomely, powerful, given that the last one prior to this comment of Jes's was 13 comments prior to it (2 of them by Jes, this being Jes's 3rd subsequent comment), and my last was hours before this comment of hers. Plus, I made no points not made by various other people, and, hmm, most people commenting are arguing with Jes.

But I'm a convenient excuse to bail, to be sure; mighty are my cooties. And so useful as a scapegoat. After all, I made an entire single comment on something you said; said comment: "mm."

Pretty vicious and unfair of me.

(And how many comments did I make in the past week agreeing with, or defending something said by, Jes?; considerably more than one.)

KCinDC,

True. I was thinking in terms of the fact that it was known he actually did get hit by a number of pellets in various parts of his body.

"A Gary Farber subthread" likely means "An arguably distracting analysis verging on argument of what exactly a commenter meant and whether his or her comment clearly expressed that point" and has no particular reference to this thread.

Can we have a Gary Farber subthread about the meaning of "Gary Farber subthread"?

How many posts does Gary have to contribute to make it a 'Gary Farber subthread' as opposed to a Farberesque subthread?

KCinDC: Can we have a Gary Farber subthread about the meaning of "Gary Farber subthread"?

That sounds terribly meta. *looks at JackMormon/liberal japonicus/DaveC* What about HoCB?

Gary's already had his turn in the piñata position, so we are looking forward to the next member of the commentariat. Caveat scriptor!

A quick and open acceptance of responsibility, a pre-emptive admission that it was an accident

BushCo is only pre-emptive when it means they get to blow stuff up.

"BushCo is only pre-emptive when it means they get to blow stuff up."

But, but, but. (ObObvious!)

Of uncertain vintage, but supposedly Armstrong acknowledged that the party was drinking -- and to preempt the Farbering of this subthread, yes, I'm aware that that proves nothing about the state of sobriety of either Cheney or Whittington -- and that this acknowledgement was later expunged from the record. YMMV.

"...and to preempt the Farbering of this subthread...."

I'm not sure I understand this usage, but I suspect I may -- possibly, possibly not -- object to this usage on grounds of personal offensiveness.

Perhaps I misunderstand the complimentary nature, to be sure, in which case, apologies.

People like politicians who accept responsibility when they make mistakes -- as long as they don't make them all the time.

Interesting, this, in the same paragraph as mention of Kennedy and Chappaquiddick. Why politicians can get elected and reelected despite having done things that the opposition harps upon as criminal for decades is as much a mystery to me as it is to, for example, Massachusetts Democrats.

If Cheney had, for example, left Whittington there to bleed for nine hours or so before showing up at the sheriff's office, the parallel might be a bit more marked.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad