I don't often blog about political topics — for good reason — but I just wanted to express how annoyed Meet the Press
was making me this morning. All week I was simultaneously laughing at the Dick Cheney story
(tuning into The Daily Show
every night), and bristling at how easily Cheney was getting away with it. And this morning, on MTP
, it just seemed to typify everything I hate about the Bush Administration and its handling of the situation. First Mary Matalin said
that Cheney took his time to comment because he wanted to sort out the confusion. Excuse me? He shot someone. That's black and white. And his silence only fueled the confusion. Then Matalin called the whole thing "much ado about nothing," a point she repeated time and again. Is she kidding? The vice president shot someone.
Sure, maybe in the grand scheme of things it only affected the victim and the vice president and their families, but when you're the second in command, that's not "nothing."
NBC News Chief White House Correspondent David Gregory
, who was sitting next to Matalin (and who had gotten into verbal sparring matches with White House press secretary Scott McClellan earlier in the week), questioned her about how Cheney had an obligation to disclose this to the people — a point that was supported by a Time
magazine poll showing 65% of Americans thought he should have taken immediate responsibility
. Matalin's response? "It strikes you as odd because you live in a parallel universe. It did not strike Americans as odd." Huh?
Columnist Maureen Dowd
was also on the show, and yes, she's a staunch liberal and no fan of Bush, but she pointed out
that not only did Cheney shoot his friend, but he also blamed his friend for being shot
. Matalin didn't even acknowledge this. And then Paul Gigot
, of The Wall Street Journal
had the gall to say, "You know, sometimes people make mistakes, human mistakes. And this is one of those cases where I think we ought to treat it in human terms." Dude, the vice president shot someone
!!! When you're the vice president, you can't just call that "a mistake." Thankfully, this was Dowd's reponse: "I think reporters would have had a lot of empathy for the vice president if he hadn’t sent people out for four days to blame the victim.... I’ve learned a lot about hunting this week. And the thing I’ve learned is that the shooter bears total responsibility for where everyone in the party is before he shoots, and they shoot abreast, not while someone’s fetching a duck. So for him to send all these people out to blame this guy for so many days was not appropriate."
Near the end of the segment, Gregory made the point I wanted someone to make, which was: what would the Republican response have been had it been Al Gore who had done this? I for one know that they would have come out with guns a-blazin' (pun intended). Suffice it to say, neither Matalin or Gigot gave that a straight answer. Instead, they took the opportunity to point out that Gore was in Saudi Arabia this week making false statements about the Bush administration, which, they seemed to imply, was a worse offense than shooting someone
. (And the fact that Hillary Clinton was also critical this week gave Matalin the chance to take a cheap shot
at her too.)
It just drives me crazy how Republicans use this overconfident, haughty, privileged, out-of-touch, insulting, do-no-wrong, "who, me?" and I dare say in the case of Matalin, downright bitchy style, to evade situations like this. Matalin and Gigot repeated numerous times that it wasn't even a story, and that the press should have been concentrating on things that mattered. "Let’s distinguish political events of no consequence to the nation from those that are," Matalin said at the end. If Cheney had misspoken or done something harmless, that'd be one thing. But he shot a man, which led to him having a heart attack, and the administration acted like it was no big deal. To me, and to many others, this was
a big deal.
As I said at the start, there's a good reason why I don't often write about political topics on my blog, but this just bothered me. It's times like these that I'm reminded why I support Democrats. These people make me sick.