You know, I was just considering this today and given all the comedic hay that’s been made over Cheney shooting somebody in the FACE (!), my thoughts quickly turned to Iowa…2004…
It was the night of caucuses, and Dean was not going to win. That was painfully clear. And yes, I was there.
Along with all of his other supporters, I was packed into a small ballroom on the outskirts of Des Moines. Dean’s campaign effort in Iowa was called The Perfect Storm, and none of us knew how perfect that terminology would be until after we shuffled out of that noisy ballrom and back to our respective election crash pads to find the Drudge Report’s audio of Dean’s crippling yell. And while we were sharing caucus day stories, I can only guess that we were all wondering what was to come next. After all, had the grand experiment failed? All that hard work down the drain? It couldn’t possibly be?
And to be sure, no network thought Dean would fail either. How can I say this? Well, all the top political pundits were there too. Tucker Carlson, Paul Begala, etc, etc, etc. I was even interviewed by a writer from the New Yorker, whose name currently escapes me. Sure, the mood was upbeat, but whether we wanted to admit it or not, something deep down in us all shouted, “Oh $#!+!” It wasn’t until soon after our fearless leader took the stage that we would realize the end to our collective hopes and dreams.
So turning to the Cheney shooting, perhaps this is a political disaster for him. Perhaps this is his “I Have A Scream” moment. After all, the amount of jokes that are now being made at his expensive are massive and broad, much like the Dean fallout. And he was drinking. And he waited perhaps too long till he shared the information. Frankly, it feels like the “ands” outweigh the “buts” right now, and somehow I think that’s significant, regardless of what either side says.
And yes, it’s odd that he would give a small town reporter this information first, while previously leaking all sorts of (de)classified information to MSM reporters so the administration’s pre-Iraq war case would prove stronger. Cheney and company know all too well what channels to push information through for maximum effect, so I find these current explanations supporting Cheney’s actions sorely lacking.
Ultimately, I think Cheney will suffer these verbal slings and arrows and emerge fairly unscathed. But there’s always a chance that this incident could ultimately be a much longer slog than he had first anticipated, and all because he underestimated the power of “The Scream.”