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  • Tuesday, February 14, 2006


    The Dark Symbolism of Cheney's Hunting Accident

    There are plenty of jokes about VP Cheney's accidental shooting of a fellow hunter. There are reasons why the incident resonates so deeply with the American people.

    The Bush administration has been shooting people in the face all along, literally and figuratively. This incident just makes it so graphic and with such a strong image that it's impossible to ignore. The ardent militarism of the administration's foreign policies is highlighted by this event.

    The added fillip that Cheney may have not been licensed or authorized to hunt is pure cream, paralleling the illicit domestic spying program. And if accidents happen, if the wrong people are targeted by the program, if civil rights are violated, we are expected to excuse it. Because the intent was pure. Who could have predicted such egregious problems would occur?

    Of course, the aftermath of this accident will be highly expedited. Cheney will never appear in court. He may not even have to give an official statement. He has staff and other witnesses to do that sort of thing. Best not to even have his words in the investigation. Even if the fellow Cheney shot dies, it will be labeled "death by misadventure" so quickly the public won't have time to think otherwise.

    Did Cheney actually do anything seriously wrong in the situation? Probably not, but I doubt the public will ever know. The hunting stamp violation is probably a minor misdemeanor in Texas. We are left with a situation rich in symbolic resonance, a metaphor for the Bush administration's routine daily modus operandi.

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