Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

June 25, 2004

by V

WP covers Cheney crackup in full

I would have used 'Senator' rather than 'Critic' in the title, but that's pretty much a quibble.

Milbank and Dewar clearly had some fun going through the archives for the relevant historical incidents...

washingtonpost.com: Cheney Dismisses Critic With Obscenity: Clash With Leahy About Halliburton
On Tuesday, Cheney, serving in his role as president of the Senate, appeared in the chamber for a photo session. A chance meeting with Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (Vt.), the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, became an argument about Cheney's ties to Halliburton Co., an international energy services corporation, and President Bush's judicial nominees. The exchange ended when Cheney offered some crass advice.

"Fuck yourself," said the man who is a heartbeat from the presidency.

...As it happens, the exchange occurred on the same day the Senate passed legislation described as the "Defense of Decency Act" by 99 to 1.

...Gleeful Democrats pointed out that the White House has not always been so forgiving of obscenity. In December, Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry was quoted using the same word in describing Bush's Iraq policy as botched. The president's chief of staff reacted with indignation.

"That's beneath John Kerry," Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. said. "I'm very disappointed that he would use that kind of language. I'm hoping that he's apologizing at least to himself, because that's not the John Kerry that I know."

This was not the first foray into French by Cheney and his boss. During the 2000 campaign, Bush pointed out a New York Times reporter to Cheney and said, without knowing the microphone was picking it up, "major-league [expletive]." Cheney's response -- "Big Time" -- has become his official presidential nickname.

Then there was that famous Talk magazine interview of Bush by Tucker Carlson in 1999, in which the future president repeatedly used the F-word.

...There is no rule against obscene language by a vice president on the Senate floor. The senators were present for a group picture and not in session, so Rule 19 of the Senate rules -- which prohibits vulgar statements "unbecoming a senator" -- does not apply, according to a Senate official. Even if the Senate were in session, the vice president, though constitutionally the president of the Senate, is an executive branch official and therefore free to use whatever language he likes.
The only thing I know of that could have made this article even better would be to quote this slobber from Mary Matalin:
CNN Crossfire, July 25, 2000, on the selection of Cheney as Bush's VP nominee: MATALIN: ...let's talk about this selection, as deep and about as wonderful as the selection -- the selectees were.

Let's hear from Dick Cheney, listen to what he had to say today at the announcement.

DICK CHENEY (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) I look forward to working with you, Governor, to change the tone in Washington, to restore a spirit of civility and respect and cooperation. It's time for America's leaders to stop pointing the finger of blame and to begin sharing the credit for success. (END VIDEO CLIP)

MATALIN: Obviously, we are focusing on the selection of Dick Cheney, but isn't this more about the presidential nominee, George W. Bush? He promised -- one of his campaign promises is to change the tone in Washington and doesn't Dick Cheney, as we just saw him and as we know of his record, epitomize civility and bipartisan cooperation?
(via Kos) But that is a lot to quote. Regardless: Thanks, WaPo! That was journalism.

Dear Tim Russert: Will you play the clip and ask Ms. Matalin about her fulsome praise next time she's on your show? No, of course not.

Dear President Bush: What will we tell the children?
Posted by V at June 25, 2004 04:01 AM

Dear President Bush: What will we tell the children?

To f**k themselves?

Posted by: NTodd at June 25, 2004 09:05 AM

I heard Cheney is going on Recipe Corner to try and rehabilitate his image.

Posted by: Ben at June 25, 2004 11:48 PM

Recommended Reading:

The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity: A Diplomat's Memoir
The Politics of Truth... A Diplomat's Memoir

Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush
Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush

Against All Enemies by Richard Clarke
Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror

LIES by Al Franken
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right

The Great Unraveling
The Great Unraveling

The Great Big Book of Tomorrow
The Great Big Book of Tomorrow

Clinton Wars
The Clinton Wars

Blinded by the Right
Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative

Waging Modern War: Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Future of Combat

Subject to Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics, and Culture

Living History

The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton

John Adams

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace

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