My favorite Molly
Molly Ivins has a nice new piece highlighting some of the great work Harry Whittington, the victim of the recent Darth Cheney accidental shooting, has done for the Texas corrections system. He's apparently quite a liberal, by Texas standards. True to form, Molly eventually provides some stylish, turntable smackdown...
I am not trying to make a big deal out of a simple hunting accident for partisan purposes—just thought it was a good chance to pay tribute to old Harry, a thoroughly decent man. However, I was offended by the never-our-fault White House spin team. Cheney adviser Mary Matalin said of her boss, “He was not careless or incautious [and did not] violate of any of the [rules]. He didn’t do anything he wasn’t supposed to do.” Of course he did, Ms. Matalin, he shot Harry Whittington.
Which brings us to one of the many paradoxes of the Bush administration, which claims to be creating “the responsibility society.” It’s hard to think of a crowd less likely to take responsibility for anything they have done or not done than this bunch. They’re certainly good at preaching responsibility to others—and blaming other people for everything that goes wrong on their watch.
Of course the Cheney shooting was an accident.
But is it an accident if your home and your life are destroyed by the flood following a hurricane? Especially if the flood was caused by failed levees, a government responsibility?
Is it an accident if you are born with a clubfoot and your parents are too poor to pay for the operation to fix it? Is there any societal responsibility in such a case?
Is it an accident when your manufacturing job gets shipped overseas and all you can find to replace it is a low-wage job at the big-box store with no health insurance, and your kid breaks his leg, and you can’t pay the bill, so you have to declare bankruptcy under a new law that leaves you broke for good, with no chance of ever getting out of debt? Or was all of that caused by deliberate government policy?
Cheney is much given to lecturing us about taking responsibility. When and where does societal responsibility come in?
Cheney has a curious, shifting history on issues of blame and responsibility. He was vice chair of the congressional committee that spent 11 months investigating the Iran-Contra affair and author of its minority report. As John W. Dean highlights in a recent essay, the 500-page majority report concluded the entire affair “was characterized by pervasive dishonesty and inordinate secrecy.” But Cheney’s report said the Reagan administration’s repeated breaking of the law was “mistakes ... were just that—mistakes in judgment and nothing more.”
Those of you who saw Cheney’s interview with Jim Lehrer last week may recall the passage on Darfur that ended with this:
Lehrer: “It’s still happening. There are now 2 million people homeless.”
Cheney: “Still happening, correct.”
Lehrer: “Hundreds of thousands of people have died, and—so you’re satisfied the U.S. is doing everything it can do?”
Cheney: “I am satisfied we’re doing everything we can do."
His head still tilts over more to the right when he lies.
Technorati tag(s): liberal politics
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