The scribblers from the White House Press Corps have dropped their teacups and opened windows for air after the vicious, uncouth attack on their dear friend Dick Cheney by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. Rick Klein, chief towel-washer at ABC's The Note (they still print that?), exclaimed "Wow—we’re talking about the former vice president here." NBC's First Read (Facebook to The Note's MySpace) tut-tutted about the return of "petty political squabbling." And Chip Reid, bravely bold Chip Reid, after choking back tears and bolstered by the support of his fellow Villagers, stood up to that horrible bully and gave him a piece of his mind (hopefully he has some left)
Leaving aside the simple fact that, in a recent interview, Cheney more than hinted that Obama's policies will lead to a terrorist attack - you know, all that restoring the Constitution stuff; leaving aside the detailed account dday publishes in the linked post, how Cheney was in on approving torture; leaving aside the former VP's dismissal of the current economic crisis as "stuff happens". Leaving all that aside, what possible reason would Robert Gibbs, or any American with more than a modicum of gray matter, have for giving any kind of respect or deference to Dick Cheney?
This is a guy who shot a friend in the face and got the guy he shot to apologize for the incident. This is a guy who told Pat Leahy to go fuck himself, told him on the floor of the United States Senate. This is the guy who ran a separate intelligence unit and tossed unfiltered, unanalyzed information to the press in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, every single piece of which was dismissed after about ten minutes of research. That Dick.
If I were Robert Gibbs (and, for the sake of the Obama Administration, it's a good thing I"m not), if Chip Reid ("Chip"? You would think a guy in a serious profession would use his given name, at least at work; actually, "Chip Reid" sounds like a porn name) asked me the following question:
Can I ask you, when you referred to the former Vice President, that was a really hard-hitting, kind of sarcastic response you had. This is a former Vice President of the United States. Is that the attitude—is that the sanctioned tone toward the former Vice President of the United States from this White House now?
I would, with all officiousness, say something like the following:
Sanctioned tone? After four thousand-plus Americans dead in an unnecessary war, economic collapse of historic proportions, illegal domestic spying, secret CIA prisons run in countries where there are few legal restraints on torture, and a cavalier disregard for the concerns of the American people, I thought my tone was really quite polite. In order to clarify, I would quote the former Vice President, and tell him to go fuck himself.
See what I mean? Not a good idea for me to be Press Secretary.