February 12, 2006

· News · Politics

CNN reports:

Cheney accidentally shoots fellow hunter. Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot and wounded a companion [Harry Whittington, a millionaire attorney from Austin] during a weekend quail hunting trip in Texas, spraying the fellow hunter in the face and chest with shotgun pellets.


I have an image in my mind of what the standoff was like. Cheney is grimacing. Whittington is staring down the barrel of a pellet-loaded shotgun.

Cheney: Wanna know what I’m buyin’ Ringo? Harry: What? Cheney: Your life. I’m givin’ you that quail so I don’t hafta kill your ass. You read the Bible? Harry: I’m a lawyer. What do you think? Cheney: Good point. But there’s a passage I got memorized. Ezekiel 25:17. The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the donors through the valley of porkness. For he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost loopholes. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my campaign contributors. And you will know I am the Unitary Executive when I lay my vengeance upon you. I been sayin’ that shit for years. Especially at chicken suppers hosted by Militias. And if you ever heard it, it meant your ass. I never really questioned what it meant. I thought it was just a cold-blooded thing to say to a motherfucker before you popped a cap in his ass. But I saw some cartoons this mornin’ made me think twice. Now I’m thinkin’: it could mean you’re the evil man. And I’m the righteous man. And Mr. Shotgun here, he’s the shepherd protecting my righteous ass in the valley of porkness. Or it could be you’re the righteous man and I’m the shepherd and it’s the world that’s evil and selfish. Especially Al Qaeda and Saddam. And Iran. Also France. Maybe I’d like that. But that shit ain’t the truth. The truth is you’re the big donor. And I’m the tyranny of evil men. But I’m tryin’, Harry. I’m tryin’ real hard to—” BANG! Cheney: Ah, goddammit! Harry: Arghhh! My face! You shot my face! Cheney: Somebody call Rove. We’ll say he fell while eating a pretzel on a mountain bike or something. It’s worked before.

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I am Associate Professor of Sociology at Duke University. I’m affiliated with the Kenan Institute for Ethics, the Markets and Management Studies program, and the Duke Network Analysis Center.



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