On Friday we noted

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On Friday we noted that surreal headline about Harry Whittington apologizing to the vice president and his family for the anguish they had endured in the week since the vice president shot him in the face.

Now, put a benign gloss on that ‘apology’ and figure Whittington meant what he said only in the sense that he wished Cheney hadn’t had to go through the media wringer for something that wasn’t due to his recklessness or bad faith, etc. — his fault perhaps, but something that happens in the course of an inherently dangerous activity.

But as we go from the mastication of the shooting event itself to the meta story about Dick Cheney’s dark and dangerous shadow presidency, let’s not let one salient fact disappear down the memory hole.

Even if Dick Cheney is blameless in this matter in any deep moral sense, let’s not forget that his immediate reaction was to send out his surrogates to publicly blame what happened on the victim.

Actually, that may afford him too much credit since it wasn’t actually his ‘immediate’ reaction. It was his considered reaction after the 24 hour cooling off period he gave himself between the shooting and when he chose to make it public.

By my count, he continued to have his public surrogates blame Whittington for fully three days. He only relented and took responsibility himself when the public and no doubt private political clamor became too much to sustain.

That’s Dick Cheney.

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