David Ignatius on the arrogance of power at the White House.
Hunting-gate exposes discord at the White House, and is worrying the Republicans.
COURTESY KURTZ AND FROOMKIN:
"There are lots of lessons to be learned from Vice President Cheney's accidental shooting of a hunting buddy on Saturday, and the ensuing press blackout. But the evidence suggests that Cheney isn't interested in learning any of them. Instead, the public is getting an opportunity to learn some lessons about Cheney. And lesson number one is that Cheney gets his way."
"And at some point Cheney's starchy behavior is also insulting. Shouldn't there be some minimum level of explanation he's willing to offer as the second-highest ranking public official? When you nearly commit homicide as a public official shouldn't the honor of your office compel you to stand up and explain yourself in some fashion, at least say something in a press release and not just whisper it to a Texas rancher? If that sense of duty doesn't compel him, Cheney should see the political necessity of saying something fast."
-John Dickerson, Slate.com
"Mr. Cheney did not check his official title at the Armstrongs' front gate. That was no private citizen who pulled the trigger, sending someone to the hospital. That act, though accidental - and doubtless both agonizing and embarrassing - was committed by the country's second-highest public official. Neither Mr. Cheney nor the White House gets to pick and choose when to disclose a shooting. Saturday's incident required immediate public disclosure - a fact so elementary that the failure to act properly is truly disturbing in its implications."
"The vice president appears to have behaved like a teenager who thinks that if he keeps quiet about the wreck, no one will notice that the family car is missing its right door. The administration's communications department has proved that its skills at actually communicating are so rusty it can't get a minor police-blotter story straight. And the White House, in trying to cover up the cover-up, has once again demonstrated that it would rather look inept than open."
"The uproar over a matter as straightforward - some would say trivial - as a hunting mishap demonstrated the long-standing tension between the media's presumption that it be kept promptly informed and the Bush administration's insistence on managing the news."
-Marc Sandalow, San Francisco Chronicle
"You shot a guy. At least stay in town until he's out of the hospital. You shot a guy. Don't blame the sun or the wind or the rotation of the Earth. And for goodness' sake, don't blame Harry Whittington. He's the guy you shot, and unless he pulled the trigger himself, it wasn't his fault. Unless he was invisible, it wasn't his fault. And it wasn't his fault that he didn't 'announce his presence,' either. He was supposedly 30 yards behind you. His only fault was being a human being standing on two legs... Stand up. Take responsibility. Be a man. You shot a guy."
"I don't think [Ann Coulter] does anybody but herself any good when she jokes about killing presidents, Supreme Court justices or uses terms like raghead. I don't think she should do it and I don't think conservatives should applaud it."
-Jonah Goldberg, National Review
* No, they're not kidding: the terrorist watch list contatin over 325,000 names.
* Questioning the proposed changes to FEMA.
* The administration is working to kill the domestic spying probe.
* More on the propaganda contractors in Iraq.
* Massachusetts rules that Wal-Mart must stock the morning-after pill. (Courtesy demigoth.)
* Republican commentator fired for criticizing Bush.
Courtesy Ocho, a crazy story: "Twenty-five years after its elected officials last had a contested ballot, eight strangers took up residence in the tiny city four miles south of downtown Los Angeles. Last month, after just a few days in town, three of the newcomers filed petitions to run for City Council in the April 11 election."