Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Why Sympathy for Dick Cheney is Nearly Impossible

When Vice President Dick Cheney had heart-transplant surgery the other day, Republicans (and probably even some Dems) were dismayed or even outraged by the instantaneous snark heaped upon the man, tweets questioning whether he ever had a heart to begin with. And it does seem a little sad that a man who was Vice President of the United States for eight long . . . and I mean really, really long . . . years is held in such low esteem by so many people. I can't think of any other VP's who have such a negative image. Dan Quayle couldn't spell "potato" but I was sorry to hear he had deep-vein thrombosis from riding around on airplanes.

Interestingly, Dick Cheney had the same blood-clotting problem, along with years of other heart trauma. Why do we treat him differently than Quayle? Well, Quayle was clueless but he was basically a nice guy, and his gaffes only made him seem more human. Cheney - not so much. He seemed almost supernaturally cold and inhuman in all his dealings. He could never speak without a sneer and a snarl, even while talking matter-of-factly about plans to go to war with Iraq, no matter what the cost, and ignoring the fact that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. And while no one was sorry to see Saddam Hussein overthrown, Cheney and his sympathizers have to understand that the guy is out of luck when it comes to empathy from real human beings.

Cheney is just too cold, smug, and indifferent for most of us to care. His calculations for starting an unecessary war in the hopes of gaining new oil for his Haliburton Empire are his legacy now, along with bad memories of Abu Ghraib prison. Funny how he knew so much about Saddam's nuclear prospects and could round up so many usual suspects, but he never could seem to track down Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan - the present admininistration solved that for him instead.

For some comedians he will always be that old guy who shot his "friend" in the face with birdshot down in Texas. For others now, he will forever be the guy who was given a free heart pump for 20 months and then a free heart transplant paid for by our tax dollars at a time when most members of his party want to cut out health insurance for the poor and indigent. As Representative Alan Grayson once described the Republican Health Care Plan, "Part One - don't get sick; Part Two - if you get sick, die quickly." Dick Cheney could be the poster-grandpa for why everyone deserves good health care into advanced old age. Yet most people feel that he never gave a damn about the public, so why care about him? And since karma is a bitch, people will keep making jokes comparing him to Darth Vader, the Tin Man, and the Grinch with a heart two-sizes too small.

No comments:

Post a Comment