Thursday, February 16, 2006

Straight shooters

One would think that Dick Cheney's obvious incompetence in an area that so many members of his political base understand would demonstrate the point that progressives have been making about this administration for five years: They don't know what they're doing. Sadly, that doesn't seem to be the take away message.

I wouldn't be surprised, in fact, to see a slow 180º turn by the media on this one. Cheney shoots a guy in the face (manly), then "mans" up and admits it (manly), then does a western cowboy silent grimace (uber-manly ). Cheney comes out seeming tough, emotionally approachable, human. Fox News is already going in that direction with their "How must Dick Cheney feel?" line of inquiry (I'm sure it's like he was shot through the heart, as opposed to his friend, who was shot through the heart).

And this brings me to "straight shooting." Apparently, if you're a conservative, it doesn't matter if you make a mistake, as long as you admit it. Look at Chertoff, or Brown (who was roughed up in front of the Senate). They expect us to appreciate their manly admission of error. As Sandy Cohen said last week on The OC, kids are expected to lie, but men are expected to own up to their failures. So Cheney shot a guy straight in the face, but he has admitted it, and can be absolved. He didn't hit a quail, but he hit what he thought was a quail head on (nicely done).

Boys will be boys, and men will be men—which is identical to being boys, except you admit to idiotic tom-foolery. I'm glad that's all cleared up now. Mrs. Cheney, Chertoff and Brown can play their supporting, wifely roles, sticking by their husbands even in trying times (acceptable if husband A. short someone, or B. let thousands die stranded in a hurricane, but unacceptable if he was unfaithful). We have faithfullly adhered to gender roles, reemphasized the conservatives' unique calim on masculinity, and made those hand-wringing liberals sorry for ever doubting how straight we can shoot.


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