We need these people out.
...of the closet?
Seriously, though, what a bunch of losers, wasting their own time and our tax money. Grrrr.
Our current political environment is frankly both depressing and appalling.
I'm tempted to ask, "Why the bloody hell can't they keep their dirty hands out of these things?" ... but it would be more than slightly pointless.
You don't know how close this sounds to the extremists in the republican party... "* Knows this is likely to fail, but he's pushing the issue anyway, in order to try to rally the * voters around the flailing * movement". Mwahahahaha. I hear this all the time exactly reversed on the more fanatical branches of talk radio like Michael Savage and Sean Hannity.
Well, I for one am open to opposing viewpoints. The CNN article has details about most of my claim. I claim that the conservative (well, neo-conservative - there's hardly a trace of true conservativism left in it) movement is "flailing" as a result of a large number of corruption scandals, falling approval ratings for the President and the war in Iraq, and various other problems like the CIA leak probes.
So, rather than trying to mock me, do you actually have a substantive response to my argument?
I would disagree that there's hardly a trace of true conservatism left. While the Socialist branch of the republican party that we inherited from the Democrats is in control right now, they're hardly a majority of the party. They just are doing enough to keep the rest happy that they haven't been booted out yet. Almost all of the talk show people except perhaps Bill O'reilly, Michael Savage, and Sean Hannity are actually real fiscal or social conservatives. Those three are far more like social and fiscal statists than anything.
As far as the "corruption scandals" go, to me that's more a sign of the other side flailing and trying to find some traction with the american middle. They're taking every non-story they can get their paws on, then exploiting the limited understanding of the public to make it out to be a huge deal.
Take the whole Plame thing. She's not a secret agent. She's not an undercover operative. She's a desk jockey and a weapons analyst. Her position was well known to almost everyone she knew and her husband would brag about it to random strangers and even members of the press. But once it's someone in the administration that mentions it suddenly "A CIA Analyst's Cover is blown!" They're exploiting people's limited understanding of the CIA to make it into a big deal.
Now the latest Cheney thing. They're flailing about trying to find every possible angle to make this a big thing when it's mostly a relatively common quail hunting accident. The birdshot they use is almost entirely harmless at the normal distance that they are from each other when hunting. They wear protection to guard their eyes because it is not uncommon for them to "pepper" each other when someone happens to be behind cover unnoticed. The press has already gone as far as to call for his resignation over a non-story hunting accident that probably happens a dozen times a year. The most unusual thing about it was the guy had managed to get close enough where some of the bird shot actually penetrated his skin. But because he "SHOT" someone, they exploit people's limited understanding of guns and birdshot and make it out to be a huge deal.
I could go on and on about such flailing. The facts are that such things are done by both sides and are used to both mobilize their base and to appeal to the center. Both sides are equally corrupt and claiming otherwise indicates that you are only listening to one side. The whole Clinton/Intern thing was equally blown out of proportion, for example. They really took that too far as well just like the Dems have been taking every other thing too far.
The article you posted is just so they can act like they're taking it seriously to the nutjob social statists that compose part of their base. Just like so many gun control flops happened because the Dems are playing to their peacenik statist base.
Personally, I hate the current controllers of the republican party, as well as the majority of the democratic party. I'm a Fiscal libertarian and somewhat social libertarian and both parties are overrun with bloody social and fiscal statists. It's downright irritating. (It's funny how the republican party hates socialists yet they're currently being headed by them...)
I find the Cheney thing a bit irritating, yeah. I mean, there are some unanswered questions about the way the incident was handled, but I do sincerely believe it was an accident. I was hoping the result would be, rather, all of the pro-hunting/gun-use people taking him to task for making an elementary hunting mistake. It doesn't bother me that he's not being charged with anything or that he's not resigning or anything - at least not for this incident - but I'd like to see him get in front of a microphone and admit that he screwed up.
Incidentally, I don't know what news coverage you've been seeing, but basically everything I've seen has seemed to be to be an effort to downplay the entire incident, primarily in the language they've been using. Things like calling the guy's heart attack a "scare". So I don't think there's any major effort on the part of the media to make a big deal out of this.
Mainly I complain about what they're doing at this point because they're the ones in power. The Democrats don't even have effective enough leadership to put a national agenda together and stick to it.
I, myself, am a social libertarian and a fiscal moderate, I guess. I wouldn't mind taxes being where they are if the government would just show themselves capable and accountable for using the money responsibly. (I have my own issues with the way the existing tax burden is spread across the income scale, but I'm not going to get into that.) Which means that the current administration has earned a lot of anger on my part, between the erosion of privacy rights and due process, and their incredibly irresponsible deficit spending policies. And the Democrats, well... we'll see what I think of them when they start having a modicum of power in our government again.
What I've heard is direct from both yesterday and today's press conference, and the questions the reporters were asking. They were asking about criminal penalties and resigning constantly during the press conference.
As far as the pro gun people, I think we really need to know more of the exact details first. All the details so far have been pretty sketchy. Shooting him at such a short range is rather bad handling, but the guy wasn't even supposed to be where he was at the time apparently.
Ahh, okay. I've mostly just been paying attention online. Again, though, I suspect the reporters would cut it out if Cheney just came clean about the whole thing and admitted that he fucked up.
Apparently he had dropped back from the group to collect a shot bird. Given what I know about usual hunting protocol, Cheney should have been aware that there was someone separated from the group, and been careful when tracking a moving bird away from the area where he was sure there weren't any people. But that's what I know from the details I've seen.
AFAIK, though, what it comes down to was that Cheney shot into an area that he hadn't sufficiently confirmed was free of people. And that's his responsibility as a shooter to check.
I found this today which has more information.http://www.kfvs12.com/Global/story.asp?S=4504139&nav=8H3x
They don't normally stay in a group when quail hunting. They spread out specifically so their guns are mostly harmless to themselves and to scare out the quail. They also hunt in fairly deep cover. He was 30 yards away which would be normal and if he were slightly behind a shrub or something it's quite possible he wouldn't be easily seen. At that distance it's surprising the birdshot had enough kinetic energy to penetrate his skin at all. I suppose it's probably due to age and thin skin, eh?
It's an accident, but not an uncommon one and not one that generally causes any complications at all. Just leaves you sore for a day or two. Quail hunting is drastically different from deer hunting, rabbit hunting, and even duck hunting. All of those are setup so that you either have to know where the other hunters are at all times because the bullet is lethal to humans, or that you are in a position to always be aiming the gun in a safe direction (duck hunting.) Quail hunting is setup so that you can't always see the other hunters and you rely mostly on spreading the group out and safety goggles to prevent serious injuries.
I think what's most aggravating about this particular "push" is that nearly all the people involved are under no illusions that the bill will actually pass; it seems like they're wasting Congress' time purely to rally people around the Republican party (or one particular wing of it). "Gosh, it's terrible we couldn't get this to pass. Damn the gays. Hey, while we have your attention anyway, vote for us this coming November."
Election-year "issues" are a bitch and a half, but this seems especially low.