Thursday, February 16, 2006

The "I had one beer" defense

In which a small man tries to dig himself out of a hole he has dug for himself:
"He suggested that the outcry about his failure to release the news, and then just to a local newspaper, reflected the unhappiness of the White House press corps that they were left out of the first reports.

'They didn't like the idea that we called The Corpus Christi Caller-Times instead of The New York Times,' Mr. Cheney said. 'But it strikes me that The Corpus Christi Caller-Times is just as valid a news outlet as The New York Times is, especially for covering a major story in south Texas.'"
Yeah, read that last paragraph again for the sound of a ridiculous and desperate effort at spin. goes on television, with one of his favorite "newsmen" to try to put a human face on this, act contrite and maybe answer some questions. Be sympathetic. Be human, let people know how sorry you are and how it's affected you. Yet his gut instinct kicks in and he manages to instead take the low road and act in a petty, small-minded way by hammering home one of the more popular Republican talking points of the week. That is, the smearing of the White House press corps that have dared to ask any questions about this incident. An incident in which he now has admitted that he had been drinking beforehand. Speaking of which:
When asked whether anyone in the group had been drinking, Mr. Cheney said: "No, you don't hunt with people who drink. That's not a good idea."

A few moments later, he said that at a lunch barbecue several hours before the accident he had a beer. He did not say whether his partners also consumed alcohol. Hunting resume at 3 p.m. he said.

"The five of us who were in that party were together all afternoon," he added. "Nobody was drinking. Nobody was under the influence."

"Shooting Safety Rules" of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department warn, "Don't drink alcohol or take drugs before or while handling firearms or bow and arrows." (emphasis added)
I don't know about you out there, my dear readers, but any time I have ever uttered the sentence, "I only had one beer," I'm sorry to say it's just not been entirely true. It's a common refrain, usually expressed when you're in the tightest of circumstances and someone is not entirely happy with any drinking having occurred in the particular circumstance. Ring a bell with anyone? If ever you find yourself having to say you've only had "one beer"...there's just something wrong with the picture and chances's not true. You're fudging. It's like Nancy Grace's theory that nothing good ever happens after midnight. The "I had one beer" defense, to any objective observer, is a red flag waving in the breeze...