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Hullabaloo


Sunday, December 31, 2006

 
Courtesy

by digby


It was interesting listening to Dick Cheney pay tribute to Gerald Ford for his civility yesterday at the memorial service. He said "he answered courtesy with courtesy and discourtesy with courtesy."

As I'm sure you've all noticed, Republicans are talking about civility almost non-stop these days and so is the media. Everyone agrees that now that the Democrats won it's time to bind the nation's wounds once again and move into the future without dwelling on past unpleasantness. The Dems need to learn some of that Ford Administration courtesy:

On Tuesday, Cheney, serving in his role as president of the Senate, appeared in the chamber for a photo session. A chance meeting with Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (Vt.), the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, became an argument about Cheney's ties to Halliburton Co., an international energy services corporation, and President Bush's judicial nominees. The exchange ended when Cheney offered some crass advice.

"Fuck yourself," said the man who is a heartbeat from the presidency.

Leahy's spokesman, David Carle, yesterday confirmed the brief but fierce exchange. "The vice president seemed to be taking personally the criticism that Senator Leahy and others have leveled against Halliburton's sole-source contracts in Iraq," Carle said.

As it happens, the exchange occurred on the same day the Senate passed legislation described as the "Defense of Decency Act" by 99 to 1.

Cheney's office did not deny that the phrase was uttered. His spokesman, Kevin S. Kellems, would say only that this language is not typical of the vice presidential vocabulary. "Reserving the right to revise and extend my remarks, that doesn't sound like language the vice president would use," Kellems said, "but there was a frank exchange of views."

Gleeful Democrats pointed out that the White House has not always been so forgiving of obscenity. In December, Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry was quoted using the same word in describing Bush's Iraq policy as botched. The president's chief of staff reacted with indignation.

"That's beneath John Kerry," Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. said. "I'm very disappointed that he would use that kind of language. I'm hoping that he's apologizing at least to himself, because that's not the John Kerry that I know."

[...]

Tuesday's exchange began when Leahy crossed the aisle at the photo session and joked to Cheney about being on the Republican side, according to Carle. Then Cheney, according to Carle, "lashed into" Leahy for remarks he made Monday criticizing Iraq contracts won without competitive bidding by Halliburton, Cheney's former employer.

[...]

Republicans did their best to defend the vice president. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), while pointing out that he was unaware of the incident, described Cheney as "very honest" and said: "I don't blame anyone for standing up for his integrity."



As Cheney said of Ford, "there are worse things to be remembered for than your capacity to forgive," which is really moving coming from an honest, courteous, man of integrity like him. Surely we can do no less than Ford did and give a blanket pardon to the Republicans for their truly egregious, illegal behavior once again. Isn't that how it works?


BTW: Did anyone notice that Junior apparently can't bring himself to cut short his vacation to attend these various state funeral ceremonies? He'll roll back into town on Tuesday for the big one. He's tired. He spent three whole hours talking with his advisors about Iraq.


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