Vice President Dick Cheney spent about eight hours hunting Monday at a secluded Hudson Valley gun club where well-heeled enthusiasts shoot ducks and pheasants. It was Cheney's second visit to Clove Valley Rod & Gun Club in Dutchess County, about 70 miles north of New York City.
I hope the staff was careful to explain that he was allowed to shoot pheasants-with-an-H and that pheasant is a type of bird.
Even though no one was shot in the face, Cheney was unable to avoid problems.
Although a heavy police presence kept the media and curious local residents at a distance, Cheney's visit did stir up a bit of controversy when a New York Daily News photographer snapped a picture of a small Confederate flag hanging inside a garage on the hunt club property.
I almost feel sorry for Cheney. The poor man just wants to unwind by killing something tame and helpless that has been chased toward his gun and look what happens. His friends rudely put their faces where he is about to shoot or leave their true feelings about race and class out where reporters can report on them. He probably feels, like Andrew Jackson, that his friends aren't worth the powder to blow away, but given his record regarding gunpowder and his friends, that's not a sentiment that he should voice out loud.
The Confederate flag has managed to stir up yet another mini-brouhaha for Cheney. Al Sharpton's eminently bunchable panties are predictably in a bunch over the affair. He's demanding apologies and denouncements. Cheney is ignoring Sharpton. The next step in the dance is that right-wing talking heads, pundits, and bloggers will all rush to the defense of the Confederate flag (and perhaps Cheney), pointing out that the flag isn't just a symbol of racism, treason, and armed rebellion against the legal government of the United States; sometimes it's also a symbol of the owner's pride in his southern (New York) heritage. Besides, whenever liberals complain about the flag, it's only because they are all bi-coastal, big city, atheistic, media elites sneering at the common man. Cheney will decline to comment on the affair and Bush will never hear about it.
Isn't it about time for the War on ChristmasTM to start?