Cheney: Right Guy, Wrong Metaphor
Dick Cheney’s hunting mishap last week was widely seen as a metaphor for the Bush administration’s trigger-happy foreign policy. It really did have it all: A phony-macho chicken hawk out shooting off his weapon at the wrong target, landing in a big mess. No one is faulting metaphor fans for jumping on a comparison with Iraq. The only way the hunting trip could have been any closer is if he had lied to Harry Whittington to get him to go.
Of course, there is one major disconnect between last weekend and our misadventure in Iraq: Cheney had an exit strategy from the ranch. He allowed himself a way out - back to Washington, D.C. and the loving arms of Brit Hume. Dick isn’t the type of guy to leave himself stuck in a quagmire. That’s for other people’s sons and daughters to endure.
So, there we have it. The #1 problem facing the world according to this group is terrorism, and this incident captured their incompetent, poorly aimed response, right?
Maybe, but I’m having second thoughts. Wouldn’t it be interesting, despite all the wretched spin the White House spews out, if the #1 threat we face right now is damage to the environment? If the true warning sign for our survival as a species wasn’t 9/11, but Katrina? You can’t turn around without stumbling over a story about Greenland and the accelerating loss of the polar icecap. Wouldn’t it be interesting if the meltdown that really goes on to kill millions of us was from the damage we’ve done to the earth?
The amazing thing is that the hunting screw-up still works as a metaphor for this as well. Cheney could be the living symbol for all that is wrong with how America treats the planet: He’s driving around in a car chasing little birds, spreading his buckshot all over the place. There’s no harmony with nature here. He’s just another fat loser trying to get his macho kicks at the expense of the environment, and his reckless behavior is threatening his fellow man. Think about it. All this time we had the right guy, but the wrong metaphor.