Monday, October 21, 2013

Dick Behaviour

Sanjay Gupta's interview with Dick Cheney aired last night on "60 Minutes".  What could have been an unendurable puff piece by a timid interviewer, turned out to be an intensly challenging give and take between two forceful personalities.  
I have no love for Dick Cheney.  He embodies the worst characteristics in Washington politics:  the entitled attitude of those who see themselves as omniscient and omnipotent.  Were he omnipresent, well, we'd have a god.   This is a war profiteer, a sneering know-it-all, an ambitious Iago who, were it not for his extreme health problems, more likely than not, might have run for President. 

That's one scary possibility. Even more scary was the state of his health throughout his Vice Presidency.

Cheney was one over-sized, weakened, barely pumping heartbeat away from the Presidency.   Dr. Gupta (or "Goop-Ta" as Cheney referred to him at one point) recounts the damage inflicted and attempts to keep this man alive:
  1. 5 heart attacks
  2. Open heart surgery & quadruple bypass
  3. Stents and defibrillators inserted (more surgery)
  4. Multiple angioplasties and catheterizations
  5. Heart pump
  6. Heart transplant two years ago

As Dr. Gupta repeatedly points out, these kinds of medical problems result in limited blood flow to the brain with potential side effects in cognition, memory, decline in decision-making, etc.  Cheney refused to acknowledge he had been counseled about these side effects nor was he worried about his decision-making at the time. 
In the "60 Minutes" interview, Reiner says he worried that Cheney couldn't stand the pressure that came on Sept. 11, 2001, the day terrorists attacked the U.S. Medical tests seen that morning showed Cheney had elevated levels of potassium in his blood, a condition called hyperkalemia, which could lead to abnormal heart rhythms and cardiac arrest.
Reiner says he watched news coverage of the day's events on television and thought, "Oh, great, the vice president is going to die tonight from hyperkalemia."

Cheney proudly recounts the critical decisions he had to make.  What a tough guy.  John Wayne on a defibrillator!  Yet, interestingly enough, in 2007 he had his defibrillator "modified" to prevent terrorists from hacking in and giving him a heart attack.

I do not share his enthusiasm.  It was not that long ago women were considered too "emotional" to serve as leaders of the land due to everything from monthly hormonal changes to crying  to menopause.  Most of you reading this blog will remember when a serious discussion involving a woman running for president included the oft repeated phrase
"I wouldn't trust  a woman with her finger on the button."

Gupta's interview will get scathing reviews from the Right and kudos from the Left.  He did his job.  He did not back down from one of the (formerly) most powerful men on the planet.  He approached this from a medical point of view and showed the emperor-in-waiting without his clothes.

Can't wait to see Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert riff on this.




Herotomost said...

I share your outlook on this man wholeheartedly. Have seen several interviews and even in his weakened state, a state that tends to mellow and enlighten some folks, humble them if you will, there is no humbling this man. Great piece and well said.

California Girl said...

Herotomost, Thank you for the compliment. It's very hard to remain objective when I have such visceral feelings about certain people. I really try to reign in my feelings otherwise I'm just another talking head spewing a rant. You'd laugh if you spoke with me in person though!

Your comment regarding "mellow and enlighten" is observant. This man is unrepentant and I would imagine his reach is still very long.

He is one scary dude.

bill lisleman said...

We don't rate Vice Presidents much but he would be at the bottom of my list of them. Was the idea/rumor of him actually running the White House made up or not? Strange to me that he was around for both terms. Why not replace him after the first term? Prefect saving face reason would have been his health. Mysterious guy for me.

BLissed-Out Grandma said...

I don't think he needed to run for president. I think he controlled Dubya from behind the curtain. And he profiteered hugely from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Hurricane Katrina. And probably a few things we don't know about.

DJan said...

In effect, this guy WAS the president when Bush was in office, since all the decisions were made by him and his lackeys, it seemed to me. I will watch the 60 Minutes piece because of this post. Otherwise I would have skipped it, for the reasons you state. Now I'm interested. :-)

Cheryl said...

I didn't see the interview with Dr. Gupta and found the clip interesting. I did happen to see the interview yesterday on NBC's today show. Even removing his politics from the equation, I thought he came off as pompous and arrogant. Dr. Gupta's word "combative" is certainly accurate.

California Girl said...

Bill, we cannot know if he "ran" the White House or not. There have been past presidents whose wives ran the WH, case in point, Woodrow Wilson's wife when he was incapacitated by strokes; FDR's aides & Eleanor towards the end of his presidency (4th term). I've always been a proponent of "Where there's smoke there's fire."

California Girl said...

Ms. Blissed, so many things I imagine "we don't know about". History will eventually open its secret doors, I guess.

California Girl said...

DJan, did you watch?

California Girl said...

Cheryl, having watched the show in its entirety, knowing they edited for impact, he appears exactly as you say. Other edited interviews with him over the years are no different in tone or aggression. Hence the word "dick".

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Amen. I couldn't agree more.

California Girl said...

Buddah Moskowitz, Thank you and welcome to my blog. :)

injaynesworld said...

I object to the whole idea of giving this evil, narcissistic S.O.B. air time. Why give him the satisfaction of thinking he's still important?

Bill Stankus said...

Don't forget, both as gov and prez, Ronnie Raygun had Nancy - his equivalent to Bush's Darth Cheney.

I'll skip 60 Minutes, Cheney had his 30+ year of evil doing, it's time to ignore him.


by Cole Scott