There was a terrorist attack in Washington this week when Vice President Dick Cheney dropped an F-bomb in Senate chambers. Many of our 100 Senators are now being treated for burned ears. The target of his attack was Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat who had asked him questions about Halliburton profiteering from the war in Iraq. Although the use of such language is forbidden by Senate rules, they do not apply to Cheney. He is special.
It was especially ironic that on the same day, the senate had just passed the "Defense of Decency Act" by a vote of 99 to 1. This piece of legislation would keep the media from using the F-bomb, and many other words deemed dangerous.
When asked if he felt insulted by the use of a verbal explosive device in Senate chambers, Leahy said "I was here before Mr. Cheney and I'll probably be here after he leaves. I'm more interested in how Vermonters feel about me." Sticks and stones it seems.
I also sought out comments from Cheney, but nothing he said is fit to print. The Uncoveror would violate the new decency law, and FCC regulations by publishing what he said.
Many have speculated about why Cheney would resort to such behavior. Theories include that perhaps he is still getting kickbacks from Halliburton, the company he ran until becoming Vice President. Maybe he, or one of his immediate surrogates outed Valerie Plame, the CIA agent married to former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, and he fears that this is about to be exposed. Perhaps the idea that on January 20, 2005, he could lose his power, which is closer to his heart than his pacemaker. No matter what the reason, resorting to use of the F-bomb is certainly an escalation in the war of words on Capitol Hill, and a sign of desperation.