Thursday, February 16, 2006

But Seriously . . .

The Cheney thing has been great fodder for the humor industry, and has also given the right- wingers a chance to attack the press (but then again so does a sunrise), but there are a few reasons for the WH to worry about so lingering effects of this whole affair.

First, it reinforces the belief that this White House is either incompetent in a crisis or unwilling to share the truth with the American public. Anyone who was even thinking that either of these was true (and that is certainly not a small number of people), has had that belief reinforced by the actions/inactions of the WH and the Veep.

Second, it undercuts whatever message the WH was trying to get out this week (maybe healthcare? -- but that is an entirely different problem). When your ratings are in the low 40's or high 30's, any time you get off message, you are creating more trouble for yourself.

Third, it makes Cheney look a whole lot less scary and more an object of ridicule. Cheney shotgun jokes will follow him for the rest of his term. And when your position is that of "grown-up", to now be the butt of jokes is not going to help move whatever the Bush agenda is. (Which, of course, they would first have to explain to people, but again is a whole other problem.)