Enemy of the Week

The Heat Is On

Crying Wolfowitz and other Washington rituals.

By 6.25.04

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It wasn't exactly a swearing-in, but Senate president Dick Cheney directed a memorable oath at Democratic subaltern Pat Leahy anyway. "Take good care of yourself," Cheney told him, man to man, which everyone in the press, in reports based entirely on hearsay, turned into an expletive undeleted. For the first time in its PG history, the Washington Post proudly published the full F-word attributed to Cheney by discredited, politically motivated sources. Welcome to the major leagues!

The question now is what is to be done with Dick Cheney? Does he resign from his post? Does he lose his deferments? Should there be hearings? Or is John McCain already ready to assume his spot? There's an old salt who for all practical purposes invented Senate locker room expressions, many of them stolen from Lyndon Johnson. Our own view is that Veep Cheney was asking for tongue trouble when he agreed to share a pew with Hillary Clinton at the Reagan funeral. Welcome to the big time!

Naturally, no one comes bigger than two-timing president Bill Clinton, author of a tome only he could swallow in one bite. He would deny having such ability, which may be true now that he has decided to live longer by watching what he eats. This may explain his difficulty in swallowing the uninviting reviews his memoir is receiving, not to mention the occasional question from a BBC interviewer. Let's hope Bill rethinks his current eating habits, lest he lose whatever substance he once carried. How interesting that the name of his memoir echoes a Chekhov short story entitled "My Life: The Story of a Provincial." It was going to be either that or "The Possessed."

John Fitzgerald Kerry had a busy week, flying in to cast a politically motivated vote only to learn that the vote had been postponed for patriotic reasons. Perhaps what people mistook as a comment by Dick Cheney were echoes of Kerry's reaction in the Senate chamber on learning patriotism had won the upper hand. To be sure, Kerry isn't always successful in getting his points across. He remains a great communion taker, not a great communicator.

But Kerry did clinch the presidency when Lee Iacocca came out to endorse him. Immortalized as "The Great Lasagna" back when ethnic slurs were on the menu, Iacocca resolved one mystery with his surprise move: there's no longer any need to guess who the K-Car was named after. Nice to see Lee still active in the lemon business.

A different ethnic slurring is at work in the case of deputy defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz. Here hard left Democrats are leading the way, as we saw when the likes of Tom Daschle, Terry McAuliffe, Max Baucus, Bob Graham, and Tom Harkin joined 800 other Reds to give the lovely Michael Moore a standing salute at the Washington premier of "FH 911" and to laugh uproariously at a clip of Wolfowitz wetting his comb in an old east European way to get his hair to stay down. The hairpiece crowd has a problem with that.

Chickenhawk journalists have grievances of their own regarding Wolfowitz. Howard Kurtz and Maureen Dowd in particular, who have never served a day in Iraq, demanded Wolfowitz's head for criticizing the quality of reporting coming out of Iraq, especially by reporters too nervous to get out of Baghdad. Yet neither Kurtz nor Dowd volunteered to try their hand in harm's way, which would have been the best method to prove Wolfowitz wrong. Wolfowitz, incidentally, made his remarks while on the move in Iraq himself.

Have we forgotten to mention Al Gore? Good. He means well, just doesn't know how to get his message across. We hear he needs a consolation prize. An EOW pin will have to do. He intended to get to the Moore premier, though try as he might he couldn't get the hair to stick over his bald spot. Next time he should use a fire hose, the same one applied to Moore in the shower, not so much to clean up Moore as to clean up after him. As Al knows as well as anyone, environmental standards must be maintained.

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