I’m sure I’m not the first person to say this, but I saw The Big Lebowski the other day and couldn’t help noticing how much Jeff Lebowski (the Big Lebowski) was totally like Dick Cheney. Mainly that he’s this total blowhard guy who pretends to be Mr. Big, but is actually an incompetent boob who relies entirely on his serious-guy looks and supposed “gravitas” to fool people into taking him seriously. The only difference is that Cheney is far more low-key and convincing in the role than the guy in the movie. But Cheney is a total fraud.
I was already thinking of this before the hunting incident, but that just made it even more clear. Not just that he accidentally shot a man. But his whole handling of the event. Because I do believe that the cover-up aspect of the thing was totally Cheney’s idea. All the way from using Armstrong to talk to the media and blame the victim, through to getting the victim to apologize publicly for what he supposedly put Cheney through. The whole thing was ham-fisted and lame; and only served to bring more criticism onto Cheney.
But that’s totally his way of doing things. The man has the subtlety of a jack-hammer and the brains of a 70’s television thug. You know, like the guys on Rockford Files who tip-off Jim Rockford that they’re the bad guys by trying to run him over (thus allowing him to get their license plate number) or beating him up and telling him to “back off”; and that he’d never know who to go after if they didn’t go after him first. Or like on Hart to Hart, people who try to cover-up lesser crimes of embezzlement by trying to murder the Harts; and again, tipping-off the Harts as to who the criminal is.
And combine that with Big Jeff Lebowski’s blowhard fraud routine and that’s totally Cheney. A guy who’s so heavy-handed that even minor offenses become major major deals, and who attracts attention simply because of his heavy-handed attempts to hide his activities. It’s like he’s doing the media’s job for them by announcing: “Look at me! I’m doing something wrong!” And that’s totally not the Whitehouse’s way; which always wants to minimize any news story and avoid having to actively cover-up anything. Fortunately for them, the media has always fallen for Cheney’s Mr. Gravitas routine and has failed to expose him for the fraud that he is. That’s probably because they’re too scared to admit that there is no competence at the helm of our country; though that might change after the whole shooting thing.
I suspect that the definition for “gravitas” will someday be a serious and solemn person who bullshits his way to complete incompetence; accompanied by a picture of Cheney. If I didn’t know better, I’d say that Cheney was doing all this because he knows that he can never be president and wants to replace Spiro Agnew’s place in history as most infamous vice-president; under the idea that it’s better to be remembered badly than to be forgotten. We can always hope that he soon follows Agnew’s lead.