As much as I would love to blog some more on health care after this weekend, I won't. I will blog on another topic that has been in the news, especially with the unfortunate accident that occurred this weekend involving the Vice President. Dick Cheney's hunting trips. You may recall that two years ago, he went hunting with Justice Antonin Scalia just as the Supreme Court was hearing arguments on whether Cheney needed to divulge the names of people who attended secret meetings of his energy task force (the results of which have been seen in the past couple of energy bills which have provided taxpayer funded federal subsidies to energy companies that are already making billions, and other decisions which have greatly benefitted the energy companies.) So clearly the trip this weekend in which he accidentally shot a Bush campaign contributor may or may not have been strictly for pleasure. Cheney has been known in the past to go hunting for a bit more than pleasure, and clearly a millionaire attorney who is a Republican (and has also donated to Senator John Cornyn) has a much better chance of being invited to go hunting with Dick Cheney than anyone you or I know.
Today, though, we learn that Cheney, like many in Washington, seems to think that the law is only for (in the words of Leona Helmsley on the same topic) the 'little people.' Cheney has now been cited for breaking a Texas state law by not buying a $7 stamp required for hunting upland game birds. Of course, had the unfortunate accident not occurred, it is safe to assume that Texas officials would have looked the other way on this one, but now that it is news, they have no choice except to issue the citation. The issue here is pretty basic. The Vice President of the United States should be an example of obeying the law. But clearly our Vice President believes that he is above the law, and that because of his position, he doesn't have to pay the $7 fee to shoot quail (I mean, come on, the guy is worth millions, he can't argue this will break him) that the rest of us would have to pay if we wanted to shoot quail in Texas. And he knows that no one will touch him (except in very unexpected, unusual situations like what happened this weekend) when he does. I wonder, how many other times has he gone hunting and blown off the fee? Of course Republicans will minimize this, saying that the fee is about the same as you'd pay for a Big Mac meal at McDonald's, which is true. But consider that this is the man who has been insisting that the Bush administration operates within the law on matters like domestic wiretapping, and we can see that his definition of 'within the law' is not 'within the law.'