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Open Letter to Dick Cheney: Get Back in the Hunt

03.05.2006 | POLITICS

Dear Mr. Vice President:

Thought I'd drop a quick note to let you know I didn't jump on the bandwagon to ridicule you, and not just because I don't have my own show. For the record, I thought the jokes were a little tasteless, especially the ones that blew away the ones I scribbled down on napkins, coasters, and condom wrappers. Sure, I toyed with saying this preemptive strike thing has gone too far. And yes, I pondered lecturing you about body armor. But that stuff has been done to death.

I might have said nice job wiping out bird flu. But I'd like to think I'm above that. I had a good one-liner about shooting a lawyer, but Leno had a better one. I was working on something about the way you can defer military service only so many times, but that joke can be done only so many times. Then, I woke up at 4 AM thinking I had coined the term "Slaughtergate," only to Google it and discover Ted Rall had beaten me to it by 32 months.

But that's all right. When psychotic ex-TV cops have their girlfriends killed, presidents get sexual favors under the table from interns, or VPs poach their hunting buddies, some humorists inevitably get left behind. I understand that, and I'm okay with it now. But what I'm not okay with is you, Mr. Vice President. What am I talking about? I'll tell you. It's been over two weeks, and I am concerned that you are thinking of giving up hunting. That, Mr. Vice President, would be a terrible mistake. The longer you wait, the harder it will become. It's like when you fall off your bike. You need to get right back on. So please, get back out there, Dick. And take some more right-wingers with you.

There is still plenty of work left to be done. I mean, nice job, but what kind of body count is one? Why not take Zell Miller along next time and try out those new night vision goggles? Or invite Ann Coulter and bring extra ammo. At 73 lbs., she may be hard to pepper. How about playing William Tell with William Kristol? The way things are going in Iraq, what neocon couldn't use a little shot in the arm?

I'm not so sure, however, the current ground strategy is that well thought out. Accidents will happen, but at what rate? Why not bring along the entire Heritage Foundation and make it a group outing? You and your reactionary pals, Dick, might want to try one of those Civil War reenactment weekends without all the blanks. Have your government sponsored ambulance trail by a few hundred extra feet to make it more realistic. But whatever you do, please don't switch over to paintball. That's for pansies like David Gregory. Real men need real bullets. And don't let the idiots in the media tell you what you can and cannot drink on a hunting trip. One good shot deserves another. Get some!

While of course hunting can be ideal for collateral damage, during times such as these we must look beyond conventional outdoor pastimes. How about a little skydiving on the next retreat? No lame excuses about your own heart condition. Bush 41 did it as an octogenarian. Why not see who can wait the longest before pulling the ripcord? Sounds like a job for Tom DeLay. With the Winter Olympics and X Games over, the timing might be right for some snowboarding or ski jumping for you and Donald Rumsfeld. The agony of defeat can do wonders for national security.

In your never-ending search for opportunities to blow off steam outside the beltway, don't overlook Ultimate Fighting. After you and Mary Matalin go eight rounds in a deathmatch, you might come away with a whole new outlook on women in combat roles. And with the Cold War ancient history, how about a game of Russian Roulette with the likes of Pat Robertson? If his number comes up, he can just blame it on gays.

Don't get me wrong -- I'm not for killing right-wing, pseudo conservative, insider corporate robber barons reaping a windfall from the death and suffering of tens of thousands of misled American troops. I'm for incapacitating right-wing, pseudo conservative, insider corporate robber barons reaping a windfall from the death and suffering of tens of thousands of misled American troops. I am not a partisan. I am merely a sportsman. To paraphrase Bugs Bunny, it's chicken hawk season. And what better way to shoot a chicken hawk than with friendly fire?

About the Author
Rich Herschlag is the author of a new book, Before the Glory: 20 Baseball Heroes Talk About Growing Up and Turning Hard Times Into Home Runs (HCI, 2007). His other books include Lay Low and Don't Make the Big Mistake (Simon & Schuster, 1997) and Women Are From Manhattan, Men Are From Brooklyn (Black Maverick, 2002).

Also an engineer, he runs a consulting business, Turnkey Structural, that specializes in the rehabilitation of residential and commercial buildings. Also a radio commentator, he can be visited at

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