Boy, talk about a bunch of themes encapsulated in one outburst. Cheney mobilizes his base: people who think cursing the opposition constitutes an argument.
I could almost forgive the Vice President for losing his cool, but he wasn't apologetic about it, which tells me he didn't lose his cool. He's expressing his mind.
- The administration never admits mistakes, and certainly NEVER apologizes for them. It's proud of them.
- When they call Patrick Leahy anti-Catholic, it's just normal politics. When he calls the Veep on it, it's crossing over the line. (The remark was uttered to Leahy after he expressed unhappiness with being called anti-catholic because he opposed a specific judicial nominee.)
- Cheney felt good about it afterwards. Not ashamed he'd lost control in the house of democracy's greatest deliberative body.
- When questioned about the civility of the Senate being violated, Cheney parses this legalistically -- like certain torture memos I could mention -- and excuses himself on the grounds the Senate wasn't technically in session.
- He felt he wasn't responding to a specific incident so much as settling a score.
- He believes that cussing a guy out is proper retribution for the slights of the past.
- He's so gutless that even when defending himself for swearing, he won't come right out and admit it. He says he "probably" used the word fuck.
What a fucking asshole.
CAVUTO: All right. Sir, a couple of little issues I want settled, or maybe to get the real skinny on. One was this blowout you had the other day with Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont. What happened?
CHENEY: Well, I guess you could say we had a little floor debate in the United States Senate.
CAVUTO: I heard it was more than a debate.
CHENEY: Well, I expressed myself rather forcefully, felt better after I had done it.
CAVUTO: All right. Now, did you use the "F" word?
CHENEY: That's not the kind of language I usually use.
CAVUTO: All right, because the reports were that you did.
CHENEY: Yes, that's not the kind of language I ordinarily use. But...
CAVUTO: What did you tell him?
CHENEY: I expressed my dissatisfaction for Senator Leahy.
CAVUTO: Over his comments about you and Halliburton?
CHENEY: No. It was partly that. It was partly — also, it had to do with — he is the kind of individual who will make those kinds of charges and then come after you as though he's your best friend. And I expressed, in no uncertain terms, my views of the — of his conduct and walked away.
CAVUTO: Did you curse at him?
CAVUTO: Do you have any regrets?
CHENEY: No. I said it, and I felt that...
CAVUTO: So let me understand, he comes up, he sees you, Mr. Vice — he's all nice, shakes your hand. And then what do you do, let into him?
CHENEY: Explain my unhappiness with the way he conducted himself. Ppart of the problem here is, that instead of having a substantive debate over important policy issues, he had challenged my integrity. And I didn't like that. But, most of all, I didn't like the fact that after he had done so then he wanted to act like, you know, everything's peaches and cream.
And I informed him of my view of his conduct in no uncertain terms. And as I say, I felt better afterwards.
CAVUTO: All right. Now, they say you broke decorum for normally a Senate or congressional session. Now, technically, I guess, it wasn't in session.
CHENEY: No, we weren't in session. What we were doing was waiting to take our pictures, our official Senate photo. And I go up and sit in the chair, as the president of the Senate (UNINTELLIGIBLE).