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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Book Review: Hunting for Dick Cheney

    Book Review: Hunting for Dick Cheney

    This is a book that looks like it was dashed off in a few afternoons, and that’s being generous.

    The fact that about 50 percent of “”Duck! The Dick Cheney Survival Bible”” consists of jokes about Dick Cheney shooting someone seems to indicate that it didn’t exactly simmer in the author’s brain for very long before making its way into your hot little hands. And it doesn’t stay in your hands very long before it’s over.

    Why exactly should one pay $9.95 for it? The reasons are few indeed, but I will relate them.

    “”Duck!”” is credited to Gene Stone, author of “”The Bush Survival Bible,”” though it includes material by other people. It is a slim volume of just 138 pages.

    Some of these pages are filled with useful information. Others are full of jokes which will probably be funny to people who have never heard anyone make a joke about a politician before. You can even imagine Cheney making some of them himself, in the spirit of President Bush’s infamous “”Where could those weapons of mass destruction be?”” stand-up routine at a Washington dinner a couple years ago.

    One such list: “”Dick Cheney’s Favorite Foods,”” which include “”Plame-Broiled Chicken,”” “”Iraq of Lamb,”” and “”Baked Alaska Pipeline.”” Other lists include “”5 Ways to Decorate Your Undisclosed Location,”” “”9 Songs on Dick Cheney’s iPod,”” and “”4 Ways to Tell If Your Husband Is Turning into Dick Cheney – and What to Do About It.””

    There’s a list of the “”5 Strangest Lies Dick Cheney Has Told.”” Then, just to be fair, there’s one of “”9 Lies Dick Cheney Hasn’t Told.”” Yes, that’s right, you guessed it. The list is followed by the word yet.

    All that’s missing is “”I mean, really! Am I right, people? What is the deal with that?””

    Some political books are so dense with learning that it’s hard to believe anyone reads them. Others, like the Ann Coulter and Michael Moore bestsellers that only get read by people who already know they’re going to agree with every word, strike a balance between carefully selected facts and uneasy, compulsive wisecracking.

    “”Duck!”” however, is a stranger specimen. About 40 of its 138 pages are serious, and they’re worth reading.

    One section, “”12 Important Moments in Vice-Presidential History,”” contains almost everything you need to know about the office in four pithy pages. Did you know that the vice presidency was originally given to the candidate who came in second? Just think, we could be enjoying a Bush/Gore administration even now.

    The “”5 Flawed Vice Presidents”” section reminds us that we might actually be lucky to have Cheney. We could have wound up with another Spiro Agnew. When one of Richard Nixon’s colleagues asked him why he chose such an obvious crook as Agnew for his running mate, the president answered quite reasonably that it would defer anyone from assassinating him.

    It’s funny now to remember a time when people made fun of the vice president and laughed about how pointless his job is, instead of calling him the most powerful man in the world and writing books telling you how you can “”survive”” his “”reign.””

    In its sheer silliness, “”Duck!”” is sort of refreshing. It costs a little more than an average issue of Vanity Fair and will probably entertain you for about as long. But it ends with one chilling fact that is worth more than the entire written works of, say, Henry Kissinger.



    After quoting the oath taken by every president to uphold the Constitution, Stone writes simply: “”There is no such oath for the vice president.”” End of book.

    Wise as they were, even the Founding Fathers couldn’t have predicted a Dick Cheney.

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