You go hunting with the Dick you've got...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006 at 07:40 AM

As the White House struggles to explain the mysterious delay in going public with the Dick Cheney shooting of Mr. Whittington, and to explain how an experienced hunter could mistake a large lawyer for a small quail, it's only natural that the press seek information from long time colleague Donald Rumsfeld.

Since Don and I are not on speaking terms (due to his ignorance of my existence), I've searched the historical record in an attempt to divine what his responses would have been had I asked him his thoughts about the quail-lawyer incident.

I'm sure his immediate response would be "You go hunting with the Dick you've got, not the Dick you want or might wish to have at a later time."
Being a garrulous man, I'm sure he would have lots of other thoughts, too (++ means actual, unaltered quote):

"Shootings have a tendency to encourage a depressing view of hunting."

"I've given this a lot of thought over the last few days and I don't think that "shooting" is the right word.  Shooting makes it sound like Whittington was the target while we all know the quail was the target.  So when it comes to Whittington, what we really had wasn't a shooting so much as an unknown pedestrian injury, and that's how I plan to describe it in the future."

"As I said before, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know.  Whittington was an unknown unknown."

"Dick Cheney's not into this detail stuff. He's more concepty."

"Hey, free-fire zones are messy."

"Dick was just following my advice to him to put his head down, do the best job possible, let the flak pass, and work towards the goal of shooting something."

"I just gave Dick my pep talk about 'Be able to resign.'  It will improve his value to the President and do wonders for his performance."

"I told Dick before, 'Be precise. A lack of precision is dangerous when the margin of error is small.'"

"Being Vice President is difficult. Don't make it tougher."++

"Don't do or say things you would not like to see on the front page of The Washington Post."++

"If you foul up, tell the President and correct it fast. Delay only compounds mistakes."++

"In politics, every day is filled with numerous opportunities for serious error. Enjoy it."++