Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dick Cheney Suffers Fifth Heart Attack


When I heard that former Vice President Dick Cheney, 69, had his fifth heart attack since age 37 I thought long and hard about commenting. I lost a grandfather to heat disease, my father has had a triple bypass and my mother has had a couple of angioplasties- I know what its like for a family to live with heart disease. And in that regard, I have empathy for the Cheney family.

But it is harder for me to have empathy for Dick Cheney.

My conscience tells me its wrong to wish him ill because I find his politics divisive; but my heart keeps me from wishing him a speedy recovery- and that troubles me. If I were to wish him well, it would be hollow and said only because I feel required to do so in the name of humanity. But frankly, the thought of this man leaves me numb; not angry or spiteful, but just wanting him to fade into the background once and for all.

Cheney is an elected official who has condoned the use of torture in questioning prisoners of war and detainees, and has used his influence and know how to circumvent the Constitution in the name of national security. His voice was the one that may be most responsible in leading this nation into a war in Iraq that will be seven years old next month, has cost 4,000 American lives, many more thousands wounded, and countless casualties among the Iraqi civilian population. In many ways, the Iraq War is more "Cheney's War" than "Bush's War".

I think of Dick Cheney receiving the best healthcare available because of his position while 40,000,000 of his countrymen have no health insurance at all. Your tax dollars, and mine, are paying to keep Mr. Cheney alive.

If he were John Q. Citizen instead of a former VP, his insurance company would have dropped him years ago, and he most likely would have been forced into bankruptcy.

And I ask- where is Cheney's empathy for those of his countrymen who cannot receive even the most basic healthcare? A person with his health issues with any sense of empathy- and a pulpit for eight years to express them- could have made a difference in the lives of others had he chosen to do so.

Instead, he chose to help direct the nation into a near disaster in Iraq that was underfunded and was one crack in the fabric of our economy; many others were to follow.

Dick Cheney has had five heart attacks and five deferments from the draft in the Vietnam War. Conversely, I had zero deferments and zero heart attacks....for the grace of God.

But I fear my first heart attack may be my last....I won't have government paid access to Walter Reade.

I'll just follow the Republican health plan- drink diet soda instead of the good stuff, and walk five miles a day, or until my knees give out.

Oh...get well...."DICK".

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