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POST TUSCON UPDATE: I'm not gonna sweep this under the rug, but I feel bad about this one now. I was trying to snark, not spur madmen to violence. But I gotta admit that I don't usually think much about what crazy people might make of my diaries (until they comment). And this one probably contributes to, rather than mitigates, the overheated rhetorical environment that sent Jared Loughner over the edge. So, whoops.

As reported this evening by Reuters, Dick Cheney was hospitalized today for chest pains. Though he's resting comfortably and the situation does not appear to be too serious, this news raises a salient issue: Someday, Dick Cheney (assuming he's not actually a vampire or some other form of immortal undead creature, admittedly a big "if") will, in fact, die.

I hereby give this community fair warning: On that fatal day, I intend to celebrate, throw a party, high-five people, put on a sailor uniform and have my picture taken kissing a pretty nurse, and generally behave like a person who has outlived a mortal enemy.

What I will not do is put on an expression of somber concern and mouth insincere pieties about how, while we differed on many things, Dick Cheney was a fine man and an honorable adversary, and the world is a poorer place without him. To coin a phrase Cheney himself might employ: fuck that.

I am taking this position now, while Cheney's Northrup-Grumman artificial heart is still pumping Agent Orange through his veins, so that when Cheney's day of reckoning comes, I can skip the inevitable flame war that will ensue about the appropriate way to respond to the news and proceed directly to the dancing.

The flame war I'm talking about happens every time one of our conservative foes dies, and in most cases I side with those who come down on the side of classy decorum. Many here at Daily Kos felt that Tim Russert, for example, too frequently enabled Bush administration hacks to pimp the narrative-of-the-day without calling said hacks to account. When Russert passed on, a ragged cheer went up among a few of our more excitable members, which was quickly shouted down as unseemly by the vast majority.

I supported that shouting down. Russert may occasionally have shied away from speaking truth to power, but he in no way deserved to be mocked in death.

Or take somebody like Orrin Hatch. I detest his politics (I'm not a big fan of his singing, either), but he may well think he's doing the right thing, and he was friends with Ted Kennedy. I would willingly doff my hat as his funeral procession passed by, though I probably wouldn't send a card.

Dick Cheney, however, is a completely different kettle of piranha. He's a special case. Cheney is evil, and has done his best to make the nation I love, in which I live and pay taxes, evil as well. He's a war criminal (as well as a peacetime criminal), and he no more deserves to be lionized in death does Saddam Hussein or Charles Manson. (The only way I would lionize Dick Cheney would be while he was still alive, and it would involve actual lions.)

In The Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy's house landed on the Wicked Witch of the East, the munchkins didn't issue a brief statement expressing their condolences and assuring the witch's family that their prayers are with them in this difficult time. No, sir; the munchkins congratulated Dorothy, danced and sang "Ding-dong, the witch is dead." In my opinion, this is entirely appropriate behavior for people from whom a heavy instrument of oppression has just been lifted.

I intend to do much the same, and for the same reasons. Consider this fair warning: When Dick Cheney's creator finally calls the former veep to account for his crimes, I intend, if legally possible, to visit this war criminal's final resting place, mash "play" on an old-fashioned cassette-only boom box and dance to Earth, Wind & Fire's "Boogie Wonderland," and to do so with considerable abandon.

So there. You've been warned.

(N.B.: I would like to make clear, in this somewhat paranoid period in U.S. history, that I in no way support or advocate that anyone other than God or the judicial system should do anything to shorten this Cheney's tenure on our planet. But I for one won't be sorry to see him go, and I shan't pretend otherwise.)

EDIT: OMGreclistBBQ. Also, to those who say this is tacky and will make us all look bad, I would say first: Snark, people; settle down.

But I'd also say that, even though this diary is pretty much a humor piece, it does raise a question that you in particular might find worth discussing, which is: seriously, how WILL this community react when Cheney buys it? If we really do think it will be damaging to the progressive movement to be a jerk about it (like me!), isn't it better to have the conversation now rather than later, when the media may actually be paying attention?

2ND EDIT: Notwithstanding all the above, if Cheney's current situation does actually turn out to be serious, I'm going to feel like a huge dick.

Originally posted to Blank Frank on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 08:16 PM PST.

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