This week, President George W. Bush commuted the prison sentence of Vice President Dick Cheney's aide, Scooter Libby
, making sure The Scoot won't do time for perjury in the Valerie Plame scandal. It's just the latest Bush administration outrage in which Cheney plays a role.
In fact, last week, The Washington Post rolled out a series
that demonstrated that Dick Cheney is behind almost every
scandal and outrage perpetrated by the current administration. Who's responsible for getting us into war in Iraq? Who spiked clean air standards? Who legalized torture? Who caused a massive salmon kill in Oregon? Dick, Dick, Dick, and Dick.
To top it off, Cheney has let it be known that he was his own branch of government
. There's Legislative, Executive, Judicial, and Mordor
But Cheney's pattern of bad behavior reminded me of a poem my mother used to read to me. I went to the old bookshelf and finally found it. And here's the local connection: It's from Theodore Roethke
's book of nonsense verse, I am! Says the Lamb
The book was published in 1961, but the Northwest's unofficial poet laureate was clearly on to the Cheney phenomenon of serial naughtiness decades before the rest of us.
The poem is called "Dinky," and I'll quote a few stanzas:
Suppose you walk out in a Storm,
With nothing on to keep you warm,
And then step barefoot on a Worm
–Of course, it's Dirty Dinky.
As I was crossing a hot hot Plain,
I saw a sight that caused me pain,
You asked me before,
I'll tell you again:
–It looked like Dirty Dinky
Last night you lay a-sleeping?
No! the room was thirty-five below;
The sheets and blankets turned to snow.
–He'd got in: Dirty Dinky.
So, we've had Tricky Dicky. Now we have Dick Cheney, scapegoat, shadow, all-around bad guy. He's a scary bedtime story, and the Dirty Dinky of American politics.