Today’s Lesson: Don’t Get Near Dick Cheney

Don't go near Dick Cheney.

If you say something he doesn't like, however calmly and respectfully, he may have you arrested by the Secret Service and charged with “assault” — and threaten to have your child taken away by Child Services.

If you're a public official, it's harder to have you arrested, so he'll just swear at you and a couple of years later make up a claim that you got within kissing range of him:

In a “chance meeting” on the Senate floor with Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) in June 2004, Vice President Cheney told Leahy to “f*ck yourself.” According to Leahy’s spokesman, the “exchange began when Leahy crossed the aisle at the photo session and joked to Cheney about being on the Republican side.” Cheney then “‘lashed into’ Leahy for remarks he…made criticizing Iraq contracts won without competitive bidding by Halliburton.”

In the new biography of the Vice President by Stephen Hayes, Cheney claims that the reason he shouted the expletive was because Leahy had been too “close” to him:

Leahy came over and put his arm around me. And he didn’t kiss me but it was close to it. So I flashed and I told him — I dropped the F-bomb on him. … It was heartfelt.

Leahy was not “close” to kissing Cheney; all he did was try to shake his hand.

(There's more where that came from, and plenty of witnesses.)

Moral of the story: Don't go near Dick Cheney. He's dangerous, and might be contagious.

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