Accidental injuries

It seems as though opponents of the Bush administration are already talking about what will happen if Dick Cheney's friend and hunting partner, Harry Whittington, dies. Apparently there is some 'scandal' in the fact that the Vice-President felt no need to alert the Washington media to the accident. The real scandal, of course, is that the Washington media was scooped by a local paper in Texas, and somehow think that this is Cheney's fault and not down to their own failings.

But hang on, we already know what happens when a leading politician kills someone accidentally. Nothing. Ted Kennedy has served 40 years in the family Senate seat without any repercussions flowing from the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. Harry Whittington voluntarily engaged in a dangerous activity - hunting. While it is possible to argue that anyone who gets into a car with a drunk is also asking for trouble, Mary Jo may not have known just how much Teddy Kennedy had been drinking. That is why the onus is on the driver to remain sober, not on passengers to keep them sober.

What's more, there is no legal obligation on someone who accidentally injures another party to inform the media. But when you kill someone, you ARE expected to tell the police, not to simply flee the scene.

No doubt Ted Kennedy has sufficient self-awareness not to take the lead in criticising Cheney. But do his supporters?

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