Column Date 2007-06-27

Where in the world is Dick Cheney?

Dick Cheney is the Vice-President of the United States.

His office is in Washington, D.C.

Washington is a little city on the East Coast of North America. Can you find it on your map? Good.

Let’s start looking for Dick there, because his job is supposed to be helping his friend George, who is President of the United States.

George is called our “Chief Executive,” because he is head of the “Executive Branch” of our government.

Can you find Dick in the Executive Branch?

No, Dick is not there. Dick is the first Vice-President in history to say he’s not really part of the Executive branch, so he doesn’t have to do what the President wants.

Can you find Dick in the Legislative branch (which we usually call “Congress”)?

No. Dick is not there. Congress only needs him a few days a year when he has to cast a vote to break a tie in the Senate.

Is Dick in the Judicial branch? Certainly not after what those people did to his buddy “Scooter.”

So where in the world is Dick?

Let’s look for him at the company he used to run. It’s called Halliburton. Maybe he’s visiting his friends there.

Halliburton is hard to find on a map.

It used to be in America, where we all live. But Halliburton decided to move its headquarters to a city called Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. Can you find the United Arab Emirates on your map?

You have to look really, really hard – it’s a teeny country in the Middle East. It sits on lots of oil, which is worth zillions of dollars these days.

(When Dick & George took office, a gallon of gas cost about $1.50. Today, it costs about $3.00. Their friends in the United Arab Emirates, and other countries that sit on lots of oil, are very, very happy.)

But Dick is not in Dubai.

Where do you think we should look next?

Is Dick hiding in an undisclosed place, like he did after the last election, when nobody could find him for weeks?

Has Dick gone quail hunting with the Democratic leaders of Congress?

I know! Maybe he’s visiting his friend George!

George lives inside a bubble. He talks a lot, but the bubble stops him from hearing things he doesn’t like. Even his friends, the Republicans, are saying things George doesn’t want to hear these days.

Right now there are lots of things Dick doesn’t want to hear, either.

But, no, he isn’t in the bubble with George.

So...where in the world is Dick Cheney?

The truth is, this is a trick question. Dick has gone off the map.

Dick has gone far, far away – away from the executive branch, away from the legislative branch, away from all logic and reason.

Can you find Mars on your map of the solar system?

Mars is a red planet, about 35,000,000 miles away from earth.

If you look closely, I think you’ll find Dick Cheney there.

Even his friends think that’s a good place for him now.

©2007 Peter Tannen