July 28, 2008

I shudder to think what the reaction might be if Barack Obama tried to pull a stunt like this one.

Vice President Cheney’s invitation to address wounded combat veterans next month has been yanked because the group felt his security demands were Draconian and unreasonable.

The veep had planned to speak to the Disabled American Veterans at 8:30 a.m. at its August convention in Las Vegas.

His staff insisted the sick vets be sequestered for two hours before Cheney’s arrival and couldn’t leave until he’d finished talking, officials confirmed.

“Word got back to us … that this would be a prerequisite,” said the veterans executive director, David Gorman, who noted the meeting hall doesn’t have any rest rooms. “We told them it just wasn’t acceptable.”

David Autry, another Disabled American Veterans official, said Cheney’s demands would be “a huge imposition on our delegates.”

That certainly seems to be the case. Some of the veterans were severely wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan, and many more are elderly veterans who “left pieces of themselves on foreign battlefields since World War II.” Getting to an early-morning event two hours beforehand, and getting stuck in a room they can’t leave, isn’t much of an option.

Once inside, the vets “could not leave the meeting room, and the bathrooms are outside,” Autry added.

Now, I understand the importance of security. The Secret Service no doubt has restrictions in place for a reason.

But that’s why I found this part of the New York Daily News article especially interesting.

[T]he vice president’s rules for speaking to groups seem more stringent than those of his boss.

President Bush routinely speaks at events such as large dinners where thousands of guests freely pass back and forth through Secret Service screening portals.

Wait, Dick Cheney would impose unreasonable restrictions on wounded veterans by choice? His security restrictions are more burdensome than the president’s?

If there’s a logical explanation for that, I can’t think of it.

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