Dick Cheney, Dressing Down
Parka, Ski Cap at Odds With Solemnity of Auschwitz Ceremony
At yesterday's gathering of world leaders in southern Poland to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the United States was represented by Vice President Cheney. The ceremony at the Nazi death camp was outdoors, so those in attendance, such as French President Jacques Chirac and Russian President Vladimir Putin, were wearing dark, formal overcoats and dress shoes or boots. Because it was cold and snowing, they were also wearing gentlemen's hats. In short, they were dressed for the inclement weather as well as the sobriety and dignity of the event.
The vice president, however, was dressed in the kind of attire one typically wears to operate a snow blower.
Cheney stood out in a sea of black-coated world leaders because he was wearing an olive drab parka with a fur-trimmed hood. It is embroidered with his name. It reminded one of the way in which children's clothes are inscribed with their names before they are sent away to camp. And indeed, the vice president looked like an awkward boy amid the well-dressed adults.
Read the whole op-ed, it's a quick read, and some of it is pretty biting/funny. I love it 'cause it makes fun of Cheney, but there is an underlying serious point here. It's just another subtle lack of respect for other countries, an nose-thumbing attitude. A quiet "fuck yourselves", if you will.
Showing up isn't good enough, Dick. Show the proper respect or don't show up at all. You braved the cold and dressed appropriately for your own inaugural ceremony, so we know you own a proper coat...
[UPDATE] From the comments at Daily Kos:
This has to be purposeful
This is somewhat like when Reagan made the first speech of his presidential campaign from Philadelphia, Mississippi, the town in which civil rights workers were murdered, or his subsequent trip to Bitburg, Germany where he laid a wreath at a cemetery noted for its interment of SS officers.
These clowns are very adept at the manipulation of symbols, when it suits their fancy. It is idiotic to suggest they didn't know any better.