It's a little surprising to remember that, a year ago this week, people were giddily speculating that Dick Cheney's face-shooting incident might the beginning of the end for the man pulling the strings at the White House. I mean, good lord--he not only knocked back a couple of brewskies and then nailed some hapless septuagenarian GOP money man at close range with quail shot, putting the old guy in intensive care for a week, he openly set half the White House to the task of covering it all up. (Bush, who apparently was one of the last to find out about the incident, was in the other half of the White House.)
Of course, it wasn't terribly surprising to long-time Bush-Cheney watchers when the Bush loyalty enforcement machine soon made the victim look like the one to blame.
And admittedly, from his secret energy policy meetings to his continuing to push the zombie lie about a mythical Saddam-al Qaida connection without getting called on it, long after it had been officially debunked for the hundredth time, it's not like we hadn't seen him escape the consequences of his actions before.
But still--shooting a guy in the face? Surely that kind of Aaron-Burr-meets-"The Deerhunter" moment would have consequences. Wouldn't it?
In hindsight, it's pretty amazing how people's imaginations ran away with them (and I'll admit I let it happen to myself too)--we supposed a little quail shot incident was going to bring him down? All those "CSI"-besotted posts we read, theorizing about blood alcohol content and the dispersal pattern of quail shot--what were we thinking?
We had no idea how much farther he could still go.