Wednesday, September 28, 2005

An Obscene Irony

I didn't mean for this to turn into "political day" (and really, this post is more about sociology than politics, so hang with me for a minute), but I've been reading about Dr. Ben Marble. If you don't know who he is, well, he's a 35- year-old Emergency Room physician with a newborn baby (born in Katrina's aftermath), whose home in Gulfport, Mississippi was destroyed by Katrina. He's also a musician, and an artist, and something of a political scholar-- a Renaissance man.

The reason that Dr. Marble is a little more well-known now than before the hurricane is that he is "that guy" who, during an impromptu "pep rally" pitstop by Vice President Dick Cheney in Gulfport on Sept.8, yelled at the Vice President, "GO **** YOURSELF, MR. CHENEY!" During the ensuing shocked lull, he had a chance to repeat himself, adding a bonus expletive--but, it should be noted, always referring to the Veep as "Mr. Cheney." There is video available in which the heckling can be clearly heard. He left pretty abruptly at that point, citing a "wild look" in the eyes of some Secret Service agents, and walked back to his home to start packing up what he could salvage. He was later greeting 8-10 men armed with M-16s at his home, who handcuffed and questioned him, then released him. You can read all about it in Dr. Marble's own words in an excellent interview HERE (disclaimer--this is a pointedly liberal website, but the words you are interested in are those of Dr. Marble, who strikes me as a very rational, reasoned, compassionate person).

NOW--the whole reason I think this story is funny, and worth mentioning, is what happened during Ben Marbles' departure from the Vice-Presidential photo-op: A CNN reporter asked Mr. Cheney, concerning the outburst, "Are you getting a lot of that, Mr. Vice President?" And here's the punchline: Cheney said--pay attention, now--"First time I've heard it." Is he getting senile already? Has he already forgotten June 22, 2004, on the very day the Senate passed the "Defense of Decency Act" (irony abounds in this story), when he very decisively told Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), on the Senate floor, and live on C-SPAN, guessed it: "GO **** YOURSELF!" It seems Sen. Leahy had had the temerity to bring up Cheney-sensitive topics such as Halliburton's no-bid contracts in Iraq and Cheney's ties to (*cough* evil!) Halliburton (in case you didn't know, Cheney being "no longer on the payroll" at Halliburton is kind of cancelled out by the deferred payments, but that's a whole other kettle of fish), among other things. Dr. Marble's words may have been "profane", but they were carefully chosen to make a point, as he was well aware of the infamous Cheney/Leahy Senate exchange. Dr. Marble has lost pretty much everything to Katrina, has a wife and newborn infant to care for, and has worked exhaustively in Gulfport's E.R.s, which were seeing 500-plus patients per shift post-Katrina. If you'd like to help out a good doctor who gave everything and lost everything during a disastrous storm, or if you just really like the idea of telling Dick Cheney to take a flying leap, or if you just have enough money to burn a wet mule and need to get some of it out of your way, you may make donations to Ben Marble via PayPal, by sending money to the email address You can also email Dr. Marble at that address, or better yet, visit his new website, where he answers many questions and hosts a non-partisan discussion forum.


  1. Hats off to Dr. Marble - that was fantastic what he said to Cheney! I'm glad to hear that he is still alive, I thought maybe by now he would have "disappeared" - like a Chilean kid during the Pinoche regime.

  2. Obscene have a knack for summing it up, Ms. Belinda. Have you ever considered a career in advertising?

    I'd forgotten re: the whole Cheney obscenity on the Senate Floor until now. It's pretty funny what Ben said, but like the LJ blogger who prayed to God that Dubya would die, it is not surprising that he was interviewed by the Feds. That is what he wanted after all. He seems to do a lot of promotion of his band so I am sure this will help his efforts there as well. The irony in some of those whose voices are heard is that, they are looking to profit off the celebrity-oreinted society as well...look at Cindy Sheenan...calling McCain to a conference under false pretenses and then calling him a "warmonger." Some astute blogger said, "I think we may find, somewhere down the line, that Cindy Scheenan is actually on the payroll of Carl Rove." I am sorry that her son died but her efforts really aren't helping the true anti war protesters when she thinks she's above the law while protesting the protest of illegal protest (ie: disobeying civil law professionals just to get arrested).

    I agree with much of what he says throughout. Unfortunately, when he comes up with yet another unflattering moniker for GWB, that's where his credibility weakens. I voted for Clinton both times, ended up disappointed by his manipulation (even though his personal issues should never have been investigated as they were) but I never called him names, never was emotionally blinded by hate for him.

    Anyway, good for Dr. Marble for getting the podium so many crave. I couldn't agree more with his assessment of the war and the potential implications for our beloved country. And one thing that Bush supporters and even Dr. Marble seem not to mention that is a HUGE irony...the fact that a "conservative Republican" is actually creating "big government" outside our country. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    And, AMEN to Ben's assessment of the poor state of our two party system. Kerry as an alternative in '04? Please. Kerry got his comeuppance, post election, methinks.

    Belinda, your intuitive posts on politics and society are a GOOD THING. And, as you said...politics should not be discussed in "polite" company & the blogosphere does not exactly qualify for that, always. ;)

  3. I gotta admit, I found the term "W Gump" rather apropos. He has just bobbed along like a cork, going wherever the currents of life, his dad, and Rove/Cheney/Rumsfeld pull him, and has been rewarded through no real talent or achievement of his own. I get your point, though.

    Bush is actually among the *least* of my worries about this administration. It's the puppet *masters*, not the puppet, who frighten me. I'm kinda scared of his mom, too. ;-)(That probably stems from a childhood aversion I had to "old ladies". The sight of Babs back then would have sent me screaming into the night.)

    And I can't blame a guy for trying to profit in any way he can from any media attention pursuant to the incident...not with a newborn to worry about and no home.

    Advertising? I would crumple under the pressure like a Coke can under a Humvee tire!

  4. P.S. I love having smart friends!

  5. wow just saw this via a google search...thanks for the kind words

  6. Thanks for a great post. I had read about this but it is nice to hear the story of the man.