Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, Wyoming?
(Image: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The Wyoming State Bar is holding its annual Blowhard and Backslapping convention next week and, like any such red state quasi-political jamboree a keynote speaker was in order. In Wyoming, you don’t have to think too hard about keynoter candidates because . . . Dick Cheney!!1! Favorite Son.
It turns out that some lawyers, in Wyoming, see a certain wry irony in that choice and a kerfuffle ensued. The appearance of Mr Cheney’s speaker bio in the convention registration materials did little to damp down the hubbub.
Cheney’s bio, borrowed verbatim from his Alliance For A Stronger America website, included these salient facts excerpted from The Life of Dick:
Shortly thereafter, President Obama began to dismantle the security policies that had kept the nation safe. His policy decisions have led to a reversal of the gains America made in the war on terror in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, and a weakening of America across the globe.
The Executive Director of the Wyoming Bar, Sharon Wilkinson, said that Cheney’s office had submitted the bio and that the bar is not in the habit of editing speaker bios, as a rule.
Probably because they try to invite mostly grown-ups . . . ?
At any rate, Wilkinson reported that she had heard from “a handful of lawyers” who said they wouldn’t attend the convention because . . . Cheney!? But, she also said that, “as you can imagine, many are thrilled with our choice and are looking forward to attending.”
William McKellar, a Cheyenne lawyer, is past president of the Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association. He said there was an active online discussion among association members about the choice of Cheney.
“A lot of the attorneys that were members of the Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association expressed disappointment, concern, whatever, regarding Dick Cheney’s appearance at the Wyoming State Bar feeling that it was inappropriate,” McKellar said.
“I took exception to those comments,” McKellar said. “I’m not a dyed-in-the-wool Dick Cheney supporter. On the other hand, I think he’s a great American and has done a great service for the United States and the state of Wyoming, and I think it’s totally appropriate and proper for Vice President Cheney to come and speak at an association such as the Wyoming State Bar Convention.”
McKellar said he believes that if Obama were coming to address the convention, “there would have been no objections raised whatsoever.”
Oh that wily Obama! such a lawyer, such a speaker, such a smooth operator, so less contemptible.
But, as they say, “a handful here, a handful there and pretty soon you have a bunch of pissed off lawyers, so Ms Wilkinson did the right thing and apologized for the Bar’s lapse of good taste in an Editor’s Note in the latest issue of Wyoming Lawyer:
“Certain remarks that appeared in Vice President Cheney’s biography in the annual meeting registration materials have prompted expressions of concern from several members who viewed those comments as inappropriate for a Wyoming State Bar publication,” said the editor’s note in the magazine. It said the bar would re-examine its longstanding practice of running speakers’ biographical materials without editing them.
No further word yet, though, regarding the Bar’s practice of inviting disgraced war criminals and betrayers of the public trust to kick off future conventions.
But for this year? guess who’s coming for dinner, Wyoming? just try not to get any on you.