Friday, January 28, 2005

The Dick Does Auschwitz

How would you dress if your were invited to represent The United States Of America at the
solemn 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz?

Keep in mind that the survivors in that Daily Mail photo owned nothing but the thin cotton prison uniforms (represented by the caps in the photo) and the wooden clogs they were wearing when they were liberated by the Russians on that brutally cold Winter day 60 years ago.


They survived the harsh weather wearing cotton.

They survived humiliation and disease and famine and brutality and unimaginable heartbreak.

They survived the systematic eradication of millions and millions...

They survived.

Flash forward to the 60th observance of the liberation of Auschwitz.

Cue The Dick.

The Dick, fashion guru that he... isn't, chose a casual ski parka with a roadkill hood to frame his face, a STAFF 2001 beanie, and hiking boots for the occasion.

No, this story is NOT from The Onion!

Don't believe me?

Which one of these is not like the others?

Here's the story...

Dick Cheney, Dressing Down

Parka, Ski Cap at Odds With Solemnity of Auschwitz Ceremony

By Robin Givhan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 28, 2005; Page C01

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.

Like other attendees, the vice president was wearing a hat. But it was not a fedora or a Stetson or a fur hat or any kind of hat that one might wear to a memorial service as the representative of one's country. Instead, it was a knit ski cap, embroidered with the words "Staff 2001." It was the kind of hat a conventioneer might find in a goodie bag.

It is also worth mentioning that Cheney was wearing hiking boots -- thick, brown, lace-up ones. Did he think he was going to have to hike the 44 miles from Krakow -- where he had made remarks earlier in the day -- to Auschwitz?


Just last week, in a frigid, snow-dusted Washington, Cheney sat outside through the entire inauguration without so much as a hat and without suffering frostbite. And clearly, Cheney owns a proper overcoat. The world saw it during his swearing-in as vice president. Cheney treated that ceremony with the dignity it deserved -- not simply through his demeanor, but also through his attire. Would he have dared to take the oath of office with a ski cap on? People would have justifiably considered that an insult to the office, the day, the country.

And here's that proper overcoat...

When it's all about The Dick,
The Dick dresses for the occasion.

There is little doubt that intellectually Cheney approached the Auschwitz ceremony with thoughtfulness and respect.

Hold on, there, Robin!

Thoughtfulness and respect?


Didn't look like thoughtfulness and respect to me.

The Dick, lost in thought.

But symbolism is powerful. That's why the piercing cry of a train whistle marked the beginning of the ceremony and the glare of searchlights signaled its end. The vice president might have been warm in his parka, ski cap and hiking boots. But they had the unfortunate effect of suggesting that he was more concerned with his own comfort than the reason for braving the cold at all. LINK

I heard recently that The Dick lost an uncle at Auschwitz...

He fell out of a guard tower.


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