Bum Ticker.
June 29, 2001 6:57 AM   Subscribe

Bum Ticker. Dick "Big Time" Cheney may need a pacemaker. No big deal, or should he step down?
posted by owillis (22 comments total)
But if he stepped down, who would be pResident? :)
posted by nofundy at 7:05 AM on June 29, 2001

According to this, he wants to have it put in Saturday and be back at work by Monday.
posted by owillis at 7:08 AM on June 29, 2001

Pacemakers are practically out-patient surgery these days.
If this is a proactive rather than reactive treatment, I don't see how this is an issue.
posted by machaus at 7:09 AM on June 29, 2001

why should he step down? oh well, at least this isn't quite as annoying as those who suggested a once-pregnant governor step down. now that was annoying.
posted by moz at 7:10 AM on June 29, 2001

As long as it is directly wired to the polls, it's ok with me. Like that Neal Stephenson book.
posted by mecran01 at 7:12 AM on June 29, 2001

I was just honestly asking. Three heart related incidents in the past year seemed like a lot, but I actually want him to stay in office (he makes a great object of demonization).
posted by owillis at 7:15 AM on June 29, 2001

Um, it's not exactly a pacemaker. It's an implantable defibrillator. That's right, an implantable version of the paddles made popular by such programs as ER and Emergency!. Pacemakers are for slow heart rhythms, ICDs are for life threateningly fast rhythms. A good overview article on the technology appears here. Pacemakers fire every beat to make sure that the heart pumps enough blood, ICDs literally fire when the rhythm is too fast to knock the heart back into line. I've had patients that have these and I'm told that when they go off it's like being hit in the chest with a baseball bat. I look forward to witnessing this at a press conference...
posted by shagoth at 7:50 AM on June 29, 2001

ahhh. ok shagoth, thanks. my uncle has one of these, he said the most interesting part is that you have to experiment in the first week with the threshold at which it fires. he had it set too low and almost fell off his exercise bike. I think all this recent Halburton hubbub will give Cheney an opportunity to dial in the extreme end of the stress scale.
posted by machaus at 8:04 AM on June 29, 2001

I don't see any reason he should step down. For all we know he'll never have another problem. It's not like he's got a degenerative mental disease or something. So long as he's taking proper precautions (and I'm sure he and his staff are making sure that he is), then what else can you ask for?

Besides, a seemingly perfectly healthy person (say, George W Bush) might die of a sudden heart attack or stroke or aneurism or what-have-you at any moment anyway. We have no way to know.
posted by daveadams at 9:15 AM on June 29, 2001

he should get a coal burning pacemaker.
posted by clavdivs at 9:23 AM on June 29, 2001

It's not like he's got a degenerative mental disease or something

and why would that be a good reason to have him step down? so we're saying with physical condition we'll 'allow' you to remain in office, but if you have a mental illness you'd better get yr ass out of there? that kind of logic does not sit well with me.
posted by raedyn at 9:27 AM on June 29, 2001

but if you have a mental illness you'd better get yr ass out of there? that kind of logic does not sit well with me.

Then clearly you're nuts. Please step down.
posted by rushmc at 10:28 AM on June 29, 2001

that kind of logic does not sit well with me.

It seems perfectly logical to me. His job is not a physical job really, and as long as he can stay conscious he should be fine. But if he cannot be counted on to consistently think clearly and logically, he should not serve in public office. What is illogical about that?
posted by donkeymon at 10:31 AM on June 29, 2001

It's not like he's got a degenerative mental disease

even if he did, didn't one of our recent Presidents have a degenerative mental disease and still serve out his term?
posted by tolkhan at 10:45 AM on June 29, 2001

I'm not a supporter of Cheney's policies, but for Chrissake, let him work... he's been having heart trouble since
the 80's. He's under the best medical supervision he could ever get. And he probably thrives on the work.

The discussion about the degenertive stuff is getting a little off subject and into a hypothetical area. He has no mental condition at this time.
posted by brucec at 10:46 AM on June 29, 2001

even if he did, didn't one of our recent Presidents have a degenerative mental disease and still serve out his term?

Yes, but the argument can be and has most definately been made that he didn't do it well.

As for Cheney I must agree with brucec. Let him work. I'm not a fan of his or his schrubery, but if we start to debate the physical well being of all those in line to become President, then we can't just stop with the Vice (figuratively and titled I might add). Lets look all down the chain of succesion until we find a universally acceptable physical specimen and then ask ourselves if this is the person we really want as President.

Bush is in the chair, and I suggest we worry far more about his inadequacies than we should "Dick's".

(yeah, I know, I'm just a bitter liberal. So what?)
posted by Wulfgar! at 11:52 AM on June 29, 2001

Why should he step down? The worst-case scenario, from the viewpoint of orderly government, would be for us to suddenly not have a vice president. Doing that on purpose hardly seems like a win. The Senate has a president pro tem, so they can carry on perfectly well without the VP, and there's a long, carefully enumerated list of who would succeed to the presidency if the president and VP both died.

I can think of good reasons for Cheney to step down--but they have nothing to do with his physical health. And it might not matter much, as long as Bush is in the White House: Does anyone think Cheney would stop being influential if he were no longer vice president?
posted by rosvicl at 12:05 PM on June 29, 2001

Here's a reason he should step down. When a Pres. serves his full two-terms or gets the boot after one, political parties often saddle up the former Vice-president as their next candidate: he's already got experience in the Oval Office and got the whole "name-brand recognition" thing going for him. But I don't think Cheney can get elected Pres: the heart thing will be a big deterrent for voters, and I think they will be reluctant to vote in someone so conservative.

So if the GOP is planning ahead, they may want to think about getting an electable guy into that vice-president position now -- before Georgie either gets his pink slip in three years or completes his two terms in seven. If the GOP suspects (as I do) that GWB is a one-termer, the time to get that electable guy in the vice-president spot would be about two years into the first term: long enough so that he is viewed as seasoned, electable president material by the time they lose the White House in 2004. And they'll want that person to ascended to the position under favorable circumstances (i.e. because Cheney dutifully decided to step down "for the good of the country", not because he kicked the bucket.)

Let me put a finer point on it: Colin Powell.

(Just ruminating, here ... haven't thought this all the way through, as you may have gathered ...)
posted by Shadowkeeper at 12:23 PM on June 29, 2001

Shadowkeeper - So you're saying that the GOP is kinda' foist on their own petard? Hehehehehehehehe ...
posted by Wulfgar! at 12:34 PM on June 29, 2001

Then clearly you're nuts.
yeah thanks. that was also productive. *rolls eyes*

what i was concerned about was an attitude toward people with mental illness, but on a second reading i realize that this is not what daveadams was talking about. i apologize for my error.

however, i do not apologize for believing that we cannot discount all people with a mental illness as unfit.
posted by raedyn at 1:52 PM on June 29, 2001

Just a side note: As the article pointed to by Shagoth notes, modern AICD's use transvenous leads and can perform in cardioversion, defibrillation, and pacing modes. So while Cheney's ICD is being placed for tachydysrhythmias, it can/probably will be programmed to function as a pacemaker if his heart slows down or stops.
posted by Alwin at 8:59 PM on June 29, 2001

cheney was ideological choice for vp. smart, wont overshadow the twig, plus is to ill to succeed as prez for any length...i saw this the day they pick cheney. I was puzzled but it made sense. Twig can have power and his cheney too. If Dick bellies up, then he can pick another person. perhaps a woman....ehhh...clever huh.
posted by clavdivs at 9:03 AM on July 1, 2001

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