November 15, 2013 5:26 pm -

The former Vice President told Larry King, “It’s my new heart, not somebody else’s old heart.” In the words of Salon’s Joan Walsh, or at least her headline writer, Cheney is an “even bigger monster than you thought.”

I was a little startled to hear the former vice president express total indifference to questions about his heart donor in a revealing interview on Politicking with Larry King (it airs Thursday night; here’s a clip). It’s a window into his utter entitlement and self-absorption, and he comes off as an even bigger monster than I’d thought. Most people would at least feign interest in the donor; Cheney can’t manage it.

When King asks if he knows the identity of the person whose heart keeps him alive, Cheney, who is promoting a book about his transplant experience, says no, and adds, “it hadn’t been a priority for me.”

Cheney adds, “…the way I think of it from a psychological standpoint is that it’s my new heart, not someone else’s old heart. And I always thank the donor, generically thank donors for the gift that I’ve been given, but I don’t spend time wondering who had it, what they’d done, what kind of person.”

It’s my new heart, not someone else’s old heart.”

Consider the complete self-centeredness of that statement, and the utter lack of empathy. I shouldn’t be surprised at that — war criminals and torture-promoters aren’t known for their empathy — but I was…

It’s certainly not compulsory to find out about the person who died so that you could live – who gave what Cheney called “the gift of life itself.” There may be valid psychological reasons not to. I don’t judge that decision. But I can’t get over the coldness required to express complete indifference to knowing about that person, and their family’s suffering.