Dick Cheney's heart goes just as America learns to love him again

The worst vice-president since John C. Calhoun is disapproved of by fewer people than before (and he had surgery)

Published July 14, 2010 10:01PM (EDT)

Multiple heart attack sufferer and former Vice President Dick Cheney, suffering from "increasing congestive heart failure," had a pump implanted in his heart last week. According to a statement, "the operating went very well."

Meanwhile, according to a Gallup poll, a mere 52 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of Cheney. That's down from 63 percent in May of last year, because we are an easily distracted and forgetful nation. His "favorables" have gone from 30 percent to 36 percent.

Politico -- the Washington-area newspaper that has been deeply involved in the political rehabilitation of Cheney -- dutifully reports on his newfound "popularity." They do not mention their role in promoting the Cheney Brand.

Concerning the device that was implanted into Cheney's abdomen, the Mayo Clinic says:

LVADs are now sometimes used as an alternative to transplantation. Implanted heart pumps can significantly extend and improve the lives of some people with severe heart failure who aren't eligible for or able to undergo heart transplantation or are waiting for a new heart.

The Clinic also offers this advice to sufferers of congestive heart failure:

Although it can be extremely difficult, discuss end-of-life issues with your family and medical team. Part of this discussion will likely involve advance directives — a general term for oral and written instructions you give concerning your medical care should you become unable to speak for yourself. If you have an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD), one important consideration to discuss with your family and doctors is turning off the defibrillator so it can't deliver shocks to make your heart continue beating.

By Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at apareene@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @pareene

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