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Dick Cheney, The Cowardly Lion Of The GOP

Dick Cheney wants to act as though he's still a relevant figure in American politics, despite an approval rating just barely in double digits when he left office as a greatly despised figure. He's gone on the antiObama attack tour recently, and when he couldn't launch some attacks himself, then had his daughter make some attacks for him. That should hardly be any surprise for someone who once sought several college deferments to avoid military duty in Vietnam, to now act as some sort of tough talking military expert guy, even if he needs his daughter to make the attacks for him.cowardly lion.jpg

Dick Cheney's whole trip is to act as some sort of pseudo-foreign policy and military expert, although one would be hard pressed to find any glowing examples of Bush Administration foreign policy success stories. Iraq looks like a pretty good unresolved mess. There was a real absence of peace between Israel and the Palestinians or even Lebanon as another example. Iran is probably closer than ever to building a nuclear bomb. Afghanistan remains a real problem. North Korea is still building long range missiles. To find any Bush Administration foreign policy success stories would take a microscope. Yet Cheney is quick to voice his opinion, or have his daughter speak for him, condemning any attempt by the Obama Administration to search for something new that might just work in foreign policy.

Cheney also has made himself a poster boy advocate in favor of torture, viewing himself as some sort of latter day Grand Inquisitor figure or something. In his own mind, torture is the right way to get information, despite the fact that such practices only hurt the moral standing of the United States. But Cheney wants to hear nothing of that moral argument at all.

And when Cheney had an attempt to comment on some recent comments by Gen. Colin Powell in favor of the Republican Party turning more mainstream in order to win some elections, Cheney chose instead to cast his lot in with abrasive radio talk host Rush Limbaugh instead. During the Bush Administration years, Cheney reportedly fought battles with other more reasonable mainstream figures like Colin Powell and is now renewing that old feud.

Former President Bush has surprisingly turned out to be the real gentleman here, acting like a statesman like his father and reserving his judgment on the Obama Administration and giving them a fair chance to run the country and tackle the problems unlike Cheney. It is also another good example that Bush is a far more decent man than Cheney by all means.

Cheney probably has no real plans to run for president himself. His only real drive is to help to ruin his own party by denouncing moderates like Colin Powell, and reminding the public how glad they are to be free of Dick Cheney and the old Bush Administration.

If Cheney had some success to talk about it it would be one thing. But the Bush Administration failed on a lot of issues including the economy, Iraq, Afghanistan, to name but a few issues here. So about all that Cheney brings to the stage is his best imitation of the Cowardly Lion.

Cheney had a good chance to prove himself during Vietnam if he really wanted to prove some military toughness, but he avoided that with his several draft deferments. Cheney then had another chance to prove himself as former defense secretary and as vice president. But neither left a great legacy behind. What's left is a grumpy old man, quick to complain, but slow to offer real achievement. And that's not too much at all.

Cheney has nothing real good to bring to the GOP. Certainly not success. Certainly not genuine expertise. He's only damaged goods and taking the stage from any rising figure in the party. Cheney is a major reason that the Democrats did so well in the last two elections. Cheney also gives the Democrats good hopes for a third good outcome as well. penguin.jpg

The real biggest argument about Cheney here shouldn't be any success for his policies as vice president as there were none, but whether he's more like the sneering Penguin character from the old BATMAN TV series or more like the Cowardly Lion, where he talks real tough in the face of his own history of shirking of responsibility.


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Comments (18)

Mac Lorry:
In his own mind, torture is the right way to get information, despite the fact that such practices only hurt the moral standing of the United States.

This is a laughable argument given that Obama has ordered the CIA to stealthily lob hellfire missiles into Pakistani homes with women and children present. It's lunacy to argue that defending the United States justifies such action, but not the use of enhanced interrogations techniques on the very masterminds of terror for the purpose of gaining information to save American lives.

It's the hellfire missiles fired from predator drones into Pakistani homes with women and children present that inflames the world against us far more than subjecting the very masterminds of terror to 14 seconds with a wet towel over their face. Cheney is just pointing out the lunacy and asking the lunatic in chief to release the memos that showed what was learned by using the enhanced interrogations techniques.

Cheney's point is that it would have been better to leave all of the memos classified, which Obama could have done even against a court order by use of an executive order, but releasing only one side of the story constitutes a lie to the American people. By acting holier-than-though over torture and only releasing the memos that support his position Obama is showing the world that he's both a lunatic and a liar. No wonder democrats hate Cheney and pretend he's irrelevant while writing long articles about him.

Lee Ward:

Cheney is trying to keep his sorry ass from being imprisoned for war crimes.

Nothing more... nothing less.

ed davis:

And on what ground are you speaking, Sir? I wager that Cheney's experience (however vicarious it may be) outweighs yours. What political offices have you held? Whose safety in this sometimes cruel world has rested on your back? There is a concept called Providence. Cheney may have been kept from being TORTURED TO DEATH at the hands of the Viet Cong or the Koreans by NOT going into MILITARY service. And by being spared that, he was able to SERVE his Country as the Vice President of the United States of America.

Now, for the record, state your service, Paul. If you have any, thanks for it. It doesn't validate your opinions. Not having any to speak of doesn't invalidate your opinions. You can be wrong simply because there IS a wrong and there is a right. Having served or not served doesn't change that.

Oh and by the way, just because someone served in the Armed Forces of the United States doesn't make them an untouchable fucking patriot for life. See Murtha/Kerry et al for "How to Shit on the US Militar but receive carte blanch from the Left". Far from heroes, in my book. If Sykes can be "funny" with her remarks, I can surely say that I think Murtha and Kerry are fucking TRAITORS.

And who in the fuck says waterboarding Kalid Sheik Mohammed was fucking torture? It saved American lives, didn't it? And it proved that WE GOT THE MAIN FUCKER responsible for 9/11.

Torture doesn't get video taped with people competing to see how much they can take, VOLUNTARILY. Like, say, hair curlers up the ass. People aren't lining up for that one, are they? Or hammering finger tips. Funny, people are having themselves waterboarded to "see what it feels like". That kinda takes it off the list of "torture", since people are ASKING FOR IT TO BE DONE TO THEM, AND GOING THROUGH WITH IT. MORE THAN ONCE.

This is undisputably torture:
http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2007/0524072torture1.html

Waterboarding? Umm, highly debatable. Stating it as fact is irresponsible at least, treason at worst. Especially with TROOPS IN HARMS WAY. Like it or not, publishing that opinion is approaching treason, sir.

Mac Lorry:
Cheney is trying to keep his sorry ass from being imprisoned for war crimes.

Nothing more... nothing less

If enhanced interrogation techniques are war crimes then stealthily lobbing hellfire missiles into Pakistani homes with women and children present is a war crime and an atrocity against humanity. Obama may be Cheney's cell mate.

Cheney has put Obama in a tight spot with his call to release the memos that show what was learned as a result of using enhanced interrogation techniques. If Obama refuse to do so after releasing memos that only support his side of the argument, then that makes Obama a liar by omission, a purveyor of half truths. If Obama does release the memos they may show that thousands of American lives were saved by the information gained, which calls into question Obama's judgment for revealing these techniques to the terrorists. If there's another 9/11 magnitude attack on American soil Obama will then be judged as incompetent while Bush will be vindicated in the eyes of the American public.

Just keep telling yourself that Cheney is irrelevant, it's the only way you'll sleep at night.

Lee Ward:

He's not irrelevant, he's a war criminal.

Whether he get prosecuted or not is another matter, and I could make a case either way - for or against prosecution -- but he's not irrelevant. He's the criminal who ordered the torture.

That's why the right used to argue that it wasn't torture. Having lost that argument - they now argue in other directions.

It follows the same pattern that global warming did over the last several years. Firth they argue it isn't real and isn't a threat, and when they indisputably lose that argument they argue instead that it it's not man-made.

Cheney the coward ordered up torture. I believe that can proven in court - and it explains the mad panic Cheney is exhibiting in fighting this.

Mac Lorry:

If Obama sets the example of one administration prosecuting a former administration for policy differences like many banana republics do, then you can expect a statement like this in the future. "Obama the coward ordered up war crimes. I believe that can proven in court -- and it explains the mad panic Obama is exhibiting in fighting this."

As for global warming even the IPCC admits it stopped, but claims it's due to a strong La Nino, which is stupid as La Nino not a global phenomenon. Unlike political opinions, science is not stagnate and the C.L.O.U.D. experiments are going on at CERN to measure the sun, cosmic ray, cloud linkage and effect. Results should be in by 2010 and all the scientific consensus and computer models must bow to independently repeatable experiments or it fails to be science. The CLOUD theory explains past cooling and warming periods that CO2 forcing cannot, and it also explains the current cooling trend without the need to invoke a local phenomenon. In a few years CO2 forcing may be relegated to the junk heap of failed scientific theories, and while science will move on, the political costs for the global warming scammers will be high. If the U.S. moves into the banana republic mode maybe the next administration will label that scam a crime and go after it's purveyors.

The future could be a scary place for Obama if he criminalizes policy differences.

Lee Ward:

But if the law was broken by Cheney then he should be prosecuted, yes?

Or do Republicans still believe that the President is above the law, and can do whatever he or she wants without any accountability?

Sticky wicket there...

Lee Ward:

The Republican view of the President's ability to break the law with impunity.

The following is an excerpt from an interview with former President Nixon conducted by David Frost. It aired on television on May 19, 1977.

FROST: The wave of dissent, occasionally violent, which followed in the wake of the Cambodian incursion, prompted President Nixon to demand better intelligence about the people who were opposing him. To this end, the Deputy White House Counsel, Tom Huston, arranged a series of meetings with representatives of the CIA, the FBI, and other police and intelligence agencies.

These meetings produced a plan, the Huston Plan, which advocated the systematic use of wiretappings, burglaries, or so-called black bag jobs, mail openings and infiltration against antiwar groups and others. Some of these activities, as Huston emphasized to Nixon, were clearly illegal. Nevertheless, the president approved the plan. Five days later, after opposition from J. Edgar Hoover, the plan was withdrawn, but the president's approval was later to be listed in the Articles of Impeachment as an alleged abuse of presidential power.

FROST: So what in a sense, you're saying is that there are certain situations, and the Huston Plan or that part of it was one of them, where the president can decide that it's in the best interests of the nation or something, and do something illegal.

NIXON: Well, when the president does it that means that it is not illegal.

FROST: By definition.

NIXON: Exactly. Exactly. If the president, for example, approves something because of the national security, or in this case because of a threat to internal peace and order of significant magnitude, then the president's decision in that instance is one that enables those who carry it out, to carry it out without violating a law. Otherwise they're in an impossible position.

If I"m not mistaken, Condoleeza Rice cited the same 'exception to the law' with regards to her role in ordering torture be practiced against detainees. She said something to the effect of "The President said it was legal"...

So, conservatives, now that a Democrat is in the White House -- does a President have the right to break the law with impunity?

Mac Lorry:
But if the law was broken by Cheney then he should be prosecuted, yes?

Sure, if it's cut and dry rather than a matter of opinion and as long as all the democrats who were complicit are also prosecuted, such as NP.

However, I don't believe Cheney broke the law as it's open to interpretation. I'm not sure the specific U.S. law that's being cited was even in effect, and I know that the U.S. law that extend the Geneva conventions to terrorists wasn't passed until 2006, long after the last enhanced interrogation technique was used. Also, the word waterboard describes many different techniques and the CIA version of waterboarding does not subject the subject to water ingestion. Without water ingestion there is no physical effect of drowning, it's a simulation of drowning. In effect the subject has a wet towel over their face, which induces panic. The average terrorist broke in 14 seconds and could have held their breath longer than that, so it's doubtful that constitutes torture even under current U.S. law. Some think it is, but other say it's not. To win a criminal case it has to be proven beyond reasonable doubt.

Or do Republicans still believe that the President is above the law, and can do whatever he or she wants without any accountability?

We are not talking about Watergate type crimes, but official policies that congress knew about and funded. We have three equal braches of government; the executive branch, congress, and the judiciary. When acting in official capacity the President has authority equal to congress or equal to the judiciary. If a judge sentences a person to death row and it's found out after execution that the person was innocent, do you believe the judge should be prosecuted? That nearly happened with the guy on death row for 22 years and scheduled for execution next month. If a judge can't be held responsible then how can the President or anyone in his administration be held accountable for caring out operations that the President approved and congress was informed about and funded?

I know you hate Cheney and Bush beyond all reason, but do you really want every administration going forwarded to be subject to criminal prosecution for policy differences? If Obama goes down that road he's opening himself up to future prosecution maybe for war crimes, the ruinous global warming scam, or violating private property rights.

GarandFan:

If Cheney is irrelevant, why is Pelosi holding one lying news presser after another?

Lee Ward:

I don't see how they're related, Fan.

My guess is that you don't either.

Tim:

You don't see how Pelosi talking about our interrogation techniques is related to Cheney talking about our interrogation, Lee? I'll give you a clue - it may be tangentially related to our interrogation techniques.

Lee Ward:

You nutcakes see the word "torture" and find that they're related?

I don't see how they're related at all. Cheney says torture is necessary. Pelosi says she was never briefed in the administration's use of torture. Two different issues.

Just because the word "torture" is there in both instances doesn't mean they're related.

Interesting though that it was just a few weeks ago that conservatives were denying torture was even used - now they not only acknowledge that it was used, they are arguing vociferously that Pelosi knew about it.

Tim:

Lee, Dick Cheney never said it was torture. Because it's not. Pelosi says she was never briefed, because she's lying. She's changed her story 5 or 6 times already. She approved of the same things that Cheney was talking about, but she says she never knew about it. Because she's lying. It's alright, Lee. You can admit it, even if it's only to yourself. Go ahead and let the truth sink in. You'll feel better. Trust me on this one.

Burt:

Paul:
What has become of you? You just used the words
"real gentleman" "Statesman" and "decent" in a description of George W. Bush. Is there nothing left for me to believe in?

Paul Hooson:

Hello Burt. I might not agree with the politics of George Bush. But he was always a far more decent man than either Dick Cheney or a few members of his party. Mr. Bush spoke Spanish well, and always believed in the equality for persons of color as well as dignity towards immigrants. And that should count for something in my view.

ed davis:

If any law has been broken, it has been broken INTENTIONALLY by Pelosi and others. She believes and always has believed that waterboarding is "torture". President Bush and Vice President Cheney do NOT believe it is torture. The only criminals to speak about are those that knowingly signed off on the use of or the possible use of something they believe is "torture" for gathering intelligence. She signed off on using a technique she states is torture yet insinuates that anyone else involved with this is a war criminal. Bush Cheney et al say waterboarding is not torture. Which is the criminal? Which has convictions and stands behind them? Which compromises their convictions?

Cheney can clear this whole thing up for himself by getting waterboarded. Too bad he has a bad heart, cuz, damn, it might fuckin' kill him! But I still say GO FOR IT.

If Pelosi had been doing her job with a shred of commitment to her sworn duties to this Country, she wouldn't have missed a briefing unless she absolutely had to (having missed any and not gotten any memos promply for review shows how she really felt about our Nation's security). And if she had to miss a briefing, she would have perused every jot and tittle of any and all memos and minutes. Her hypocrisy is revolting. So is her commitment to her oath as a US Congresswoman.

Edward Eubanks:

The posts supporting Cheney are laughable and Cheney should find them embarassing. Of course, a man who doesn't find revelations about his condoning torture embarassing probably doesn't mind being supported by a cadre of nitwits.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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