Vice President Cheney’s crew is putting out advances this morning on today’s speech at AEI, offering ‘praise’ for Obama when he deserves an answer when he leads the country in the wrong direction. Clearly there’s going to be a lot of mano a mano razzmatazz that the media tries to gin up around this. But for those who want to remain among the lucid, let’s not forget who the former vice president is.
This is someone who not only organized and seemingly directed a policy of state-sponsored torture. He did it in large part to get people to admit to crankish conspiracy theories he got taken in by by a crew of think-tank jockeys in DC whose theories most even half way sensible people treated as punch lines of jokes. So it’s Torquemada or 1984 but only after getting rescripted by Mel Brooks.
This is an extremely gullible man who has just come off being the driving ideological force in an administration that most people can already see produced more fiascos and titanic, self-inflicted goofs than possibly any in our entire history. By any standard the guy is a monumental failure — and not one whose mistakes stem in some Lyndon Johnson fashion from tragic overreach, but just a fool who damaged his country through his own gullibility, paranoia and bad judgment. Whatever else you can say about the Cheney story it ain’t Shakespearean.
So as we see the big reporters trying to put him on some sort of equal footing with President Obama today, let’s remember that the great majority of Americans see Dick Cheney, accurately, as a clown. And mockery isn’t just the most effective but also the most morally apt response to the man.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.