September 2, 2011

Rob over at CrabAppleLane Blog (a.k.a. “the blogging bodhisattva”) has a good post about the return of Dick Cheney with his book “In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir”. On most issues involving politics you’re likely to find Rob and me on opposite sides, but he hit the nail on the head this time when he wrote:

There was a time I liked him. Loose cannon, hypocrite, and always funny with his quips. I think he’s poisonous now. Poisonous to his party, poisonous to his cause (The war on terror), and poisonous to his former boss. Someone should tell him his service is no longer needed.

Couldn’t agree with Rob more there. We’re in a time right now where politics is so divisive and so negative, and I believe Cheney has a lot to do with that. I write often about the arrogance of Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid, but Cheney’s a Republican example of the same kind of arrogance – the arrogance of power and the idea that Washington (and in his case, the Bush White House) knows best.

Most certainly, the buck stops at the desk of the President, and I have no doubt that President Bush was the one making the decisions when it came to the “war on terror”; in that way, I completely disagree with the liberal, loony left who saw Cheney as some Darth Vader character pulling the strings for a dunce of a president. But there’s little doubt that Bush respected Cheney’s opinion greatly, and that Cheney and Don Rumsfeld were the hawks that led W to take the “war on terror” to the level and involvement that it did (and, to Barack Obama’s detriment, still does).

I understand the reasons for going into Afghanistan in the first place after 9/11, but after we crushed the Taliban we should have left it at that – it would have sent a powerful message to the radical Islamic fundamentalists of the world that you mess around with the USA, you’re gonna get hurt, immediately and badly. But staying around to nation build was an ill-conceived idea, and we’re still paying for it in blood, dollars, and prestige nearly ten years later.

With Iraq, I understand the whole WMD issue and Saddam Hussein as a “grave threat” and what Bush might have been thinking about when he chose to go in – after all, he had 9/11 happen on his watch and was determined that it not happen again. I get that. But still, it was flawed intelligence, and I have to think that we could have waited Hussein out longer and more diplomatically until a time when (or if) he made any kind of real threatening moves, then smash him fast and hard just like with the Taliban. Instead, we got ourselves into another protracted engagement, and to what purpose?

In all of this, I think Cheney was a main mover and shaker, and it’s because of him to a great extent that we’re still in the Middle East, involved the messes we’ve created for ourselves. Cheney is a huge proponent of executive power, but that power cuts both ways. We’re seeing the incredible expansion of executive power under President Obama domestically for all the wrong reasons (i.e., the federal government knows best); Cheney exhibits that same flawed judgment in his defense of the Bush White House’s use of executive power in the “war on terror”.

This country is so divided right now, and the politics are so poisonous; the re-emergence of Dick Cheney on the scene does nothing to enhave and improve the dialogue. Time to say “goodnight, Dick”.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:12 | Comments Off on Dick Cheney’s Return
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