Friday, January 26, 2007

The Cheney Problem

This has not been a good week for Cheney. But at least Americans are finding out more about this strange character who talks about insurgents in their last throes and says he knew for certain that Saddam Hussein still had a nuclear weapons program in 2003 when all the evidence says otherwise.

Let's begin with Cheney's bizarre interview with cable news softball tosser Wolf Blitzer; Digby of Hullabalo had a few excerpts from that:
Cheney went on Wolf Blitzer and demonstrated that he has totally lost touch with reality:
(snip)

CHENEY: Well, this is the argument, that there wouldn't be any problem if we hadn't gone into Iraq.

BLITZER: Saddam Hussein would still be in power.

CHENEY: Saddam Hussein would still be in power. He would, at this point, be engaged in a nuclear arms race with Ahmadinejad, his blood enemy next door in Iran.

BLITZER: But he was being contained, as you well know, by the no-fly zones --

CHENEY: He was not being contained. He was not being contained, Wolf. Wolf, the entire sanctions regime had been undermined by Saddam Hussein.

BLITZER: But he didn't have stockpiles --

(snip)
Awesome, isn't it?

His demeanor was extremely hostile and aggressive. Blitzer tried to inject some truth into the interview but Cheney would have none of it --- much like his earlier showdown with harpy wife, Lynn.

What with the sophomoric salvo against Clinton in the WaPo yesterday by daughter Liz, it appears that the Cheney family is having a very public meltdown.

Digby's blog has a series on the Libby trial and offers other examples of Cheney's delusions.

Here's another take on Cheney by Ron Hutcheson of the McClatchy Washington Bureau:
On Wednesday, a testy Cheney sparred with CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer over Iraq and al-Qaida and insisted that Bush administration policies have succeeded in both cases. While he's acknowledged mistakes in Iraq, he bristled when Blitzer suggested that Cheney had lost credibility because of blunders there.

"I just simply don't accept the premise of your question," he said, cutting the interviewer off in mid-sentence. "I just think it's hogwash."

(snip)

"The vice president doesn't know what he's talking about," Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Fox News last Sunday. "He has yet to be right one single time on Iraq. Name me one single time he's been right. It's about time we stop listening to that ideological rhetoric."

Cheney insisted on CNN Wednesday that "there's been a lot of success" in Iraq, and said that if the Senate passes a non-binding resolution opposing the administration's troop buildup there, "it won't stop us." The biggest threat to victory, he said, is if "we don't have the stomach for the fight."

The vice president also claimed success in weakening al-Qaida, removing the terrorist group's leadership below Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, "several times". "We've had great success against al-Qaida," Cheney said.

Several times? Is Cheney trying to gloss over the ridiculous number of times the Bush Administration has taken out the 'number two' man of al Qaida? How many number two men was al Qaida supposed to have? And did Cheney miss Rumsfeld's famous memo where he suggested we might be creating more terrorists than we're killing? Our military had al Qaida on the ropes until a certain president and vice president decided to put Afghanistan on the back burner and head for Iraq while Osama bin Laden went the other way. Cheney has a odd memory.

By the way, I sometimes read too fast and I misread what Joe Biden said on my first reading. When Biden talked about "it's about time we stop listening to that ideological rhetoric," I thought he said 'ideological neurotic.' Actually, it makes sense. Or to describe Cheney more accurately, he might best be described as a delusional 'ideological neurotic.'

Perhaps George W. Bush is also becoming a bit neurotic about the long shadow being cast from the vice president's office. Scarecrow of Firedoglake makes the case:
For the umpteenth time, George Bush felt compelled to remind the press that he is in charge by declaring, "I am the decision maker." I would have thought that being the President of the United States and the Commander in Chief and all would have settled the matter, but apparently this President feels he needs to say it again lest we (or his own VP) forget.

(snip)

But I suspect the President's deeper identity problem stems in large part from the fact that his Vice President keeps saying and doing things that make it look like Dick Cheney is the decider, or if not, that he remains so completely out of control and out of bounds as to make the President appear foolish, weak and a helpless victim of his Vice President's never ending excesses.

This week we got repeated reminders of how much trouble a dishonest and arrogant Vice President can create for an Administration. Official Washington and its media are being reawakened once again by the Libby trial, in which the ever loyal Scooter is on trial for lying, but in which the defendent in waiting may well be Mr. Cheney himself. By the end of the week, government witnesses were detailing Mr. Cheney's and/or his trusted deputy's guilty knowledge of Ms. Plame's identy and status, while Ms. Martin, a trusted member of Mr. Cheney's own communications staff, described under oath how fixated Mr. Cheney had become about anyone who might reveal how badly he and the Administration had spun the facts to gin up a pretext for going to war.

A paranoid vice president who has a habit of making half the officials in Washington look over their shoulders could probably make anybody neurotic, including the president. The amazing thing is how long this character has stayed in office. I mean, he can't even shoot straight.

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11:19 AM  

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