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On Cheney: The HuffPo Gets It Right And Gets It Wrong

The Huffington Post has a piece on Vice President Dick Cheney that makes for an interesting read. Given the HuffPo's innate hatred of the former Vice President it is a sometimes useful diagnostic to measure their opinions on the former Veep to gauge the necessary chlorine levels required in the fever swamp from time to time.

On the matter of water boarding the VP quickly dispatches the Obama Cult canard that torture was the be all and end all of Bush administration interrogation techniques:

Former Vice President Dick Cheney defended the Bush administration's use of waterboarding on Thursday, saying that, contrary to arguments made by Barack Obama, the techniques were a necessary last-resort measure to get information from detainees.

"I don't believe that's true," Cheney said, when asked to respond to Obama's statement that interrogators may not have needed to resort to torture. "That assumes that we didn't try other ways, and in fact we did. We resorted, for example, to waterboarding, which is the source of much of the controversy, with only three individuals. In those cases, it was only after we'd gone through all the other steps of the process. The way the whole program was set up was very careful, to use other methods and only to resort to the enhanced techniques in those special circumstances."

The Huffpo writer, Sam Stein, then notes that Cheney "glosses" over the "266 instances in which the United States reportedly used waterboarding on two terrorist suspects" without syaing that each of these allegedly 266 instances may have represented pouring water over the person's face and head as opposed to a distinct and separate session of "waterboarding"....but why let details like that get in the way a good narrative?

Asked if the Republican Party should moderate its principles the Vice President characteristically replied that taking the advice of the enemy is often unwise:

I think it would be a mistake for us to moderate. This is about fundamental beliefs and values and ideas...what the role of government should be in our society, and our commitment to the Constitution and constitutional principles," he said. "You know, when you add all those things up the idea that we ought to moderate basically means we ought to fundamentally change our philosophy. I for one am not prepared to do that, and I think most us aren't."

Stein then notes, after Cheney allowed that there always comes a time for the old regime to move on, that the Veep's remarks may have been absent some irony:

"Cheney did -- without apparent irony -- allude to the fact that the GOP would benefit from him exiting the stage"

Where any mention of irony fits into this quasi historical narrative is lost on me. Rather, there is the to be expected (from a Huffpo writer) total lack of context and perspective in analyzing a genuine comment from a real player that understands the concept of "moving on" and political transitions perhaps better than any contemporary politician today. Richard Cheney cut his political teeth on the President Ford's transition after the Nixon resignation. Say what you will about Vice President Cheney's policies but there is nothing ironic about his attempt to protect his legacy and acknowledge that the nation has moved on from his office's mission....

"I think periodically we have to go through one these sessions," he said. "It helps clear away some of the underbrush...some of the older folks who've been around a long time (like yours truly) need to move on, and make room for that young talent that's coming along. But I think it's basically healthy."

That statement is an example of what old school types call "class". If you have to ask what it is you will never understand what it means.


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Comments (6)

So how will the Democrats g... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

So how will the Democrats get rid of Pelosi, Reid, Murtha, and Specter?

Holy water and exorcisms? Stakes through the heart? Cutting their heads off and sewing their mouths shut after stuffing them with garlic?

Oh,, wait. That's for vampires. Admittedly, there's little difference between them and politicians, both being bloodsuckers and all...

I do believe Cheney's right, though. There does come a time when the old, established bastards have to move aside for a new crop.

You know, there's actually a disadvantage to having much better medical care that the founding fathers didn't anticipate. You get folks into Congress (and power) who get the best of care... but unfortunately that means they live significantly longer than folks in the 1700s, and even more unfortunately there's no maximum age for a politician. They're assumed to be 'viable' as long as they can keep moving.

I'd love to see both term limits and mandatory retirement ages instituted, but don't see a chance as long as the geriatric set are in charge.

I'd also like to see them turn off the air conditioning in the summer in Congress and the White House. After all - if it was good enough for the folks in 1776, it should be good enough now! Besides, think of the energy it would save! It's got to cost at least TWICE as much to cool off all that hot air they blather than a normal office space would need!

Given the HuffPo's innat... (Below threshold)
TrueBlue:

Given the HuffPo's innate hatred of the former Vice President it is a sometimes useful diagnostic to measure their opinions on the former Veep to gauge the necessary chlorine levels required in the fever swamp from time to time.

It is not just Huffington Post that hates Cheney. Cheyney has an extremely low approval rating amoung democrats and republicans. How else can he have an approval rating of only 30%.

trueblue - "It is not j... (Below threshold)
marc:

trueblue - "It is not just Huffington Post that hates Cheney. Cheyney has an extremely low approval rating amoung democrats and republicans. How else can he have an approval rating of only 30%."

And that matters how?

Why be concerned about someone out of public service when, presumable, your party brethren approval ratings hover around 49%

TruBlue: A Pew po... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

TruBlue:

A Pew poll shows Biden's approval rating lower than Cheney's or Gore's at the same point in their jobs. Give Biden time to open his yap some more and say stupid things. He'll be made fun of more than Quayle.

"Gird your loins!"

Cheney certainly has the ri... (Below threshold)
James H:

Cheney certainly has the right to comment as a private citizen, but his continual carping irritates me. As vice president, Dick Cheney was in a strong position to run for president in the 2008 election. If he felt this strongly that Bush administration policies should continue, he should have availed himself of the electoral opportunity. That Cheney chose not to do so causes his current criticisms to ring hollow.

You know, it really is inte... (Below threshold)
MTF:

You know, it really is interesting that the Democrat masses seem to presume that the orientation period for this new regime will go on forever; they're drunk in perpetual campaign mode. It's like Freshman year in college. Horribly, we'll all have to live with the hangover. Cheney keeps saying wise things, on any number of subjects and desperately I hope Axelrod, Obama et al are at least reading what he has to say.




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