Thursday, October 07, 2004


Dick's Favorite 'Republic' is a Book

Dick is at ease on the gyroscopic vehicle
Originally uploaded by jonnybutter.

In his new column, veteran Washington journalist Richard Reeves makes a good, common sense point about politicians (and other people) and character:

My view of political character is that an honest politician is one who only lies when he has to. In this case [Cheney's claim that he'd never before met Edwards], it was more than not true, it was obviously a deliberate and unnecessary lie. You do not forget meeting people who are after your job. It is not only politicians who lie in predictable situations. We all do, of course. Honesty is almost always a virtue but there are times where all of us to sin, perhaps when someone asks, How do I look?


Parsing Cheney in cold print is not the hilarious fun that tweezing Bush's transcript from last Thursday was. Bush is the theatre; Cheney is the brick wall at the back of the theatre behind the drapery and flats. You sometimes can't be absolutely positive that Bush knows he's lying about something (usually, but not always). Cheney, on the other hand, always knows precisely what his lies are, because they are eye-poppingly baroque - he weaves them expertly. Bush is the emotional con, Cheney, the intellectual con. Bush is a dork. Cheney is a prick. A sociopathic marriage made in heaven. One of Ifill's questions during the VP debate was about being 'a heartbeat away'; Cheney's performance that night reminded us that his reptillian character and personality - whether a heartbeat away or in overt power - is one of the most important reasons to vote out the grubby stub-figurehead at the top of the ticket.

Others in the 'sphere and in the press have done a good job unfolding Cheney's many lies and distortions (Kevin Drum is a good place to start), so I'll mention only a few more:

Concern about Iraq specifically focused on the fact that Saddam Hussein had been, for years, listed on the state sponsor of terror, that they he had established relationships with Abu Nidal, who operated out of Baghdad...

Yes, Abu Nidal. The Palestinian terrorist - silent since the early 90s - who was thrown out of Iraq in 1983 (so Saddam could get US support for his war with Iran) and shot dead by either himself or Iraqi authorities in 2002. This is one variation of Cheney's more professorial-sounding version of Bush's ''They' attacked us, Jim!'.

The effort that we've mounted with respect to Iraq focused specifically on the possibility that this was the most likely nexus between the terrorists and weapons of mass destruction.

Cheney: 'The effort we've mounted with respect to Iraq..' Bush: 'It's hard work!'

And get a load of the strange nubbin of honesty in that statement: '..the possibility that this was the most likely nexus..'

Of course, they focused on Iraq because they wanted to; they had a partially-baked Wilsonian plan to remake the Middle East. Bad idea? Not in theory, at least not necessarily. Funny how things go wrong when you are overly secretive and utterly insulated from everybody else. Good thing for Cheney he's not a high official in a democratic government...oh, wait.

(Of course most people know by now that the obvious 'nexus' between terrorists and WMD is Pakistan and Central Asia; not to mention Iran, which is not Iraq).

We've, of course, been through a difficult recession, and then the aftermath of 9/11, where we lost over a million jobs after that attack.

After the tornado, my car ran out of gas.

There's no better antidote to poverty than a good, well-paying job that allows somebody to take care of their own family.

Yeah, Cheney's right. We ought to get rid of the fat dole we have in this country. Cheney the revolutionist: making money is the antidote to poverty.

What he [Bush] said he wanted me to do was to sign on because of my experience to be a member of the team, to help him govern... And I think from the perspective of the nation, it's worked in our relationship, in this administration.

'From the perspective of the nation'? Oh, THAT!

When Dubya was governor of TX, he charmed and was mentored by another powerful, accomplished man named Bob Bullock. Bullock - a nominal Democrat - was the most powerful person in TX state politics for many years, most definitely including his years as Lt. Governor 'under' Bush. The TX Governorship is constitutionally very weak, so Bush did the PR/BS, and Bullock often wrote and always negotiated the passage of legislation.

The main difference with Cheney and Bush is that Cheney clearly chose himself, and maybe even chose Bush. Will to Power and all that. Why be actual president when you can have all the power AND a nice stalking horse to skulk behind?

I think it's worked in part because I made it clear that I don't have any further political aspirations myself. And I think that's been an advantage. I think it allows the president to know that my only agenda is his agenda.

Yes, there's only one agenda, alright.

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