Saturday, May 09, 2009

Cheney's no hypocrite

With the expediency that permeates politics I have to say that Dick Cheney's recent campaign to purify the Republican party is a bit refreshing.  We've seen Senator Arlen Specter jump to the Democratic party when it appeared his personal power base was in jeopardy in the next election.  My favorite hypocrisy is Jane Harman becoming incensed that her civil liberties were abridged after she had voted for legislation that formally abridged the Constitutional rights of every US citizen.

Bring on Dick Cheney.  You can call him whichever derogatory name you want, but "hypocrite" is  not one of them.  He gets on national TV and says, sure I ordered torture and I'd do it again, not necesarily because it was the right thing to do or that it worked or even that it was legal, but merely because I wanted to.  Only 21% of voters describe themselves as Republican and Cheney has hung out for nearly 8 years with an approval rating in the teens, so this guy is not in the business of being popular.  

Recently 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 of us aren't. Most Republicans have a pretty good idea of values, and aren't eager to have someone come along and say, 'Well, the only way you can win is if you start to act more like a Democrat.'
Maybe it's me, but I find it somewhat refreshing to have a politician not willing to bend to the wind of polls and such quaint popular cultural institutions as the Constitution, Geneva Conventions and basic moral decency.   Nope, basic moral decency is for wimps, and I'd be greatly  disappointed if I found out that Cheney had softened... kinda like if I found out Ted Nugent started volunteering at the no-kill animal shelter or Ozzie Guillen stopped swearing.

To be blunt, my worldview as it has been formulated would be torn asunder.  Cheney is Cheney and will always be Cheney.  He is the one constant in national government that connects some of the greatest life-defeating schemes of the last 50 years: the School of the Americas in the 1970's where we trained thugs in Central America to torture innocent nuns and children, Nixon ordering a break-in and then paying off witnesses, the US selling weapons to Iran in the 1980's, arming Saddam Hussein with biological weapons, giving Stinger missiles to the Taliban, enabling Saudi, Sudanese and various other despots against their own people in exchange for oil, the dismantling of our Bill of Rights, rounding up and torturing un-tried brown people, and the subsequent false case for war in Iraq.  The one remaining person who was present in every White House, at the table of each one of these decisions, if not the verbal proponent certainly the reticent observer of the process, was one man: Dick Cheney.

For Cheney to now come out of the cold and show remorse or compassion, for him to call for his party to change into something resembling a republican institution, would be hypocritical.  He has stood on the side of blind authoritarianism, wielding power not for his own personal gain nor even the benefit of the nation, but simply and merely to wield power.  Cheney is a mutated limbic system, containing just enough social conformity to be able to don a suit and tie for the purpose of getting elected, but in reality a lizard seeking to chaotically devour.  For him to change would be against the nature of the beast.  And we all should know where beasts belong.

The tangible discrepancy in this drama is the fact that supposedly well-informed adults have voted this guy into national office, not once but twice.  With all the information available, the press, the internet, the history books... for anyone to admit ignorance of the destitute crimes of Dick Cheney challenges credulity.  Cheneys exist, sure, that's not too incongruous; but he was ELECTED to run this country by coherent, walking, talking people.  That's like calling Chris Brown up and asking him if he'd like to date your daughter, then giving him the keys to the car as well.  The word "sheeple" comes to mind.

No, Dick Cheney exists and will never change. The GOP needs now to determine where to go from here, and whether they will become a reasonable loyal opposition and do the heavy lifting contingent on national leadership or whether they will follow Cheney off the cliff to oblivion.  

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