Skip to comments.The New Image of Dick Cheney
Posted on 09/03/2011 5:36:36 AM PDT by Kaslin
This week marks the debut of former Vice-President Dick Cheneys memoir entitled In My Time. Cheney has helped pump up interest in his volume, promising that it will stir up a hornets nest in Washington and among the chattering classes, at large. Some commentators, most of whom have not yet read the tome, are accusing Cheney of settling old scores and answering his critics, instead of offering a substantive contribution to the historical literature of the Bush Presidency. Time will tell, but Cheney can be excused for taking a shot or two at his critics because, in truth, there was no more unfairly maligned Bush Administration official than His Honor, the Vice-President of the United States. In fact, Dick Cheney serves as a primer in the way that the modern Left, working with their allies in the mainstream media seek to destroy a perceived enemy.
In order to fully address this issue we must try to understand the subject matter, apart from media caricature. Who is Dick Cheney? Simply put, Cheney is a westerner, a Nebraska-born, Wyoming resident who served his state and his country ably in a startling number of capacities. He began serving as an aide to Donald Rumsfeld in the early days of the Nixon Administration. This led to Cheney transiting to the Nixon White House, itself, where he served as an aide. His calm efficiency and low-key style attracted favorable attention and Cheney took over as the Chief-of-Staff in the Ford White House in 1974, holding this position throughout Fords short Presidency and serving as his 1976 campaign manager.
Cheney briefly returned to private life after the Carter transition in 1977, but won election to Congress as a Republican from Wyoming in 1978. He easily won his re-election contests for the next ten years. A close analysis of Cheneys voting record in Congress reveals a very solid conservative of Reaganite inclinations. Most of the pundits and commentators, however, regarded Cheney as a Center-Rightist of the Ford type, meaning that he was more conservative than not, but by no means a firebrand. Moreover, Congressman Cheney enjoyed generally favorable coverage from the Washington Press Corps.
In 1989 the incoming President, George HW Bush nominated Cheney to serve as his Secretary of Defense, after the Senate rejected his first choice, U. S. Senator John Tower. Cheney gave up a safe congressional seat and stepped into a potential minefield in leading the DOD during a treacherous period. The victorious end of the Cold War guaranteed that the defense budget would be reduced; regardless of whether or not this was prudent statecraft. Cheney dealt with the contentious issues of closing many outdated military bases and trimming the number of active duty personnel by over 600,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines. He performed these duties admirably well and earned kudos for steady direction of his department during the Gulf War of 1990-91. Some commentators named Cheney the best SECDEF of all time, while others, slightly more restrained, celebrated him for vigorous leadership in the wake of the superb performance of the U.S. military forces in the war.
After the election of Bill Clinton in 1992, Cheney returned, again, to private life and he eventually took a position as the CEO of Halliburton Corporation. He seemed perfectly content in private life and only reluctantly agreed to serve as a senior advisor to the George W. Bush campaign in the summer of 2000. In the process of vetting potential Vice-Presidential running mates, Cheney found himself pressured to accept the nomination himself and he accepted, although he did express deep misgivings. Perhaps he could see the abuse he would suffer in short order.
During the 2000 campaign Vice-President nominee Cheney provided immediate help to the Bush effort, besting his Democratic opponent, Joe Lieberman, in debate and stumping effectively for the GOP ticket throughout October. The Left began to dislike him at this point. They will tolerate a conservative Wyoming congressman, and will suffer the occasional Center-Right Defense Secretary, especially if that SECDEF turns out to be an excellent administrator/manager who helped to implement the strategies that routed the vaunted Iraqi army. When, however, Cheney proved to be a campaign asset who helped to deny Al Gore the Presidency, he became the enemy and the Left prepared to ruin him, by any means possible, just as they did to Barry Goldwater, Ed Meese, Dan Quayle and Sarah Palin, just to name a few of their targets.
Early in the Bush-Cheney first term the media zeroed in on the Vice-Presidents heart condition, speculating that Cheney could not stand the rigors of office and would not last the term. Many mainstream media analysts openly predicted that Bush would dump Cheney from the ticket in 2004; not the first time that liberal pundits have mistakenly reported their own desires as actual fact. Things changed dramatically on September 11, 2001. While some observers puzzled over the V.P.s whereabouts at the time, he did prove a steady and cool hand and an invaluable source of advice for the President, when such qualities were needed. Cheney earned praise from fair-minded people for his performance and even received a nod or two from the Left, when the lightning attack on Afghanistan toppled the Taliban in late 2001.
Cheney and his aides had no time to enjoy his vindication. He began making the case for the Iraqi invasion, citing the familiar reasoning concerning Iraqi support for Islamic terrorism, Saddam Husseins pursuit of WMD, and his continued defiance of United Nations resolutions. (Apparently he defends his actions vigorously in his new book) This dynamic effort to advance the Presidents foreign policy objectives brought the house down on his own head.
The Vice-President soon saw himself pilloried as a result of the Valerie Plame imbroglio from 2003-2005. Even when Richard Armitage admitted that he was the culprit in the leaking of Ms. Plames identity, it counted for nothing. Things grew more bizarre by the day. The unhinged television comedian, Bill Maher, regularly accused Cheney of attempted murder, following a hunting accident in 2006. Cheney wanted to continue to fight for Administration initiatives, but, after the Democrats big win in the midterm 2006 elections, a tired and dispirited President Bush decided to simply adopt a run-out-the-clock strategy on his second term.
Since the transfer of power in 2009 Cheney has become the favorite bogeyman of the Left. He has been called Darth Vader and Dr. Strangelove. Liberal media figures continue to engage in their campaign of slander, defamation, and character assassination. In the run-up to the release of the book last week NBC-TV anchor Matt Lauer referred to Cheney as the most political figure in this country in a century. Dick Cheney is more divisive than Huey Long, Joe McCarthy, George Wallace, or Hillary Clinton? Mr. Matt Lauer has lost the little sense he was born with! Also last week, on MSNBCs Hardball program, guest host Ron Reagan stated flatly Cheney is a war criminal. The medias favorite Republican, Colin Powell, chimed in with his criticism of Cheneys cheap shots. Maureen Dowd, the loveless harpy at the New York Times, calls Cheney quite delusional.
Strong and able public figures usually engender animosity among their opponents, especially their inferiors. This ill will usually ebbs away once they are retired and safely out of office. In Dick Cheneys case the animosity has not faded, nor will it pass away anytime soon. Cheney will not apologize to the liberals for any sins they deem him to have committed. He is unrepentant, so he must be destroyed. The Left will continue the campaign of slander, defamation, and character assassination for the rest of Dick Cheneys natural life. This campaign of vilification will not end in the near future. In fact, it has only just begun!
We will not see his like again, I’m afraid.
Love the Darth!
I like him. Saw him speak once. Smart, funny, good speaker.
[Some commentators, most of whom have not yet read the tome, are accusing Cheney of settling old scores and answering his critics]
IOW, he’s setting the record straight.
He was the BEST!! He would have made a FABULOUS President!!
I do too. I always liked listening to him when he spoke
He sure would have
Here's wishing the rest of his natural life be filled with wealth, joy, the company of trusted love ones and the respect of an informed and grateful electorate.
Where's the graphic of him telling Pat Leahy to "go f**k yourself".
It is pretty safe to say that, given that the left controls most publishing and printing media, most school textbook content, and of course, most standard media, it is not hard to predict exactly the treatment that Dick Cheney can expect from the keepers of history in our media and school textbooks.
It will parallel exactly the treatment of Sen. Joseph McCarthy.
Count on it.
Likely, it won’t be long (it is happening as we speak, never mind while some of us are still alive who remember actual events) before we hear about how it was energies and efforts of people like Ted Kennedy, Patrick Lahey and Maxine Waters who preserved our liberties during the dark night of fascism (to paraphrase Ann Coulter) under the Bush administration and most especially under Dick Cheney.
Godspeed, Mr. Vice President. He is the kind of person I would love to have as a neighbor and enjoy a backyard barbecue with he and his wife, Lynn. I’d like nothing more than to listen to him and pick his brain on any one of a number of topics. There’s wisdom and experience there that I cannot begin to imagine. And I enjoy being around people who are know more than me. :-)
I agree. The man has character & class.
I agree with both your choice of favorite graphic and your preference for Dick Cheney at the top of the Bush Cheney ticket.
Whoever created that graphic is a bloody genius! I still laugh every time I see it, especially the impalement
Occasionally, I muse over the reaction when Cheney passes away.....it’s gonna be damned ugly, and I hope their “lemmings over the cliff” reaction backfires on the rabid left.
Yes, a wonderful man. A great public servant. May God heap blessings upon him!
Knowing who was the real guilty party, Colin Powell and his evil friends stood by and said nothing while Scooter Libby was unjustly jailed for the Valerie Plame fiasco.
The root of what the Left hates about Cheney......
Cheney is a cold but smart man. He would have made the tough decisions when the phone rang at 3AM and he would have acted with downright ruthlessness when dealing with the 9-11 bastards. Iraq and Aghanistan would have ceased to be any threat because he would ahve bombed the living crap out of both.
I would have voted for him as POTUS. And we will never see the likes of him again.
Maureen Dowd...loveless harpy. I like that description. Suits her to a tee. I can imagine Mo writing her venom-laced articles while swigging a bottle of Jack Daniels and throwing an occasional dart at a picture of Michael Douglas.
” Colin,...you’re dead to me.”
That look in his face shows that that arrogant pos can not be trusted
It was a shot at her. Period.
Mark for later.
Didn’t sound that way to me
But if true then Chaney is off base