Monday, March 20, 2006

[Iraq, Veep's Madness]

Cheney, Yesterday.

So one thing we can do about Iraq's future is ignoring Dick Cheney, who has obviously gone insane in his little echo chamber. (Maybe he should have disclosed the location before he went barking mad.) Here he is on Face the Nation:

SCHIEFFER: Mr. Vice President, all along the government has been very optimistic. You remain optimistic. But I remember when you were saying we’d be greeted as liberators, you played down the insurgency ten months ago. You said it was in its last throes. Do you believe that these optimistic statements may be one of the reasons that people seem to be more skeptical in this country about whether we ought to be in Iraq?

CHENEY: No, I think it has less to do with the statements we’ve made, which I think were basically accurate and reflect reality, than it does the fact that there is a constant sort of perception, if you will, that’s created because what's newsworthy is the carbomb in Baghdad, it’s not all the work that went on that day in 15 other provinces in terms of making progress in rebuilding Iraq. The facts are pretty straightforward.

On whom to trust:
CHENEY: And I think we are going to succeed in Iraq. I think the evidence is overwhelming. I think Ted Kennedy has been wrong from the very beginning. He's the last man I'd go to for guidance in terms of how we should conduct U.S. national security policy.
More craziness:
CHENEY: Well, I made sure both in 2000 and 2004 that the president had other options. I mean, I didn't ask for this job. I didn't campaign for it. I got drafted.
(Bush asked Cheney to find him a Veep; Cheney found--I guess "drafted" is the word he prefers--himself.) Apparently Cheney doesn't know there are internets, on which one can locate this kind of distant information.

Finally, this like the Kennedy quote, falls something short of being reassuring:
CHENEY: They fail to give adequate credit to the man himself. This president has very firm ideas. He makes decisions very decisively.
When the Veep feels its important to emphasize that Bush is actually running the show, you know that Bush actually isn't running the show. Whether Cheney is exclusively or as a powerful member of committee is something we won't learn for years. But Bush ain't the man. (Which may also explain why Cheney decisively said "I've now been elected to a second term; I'll serve out my term." Bush, obviously, has nothing to say on the point.)

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