So Vice President Cheney


So Vice President Cheney is keeping up his criticism of Speaker Pelosi, saying the Democrats’ preferred policy would “validate the al-Qaeda strategy.” I don’t know how many times this needs to be said: stop complaining that he’s questioning anybody’s patriotism. Or Pelosi’s judgment. Or any of it. I know it’s a dicey phrase, especially when it’s being employed against a woman. But I think explanatory value outweighs other sensitivities. This is a perfect example of the GOP’s bitch slap theory of electoral politics. Cheney criticize; Dems, Pelosi, whoever says it’s unfair.

The point of the whole exercise is not the underlying issue of Pelosi but what the exchange is supposed to demonstrate about both players — that Cheney is strong (he hits) and Pelosi is weak (she complains when attacked.)

Why complain about anything Dick Cheney says? The man is simply too big a fool to hold any job of responsibility in the national government. Think of his history of failure, terrible judgment, reckless endangerment of the country. It’s hard to imagine that there’s anyone in this country not under active federal surveillance who has done more to advance the al Qaeda agenda than Dick Cheney.

I know that seems like hyperbole or a throwaway line. But it’s actually very true. Is America stronger now than it was before the Cheney era? Does al Qaeda have more fertile ground for proselytizing or less? Are we in a stronger or weaker position vis a vis Iran? Just one factoid you may have missed of late. A recent poll shows that since 2002 the percentage of Arabs who say their primary identity is as Muslims rather than as Arabs or members of their specific nationality has almost doubled — now it’s at 45%. That’s in just four years.

It’s true. So say it. Don’t whine. Don’t complain. The idea that Dick Cheney is telling anyone what helps or harms al Qaeda is comic. Bleak comedy, but comic nonetheless. Say so.