Cheney Is As Nutty As The Right Wing Bloggers

Back when George Bush first picked Dick Cheney to be Vice President (or was it Dick Cheney who picked Dick Cheney?) the thought was that this older and more experienced politician would provide the benefits of his experience to the Bush administration. There was one thing about Dick Cheney that wasn’t taken into consideration–the guy is out of touch with reality.

ABC News conducted an interview with Dick Cheney which shows how far gone he is. In 1991 Cheney warned, “For the U.S. to get involved militarily in determining the outcome of the struggle over who’s going to govern in Iraq strikes me as a classic definition of a quagmire.” Cheney was asked about this by Jonathan Karl:

Karl: Back in 1991, you talked about how military action in Iraq would be the classic definition of a quagmire. Have you been disturbed to see how right you were? Or people certainly said that you were exactly on target in your analysis back in 1991 of what would happen if the U.S. tried to go in —

Cheney: Well, I stand by what I said in ’91. But look what’s happened since then — we had 9/11. We’ve found ourselves in a situation where what was going on in that part of the globe and the growth and development of the extremists, the al Qaeda types that are prepared to strike the United States demonstrated that we weren’t safe and secure behind our own borders. We weren’t in Iraq when we got hit on 9/11. But we got hit in ’93 at the World Trade Center, in ’96 at Khobar Towers, or ’98 in the East Africa embassy bombings, 2000, the USS Cole. And of course, finally 9/11 right here at home. They continued to hit us because we didn’t respond effectively, because they believed we were weak. They believed if they killed enough Americans, they could change our policy because they did on a number of occasions. That day has passed. That all ended with 9/11.

In Iraq, what we’ve done now is we’ve taken down Saddam Hussein. He’s dead. His sons are dead. His government is gone. There’s a democratically elected government in place. We’ve had three national elections in Iraq with higher turnout that we have in the United States. They’ve got a good constitution. They’ve got a couple hundred thousand men in arms now, trained and equipped to fight the good fight. They’re now fighting alongside Americans in Baghdad and elsewhere. There are — lots of the country that are in pretty good shape. We’ve got to get right in Baghdad. That’s the task at hand. I think we can do it.

Karl: But hasn’t our strategy been failing? Isn’t that why the president has had to come out with a new strategy?

Cheney: A failed strategy? Let’s see, we didn’t fail when we got rid of Saddam. We didn’t fail when we held elections. We didn’t fail when we got a constitution written. Those are all success stories.

Once again Cheney falls back on 9/11, even though there was no connection between Iraq and 9/11. Acting irrationally was hardly the appropriate response to being attacked. If occupying Iraq would lead to a quagmire, the need to go after al Qaeda provided more reason not to get bogged down there. Cheney has a strange view of success. Getting rid of Saddam was the easy part. Holding elections and writing a constitution are not true success stories unless we have a democratic government which is actually able to govern. Steve Benen also comments on the contradiction between Cheney saying the opposite yet also saying “I stand by what I said in ’91.”

Cheney was also asked about global warming and had his own views:

I think there’s an emerging consensus that we do have global warming. You can look at the data on that, and I think clearly we’re in a period of warming. Where there does not appear to be a consensus, where it begins to break down, is the extent to which that’s part of a normal cycle versus the extent to which it’s caused by man, greenhouse gases, etc.

Cheney has his own views as to what the consensus of scientists is on climate change. Last June the National Academy of Sciences published a review on climate change which was requested by Congress. They found that “recent warmth is unprecedented for at least the last 400 years and potentially the last several millennia.” and that “human activities are responsible for much of the recent warming.” More recently, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a consensus statement stating that global warming is “unequivocal” and that human activity is the main driver, “very likely” causing most of the rise in temperatures since 1950.

Someone should explain to Dick Cheney that there is a consensus when scientists agree. The fact that anti-science conservatives disagree does not alter the consensus of the scientific community.

Ultimately Cheney demonstrates why Republican’s have failed so badly at governing. It’s one thing for the right wing bloggers to repeat this type of nonsense, but you’d expect people at the top to have some grasp on reality. Republicans succeed as an opposition party as not being bound by reality gives them unlimited grounds to attack. However government policies which are based on ideas which are counter to reality are doomed to fail.

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  1. 1
    cadmium says:

    Here is my instinct on this and other administration statements. I don’t think they demonstrate any core beliefs/understanding or opinions. I think that they are playing a role. During the 2004 campaign Cheney runs around the country intensely linking 9-11 to Iraq while Bush is matter of factly admitting that there was no connection. I think they care more about keeping the public off balance than about any particular issue.

  2. 2
    minorripper says:

    dick cheney summed up in one word (sort of)–see video:

  3. 3
    cadmium says:

    thanks –I think you are right. He is laughing at us I guess.

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    This sounds like Bush and Cheney are sending mixed messages. However during the 2004 campaign they warned that sending mixed messages helps the terrorists. They wouldn’t do that would they? 🙂

  5. 5
    cadmium says:

    Ron: Remember the idea of a dysocial group (sp) from psych? My psych teacher used the Mafia as an example. One manipulative person with no morals would be antisocial. A group who collude separately from society’s morals and truth’s would be dysocial. I’m not sure of the spelling. Thinking of them as antisocial always made sense to me but now thinking of them teaming up is a bit more complicated.

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