Viewers can expect the same Obama-as-liberal-weakling rhetoric from former Vice President Dick Cheney when he appears on ABC’s This Week, according to a Saturday article by Politico‘s Mike Allen and Jim VanderHei.
Cheney and Vice President Joe Biden will face off over national security and the war on terror Sunday morning, with Biden appearing on MSNBC’s Meet the Press and CBS’ Face the Nation primarily to respond to Cheney’s consistent pummeling of President Obama.
VanderHei writes that Cheney’s “narrative” of the Obama administration’s foreign policies will be that Biden and Obama place American lives in jeopardy by appearing weak to terrorists, mainly through denouncing the use of torture and not exploiting a “with-us-or-against-us” rhetoric.
“It’s a vicious and highly personal charge that Cheney has leveled repeatedly since leaving office,” Allen wrote. “Many find his tone — and often his timing — unbecoming of a former vice president. He and former President George W. Bush, lying low down in Texas, seem to have reversed roles since leaving office: Now Bush is the silent statesman, and Cheney is the bombastic partisan.”
Allen and VanderHei included e-mails from several political commentators about Cheney’s aggressive criticism of Obama.
Andrew Sullivan of The Atlantic wrote:
Cheney’s unprecedentedly aggressive approach … reflects his own knowledge that he has committed war crimes of a very grave sort, war crimes that at some point could lead to prosecution and will undoubtedly lead to historical infamy. He will go down in history as a man who betrayed the very core principles of western civilization out of panic and then covered it up. He knows justice is coming. Until then, he will fight and fight and break every taboo that respect for the constitution and for civil discourse requires.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann was even less forgiving:
He’s been shrill, totally unpatriotic, and sounding more concerned with torture and interrogation than with results and intelligence. … I think he may believe that only his vision can save America, and thus anything, including lying to America, is justifiable. This is, I believe, called ‘a Messiah Complex.
Not everyone believes Cheney’s hammering of the Obama administration is about satiating his ego. Former US Sen. Bob Kerrey, now president of The New School in New York City, said he deserves to be heard.
“I think it’s entirely appropriate and I certainly think that he contributes to the public debate,” he said.
But Allen and VanderHei are wrong to frame Cheney’s criticism in psychological terms and wrong to quote from Sullivan and Olbermann, according to news blog WizBang.
Vice President Cheney communicates clearly a concern that the electorate has already manifested in recent elections, to wit, that terrorists don’t deserve and should not receive the type of treatment the Obama Justice Department is advocating. These were more than mere national security debate points; they were deeply held concerns of citizens that turned out to vote against these Obama administration positions during the three major Obama policy plebiscites in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts.
Dick Cheney and Sara Palin have, if nothing else, become a barometer for liberal fear and paranoia. Whenever they move the needle on the dial the commensurate reaction is predictable: their Democratic opponents become appoplectic and irrational.
Huffington Post reporter Jason Linkins published a list of questions that Cheney should be asked during his interview Sunday. The first one refers to a previous interview he did with Politico:
Back in December, when you were asked by Politico if you thought “the Bush administration bears any responsibility for the disintegration of Afghanistan because of the attention and resources that were diverted to Iraq,” your answer was, “I basically don’t.” Because no journalism was happening at the time, you were permitted to not elaborate. But I’m going to ask you to attempt to elaborate.