Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cheney Slaps Biden Upside The Head.....

I absolutely loved this, on several levels.

With around a month to go until he retires, Vice President Dick Cheney decided it was time for a little payback to VP elect Joe Biden.

In a FOX news interview, VP Cheney was asked about Biden's oft quoted remark that "Vice President Cheney has been the most dangerous vice president we've had probably in American history."

Cheney mockingly replied, "He also said that all the powers and responsibilities of the executive branch are laid out in Article I of the Constitution. Well, they're not. Article I of the Constitution is the one on the legislative branch."

"Joe's been chairman of the Judiciary Committee, a member of the Judiciary Committee in the Senate for 36 years, teaches constitutional law back in Delaware, and can't keep straight which article of the Constitution provides for the legislature and which provides for the executive. So I think I'd write that off as campaign rhetoric. I don't take it seriously."

"If he wants to diminish the office of the vice president, that's obviously his call," Cheney shrugged. "President-elect Obama will decide what he wants in a vice president and apparently, from the way they're talking about it, he does not expect him to have as consequential a role as I have had during my time."

Cheney also defended what he called the Bush administration's aggressive prosecution of the War on Terror, which he claimed was a major reason the US hasn't been attacked since 9/11.I don't quite agree with him there, but I will say that as far as I'm concerned, if Cheney and Bush's positions had been reversed we'd be a lot closer to winning it.

I also like that Cheney made a special effort to defend ex SecDef Donald Rumsfeld, saying that he had tried hard to convince Bush not to fire him in 2006. "I did disagree with the decision," Cheney said. "The president doesn't always take my advice."

Most people aren't aware of it,but Rumsfeld and Cheney were against invading and occupying Iraq.

Brigadier General Mark Scheid, chief of the Logistics War Plans Division after 9/11, and one of the people with primary responsibility for war planning, was quoted in an interview with Orin Kerr as having been told by Rumsfeld to plan for a war with Iraq, but not to bother planning for a long stay,but for a quick punitive strike. Rumsfeld was wary of the enormous cost of having to do 'nation building.'

Jed Babbin, ex-Undersecretary of State has also written on this topic.

Dick Cheney was likewise opposed to a ground invasion of Iraq, and a remarkable interview with him has surfaced that was done just after the first Gulf War where he accurately predicted every one of the problems we've encountered and gave them as good reasons why he advised the first President Bush not to invade and occupy Iraq.

The idea of invading and occupying Iraq and rebuilding it as a 'model for Arab democracy' came from Clinton holdover George Tenet, who George W. Bush kept on as head of the CIA and from none other than Bush's then Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Guess which plan President Bush picked?

And then, to add insult to injury Dubya put Rumsfeld in charge of implementing it, with the troops and resources Bush allowed him.

That's the hidden meaning behind Rumsfeld's remark that you fight a war with the army you have,not the army you wish you had.

In short, Rumsfeld was a scapegoat who was fired as a sop to Bush's political enemies. It was the most disgraceful treatment of a dedicated public servant by a sitting president I can think of offhand.

Dick Cheney has been unjustly vilified in the press and by Democrats for eight years now,but he embodies one of my favorite saying by Ronald Reagan:"There's no limit to what you can accomplish if you don't care about who gets the credit."

He's always been about getting the job done.It's how he's operated during the decades he's spent in Washington during his distinguished career.

"We've been here for eight years now, eventually you wear out your welcome in this business but I'm very comfortable with where we are and what we've achieved substantively," he said. "And frankly I would not want to be one of those guys who spends all his times reading the polls. I think people like that shouldn't serve in these jobs."

Whenever George W. Bush had a particularly sensitive job that needed undertaking,his go-to guy was always Dick Cheney. It was Cheney who would fly to see Musharraf in Pakistan, the Sultan of Bahrein,the Israelis,the Saudis, Maliki in Iraq or Karzhai in Afghanistan to coordinate strategy and carry the word of the president to foreign leaders in a forceful, no nonsense manner.

Even more impressively, he apparently resolved to use his best abilities to make the Bush Administration's policies work and be a team player in bolstering the president - even when he strongly disagreed with him.

He survived at least two assassination attempts that I know of, and probably others I don't. And he did it all with a severe heart condition , which means that it probably took years off his life.

Cheney certainly didn't need the job and could very easily have retired a long time ago and spent the years fly fishing and hunting up in Wyoming...but he's made of very different stuff, and in his mind,the country came first.

He'll be missed, whether people realize it or not.

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