Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Cheney is s true whck-job and should be institutionalized

See Dick snarl

I recall having once watched on television a golf tournament in which the physically powerful, but powerfully undisciplined, John Daly was playing. He had just sent another little ball screaming past its intended target when the announcer asked Jack Nicklaus, who was doing the color commentary, his opinion of Daly’s skill. Said Nicklaus out of annoyance, not humor: “Somebody should hide the one iron from that man. He doesn’t understand control.”

Seasoned political pros are now thinking the same about Dick Cheney and microphones. Permit a hot mic in the Vice-Smirk’s grip and he embarrasses himself every time as he careens about the Beltway, aggressively subtracting from the sum of human decency. And, incomprehensibly, but perhaps out of some compulsive death wish, the White House keeps handing him a microphone. It shows how unglued Bush-Rove’s once-astute political operation has become.

At a time when p.r. finesse, domestic diplomacy and at least a smidgeon of self-accountability are the only emergency tools capable of bailing out the sinking White House, Cheney’s brawling instincts only exacerbate the turmoil. Except for stimulating the caveman emotions and unthinking loyalties of the Bush administration’s basest base, there seems to be no reasoning or intelligent purpose whatsoever behind this strangest of political strategies.

Cheney’s latest embarrassment was Monday’s What, mea culpa? speech before the neocon-infested American Enterprise Institute. Playing the roles of both two-deferments good cop and three-more-deferments bad cop, he opened by opining that it’s not “wrong to criticize the war on terror or any aspect thereof.” (War on terror? Didn’t we recently retire that one so we could launch the war on Islamic radicalism?)

He expanded on the good-cop stuff by saying that “disagreements, arguments and debate are the essence of democracy, and none of us should want it any other way.” But there are exceptions to every rule, and in this case Cheney’s exception to essential democratic debate is anyone so “dishonest and reprehensible,” as he characterized the unnamed anyone, as to suggest that the Bush administration had manipulated prewar intelligence to make possible the postwar mess.

If it weren’t for the growing mountain of black-and-white, hardcopy evidence – hardly just speculation – of the administration’s manipulative prewar course, I suppose partisan declarations of skullduggery would indeed be dishonest and politically reprehensible. But evidence is evidence, facts are now indisputable facts, and barn-burning speeches by administration ghouls can’t change them.

What’s politically puzzling, however, is that the more Cheney dismisses the accumulating evidence as only twisted partisan opinion, the more sinisterly naked becomes his counterattack, which, in turn, only publicly confirms the administration’s eagerness to manipulate reality, which, of course, is precisely what the administration is denying in the first place.

If there’s a professor of logic out there who would care to explain to me the hidden sequitur in this non-compos-mentis non sequitur, I and millions of others would welcome the illumination.

Still, the good news is that Cheney’s suicidal shadowboxing is the surest sign yet of an administration in full-blown meltdown. It could not survive if it told the truth; and that, paradoxically, is the only thing that could possibly save it.



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