Cheney’s Impact - Macleans.ca
 

Cheney’s Impact


 

As expected, Dick Cheney and Barack Obama squared off on Gitmo and national security on Thursday. Obama focused on fleshing out his plan for the coming weeks, standing resolutely behind his decision to close Gitmo while acknowledging there is not a one-size-fits-all solution to the inmate problem. ‘Obama the teacher’ was on display, as the president made the case for his decisions by appealing to reason and depending on facts. It is likely that his address reinforced in his voters the belief that closing Gitmo and ending torture is the right policy. Yet, Cheney’s continued crusade in favour of “enhanced interrogation techniques” and keeping Guantanamo has led to a substantial increase in the former vice-president’s popularity (up eight per cent to 37 per cent, according to CNN). Never mind that Bush and a significant number of Republicans—including John McCain—were leaning in the same direction as Obama on those issues.

Rising support among stalwart Republicans is likely behind Cheney’s increase in the polls. He is not certainly not prompting any widespread nostalgia for the Bush-Cheney years. However, the question now is whether Cheney might be motivating Obama’s policy on national security. New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd seems to think so, and an increasing number of left-leaning Democrats are becoming concerned about some of Obama’s Gitmo-related policies. If Dowd is right, it would seem to have exposed a serious flaw in the White House’s planning process. There is an air of improvisation being detected by some observers. At first, it was Limbaugh, and it now seems to be Cheney that is driving the Obama agenda on national security.

This may be a simplistic analysis, as Obama’s decision to close Gitmo early became one of the most prominent symbols of change from his first 100 days. Granted, the issue has become more complicated since then. The Senate ‘s 90-6 vote against providing funds to manage the closing of Gitmo was a stinging rebuke of Obama “just give me the money and trust me” approach.. Even Senate Democrats want specifics and they showed some independence by sending the signal that they will simply rubber stamp any White House initiative. But Obama still remains in the driver’s seat .

As we speak, Cheney has become the most identifiable face of the GOP. And yet, he is a pro-torture, pro-Gitmo, fear-mongerer who left office with a 19% approval rating. If you were a Republican, would you see to it that the future of the party is a continuation of Cheney-type policies, supported by a blowhard demagogue like Rush Limbaugh? The Republican post-election disarray and the rejection of the policies perpetrated by the likes of Cheney are just what the Obama administration wants to see if they hope to advance their agenda. Obama needed the symbolic gesture of closing Gitmo to set the pace and anyone who followed the Obama campaign knows he is not an improviser. And Cheney’s real impact, rather than keeping Obama off-guard, may in fact be to help him consolidate his agenda .


 

Cheney’s Impact

  1. I thought those two speeches were quite the contrast: Cheney seemed to be the presidential, substantial, person while Obama relied once again on gimmicks, rhetoric and attitude. I have no idea what Obama 'plan' you are referring to other than continue with Bush ideas and how he's going to make sure terrorists' rights are protected.

    I think Obama is adrift on foreign policy because he doesn't really care about it. It's why Obama reminds me of LBJ: they both preferred domestic issues compared to foreign affairs.

    And I think you link to Dowd's column is not working but that doesn't matter really because who knows if it's MoDo's opinion or her friend's.

  2. once again , jwl ,you cannot be real when you say cheney is presidential . The man is a liar and a coward . It is easier to use fear to make us forget how he tricked us into a war with Iraq and how he screwed Bush father advisors to do what he could not do in1992. You have a blindspot on Obama.

    Gimmicks ! Where are you going with this . Attack his policies but avoid attacking the person . His life story and his talent are compelling to keep it on policy issues.

  3. Imn

    I was going to include narcissism on my list but I removed it because I didn't want to raise your blood pressure too much. :)

    And I thought it was a bit gimmicky to be wrapping himself in the Constitution when he ignores it just as much as Bush and many other presidents have.

  4. "If you were a Republican, would you see to it that the future of the party is a continuation of Cheney-type policies, supported by a blowhard demagogue like Rush Limbaugh?"

    I think if you were a Republican you probably realize that you lost the last election over the economy and not on national security policy.

    "The Republican post-election disarray and the rejection of the policies perpetrated by the likes of Cheney are just what the Obama administration wants to see if they hope to advance their agenda."

    Isn't it really necessary to define one's agenda before advancing it? I don't even know what Obama means when he talks about "closing Gitmo". Where are all these detainees going to end up? Are they going to be returned to their home countries? What if their home countries refuse to take them? Could they be conceivably be released in the United States?

  5. jwl

    Don`t worry about my blood pressure . Check your eyesight if you think Cheney looks presidential . Just saw a returnee from Iraq in People magazine . Minus one arm ,one leg , and a disfigurement . All this for a lie . Right wingers like you are quick to send someone else`s kid to war . Even for a lie . Cheney should have been impeached . Now he should be prosecuted . Hope it does raise your blood pressure.

  6. Four points to consider:

    1) jwl, is it at all surprising that you assesses the *style* of Cheney and Obama (who you sneeringly call "The One" and "Obamessiah") and find that Cheney "seems" to appear more substantial? What the hell does their personal style matter?

    2) Obama is "adrift" on foreign policy but *Cheney* should be listened to? Cheney's 8-year presidency included the biggest foreign policy debacle of the last hundred years, plus a million smaller failures that only seem small in light of the war in Iraq (the election of Hamas, the North Korea debacle, Pakistan teetering on the brink). Cheney is a monstrous failure. Obama is a few months into his administration and having to undo this mess – and he's "adrift" because he hasn't fixed it yet? Give your head a shake.

    3) Cheney is a clown (for the love of god, he STILL insists there was an Iraq-9/11 connection). Limbaugh is a clown. Dowd is a clown. Could we have some substantial analysis here, John? Jesus, at this point, Howie Mandel could put on a suit, join the Republican party and start a Sunday morning political talk show and the North American media establishment would stroke its chin and cite him approvingly.

    4) Just imagine the caterwauling if a former Democratic Vice President, 4 months out of office, put on a full press junket specifically to undermine the agenda of a new Republican administration. The press would be screaming about how inappropriate this is. Cheney should disappear into retirement and hope there's no investigation of his actions until after he dies of his forty-eleventh heart attack.

  7. Hear,hear TJ ! Give us more .

  8. Point 4 is a bit ridiculous. The press would love every minute of it and we all know it. Al Gore won a Nobel Peace Prize, an Oscar, and was a media star for going head-to-head with the Bush administration over their environmental policy. I highly doubt Cheney will get similar accolades but surely he is allowed to speak his mind like anyone else.

  9. Pfft. You remember the immediate media pressure on Gore to concede DURING the Florida recount?

    Also – Gore stayed quiet for a substantial period of time before he started building awareness of global warming. And even when he started building serious momentum, you can't say with a straight face that he challenged the Bush administration directly. He challenged long-standing US and global environmental policy but stayed clear of calling out the Bush administration directly.

    And of course Cheney is free to speak his mind, but long-standing convention (to be fair, the right wing seems to believe such things apply to everyone but themselves) is for the outgoing administration to bite its tongue after its time expires.

  10. I thought those two speeches were quite the contrast: Cheney seemed to be the presidential, substantial, person while Obama relied once again on gimmicks, rhetoric and attitude. I have no idea what Obama ‘plan’ you are referring to other than continue with Bush ideas and how he’s going to make sure terrorists’ rights are protected.

    I think Obama is adrift on foreign policy because he doesn’t really care about it. It’s why Obama reminds me of LBJ: they both preferred domestic issues compared to foreign affairs.

    And I think you link to Dowd’s column is not working but that doesn’t matter really because who knows if it’s MoDo’s opinion or her friend’s.

    • once again , jwl ,you cannot be real when you say cheney is presidential . The man is a liar and a coward . It is easier to use fear to make us forget how he tricked us into a war with Iraq and how he screwed Bush father advisors to do what he could not do in1992. You have a blindspot on Obama.

      Gimmicks ! Where are you going with this . Attack his policies but avoid attacking the person . His life story and his talent are compelling to keep it on policy issues.

      • Imn

        I was going to include narcissism on my list but I removed it because I didn’t want to raise your blood pressure too much. :)

        And I thought it was a bit gimmicky to be wrapping himself in the Constitution when he ignores it just as much as Bush and many other presidents have.

        • jwl
          Don`t worry about my blood pressure . Check your eyesight if you think Cheney looks presidential . Just saw a returnee from Iraq in People magazine . Minus one arm ,one leg , and a disfigurement . All this for a lie . Right wingers like you are quick to send someone else`s kid to war . Even for a lie . Cheney should have been impeached . Now he should be prosecuted . Hope it does raise your blood pressure.

    • Four points to consider:

      1) jwl, is it at all surprising that you assesses the *style* of Cheney and Obama (who you sneeringly call “The One” and “Obamessiah”) and find that Cheney “seems” to appear more substantial? What the hell does their personal style matter?

      2) Obama is “adrift” on foreign policy but *Cheney* should be listened to? Cheney’s 8-year presidency included the biggest foreign policy debacle of the last hundred years, plus a million smaller failures that only seem small in light of the war in Iraq (the election of Hamas, the North Korea debacle, Pakistan teetering on the brink). Cheney is a monstrous failure. Obama is a few months into his administration and having to undo this mess – and he’s “adrift” because he hasn’t fixed it yet? Give your head a shake.

      3) Cheney is a clown (for the love of god, he STILL insists there was an Iraq-9/11 connection). Limbaugh is a clown. Dowd is a clown. Could we have some substantial analysis here, John? Jesus, at this point, Howie Mandel could put on a suit, join the Republican party and start a Sunday morning political talk show and the North American media establishment would stroke its chin and cite him approvingly.

      4) Just imagine the caterwauling if a former Democratic Vice President, 4 months out of office, put on a full press junket specifically to undermine the agenda of a new Republican administration. The press would be screaming about how inappropriate this is. Cheney should disappear into retirement and hope there’s no investigation of his actions until after he dies of his forty-eleventh heart attack.

      • Hear,hear TJ ! Give us more .

      • Point 4 is a bit ridiculous. The press would love every minute of it and we all know it. Al Gore won a Nobel Peace Prize, an Oscar, and was a media star for going head-to-head with the Bush administration over their environmental policy. I highly doubt Cheney will get similar accolades but surely he is allowed to speak his mind like anyone else.

        • Pfft. You remember the immediate media pressure on Gore to concede DURING the Florida recount?

          Also – Gore stayed quiet for a substantial period of time before he started building awareness of global warming. And even when he started building serious momentum, you can’t say with a straight face that he challenged the Bush administration directly. He challenged long-standing US and global environmental policy but stayed clear of calling out the Bush administration directly.

          And of course Cheney is free to speak his mind, but long-standing convention (to be fair, the right wing seems to believe such things apply to everyone but themselves) is for the outgoing administration to bite its tongue after its time expires.

          • “He challenged long-standing US and global environmental policy but stayed clear of calling out the Bush administration directly.”

            Al Gore speech in 2004 on Iraq War:

            “George W. Bush promised us a foreign policy with humility … Instead, he has brought deep dishonor to our country and built a durable reputation as the most dishonest President since Richard Nixon.”

            “We simply cannot afford to further increase the risk to our country with more blunders by this team. Donald Rumsfeld, as the chief architect of the war plan, should resign today. His deputies Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith and his intelligence chief Stephen Cambone should also resign. The nation is especially at risk every single day that Rumsfeld remains as Secretary of Defense. Condoleeza Rice, who has badly mishandled the coordination of national security policy, should also resign immediately.”
            ——-
            Al Gore in 2004: “The Bush administration works closely with a network of rapid response digital brownshirts who work to pressure reporters and their editors for ‘undermining support for our troops.'”
            ——-
            And in 2004 speech on global warming Gore said Bush was ‘moral coward’.

            Al Gore for sainthood is bit rich, TJ Cook. For years I have been told by people on the left that dissent is the highest form of patriotism. What happened to that?

            Obama’s speech was dreadful because he spent a large portion of it slagging off Bush and, indirectly the American people, while at the same time confirming that he would continue with Bush’s policies. All with a dollop of Obama’s narcissism, peevishness and defensiveness.

          • First, I didn’t nominate Gore for sainthood, I said he didn’t immediately hit the road post-election to slam the incoming administration. You’ll note that 2004 was over three years after Bush was elected.

            Second, I was focused on the environmental policy that the previous commenter mentioned. Gore did not make a central point of slamming Bush, though agreed there were some direct slams. Most of those comments were regarding the Iraq War on which the Cheney administration deserved every slam it got. Right? Complete foreign policy disaster, and you want to fault GORE for speaking up?

            Narcissism, peevishness and defensiveness? Dude, you got the speeches mixed up. Also, you’re still all about style. Hey, you know who carries himself like a president? Morgan Freeman. Maybe we should ask him about foreign policy.

  11. "He challenged long-standing US and global environmental policy but stayed clear of calling out the Bush administration directly."

    Al Gore speech in 2004 on Iraq War:

    "George W. Bush promised us a foreign policy with humility … Instead, he has brought deep dishonor to our country and built a durable reputation as the most dishonest President since Richard Nixon."

    "We simply cannot afford to further increase the risk to our country with more blunders by this team. Donald Rumsfeld, as the chief architect of the war plan, should resign today. His deputies Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith and his intelligence chief Stephen Cambone should also resign. The nation is especially at risk every single day that Rumsfeld remains as Secretary of Defense. Condoleeza Rice, who has badly mishandled the coordination of national security policy, should also resign immediately."

    ——-

    Al Gore in 2004: "The Bush administration works closely with a network of rapid response digital brownshirts who work to pressure reporters and their editors for 'undermining support for our troops.'"

    ——-

    And in 2004 speech on global warming Gore said Bush was 'moral coward'.

    Al Gore for sainthood is bit rich, TJ Cook. For years I have been told by people on the left that dissent is the highest form of patriotism. What happened to that?

    Obama's speech was dreadful because he spent a large portion of it slagging off Bush and, indirectly the American people, while at the same time confirming that he would continue with Bush's policies. All with a dollop of Obama's narcissism, peevishness and defensiveness.

  12. “If you were a Republican, would you see to it that the future of the party is a continuation of Cheney-type policies, supported by a blowhard demagogue like Rush Limbaugh?”

    I think if you were a Republican you probably realize that you lost the last election over the economy and not on national security policy.

    “The Republican post-election disarray and the rejection of the policies perpetrated by the likes of Cheney are just what the Obama administration wants to see if they hope to advance their agenda.”

    Isn’t it really necessary to define one’s agenda before advancing it? I don’t even know what Obama means when he talks about “closing Gitmo”. Where are all these detainees going to end up? Are they going to be returned to their home countries? What if their home countries refuse to take them? Could they be conceivably be released in the United States?

  13. Unlike Cheney ,Gore did not try to defend his Administration`s policy by scaring people or hinting there would a potential depression if Bush continued his economic course in the early years of their administration . Gore was ROBBED of his election .

    Gore then built awareness about global warming before attacking Bush who felt being photogrphed in front of a tree every 6 months was an enviromental policy.

    He attacked Bush on Iraq when in 2003 he launched the attack . GORE WAS RIGHT !!!. We were lied to . Clinton and Kerry fell in the trap,as i did to my reget and shame . And Obama…I wonder what he said . HE SAID IT WAS WRONG TO INVADE AND HE WAS RIGHT. So much for narcissism . jwl keeps repeating the same mealy mouth arguments .

    Good work TJ . As for sbt , I guess you want to keep Gitmo open forever . Do some research ,buddy .

    Watch jwl launch another attack on Obama and Gore . Oh well,let `s get ready for the same Cheney inspired , Rush lovin ` rhetoric with the usual Newt acid tongue .

  14. First, I didn't nominate Gore for sainthood, I said he didn't immediately hit the road post-election to slam the incoming administration. You'll note that 2004 was over three years after Bush was elected.

    Second, I was focused on the environmental policy that the previous commenter mentioned. Gore did not make a central point of slamming Bush, though agreed there were some direct slams. Most of those comments were regarding the Iraq War on which the Cheney administration deserved every slam it got. Right? Complete foreign policy disaster, and you want to fault GORE for speaking up?

    Narcissism, peevishness and defensiveness? Dude, you got the speeches mixed up. Also, you're still all about style. Hey, you know who carries himself like a president? Morgan Freeman. Maybe we should ask him about foreign policy.

  15. Actually, I just want to know what the plan is. I don't really think that is too much to ask. It's not like this is some situation that has suddenly sprung up out of nowhere. And since you didn't answer any of my questions I'm guessing you are like everyone else and have no clue what Obama plans to do with Gitmo's detainees despite the fact that Democrats have been talking about "closing Gitmo" for years. As for Gore speaking out, I couldn't really care that he did or even if he was right or wrong. Much like I don't care if Cheney speaks out. I find both of them rather tiresome.

  16. Obama wraps himself in the Constitution, but his sheep don't see that he tramples on it like Bill Ayers stomps on the flag.

  17. Unlike Cheney ,Gore did not try to defend his Administration`s policy by scaring people or hinting there would a potential depression if Bush continued his economic course in the early years of their administration . Gore was ROBBED of his election .
    Gore then built awareness about global warming before attacking Bush who felt being photogrphed in front of a tree every 6 months was an enviromental policy.
    He attacked Bush on Iraq when in 2003 he launched the attack . GORE WAS RIGHT !!!. We were lied to . Clinton and Kerry fell in the trap,as i did to my reget and shame . And Obama…I wonder what he said . HE SAID IT WAS WRONG TO INVADE AND HE WAS RIGHT. So much for narcissism . jwl keeps repeating the same mealy mouth arguments .
    Good work TJ . As for sbt , I guess you want to keep Gitmo open forever . Do some research ,buddy .
    Watch jwl launch another attack on Obama and Gore . Oh well,let `s get ready for the same Cheney inspired , Rush lovin ` rhetoric with the usual Newt acid tongue .

    • Actually, I just want to know what the plan is. I don’t really think that is too much to ask. It’s not like this is some situation that has suddenly sprung up out of nowhere. And since you didn’t answer any of my questions I’m guessing you are like everyone else and have no clue what Obama plans to do with Gitmo’s detainees despite the fact that Democrats have been talking about “closing Gitmo” for years. As for Gore speaking out, I couldn’t really care that he did or even if he was right or wrong. Much like I don’t care if Cheney speaks out. I find both of them rather tiresome.

      • you want some answers .,sbt . Here are some :
        -Obama treats the voters with respect ,gives them the truth about the complexity of the issue and says there may be unsolvable cases
        -some will be sent to the US for trial and will certainly be imprisoned !
        -others to home countries . It is about time Canada take their own!!! if Canada can try a Rwanda genocide perpetrator , ……..
        -no one will be sent free if they are guilty. It is called human rights ,sbt.
        -the rest may be sent elsewhere for incarceration once they are tried in Gitmo under modified rules .
        BOTTOM LINE : Gitmos will close .
        Contrast this with BUSH . lies , fabrications ,improvisations , dim wit simplistic “we`ll git èm ,dead or alive“ ,inconclusive wars , and yes Osama Bin Laden is still doing tapes .
        Finally , as McCain has said -TORTURE does not work !

        • Certainly you can see the political headache for Obama of a Gitmo detainee, who can’t be proven guilty of anything in a court of law but is still a suspected terrorist being released into the United States because his home country refuses to accept him (or he would be persecuted if returned). Since there is likely to be a couple (which is the current reason these people are still at Gitmo) what will Obama do?

  18. Obama wraps himself in the Constitution, but his sheep don’t see that he tramples on it like Bill Ayers stomps on the flag.

    • Yeah , really, he should take lessons on constitutional law from Bush and Cheney.

  19. If Cheney is going to take this line, Amercia needs trials on the issue more than ever.

  20. you want some answers .,sbt . Here are some :

    -Obama treats the voters with respect ,gives them the truth about the complexity of the issue and says there may be unsolvable cases

    -some will be sent to the US for trial and will certainly be imprisoned !

    -others to home countries . It is about time Canada take their own!!! if Canada can try a Rwanda genocide perpetrator , ……..

    -no one will be sent free if they are guilty. It is called human rights ,sbt.

    -the rest may be sent elsewhere for incarceration once they are tried in Gitmo under modified rules .

    BOTTOM LINE : Gitmos will close .

    Contrast this with BUSH . lies , fabrications ,improvisations , dim wit simplistic “we`ll git èm ,dead or alive“ ,inconclusive wars , and yes Osama Bin Laden is still doing tapes .

    Finally , as McCain has said -TORTURE does not work !

  21. Certainly you can see the political headache for Obama of a Gitmo detainee, who can't be proven guilty of anything in a court of law but is still a suspected terrorist being released into the United States because his home country refuses to accept him (or he would be persecuted if returned). Since there is likely to be a couple (which is the current reason these people are still at Gitmo) what will Obama do?

  22. Yeah , really, he should take lessons on constitutional law from Bush and Cheney.

  23. If Cheney is going to take this line, Amercia needs trials on the issue more than ever.

  24. Cheney a psychopath who manipulated a dyslectic President into two illegal wars is still able to con the press with his tripe. The dumbing down of America has reached epidemic proportions. Obama able to speak in complete sentences and actually think for himself is such a welcome change. Cheney please crawl back under a rock .

  25. Cheney a psychopath who manipulated a dyslectic President into two illegal wars is still able to con the press with his tripe. The dumbing down of America has reached epidemic proportions. Obama able to speak in complete sentences and actually think for himself is such a welcome change. Cheney please crawl back under a rock .

    • I have to agree with gary . This Cheney actually authorized the torture and its repetition without authorization . Grounds for prosecution .

  26. I have to agree with gary . This Cheney actually authorized the torture and its repetition without authorization . Grounds for prosecution .