Sunday, April 26, 2009

Pigs on the Wing

In the panic to inoculate ourselves against the new strain of swine flu, perhaps we could consider quarantining diseased ungulates such as Cheney and Rove from where they might infect decent humans. Really, these assholes spent eight years hiding from any direct inquiry, and now, thanks to a complaisant media, we can't get rid of 'em. Thanks, librul media!

Dick Cheney became a one-of-a-kind vice president for two reasons: he cared deeply about governance, and not a bit about his future political standing.

Those same factors, for better or worse, have turned him into a one-of-a-kind former vice president. In a sharp break with long-standing practice, Mr. Cheney has emerged as the highest-profile critic of the new administration.

This may be the most irresponsible opening descriptor regarding Cheney to tumble out of the corporate media poop-chute in some time. Replace "governance" with power, and you might get somewhere. As for the second assertion, the commonly held misconception that Cheney's positions were informed by the moral courage of not wishing to obtain higher office, this is a canard of the cheapest order. Only someone who cared very deeply for how they are perceived would so eagerly and frequently break long-held protocol in the first few weeks of a new administration.

Cheney is nearly fanatical in burnishing his legacy, no matter how much it requires gainsaying the current administration in a very serious set of circumstances, no matter how much it undermines the attempts (however cynical) to bring the country around on certain critical issues, no matter how much shit he has to fabricate. There is clearly nothing Cheney is not willing to say to make himself look like the bringer of measured pragmatism, and the more it comes at Obama's perceived expense, the better. He's never been right about anything substantial, not even by accident. Yet he is still granted access to what people at least pretend is reasoned discourse. More and more it's just the same inbred claque of beltway hacks validating themselves and each other, neither knowing nor caring what was real and true.

If Bill Clinton and/or Al Gore had behaved that way in March/April of 2001, the pained yowls of the usual wingnut catamites would have shattered glass around the planet. But of course, since Democrats typically mistake civilized behavior for practical strategy, it never really occurred to them to bother carrying on in such a manner. That's not a compliment.

Repeatedly during Mr. Obama’s transition and his first 100 days in office, Mr. Cheney has carried his anemic favorability rating into the ring to slug it out with a successor who enjoys considerable public support on issues from the role of the vice presidency to his trademark issue of national security.

Which begs the question why putatively serious media outlets, not just Fox, continue to enable him in his nasty little hobby. This is a vicious, small man, as comfortable with lying and calumniating as he is with torturing people without concerning himself with notions of actual "guilt" or "innocence". Four out of five Americans repudiate him and his words and deeds. But they need to back that up with something more concrete. At the very least, a decent nation would turn its back on him, as well as any entity granting him entree into reasonable discourse.

But then, a decent nation wouldn't continue to lie to itself about its propensity for murder and torture and futile proxy wars. The main difference between the Cheney administration and prior iterations -- and this certainly includes liberal lions such as Clinton and Carter and Kennedy, and more likely than not, Obama -- is its disdain for even the pretense of circumspection in means justifying ends.

Indeed, its main players took a degree of perverse pride in what they were willing to do to defend their abstract idea of what their country should be, even as they held most of its inhabitants in sheer contempt, and clearly continue to do so. These are, after all, the very same people who had the balls to use fucking Won't Get Fooled Again as their campaign song, not once but twice. That's a special kind of cynical.

Cheney is essentially the John Wayne Gacy of politicians, accumulating molested hitchhikers in his crawlspace even as he screws up the gall to point at how his neighbors let their lawns get a few inches too tall. Some days you almost wish that Obama were the fascist soviet nightmare his lunatic detractors insist he is, because animals like Cheney and Rove would be on the first cattle car to Outer Yakutsk already.

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