Here's crazy Dick Cheney articulating his sophisticated foreign policy philosophy again:
"I think if we were to do what Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Murtha are suggesting, all we will do is validate the al-Qaida strategy," the vice president told ABC News. "The al-Qaida strategy is to break the will of the American people ... try to persuade us to throw in the towel and come home, and then they win because we quit."
I've written a ridiculous amount about this and yet it always shocks me when I hear him put it so plainly. He believes bin Laden's trash talk and has fashioned this country's national security policy around it. This was the king of the "grown ups."
Not surprisingly there hasn't been a lot of effort to rank this nation's Vice Presidents. In fact, if you can name, say 15 of our nation's 46 Vice-Presidents, without naming the ones that actually became President then I'd guess you cheated and looked someplace like this.
The reason is fairly obvious, we generally have tended to rank Vice-Presidents in terms of their relative power within an Administration. Usually without demeriting them for the policy's of their actual President. Mondale and Humphrey are considered up there on the VP Meter because of influence, but are not really castigated for their bosses shortcomings of policy -- though in the immediate history they suffered at the polls when they ran. But forty-years on no one blames them, they measure their influence. Though mostly they measure them for their other accomplishments (Mondale was an effective Senator, Humphrey one of the true giants of the Senate).
It's hard to rank the "worst" Vice-Presidents because most of them did nothing of any real note during their tenure. Spiro Agnew had a lot of vile rhetoric, but his real accomplishment was being a crook while he was Governor of Maryland. Aaron Burr showed some real flair by getting himself indicted for treason.
But, at the end of the day, we finally come to the ultimate pairing of disasters.
The worst President of all time, meets the worst possible pairing of all-time as Vice President. The Bush Administration is sort of how George Wallace & Curtis LeMay would have worked had the former somehow been elected and then decided to go on a vacation for four years.
For Cheney has all the keen geopolitical acumen and desires of Curtis LeMay, without the military medals or the admission that he might be a war criminal. There could not be a worse pairing for the weak-brained but messianic Bush than the strong-willed and ideologically crazy Cheney. Combine that with a national disaster that sets them loose and you have the worst combination of events we could have had for this pairing. It's like Squeaky Fromme and Charles Manson ran for office. In fact, I suggest Bush name his pamplet, I mean memoirs, "Helter Skelter".
Oh, they have talented and unrelenting spinners, and as Glenn Reynolds and the gang at "The Corner" demonstrate everyday they have a whole host of enablers that have foolishly bet on their policies (relying upon their base bigotry against "strange people" in another part of the world that have a slightly different but similar religious faith) to such an extent that they can no longer help themselves but go "all in". But, at the end of the day, that is all they have. They are assisted by a media that while never wholly buying all they say, never was adequately critical and has gone from fearful to stunned and ineffective. At first they couldn't believe they'd lie to them and they still cannot believe they're still being lied to. No the fault is laid upon those of us who never believed them.
Let's just hope we get the chance to recover.
Such is the tragedy of our times