Monday, December 22, 2008

Cheney Fatigue Sets In, Big Time

You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!

M.P. Leo Amery to P.M. Nevil Chamberlain, May 7, 1940 debate in the British House of Commons
Maybe it's just me, but I think the Nation has just had its Norway Debate moment with Vice President Dick Cheney and his fascinating ideas about the source and scope of Executive Power in the Bush Presidency.

Cheney's stone-headed defense on Fox News Sunday of his "unitary executive" theories and their application by the Bush Administration--from torture to preemptive war in Iraq, to unilateral authority to blow up the World simply because the President possesses the "nuclear football," etc. etc. ad nausiam--was utterly beyond the pale. It's pure instinct on my part, but I have the sense that Cheney's bravura performance may finally have convinced most Americans that our Vice President really is a paranoid megalomaniac completely unhinged by shame at the fact that 9/11 occurred on his watch, and a man whose Captain Ahab-like fixation on revenge against "the terrorists" truly has run the ship-of-state on the rocks.

I should restate my bias up front. From the moment I heard media reports on 9/11 that Cheney was safe in an "undisclosed location," as if this was a major piece of reassuring news we should know about amidst all the horror and chaos of that terrible day, it flashed on me that we were dealing with a bizarre, hulking narcissist who had serious "Dr. Strangelove" tendencies.

So, it's inspiring for me to see:
  • columnists like Mike Lupica make the Dr. Strangelove connection and say "I'll be thrilled to see you go, Dick Cheney";
  • "lefties" like Josh Marshall hit the nail on the head by saying "The only mild consolation to be found in Vice President Cheney's latest round of anti-constitutional ridiculousness is the thought that we'll be rid of him in about a month";
  • and especially to see an eminent senior military professional like Col. Pat Lang be so disturbed by Cheney's "utter certitude" in "proclaiming to his followers the end of the rule of law in the United States" that "Everyone who loves this country as it has been, as the Framers intended it to be, should press for criminal indictments against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld et al."
Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!

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