Dick Cheney. (photo: Peter Kramer/NBC NewsWire/Getty Images)
By Charles Pierce, Esquire
10 March 14
elcome back to our weekly survey of the state of Our National Dialogue which, as you know, is what Charles Mingus would have come up with, had he composed “Goodbye Beanie With The Propeller On Top.”
We shake up the usual order today and begin over at CBS. Onetime Louis Napoleon national security correspondent Bob Schieffer had the week off, and Charlie Rose, deprived of his Big Table of Sycophancy, sat in for him. The producers decided that who the country really needed to hear from concerning the situation in the Ukraine was well-known zombie war criminal Dick Cheney. He was joined on the show by James (To Hell With The Jews) Baker, and Paul Ryan, the zombie-eyed granny starver from Wisconsin and most recent First Runner-Up in our vice-presidential pageant. Hilarity, naturally, ensued.
CHENEY: I think he is but I also think he hasn’t got any credibility with our allies. I just happen to speak to a couple of members of European parliament within the last couple of days who indicated that, you know, the– their quest for the Europeans to cooperate on sanctions is more difficult than it would have been because of what happened with respect to Syria that, in fact, they got ready to go. And at the last minute the U.S.– President Obama backed off. So he’s– he’s got a much higher mountain to climb in order to try to– to mobilize European governments to come on board for something other than military action.
CHENEY: Well, in my judgment, we have to recognize the fact that this is a– this is an egregious violation, if you will, of treaty commitments, of solemn obligation on the part of the Russian government to recognize the boundaries of the newly independent states of the old Soviet Union and– and the Warsaw Pact. And that was one of the most significant developments in the twentieth century. And Putin is– is simply ignoring all of those commitments. I don’t think he should be able to do that without paying a price.
CHENEY: And my answer is reinstate the ballistic missile defense program in Poland. He cares a lot about that; conduct the joint military exercises with our NATO friends close to the Russian border; offer up equipment and training to the Ukrainian military. Take steps that will guarantee and convey the notion, especially to our friends in– in Europe that we keep our commitments. So far that’s in doubt. And I think it’s a matter– much a matter of sending a strong signal that the U.S. will keep its commitments to our– our friends and allies, that’s been in doubt for some time now because of the policies of the Obama administration and this becomes a crucial moment.
Bear in mind that this is the architect of the most catastrophic American war of aggression in recent memory, the one that demolished American credibility abroad — You may recall that Great Britain bailed on the Syria adventure quite visibly — and is almost wholly responsible for the entirely justifiable war-weariness here at home. That Dick Cheney blames the president for staying out of what 56 percent of the American people said they wanted no part of is no surprise because Dick Cheney is essentially a toddler playing Army Men with other people’s children. But, of course, the truly remarkable thing is that Charlie Rose sat there like a dog waiting for a treat — Roll over, Charlie. Good boy. — and did not do so much as comment on the pure bloodstained irony of Dick Fking Cheney talking tough about how countries shouldn’t invade other countries, and the danger to American credibility if we are insufficiently bellicose in response.
Paul Ryan followed, and the man who reminded us all in 2012 that it snows very hard in central Asia in the winter decided to give us a little political history.
ROSE: Whatever happened to bipartisanship in foreign policy?
(Sit, Charlie. Good feller.)
RYAN: Well, we used to have it. When we had Scoop Jackson Democrats; when we had Harry Truman Democrats; when we had Kennedy Democrats; President Kennedy Democrats; we had bipartisan foreign policy. This is not that kind of an administration. This is a far more progressive left administration that I think is uncomfortable with America’s super power responsibilities and status hegemony. And so I don’t think that’s what you have with this administration. I think it’s– it’s– it’s– it’s a coincidence but the irony is very bitter. The week that Vladimir Putin invades Russia–
(Russia? Forget it, he’s rolling.)
For an opposing opinion, let’s welcome Mr. O. bin Laden of Abbottabad. What’s that? Well, we seem to be unable to connect with Mr. bin Laden. We’ll try again later. The idea that the Republicans in Congress were any more willing to be “bipartisan” on foreign policy than they were on any other issue is silly mendacity even by Ryan’s standards, which are considerable. Between the fag-baiting and the subliminal Putin-worship on one side, and the Stand With Rand crowd on the other, CPAC was a demonstration that there isn’t a “bipartisan” consensus on foreign policy even within the Republican party. Agreement between the voices in John McCain’s head is not “bipartisan.”
Disco Dave’s Disco Dance Party was dripping with slightly less vicarious testosterone, although the Dancin’ Master seemed bumfuzzled as to why the president couldn’t wave his mighty bully pulpit and stop Vladmiir Putin from being a thug. He had Tony Blinken, a national-security guy from the White House, on to talk about it.
GREGORY: Let me talk about the crisis in Ukraine. Since this started, the president and his top officials have issued it seems like line after line, and Putin seems to have crossed them all. Why does this president, and the United States generally, have so little influence over him?
Gee, Dave, I dunno. Why did we have so little influence in Budapest in 1956, or in Prague in 1968? Why did world opinion mean so little to the American government in 2003? Life is full of curiosities.
GREGORY: He’s not listening, and I think people watching this want to know why it is that the administration can’t exert greater pressure on him to stop him before he does something.
Gee, Dave, I dunno. But it seems as though the president is doing what the American people want, and if you’re upset about that, you should have done your job better back when Dick Cheney was running American credibility into the sand and your dancing partner was poisoning American politics for sport.
And we can’t leave without noting that the Dancin’ Master sat down with Dolan of New York, one of the more insufferable — “Look! He wears a Yankees cap!” — members of the Clan of the Red Beanie. They talked about the ongoing sexual abuse crisis within the Church and, by the end of it, Dolan’s nose may have reached to Paramus.
DOLAN: Number two, that bishops would have– would have not– reacted with the rigor and the– and the– the scrupulous action that was necessary. There’s the second. But thirdly, Catholic people say, “But why is it the church alone that is being kicked around? This is a societal problem, a cultural problem. It– it– it aff– it afflicts families, every institution, every religion.” “We’re rather grateful that our church, which was– an example of what not to do in the past, in the last– 12, 13, 14 years has become an example of what to do–“
Holy whitened sepulcher, Batman! Five years ago, while serving in Milwaukee, Dolanengaged in some bookkeeping legerdemain in order to hide some of the diocese’s money from the victims of several of the most grotesque examples of the scandal that there were. He also bought off some of the offending priests so they wouldn’t fight their laicization. That’s, apparently, an example of what to do.
And we conclude over on ABC, where even rightwing mole Jonathan Karl was astounded by the reality-free pronouncements of Tailgunner Ted Cruz.
KARL: We can acknowledge that that’s not going to happen while Barack Obama is president, right?
CRUZ: Yes, I’ll give you one scenario where it could. If there’s one things that unifies politicians of both parties, you know, their top priority is preserving their own hide. And if enough Congressional Democrats realize they either stand with ObamaCare and lose, or they listen to the American people and have a chance at staying in office, that’s the one scenario we could do it in 2015. If not, we’ll do it in 2017.
KARL: So you honestly think there’s a chance that you can get ObamaCare repealed, every word, as you say?
CRUZ: Every single word.
KARL: With Obama in the White House?
CRUZ: You know, what’s funny, Jon, is the media treats that as a bizarre proposition.
KARL: Well, it is.
And thus endeth the toughest questioning of the weekend.