Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Get this guy some baggy shorts and a metal detector.

Why can't Dick Cheney disappear like a good Veep, and just play golf?

Instead of going on political talk shows to condemn Mr. Obama, and trying to whip up fear and loathing by speaking poison at right-wing venues, why can't the former Vice President use his intelligence and influence to do something positive for the country and the world? He could be working to eliminate world hunger, building houses for the poor, or establishing a foundation that helps third world countries develop green practices and economies.

Failing that, he could just sit down and shut up.

Instead he continues to engage in a battle that no one else is fighting, defending the insanity of the last administration, with Cassandra-like warnings about the terrorist attacks to come. There is little doubt in my mind that there will be terrorist attacks in the future, but they will have far more to do with what Bush/Cheney did than anything else. Undermining the current administration is a self-serving, cynical ploy, right out of the far right's playbook.

If a country's general character and state of mind can be seen in the general character and state of mind of its leaders, the Bush era created a United States that was increasingly paranoid, defensive, suspicious, angry, fearful, petulant, domineering, and, ultimately, weak. And no matter how things went, the future always looked scary and dark. To them, it still does.

If we extend that thought to Obama, the United States is now engaged, open to new ideas, measured, thoughtful, hopeful, articulate (haven't heard anyone say "nu-cu-lar" since Sarah Palin left the stage), and working towards a future that looks brighter—and possible.

Are they doing everything right? Of course not. No one could. But I'd rather be wrong with Obama's approach and policies than "right" with Darth Vader and his loyal sidekick, W. The "force" Star Wars referred to was not the kind of force Dick Cheney has always championed. And he and his ilk (and they are ilk) will never, ever understand that.


Anonymous said...

"Failing that, he could just sit down and shut up."

Oh, ouch.

Whether or not you agree with Cheney, he does have the right to speak his mind, as do you. But just because Cheney is venomous, does that mean you need to be as well? Isn't there a better way for the (supposedly caring and inclusive) Left to deal with Cheney, Limbaugh, and the rest of the (currently) disenfranchised Right?

"There is little doubt in my mind that there will be terrorist attacks in the future, but they will have far more to do with what Bush/Cheney did than anything else."

Since you're in the mode of assigning blame, how do you assign it for 9/11? That plot was hatched during the Clinton/Gore era, so should we be blaming Clinton/Gore for 9/11?. Or do we go back to GW Bush and Reagan?

Or perhaps the cause and objectives of Al Qaeda (and other terrorist groups) are not specific to any American Administration...

In the 1993 attack on the Trade Towers, (referring to Ramsey Yousef)...
"Minutes after the attack, he had sent a message to the New York Times claiming the bombing was in retaliation for American support of Israel and oppression of the Palestinian people".

Yousef then went on to detonate a bomb on a Phillipines Airways flight in the Phillipines in 1994, so his targets weren't limited to the US. And judging by his release to the Times, not specific to a US Administration.

I suspect Cheney fully believes in the "righteousness" of his point of view, and in the dire warning he's carrying to the country. And he is no less righteous in his outspokenness as you.

So who's wrong, and who's right?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your thoughtful response. I get your point, but I can't agree with you entirely. Yes, it's all bigger and more long-term than just the past 8 years. But the Bushies lied and lied, so they could manufacture a war, which has nothing to do with anything you cited in your response.

As for 9/11, Bush had information ahead of time, and apparently chose to ignore it.

Sure, he can say whatever he wants, but I wish he would indeed sit down and zip it. I've had my fill.

Anonymous said...

You might consider reading "NonViolent Communications" by Rosenberg (available from Amazon).

It may help you develop more effective responses to people you strongly disagree with, sans venom.

Anonymous said...

Was there venom in my response to your comment?

Anonymous said...

In your response - Only regarding "the Bushies".

But your blog entry is seething with venom and contempt for those you politically disagree with.

As long as both sides continue to sling harshness back and forth, continually questioning and challenge each others motivation and integrity, the attention is off the issues and no progress is made.

I'm not saying your approach is wrong (nor am I saying they're wrong), I'm just suggesting there's another way to respond that could be more effective.

Our world is full of violent communication - on both sides of the aisle, and from all quarters. Changing the dialogue (and monologues) is the first step in making progress to a world we can all live in "together".

If you're interested, you can read about NonViolent communication at cnvc.org

lucyfree said...

Interesting that the defenders of Bush-Cheney see venom in those who disagree with them. Cheney has been given more air time than any former VP and is more visible than he ever was. What's his agenda now?
I agree with Edie that it is cynical and self-serving and I do not believe that "Mr. Halliburton", no-compete contracts, etc., is sincerely motivated to protect the US. If so, his analysis is clearly faulty. Simply look at the motivation for people to become terrorists in response to the Bush-Cheney strategies. I am relieved that information (valid, factual information) is finally emerging about the amount of lying. No administration is perfect nor are they to blame for everything in the world but just stay tuned for the facts that are coming out now. And that Cheney was instrumental in hiding throughout his term in office. And, btw, Clinton-Gore, or Richard Clarke, were not the ones who disregarded the warnings about 9/11. Sadly, Al Qaeda does not distinguish between American administrations except that some are more helpful to their recruitment efforts than others.
I am hoping there are some Republican spokespeople who can contribute more constructively than the ones who are getting the air time today. Ones who realize we have no choice but to be citizens of the world rather than jingoistic isolationist voices of No. I hope they are out there.

Anonymous said...

"Interesting that the defenders of Bush-Cheney see venom in those who disagree with them."

Apparently my message wasn't clear - first, I see venom coming nonstop from BOTH sides.

From my first message..."But just because Cheney is venomous, does that mean you need to be as well?"

Second, I didn't take either side.

I'm calling for an end to the harsh comments and self-righteous criticism that's seething from both sides.

When Republicans are in power, Democrats fight them at every turn.

Likewise for Republicans when Democrats take the stage.

It won't stop until people stop making their contribution to the pool of venom.

Start now.

Edie Freedman said...

Actually, as I go back and read what I wrote originally, I don't see much venom. Saying that Cheney should sit down and shut up is pretty darned mild. No epithets. No threats of violence. Just a straightforward editorial opinion, far more mild than most political pieces.

Call it venom if you like. I don't see any poison in it, and I am somewhat surprised that you had such a strong reaction to it.

Anonymous said...

Of course you don't see it - you believe, as most do, that's it's perfectly reasonable to tell others to "sit down and shut up".

It's simply not.

As I said, whether or not you agree with Cheney, he has a right to voice his opinions. Unfortunately, another poster took that as support for Cheney, which it was not.

It was support for the rights of ALL to speak their mind.

Our freedoms in this country are not one-sided - you have no more right to your opinion than he does, and neither has less rights than the other.

Disagreeing with Cheney, while defending his right to his opinion, seems a better position to take.

In preserving his right to speak his mind, you preserve your own rights. Take away his right to speak, and we all lose.