How is it that false prophets and self-proclaimed 'authorities' receive respectful attention when they regularly distort history and claim knowledge of past and future events so irresponsibly? By what definition of patriotism do a former vice president and media pundits suggest that the country is less safe because after a few months in office, a new administration declares that torture is torture and that we shouldn't do it anymore?
Are we really supposed to believe that President Obama has doomed us to a precarious future simply by stating principles that are considered the norm by most rational people? More importantly, should we accept what Mr. Cheney tells us after his sinister, unilateral involvement in everything from energy policy to the war in Iraq? Disturbingly, a fair number of Americans willingly suspend disbelief about the previous administration's decision to invade Iraq based on constantly revised pretexts, depending on what version seemed most likely to elicit an emotional and favorable response at any given moment.
In the end, however, the net result was domestic policies that not only failed to move the economy forward but left it perilously close to collapse, along with costly foreign involvements that made us more vulnerable than anything a new president could effect so soon after taking office. The contempt Cheney shows for ordinary Americans is breathtaking. That he would choose Limbaugh over Colin Powell to represent the Republican Party is the opinion of someone who lacks a sense of decency and proportion or maybe just some cerebral lapse that prevents him from exercising sound judgment.
In an angry response on the Rachel Maddow show, Powell's former chief of staff, Lawrence Wilkerson, asked the question many of us keep asking: "Why does the media give him [Cheney] so much airtime" a man who insisted and often does to this day that there was "no question" Saddam Hussein had WMD and an active nuclear-arms program. About Powell, Wilkerson added, "Two tours in Vietnam, 35 plus years in service to his country" compared to "5 deferments for Dick Cheney who never served a day in the military; said he had other priorities..." As the old line goes "A cat may look at a king," but it's not an equal - - With respect to Cheney, Powell is way out of his league.
Yet Cheney continues to pontificate at every opportunity. He "knows" the methods he endorsed saved lives, as opposed to what agents on the ground accomplish in their dangerous information-gathering operations. Of course Cheney was only too willing to expose an intelligence operative in the furtherance of his political agenda. His current verbal gymnastics are just more of the same, unpatriotic, ego-centered jingoism that turned justice on its head and undercut our nation's commitment to the rule of law.
In a further insult to our already bruised sensibilities, Liz Cheney, no doubt brainwashed at birth, appeared with her father to accuse Obama of "siding with terrorists." One would have thought the Palin campaign refrain of "palling around with terrorists" would have run its course by now. But apparently no 'inspiration' is ever too old or worn out to be excluded from the daily propaganda diet served up by the Republican right wing, which is pretty much true about most of its standard bearers as well.
It's a funny thing, though many Republicans insist that waterboarding and other "enhanced interrogation techniques" aren't torture they say in the next breath that Nancy Pelosi is at fault for going along with something that wasn't wrong in the first place according to them. In any case, whatever Pelosi knew or didn't know she wasn't free to go public at the time; the attempt to sidetrack the basic issue is farcical.
Speaking of humor, perhaps Wanda Sykes shouldn't have used 9/11 as a subtext to joke about Rush Limbaugh, but outrage from the right is a bit disingenuous. There was no similar outcry when President Bush looked for WMD under tables and behind the lectern at a press dinner. Some of those present actually laughed despite the travesty that was claiming so many lives, creating enormous debt and tarnishing our good name.
Still the shameless affront to rational discourse continues. Joe Scarborough said on Morning Joe, regarding the new administration, "I knew by the second day that America was less safe" while sidekick Mika spoke of substantial public support for using torture in the cause of national security. But to be swayed by dissemblers on the right and superficial media rants is to succumb once again to the politics of fear and intimidation that destabilize the country and betray our founding principles.