Nobody ever said Dick Cheney lacked chutzpah. He has criticized Obama for taking over the economy, even though the huge flow of cash into Wall Street came under Bush-Cheney (with Obama’s support). He excoriated Obama’s for ending torture, claiming it was making America less safe, even though John McCain, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and many others believe that the Bush-Cheney torture policy created thousands of dedicated, active enemies of America. He blasted Obama for running up huge deficits even though Bush-Cheney turned a budget surplus into the biggest deficit in American history.
But his most vile display of chutzpah and hypocrisy came this week when he said President Obama "seems afraid to make a decision" about General McChrystal’s call for 40,000 more U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
"The White House must stop dithering while America's armed forces are in danger," Cheney said in a speech at the Center for Security Policy on Oct. 21.
Dithering, huh? How about when, in mid-2008, General McChrystal’s predecessor in Afghanistan asked for three more combat brigades—about 15,000-20,000 more troops. The request was ignored for the last eight months of Bush-Cheney. Not until February 17, 2009, was the increase approved—not by Bush-Cheney, but by President Obama on his twenty-seventh day in office.
It’s certainly legitimate for the ex-Vice President to criticize President Obama, but the savage and hypocritical carping on serious national security issues is simply ugly politics at our nation’s expense.
Obama’s press secretary, Robert Gibbs, had the right analysis of Cheney’s criticism. “What Vice President Cheney calls ‘dithering,’ President Obama calls his solemn responsibility to the men and women in uniform and to the American public,” Gibbs said. “I think we’ve all seen what happens when somebody doesn’t take that responsibility seriously.”