Friday, October 23, 2009

Dithering and Dick Cheney’s chutzpah

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.”

1 comment:

Judith Ellis said...

Good points, Bob. Thank you. Here is what conservative columnist George Will said about former VP Cheney's remark on ABC's "This Week" today:

"A bit of dithering might have been in order before we went into Iraq in pursuit of non-existent weapons of mass destruction. For a representative of the Bush administration to accuse someone of taking too much time is missing the point. We have much more to fear in this town from hasty than from slow government action."

It would also be unfair to say that President Obama is "dithering" as he deployed 17,000 troops to Afghanistan shortly after he assumed the presidency. Surely this couldn't be considered dithering.

When I watched the awards ceremony where Cheney was given that award in which he gave the "dithering" speech it felt like a bunch of old once powerful guys who missed the military mark patting themselves on the back where only they would bestow such honor on each other. It was sad to see.

Rumsfeld was among these. Just thinking of how he ran the Iraq war is frightening. Even with their years of experience in government before they assumed their latest jobs, these guys seemed to me to be living in G-I Joe land.

Maybe George Will deserves a shout out for honesty when it comes to speaking truth regarding his own political party. I know you recognize such here. :-)