There are those who write that Dick Cheney should have run for President in 2008. There are those, on this Web site in particular, who say he should run in 2012. But Dick Cheney's outspokenness, his attacks on President Obama, and his remarks in favor of torture and Rush Limbaugh, have put him front and center for the next big elections, those that come just over a year from now. Dick Cheney is on the ballot in 2010.
Most Americans have a very, very negative view of Cheney. I'm being kind. Cheney's approval ratings hover at around 13%. There's not much room below that. At 13%, stand up comics stop making jokes about you, because you are a joke and so it is redundant. Darth Vader becomes a poor man's Dick Cheney. Ahmadinejad won't be seen with Cheney because it would make Ahmadinejad less popular in America.
I never thought I'd say these words: George W. Bush is a role model. He left office, and now he is quiet because ex-Presidents give their successors room to move without criticism. Actually, when Al Gore ceded the election to George W. Bush, he did much the same thing. He went away for awhile. That's usually the model for those who leave office. It's the classy thing to do.
However, W.'s surrogates, such as Ari Fleischer and Condi Rice, are often speaking for their Administration, defending the W. Era. Not an easy sell. And it gets worse for them because the Defender getting the most attention is Dick Cheney. When it comes to defending your reign, do you want to have the least popular person out there talking about you? Of course not. If I had a product to sell, would I want the most disliked person in America selling it?
My opinion: Cheney's gone rogue. He's not checking in with Bush Central. He's not on the defending Bush circuit with Fleischer or Rice. Cheney sees himself as Jack Bauer; in his mind, he is defending the nation from its enemies and doing whatever it takes to keep the people safe.
In our minds, Cheney himself is doing the torturing. Isn't that the image most of us have? It's not Cheney, sitting in a remote office, on the phone, ordering a suspected terrorist to undergo torture; it's Cheney himself, kicking everyone out of the room, yanking off his tie, grabbing a suspected terrorist, administering the pain and yelling, "WHERE IS THE CANNISTER?"
Cheney has now said that Obama's foreign policy and policy on questioning terrorists makes for a less safe country. He has also gone after Colin Powell, and said he prefers the views of Rush Limbaugh to those of Powell.
Now, if you're building a party, do you want to denounce Colin Powell? If you were a Republican, wouldn't you suggest that both Powell and Limbaugh's views are welcome in the Big Tent Party? I guess Cheney doesn't believe in the Big Tent; he believes that the Republicans are the party of the Little Corner of the Room, huddled together.
Cheney continues to put himself front and center. He's the face of the Old Republican Party, the Party that was denounced by the American people in 2006 and 2008. He's not going to become more popular. The more he is out there, the more he reminds us that we are incredibly thankful that he is not in power. As long as he appears to be the spokesman for the Republicans, elections will go the other way.
So, in 2010: Cheney will again be the face of the Republican Party. And once again, the Democrats will be victorious.