Vice President Dick Cheney has just told a Wyoming newspaper that he doesn't know why he's unpopular. His exact phrase was, "I don't have any idea. I don't follow the polls."
Well, okay, first of all, knowing why you're unpopular has nothing to do with following the polls. The polls don't ask "why" you dislike Dick Cheney, just whether you dislike Dick Cheney. And then all they do is just report that your approval is only 15%. Knowing why you're unpopular is easy. It simply requires following the news. Or having a honest sense of your strengths and weaknesses. Doing both of these things would seem to be a great quality to possess for being a good vice president of the United States. Not having them risks getting you 15% in popularity.
Further...of course Dick Cheney follows the polls. Politicians follow polls more readily than pigs follow a trail of garbage. That doesn't mean they all act on what the poll says. But sure as the sun rises, politicians follow polls. And this administration, perhaps more than any in U.S. history, has made polls its lifeblood and followed them in order to appeal to its base and find issues to divide the country.
Of course, the biggest proof that Mr. Cheney was lying and that he actually does follow polls is that he answered the question. When asked to explain his low approval rating, he didn't respond, "What??! I'm unpopular?? Really?!!!! No way. You're serious. No way. Yipes, I had no idea." No, instead, he answered the question. And acknowledged that he knew he was, indeed, unpopular.
He just said he didn't know why.
Of course, two weeks ago, he did have an answer. (Okay, I'm not saying he had the right answer. Or even a plausible one. Just "an" answer.) Mr. Cheney explained to Chris Wallace on Fox, ""Eventually you wear out your welcome in this business." Forgetting for a moment that he made himself and the Bush administration sound like the last season of the sitcom, "Mr. Belvedere," it disingenuously ignores the reality that Bill Clinton left office with his approval rating at 65%. And that's after he had been impeached. Dick Cheney is leaving with his approval wallowing at 15%. Multiply that by four, and he's still below Bill Clinton.
So, maybe Dick Cheney really doesn't know why he's so unpopular.
Since it's the end of the year, and since I believe in public service and being a good, honorable fellow, I will provide a kindness for Vice President Dick Cheney. I will explain to him why he's unpopular.
Here are 25 reasons to begin with. I trust he's taking notes for the next time he's asked.
1. You pressured the CIA into falsifying information that got the nation involved in the Iraq War.
2. You admitted to approving torture.
3. You promoted spying on American citizens.
4. You repeatedly suggested that America would be greeted as liberators in Iraq and then after that lie became an embarrassment, lied and said you never said that.
5. You pressured the CIA into falsifying information that got the nation involved in the Iraq War. I know I said that before, but you can never say that one enough. Even if all the other reasons didn't exist, it would be enough. It's a really good one.
6. You lead the search team for finding a vice president for George Bush, and named yourself, ushering in an era of selfishness and political manipulation.
7. Your involving America in the Iraq War has cost the country $583 billion dollars. Well, for starters. This is money that could have been used for a good cause: like bailing out Wall Street CEOs.
8. You show a scorn of the U.S. Constitution by suggesting that you are not a part of the Executive Branch of government, nor a part of the Senate, but an island unto yourself.
9. Your involving the nation in the Iraq War has gotten 4,200 Americans killed.
10. You showed a heartless scorn and frozen coldness towards the American public and those 4,200 dead by responding "So what?" when informed that two-thirds of Americans opposed the Iraq War.
11. You held a secret meeting with the heads of oil companies for determining America's energy policies. And you didn't even include America's top expert on energy, Sarah Palin.
12. You helped oversee the collapse of the American economy.
13. You have helped oversee the collapse of America's high-standing around the world.
14. You come across as really mean. Also, snarly, angry and vicious, all qualities contrary to a public who elected your boss pretty much because they think he seemed like the kind of guy they could have a beer with. You seem like the kind of guy who would hit them on the head with a beer bottle. When they weren't looking. After they'd bought you the beer.
15. You began the plan to out a CIA operative who was protecting America by working on counter-intelligence, simply because you didn't like an accurate report her husband wrote.
16. You support the illegal detention of prisoners, eradicating the 1,000-year humanitarian tradition of habeas corpus.
17. Your saying that you don't know why you are unpopular is why you are unpopular. It shows you to be either so cut off from reality as to be near-inhuman, or such a bald-faced liar as would make Pinocchio seem honorable. Saying you don't know why you're unpopular is like the person who punches someone in the eye and goes, "What??! What did I do?!"
18. Your abrasiveness, highlighted by crude swearing at opponents on the "gentleman's club" of the Senate floor, is seen as a leading cause of the breakdown of decency and bi-partisanship in government.
19. You went into hiding and stayed in your undisclosed bunker at the very time America needed transparency and leadership.
20. You seem like you're the real-life equivalent of Darth Vader. Just to be clear, this is different from coming across as "really mean." Grade school principals are "really mean." But after-class detention is different from trying to annihilate human life forms by sucking them into a universal Black Hole.
21. Your Administration ignored a briefing, "Bin Laden Determined to Attack U.S.," and the U.S. got attacked by Bin Laden.
22. You ignore that the U.S. got attacked and that 3,000 people got killed under your Administration's watch, while lying that you kept America safe.
23. You took a proud, honored nation and crushed it so badly that 81% of Americans say the country is seriously off-track. I particularly mention this since you say you don't follow polls.
24. You have retained stock options and deferred salary to Halliburton, of which you were CEO, despite insisting you severed all ties to the company that has received several billion in government contracts from the Iraq War.
25. You shot your 78-year-old friend Harry Whittington in the face, didn't rush with him to the hospital, didn't instantly apologize, and got him to accept responsibility. Sort of like what you've tried to do to the United States.
Anyway, now you know. In case it comes up again. Like at your war crimes trial. Or at lunch.
Happy New Year, though.
Same to America. And a happy one it finally is......