Shooting-Off Again: Dick Cheney Leads the Attack… on Sarah Palin

Still Mad, Dick?

Bless his heart, but Dick Cheney really stepped in it this time.  I want to know why the former Vice President is attacking Sarah Palin. We were all sickened when leftists publicly wished he would die, or be denied the heart transplant that has extended his life, but apparently, Vice President Cheney has no heart left for common-sense conservatives, or for the lady who bore the brunt of the left’s most vicious attacks in 2008, since he now adds to them.  Having been the frequent target of the left’s senseless harangues, one would expect that Cheney would know better, but it’s apparent that a decade in Congress, four years as Secretary of Defense, and eight years as the Vice President haven’t made him any smarter.  If I were a leftist comic, I would take the opportunity to remind readers that Cheney has a history of shooting at the wrong target.  Asked by Jonathan Karl of ABC News what advice he would offer about the process of selecting a VP candidate, given 2008 as an example, he said this:

“The test to get on that small list has to be, ‘Is this person capable of being president of the United States?’”

True enough, but then he said:

“I like Governor Palin. I’ve met her. I know her. She – attractive candidate. But based on her background, she’d only been governor for, what, two years. I don’t think she passed that test…of being ready to take over. And I think that was a mistake.”

As is the current fashion in the media, ABC used the occasion of Mitt Romney’s impending VP pick to launch an attack on the former Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, and predictably, this representative of the Bush administration and of the GOP establishment crowd wouldn’t miss an opportunity to get his digs in.  Mark Levin was so annoyed by it that he posted to Facebook on the subject, and he’s right to be upset with the former Vice President.  After all, what is served by attacking Sarah Palin?  What’s in it for Cheney?  I believe Cheney’s criticism of Sarah Palin reveals something ugly about the Republican establishment, but also their basic view of the Presidency. In their view, the Presidency and Vice Presidency should never be held by “amateurs,” a.k.a., “non-insiders.”

When Cheney said he thinks Sarah Palin hadn’t “passed that test…of being ready to take over,” what he’s stating bluntly is that she was not qualified to be President.  There are likely millions who would disagree vociferously with that assessment, and Cheney’s criticism is one we ought to examine because he had held that office, but we should not fail to turn the question on him:  Was Dick Cheney qualified to hold that office?  Some would argue that from the moment he first exhibited substantial health difficulties, Cheney should have stepped down as Vice President, permitting President George W Bush to replace him.  After all, if something terrible or unfortunate had happened to the President, the health of the Vice President, then unceremoniously elevated to the Presidency,  would have been of immediate concern for the country.

Americans expect is their leaders will do the most responsible thing in pressing situations, but Dick Cheney failed that test.  Whatever the objections of President Bush may have been at the time, Cheney should have stepped down, for the sake of the country, if for no other reason.  He didn’t.  He could have done the responsible thing, and nobody in the country would have blamed him had he stepped aside due to ill health, and a frightening heart condition that could have claimed him at any time.  He’d have enjoyed the sympathies of millions who would have respected him for doing the responsible thing, and yet he failed that test.

While Dick Cheney gives interviews to ABC News, Sarah Palin has been out on the campaign trail doing the hard work of getting out the vote for common-sense, constitutional, conservative candidates.  Dick Cheney is giving interviews to mainstream media outlets to attack Sarah Palin.  To me, one of the most important qualifications for either the job of President or Vice President is to exhibit leadership.  What is Dick Cheney leading?  An assault on Sarah Palin?  What is Sarah Palin leading, and what has she recently led?  In 2010, she helped to lead the battle to retake the House of Representatives, and in 2012, she is helping to lead the charge to retake the Senate.  Meanwhile, Dick Cheney gives interviews offering advice to Mitt Romney on his forthcoming VP pick.  While the country is burning down around us, this is the battle in which GOP insiders like Cheney wish to engage? Nobody stops to turn the question around and ask Cheney about his qualifications, which are assumed to have been sufficient:

Cheney states: “She’d only been governor for, what, two years.”

Question: How many years was Cheney governor of a state?  Answer: None.

Cheney headed the Department of Defense under George H.W. Bush, but that’s a largely bureaucratic position more than one of leadership.  Leon Panetta is the current Secretary of Defense.  Is Panetta qualified for the presidency?  Cheney was a legislator, first and foremost, and an insider who elevated himself within the House of Representatives.  Is this the qualification for President?  Cheney was never an inspirational figure.  Did this qualify him for that office?  After all, it was Cheney who had helped to select Vice Presidential candidates before, including in 1976, and again in 2000, when he headed the search committee, but himself got the nod from George W. Bush.  It was also Cheney who was campaign manager for the Ford Campaign in 1976, and he served as Ford’s chief of staff.  I don’t know how any of that qualified him to be Vice President, or President, but if Sarah Palin ever decides she wants some advice on how to be a DC insider or political hanger-on, she should immediately contact Dick Cheney, as in this at least, one might conclude that he had been eminently qualified.

It’s not my intention here to drag Dick Cheney’s name through the mud, but I must repeat Mark Levin’s question: “Why does Dick Cheney feel the need to attack Sarah Palin?”  Cheney is an insider.  Way back in 1976, it was Cheney at the GOP convention who helped to make sure that Gerald Ford was the Republican nominee, but not Ronald Reagan.  The GOP establishment is rightly sensing a bit of a revolt forming in the rank-and-file, as many conservatives are not altogether thrilled with the presumptive Republican party nominee.  He knows there is a move afoot to ditch Mitt Romney at the convention, and he sees Sarah Palin as one of the threats to the Romney ascendancy because the grass roots of the party loves her. Whatever happens in this election cycle, it is the aim of the establishment to be sure that none but another member of the extended Bush clan rise to the nomination in 2016.  Hammering away at Sarah Palin now, in 2012, helps to solidify the notion that Governor Palin is a political has-been, and one who was never qualified for the office in the first place.

That’s garbage, but in the perceptions-driven game of politics, it contributes another few slashes in the death of one-thousand cuts.  The GOP establishment doesn’t want a Palin candidacy, now or any time in the future, and it perturbs them greatly as the collective hive-mind of the anointed class that at present, the most effective spokesperson for rank-and-file Republicans is a woman they would rather have us all forget.  Sarah Palin brought big oil to heel as Governor of her state, forcing them to live up to contracts with the state of Alaska on which they had been dallying interminably.  She exposed and throttled crooks in both parties, including the state’s own GOP establishment.  None of that sits well with the Washington crowd of which Cheney is an undeniable part.

Whatever Governor Palin’s electoral potential in the future, I find it simply astonishing that a man who had virtually nothing to recommend him as a potential President of the United States other than his appointed proximity to that office now offers Mitt Romney counsel on who to pick as his VP, and in so doing, sets out to demolish the party’s last nominee for that post.  It’s a despicable bit of politicking on Cheney’s part, and it is in such instances as this one that cause many in the grass-roots to wonder about the motives of the establishment.  It is Cheney, as part of Washington DC’s permanent political class that symbolizes the problem.  From his first day working inside the Beltway as an intern for Congressman William Steiger in 1969 until present, Cheney has been hooked into DC politics. Forty years of his influence in Washington is more than enough.  Until we begin to discard these insiders, we will never get very far in restoring our republic.

His opinion on Governor Palin was offered up as another propaganda victory to the left, as it was the sort of answer Jonathan Karl had been seeking.   An old Washington insider like Cheney couldn’t possibly have fallen into a trap of that sort, so this was said with the full intention of malice, and the manner in which it was said makes it clear there is plenty of that left in Dick Cheney’s heart.

(I suppose this evinces also the fact that one can change one’s heart but still not alter one’s mind, however small the latter chore might have been.)

 

 

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  • stevethird

    This interview pushed me over the edge. I don’t believe now that Sarah Palin will ever be accepted by the Republican Party. If she is ever to be President, it will be the result of a sccessful independent or Third party run. Frankly I’m already a member of a third party……it just doesn’t exist yet.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/WNC55HADNWZQKSIUCWT3RHIZCY Bob

       It does exist, it’s called the Tea Party.

  • the unit

    Yep…if you are America USA First and not the NWO.  No good words for you since those meetings of Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin, the initial planning after the League of Nations failure.  Not only no good words…but lots of bad words.

  • Lwhiteym

    If the Republican party survives it will be with Sarah Palin and Tea Party leadership.  The establishment fears Sarah and the Tea Party.

  • RebinTexas

    Good article Mark – as always. Steve – I agree with you – I’m already a member of that ‘third party’ that doesn’t yet exist……….I suspect it will be made up of many from the Tea Party, who themselves are dems, repubs, independents, libertarians, and just plain Americans who love this country and want to bring it back in line with what our founders wisely constructed. And, I continue to pray that Sarah becomes our first female President.
    Reb

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  • Magdalene51

    Cheney failed in his job as VP advisor to Bush. Had he forgone the selection of himself as VP, and taken some lower position (say, chief of staff or Secretary of State), and instead found someone younger, healthier, and maybe with some executive experience, the Republicans might have had a fighting chance at holding the White House in 08. But maybe that was the idea.

  • http://twitter.com/xthred xthred

    It’s a pleasure not to vote.

  • JRD1

    I am so over the permanent political corrupt ba$tards club!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Singer/100002450453775 Paul Singer

    where was Cheney when Paulson convinced Bush to forgo free markets and bailout the banks.. thus socializing loses of fannie and Freddie ,, a GSE whose profits had always been Private,,what?Paulson wife is Hillary Clinton’s  top fundraiser 

  • Kerry Burke

    Ha ha.  Cheney/Palin 2012 indeed.

  • section9

    Well said. Bear in mind, though, Cheney’s role at the 1976 Convention was not done out of malice against Reagan; Cheney was Ford’s Chief of Staff, for God’s sake. He could do no other than to help his boss gain the nomination.

    Cheney did what he did to help his daughter Liz gain a cabinet post in a prospective Romney Administration. I don’t like it, but that’s the deal he probably made with them. They probably demanded that he come out and beat up on Palin in trade for a Cabinet job for Liz at Interior.

    This probably won’t hurt Palin too much outside the beltway. She wins if Cruz wins tomorrow. That’s what matters in politics; not what Cheney said yesterday. That’s also one of the reasons that Cheney attacked Palin, btw. Palin is getting a huge lift from Cruz. And if Steelman should win as well? Well then, Hell’s bells…

     

    • http://markamerica.com markamerica

      Like I said, my intention is not to drag Cheney through the mud, but I don’t like this sort of attack because while he could be hammering Obama and the fact that our country is in serious trouble, he went off down that road instead. I think it’s pointless, and if it’s about securing some cabinet position for Liz Cheney, that makes it even worse in my view. I like Liz Cheney, but if your theory is right, then I don’t see that as an excuse.

      Gov. Palin did a tremendous job Friday evening at The Woodlands, so I’m not surprised if she’s getting a lift. On the other hand, why shouldn’t she? She’s out there doing the hard work of campaigning for these conservative candidates and helping get out the vote for them. I know the Romney bunch is still worried.

    • http://twitter.com/camarocowboy Camaro Cowboy

      So let me get this straight, you think that reason Dick Cheney attacked Sarah Palin, was so his daughter could get a job in the Romney Administration? Strange! If anything Cheney should haved PRAISED Sarah! But then again, I don’t think I would want to be praised by Dick Cheney. Are you in D.C.? Because that sounds like D.C. logic! 

  • Emerson_C

    Cheney is an embarrassment; with friends and supporters like him Romney does not need political enemies.  It was also particularly dishonest of Cheney to ‘not understand’ why governor Palin stepped down from the Governship of Alaska.  He has no excuse for not knowing and understanding why.  With this intervention there must be a large and growing number of conservative voters out there who are coming to think that a victory for faux-conservatism represented by Romney and the likes of Cheney, Rove and the Bushes, would be worse for the conservative cause in the long run that an Obama victory.  The real titanic contest is 2016.

  • http://twitter.com/camarocowboy Camaro Cowboy

    KISS UP TIME: I want to be in the MARKAMERICA PARTY! How about PALIN/NEWT for our nominees?

    • TheresaAK

      Sounds great except I would rather see PALIN/WEST 

  • Polarbearpapa

    Palin/West…forget the rest….

  • the unit

    Abstinance and no foreplay is good to prevent pregnacy and the taking over of our nation by whatever you call it.  Abstain from voting. Then you put  Obama and  Bill Clinton and more stains and whatever back in…then it’s afterplay and subjugation.  Roberts and Scalia will go along. If that’s what we put in.  Stop it..Different .President if possible…Senate foremost .  Come on folks…Palin/West, but maybe not this time.  Give it more time…really not vote now?

  • Kathie

    How many years had McCain been governor? By Cheney’s litmus test, Sarah Palin was two years more qualified than either of them to be president.

  • Ben

    I’m not a Palin or Cheney fan but is he really so wrong in saying that experience is needed to be president (and thus vice president) and that Palin lacked it? He didn’t set a “litmus” for a presidential nominee in the number years spent as a governor, he simply mentioned that it was her only experience and two years of an admittedly difficult position may not be enough to say a person is ready for the presidency. And the point can, was, and should be made at Obama’s three years in the US Senate (though, of course, he was also in the Illinois Senate for seven years and Palin was a mayor for eight, which can be judged however how will). What I really don’t think is fair is to belittle Cheney’s experiences as unworthy of the presidency. He has a graduate degree and studied for a doctorate in political science, spent two years in the cabinet as White House Chief of Staff, Ford’s 1976 campaign manager, ten years as Wyoming’s sole members in the House, elected as the deputy leader of the Republicans in the House before four more years in cabinet as Defense Secretary (which is as much a bureaucracy as the rest of the federal government is), and five years as CEO of one of the world’s largest corporations. The man was clearly qualified to be president. I do, however, think it is fair to question Cheney’s irresponsible decision to not resign once it became clear how tenuous his health was, which could very well have disqualified him despite his admirable CV. But does that make his observation any less valid? Certainly not. Hypocritical? Yes, maybe. But it’s a valid point nonetheless.

  • blueniner

    Cheneys first name fits him well, DICK……