“It is time the president and his allies faced some hard truths: America remains at war, and withdrawing troops from the field of battle while our enemies stay in the fight does not ‘end’ wars.” The Collapsing Obama Doctrine. ~ Dick Cheney (WSJ 6-19-14)
“There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare.” The Art of War ~ Sun Tzu
Iraq War architect and unindicted war criminal — former GOP Vice President Dick Cheney — has been nowhere heard or seen since Donald Trump pushed aside heir-apparent to the Throne of Conservatism, Jeb!, to lead in the polls.
Not even The Donald’s® latest heretical statement last Friday in New Hampshire that Iraq2 was a huge mistake and that Bush&Co. were to blame for a debacle of historic proportions — all because they weren’t very smart — has prompted Troll Cheney to venture out from under the bridge, cudgel in hand.
At the same time, Trump also managed to criticize his own party, once again with utter impunity: “We have had so many opportunities to do some real productive work and Republican politicians don’t have the guts to do it,” he said. “They should be ashamed of themselves.”
Heresy. Somebody should burn. Someone not rich.
Of course, all of this had GOP spinmeisters on mop-up patrol over the weekend like a bunch of hapless pledges after a frat party on Homecoming Night.
Yesterday, Trump went after Bush for his new posture of playing dumb on Iraq:
“Jeb Bush is a puppet to his donors, there is no question about it. He’s got lobbyists … I know them … he’s got lobbyists, and you know, he’s made statements over the past couple of days that are incredible, trying to justify the war in Iraq … can’t be justified … and then he said ‘Skin in the game.’ I don’t know if you saw his recent statement, he said the United States has to prove to Iraq that we have ‘Skin in the game.’ We spent $2 trillion … thousands of lives lost … wounded warriors who I love all over the place, and he said we have to prove we have ‘skin in the game.’ I think it may be one of the dumbest statements I’ve ever heard. Skin in the game! We don’t have to prove anything … it was one of the dumbest things that ever … and I think what happened is that his brother probably said ‘Hey, you’re killing me!’ That was his war, and he looks very bad. So this is how Jeb Bush tried to push back, but when he said we have to prove to Iraq that we have skin in the game and we lost those lives and all that money, I think he should apologize to the families of the people.” PoliticsUSA
Trump’s indictment of Jeb! must have Dick Cheney seething, notwithstanding the truthiness that Jeb!’s statement was unforgivably stupid. So where’s Cheney?
After all, it was only 14 months ago that Cheney fired the opening salvo of a new Media War in the June 19, 2014, Wall Street Journal over who is going to shoulder the blame for The Iraq2 Debacle. Entitled “The Collapsing Obama Doctrine,” Cheney attempted to lay the failure of Iraq2 at President Obama’s feet in a cynical attempt at revisionist history in the service of his own foul legacy, as well as to establish a platform — well in advance of the 2016 presidential election — that The Establishment’s anointed candidates could argue from that the whole Iraq War thing went south under Obama’s watch. Of course, fellow Iraq War architects Wolfowitz, Perle, Rice, Bremer, Kristol and a few Lesser Neocons were quick to back Cheney’s play. That’s how they sold Iraq2 to mainstream media to begin with, using a media full-court press to lend gravitas to the lie and create hotlinks in Google search. It must’ve felt good to see the Old Gang out on the field again.
Subsequently, unreconstructed Neocons like Kristol have been trying to sell that Bogue Hokum to whomever in the media is dumb enough to buy it (yawn! FoxNews), along with their newest play in the Political Blame Game of referring to “… the Crash of 2009, when the Obama Administration was hemorraghing jobs at a rate of a half-million a month.” Conveniently forgetting, of course, that the Crash of 2008 began in September of that year and that it was the Bush Administration that bled-out jobs at a record rate of 450,000 a month for five full months prior to Obama ever taking office, culminating in a total loss of 2.9 million jobs in 2008 alone, the largest annual job loss of any administration in 60 years. That, after both Bush and McCain repeatedly told the American public in the months prior to the crash that the “economic fundamentals are sound.” Of course they want to lay the financial crash off on Democrats by calling it the “Crash of 2009.” It’s a timeworn ruse to blame your crime on the black man. But facts, as they say, are stubborn things.
Now Trump is unravelling the GOP’s carefully crafted B.F.L. on Iraq2 like an innocent, playful kitten with a ball of yarn. To be sure, Jeb! didn’t help matters when he stumbled around the media dance floor on the subject of Iraq like a sloppy Seventh Fleeter on a 3-day leave with a pocket full of 50’s. Now his new strategy is to look like a dumb Seventh Fleeter who can’t remember how he lost his money and whether or not he got rolled, or even laid. But Trump quickly called bullsh*t on that, as well.
Clearly, Cheney must be pissing down the leg of his pants. After all, he’s living on a borrowed heart that doubtless was donated from someone far better than himself, but which imparted none of the former owner’s generosity or compassion. His time on earth to re-tell his story using different adverbs is limited at best. But Cheney hasn’t said sh*t about Trump. Yet. The silence is deafening.
Some of Cheney’s disinclination to take on Trump must be the same reluctance that a middle-school teacher has in correcting the behavior of a kid with a bad temper, who might go off like a Roman Candle over damn near anything. Trump has proven time and again that he’s willing to jump the corral fence and get into a turd-throwing match with anybody including the Rodeo Clowns. But the other factor must simply be this: Cheney knows that Trump must die. And it won’t be easy, given Trump’s skills at manipulating media and all the money he can throw at defaming anyone The Donald® doesn’t like, not to mention all the money he can throw into an independent run which would almost certainly hand the election over to the Democrats. Cheney may be evil, but he’s no fool. He knows that killing off Trump — figuratively or literally — will be a major undertaking. We can’t have blood on our shoes. Perhaps the Wicked Witch of the West put it best: “The question is how? These things must be done del-i-cate-ly.”
The other factor is that Trump’s ascendancy represents a golden opportunity that won’t soon come again: the chance to purge the GOP of the Fundy Tweakers. To be fair, Cheney never liked the idea of opening the party to the right-wing religious fringe in the first place. Reagan, in his Movietone naivete about just who those people really were, thought that all it would amount to was posting the Ten Commandments on the walls of county courthouses and 10 minutes of voluntary prayer before classes in school. Hah! The fool. Reagan never really understood the Constitution. As you might expect of a B-movie actor.
Fast forward to today and it’s clear that Reagan trusted his sophmoric instincts far too much and that letting in the Religionists was a huge mistake. For the last thirty years GOP candidates of every station and stripe have had to spout buckets of religionist sewage they don’t believe in like some kind of Hieronymous Bosch human fountain in Hell to earn the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval from the worst of the Monobrowed Bible-toters.
It must be a Hellish existence. Honorable men and women don’t want to submit to such indignities, which means that only the worst demagogues, psychopaths, and morons can bear to run for public office as Republicans. Think about it and you’ll soon be convinced that I’m right. Nearly any GOP elected official you can name above the rank of city councilman will fit into one or more of those categories.
Cheney knows it, too. He knows he has to kill Trump to save his Gang of Thieves and to bleach his own mutant DNA out of his historical legacy. He knows that as good an opportunity to purge the party of the Fundy Tweakers that presents now won’t soon come again. My guess — just a guess — is that he’ll be looking to wrap the rope of that sea anchor around Ted Cruz’s neck and send him down with it out of the sunlight and out of mind. But you can be sure that at this very moment Dick Cheney is plotting and scheming how to resurrect his damaged brand and his battered Gang of Neocons into something powerful and bright again.
When Cheney goes dark, you can be sure evil is brewing in the nether regions.