Wednesday, September 13, 2006

His Darkness

It's been a long time since the term "politician" had much positive context for Americans. We now use the word like an epithet, taking some small delight in the fact that, though poor and weary, at least we're not like those blankety-blank, two-faced politicians. I can understand those feelings, though I can't fully agree. There IS an irritating quality about someone whose continuing job prospects depend on being seen and heard doing things that appeal to the broadest possible portion of the population. Liberals like to be seen with guns hunting the next dinner. Conservatives, by turn, seem to enjoy nothing more than bringing home the federal money for items that they would term "pork" if based somewhere else.
But there's one guy who dares to show us just one side, challenging us to decide to like or hate him. He yam what he yam. He's Dick Cheney, the man most often connected with the evil, though fictional, Darth Vader. He's rich, he's elected, he has friends in high (mostly corporate and military) places, and he has only one person to please each day, the President.
It almost shocking how one-sided the VEEP's image is when compared with the others who've held the office. Have we ever seen Cheney visiting a public school? A ball game? A hospital? A presentation of the Arts of some kind? Outside the odd network appearence, he almost always appears in front of "blood oath" audiences like the NRA or a veterans' group who think like he does and function like little GOP subsidiaries. Even Spiro Agnew, Nixon's henchman VP seemed to display a little sense of humor while letting fly with phrases like "the nattering nabobs of negativism". Not Cheney. Humorless, grim, conspiring and totally partisan are the terms which come to mind. If you're waiting for the Dickster to apologize for dropping an F-bomb in the US Senate Chamber to Senator Leahy of Vermont, you'll be waiting a long, long time. The VEEP doesn't DO apologies.
Which brings us to those occaisional appearances on news programs. It's Cheney's habit to deny things he has said in the past, even when it's on tape, and move on to new accusations most often aimed at Democrats in a way that carries dire warning. His memory is unsmilingly selective, and most TV journalists simply haven't the stomach to go toe-to-toe with him to make him account for past errors and/or lies, deliberate or just boo-boos in thinking that have led to thousands of deaths and injuries. The fear-mongering that helps so much on Election Day expanded lately to warning against pulling out of Iraq lest the bad guys see a way to attack OTHER mideast countries, including our democratic pals, the Saudis. He even declared that Iraq was better off today than pre-occupation., though the 100,000 plus dead weren't polled, and the 90% or so of Iraqis who want us gone were evidently just mistaken.
As the ultimate insider, Cheney's resume would be perfect for the job opening, if there was one, of dictator. But if there's any good news in all of this it's that the VP's popularity has headed South and stayed there. If Bush's positive numbers are somewhere in the 30's, Cheney's are about a dime lower. The low-level rumor of a Cheney presidential campaign ("We need to finish the job.") has died a quiet death, though no one thinks the Dark Lord will be taking his errant shotgun back to Wyoming to live. Barring a killer heart attack or a double impeachment we'll have Cheney around another full two years, but hia official duties are few and his record of being wrong has even been noticed by the White House (!) , where his influence is supposedly on the wane. He'll then become the answer to the trivia question: "What American vice president has had the most and worst influence on US world prestige in the post WWII era?"
This isn't, you've noticed, a spot for personal stuff. Nevertheless, congrats go out to Ember and Jake on the birth of grandkid #8, Tobin. Is it too soon (one day) to start calling him T-Bone?


Post a Comment

<< Home