Dick Cheney, who "had other priorities in the 60's than military service," has become America’s most vocal warrior in his old age. He is much in the news this week because of the op-ed piece he and his daughter Liz wrote for The Wall Street Journal. I disagree with the Cheneys’ message; with their reading of recent history (“we are watching American defeat snatched from the jaws of victory”); with their amnesia about the 500,000 Iraqi dead as a result of the American invasion; and perhaps above all with their style of personal attacks and innuendo, depicting a president who “doesn’t seem to care,” is “blithely indifferent,” is determined to take “America down a notch.” The Cheneys’ Journal article was part of a larger campaign to announce the launching of their Alliance for a Strong America (there was a time when newspapers didn’t offer their editorial pages to public relations campaigns), a 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization. My reaction to the package of article, video and website was visceral repugnance, and the post I began writing this morning was littered with vituperative references to WMDick Cheney and Liz’s over-the-top Senate campaign.
No, I don’t like these people, but I am tired of fighting the battles in the past – the invasion, the surge, the withdrawal, who lost Iraq? – which have led us all down a path of ad hominem blaming, name calling and paralyzing national divisiveness. In my revulsion to the Cheneys I saw a part of me I didn’t much like.