Friday, January 26, 2007

Reality Check

Part II: "I Find Your Lack of Faith Disturbing."

Wolf Blitzer: "How do you respond to some Republicans in congress who are now seriously questioning your credibility, because of the blunders and failures (in Iraq)?"

Dick Cheney: "Wolf, Wolf, I simply don't accept the premise of your question. I think it's just hogwash."

It was to be expected that no one in the vaunted halls of the Capitol would use the kind of language the situation demanded, but Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois at least came close: he called Dick Cheney "delusional." The truth of the matter of course is that Cheney blew past "delusional" about twenty-seven rosey assessments ago, and has now reached the level of "terrifyingly batshit crazy."

On Wednesday, Cheney sat down with CNN's Wolf Blitzer for what was billed as an "exclusive" interview -- which seemed like an odd thing to say about a conversation with a sitting Vice President of the United States, until you considered the fact that when it comes to granting an audience, Cheney rarely strays outside of the friendly softball-field of the Fox News Channel. I suppose it's fair then to claim that the interview was indeed an exclusive opportunity for the portion of the country under the age of seventy-five to finally see a one-on-one with the elusive, mythical vice president. The fact that it was treated to such an unprecedented display of unhinged lunacy can only be called the icing on the cake. By now, most of us are used to Cheney's hallucinatory proclamations about the state of affairs in Iraq -- past, present and future -- as well as his angry mutterings about the media's unwillingness to report the "truth" as only he sees it. Wednesday's performance however, was something new altogether; it was such a frightening denial of reality coupled with an unfathomable tone of defiant demagoguery as to almost be cartoonish -- with Cheney taking on the mannerisms and language of a Bond villain.

When asked about a possible congressional resolution to oppose the Bush Administration's plan to send more than twenty-thousand new U.S. troops to Iraq, Cheney replied simply, "It won't stop us."

All that was missing was a white cat on his lap.

Normally, this kind of delusional and messianic rambling would be laughable -- and make no mistake, you've heard crazy talk just like this coming from the guys on the sidewalk who carry on lengthy conversations with telephone poles -- but when it escapes the mouth of the man who has a say in sending American kids to their deaths, it's nothing short of chilling. There's certainly no denying that Cheney's found himself marginalized as of late -- by those in his own party, by friends like John McCain, by the president he once stood side-by-side with -- and given the fact that literally nothing he has predicted or claimed about our adventure in Iraq has come to fruition, it's hard to be surprised; by this point, Cheney's peers are viewing him less as the menacing Darth Vader and more as the disoriented Dr. Weird of Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Once again though, it's inadvisable to doubt for a moment that Cheney truly believes Iraq is in great shape and that all that's needed to seal the deal are a few more good men.

There's a conspiracy theory being bandied about by a few liberal bloggers which intimates that Cheney's being allowed to publicly hang himself and will soon be quietly asked to resign for "health reasons" -- the supposed endgame being that Bush will appoint Condi Rice to the VP's seat, thereby putting the Republicans in a better position for the 2008 election and, more importantly, securing Bush's legacy beyond simply being the president who got us into an unnecessary war, brought a volatility to the Middle-East that threatens the safety of the world, and possibly ruined America's good name for decades to come. Those who subscribe to this theory believe that the recent appointment of John Negroponte to the position of Deputy Secretary of State undeniably foreshadows this scenario.

I however hold no such hope that Cheney will be sidelined. It hasn't happened yet; I doubt it will happen at any point during the Bush presidency. The man whose unwillingness to accept, or inability to grasp reality, will more than likely continue to play at least some role in both the future of this country and the lives of its soldier -- and that's simply staggering.

At the end of the CNN interview, Wolf Blitzer asked Cheney about the criticism some Christian Conservative family groups have leveled at his pregnant daughter, Mary Cheney, and her plans to raise the child with her lesbian partner of fourteen years. Cheney stoically responded by saying, "Frankly, I think you're out of line with that question."

At that point, I truly expected the floor to open up and Blitzer's chair to drop into a shark tank.


slouchmonkey said...

And I ask you, how do you talk to the nuts that are still on the end of this administration's knob? I'm lucky enough to work with two of the small majority and they're driving ME batshit crazy.

Peter L. Winkler said...

Cheney isn't talking to the majority of the country. He uses the media as a conduit to the true believers, the 25-30% of those who fervently believe anything Bush and its media propagandists like Fox News continue to say.

Vehemence is the expression of a blind effort to support and uphold something that can never stand on its own...Whether it our own meaningless self we are upholding, or some doctrine devoid of evidence, we can do it only in a frenzy of faith.
-- Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State of Mind (1954)

A doctrine insulates the devout not only against the realities around them but also against their own selves. The fanatical believer is not conscious of his envy, malice, pettiness and dishonesty. There is a wall of words between his consciousness and his real self.
-- Eric Hoffer, The True Believer (1951)

BJD said...

" was such a frightening denial of reality coupled with an unfathomable tone of defiant demagoguery as to almost be cartoonish..."

Love it. Write more, work less.

Vikingwench said...

You are so astute.

TK said...

Well stated piece. I confess however, that Blitzer was pretty soft at moments of that interview. He had some good follow-up opportunities, but ended up punting instead of really going for it (sorry for the sports metaphor). But then, he was probably nervous about going home and finding his family had "disappeared".

Alex said...

If Cheney is Dr. Weird, does that mean Bush is actually Steve?

BlakJak said...

Somehow every marginally intelligent person can give you a crude definition of classical conditioning and its affects on the psyche, but very few of them seem to want to apply this truth to there belief that Baby Jesus is the only viable answer, the Government cares and they are extremely gifted/talented and just misunderstood.

If i was better prepared Id have a joke in there somewhere...since I'm not, I'll go work on my Sumo. I believe I've got the talent to be the first 190lb champion.

Come over for a swim sometime

Chez said...

Cheney: Gentlemen... BEHOLD!

Bush: Eh, what?

Cheney: Don't you see? Iraq! It's beautiful!

Bush: Uh, yeah. I'm gonna go get a hoagie.

Cheney: MY BALLS!!!

(Cheney's scrotum flies off and eats Bush's head -- roll opening credits.)



TK said...

I do believe Votar has gone mad. I can't adequately express how excited I am about that.

And Chez, aka Mr. Fancy-Pants, nice work getting posted on Pajiba. Hopefully you won't get bombarded by jackasses like you did with the Fark plug.

Anonymous said...

Alex, was there ever any doubt in your mind that Bush is Steve?

Sanity Clause said...

Love the picture. This is the visage of terror gone awry. And he's not happy about it.