Ever since he got out of the office of vice-president of the United States, Dick Cheney has engaged into some of the rudest and ruthless campaign of criticism of the Obama administration. So consistent is the once reclusive and unapologetic Cheney that the sane part of the American electorate is left asking why? Why the personal vilification of the young President and his entire program of government even in areas that policies are identical to those followed by the Bush White House?The prosecution of the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, the treatment of the "Christmas Day bomber", the bailout of Wall Street all follow the blueprint of George W. Bush and his team. Yet, Cheney and the cadre of Republican attack dogs denounce every step and thus invest in a process shameless double standard fiercely adhered to by the extreme right of the party and the new darlings of that extreme right, the tea party fanatics.
A quick check of Republican elected officials and party hacks reveal a disciplined, all out effort to denounce Obama: "We want participation in the health care debate with cameras open to the public," say the Republicans. Obama concurs by inviting them to a White House meeting February 25th with the refreshing lights of television. "We can't accept such a trap, after all we don't know what we are walking into," says the permanently tanned John Boehner and that silliness is echoed by scores of other Republicans in the Senate and in the House. The list of Republican demands that ultimately get traction with Obama is long and the moment they get what they ask for they resort to their favorite word: NO!
Cheney gets all this: he orchestrated the Republican talking points machine during his eight years in the White House with great success and he is leading the charge again. Cheney knows that disciplined talking points drive the message home to an electorate too busy and too scared to check beyond the headlines and the loud volume of name calling. So he continues in perfect synchronicity with Limbaugh, Michelle Bachman, Glenn Beck to misrepresent facts, invent many doomsday scenarios in the hopes of one day simply say, "I told you so." It is crass propaganda and it works despite the clear lack of veracity of its claims.
Obama continues to maintain a strict code of conduct that is based on respect for opponents and a desire to stick to issues often to the dismay of the many that elected him to office. Obama and the Democratic majority have refused to engage in the politics of hate but their lack of toe-to-toe response to Republican attacks may convince the voters that the noise makers may actually deserve to be put back into the majority in November of 2010.
Never mind that they were the ones that drove the country into the ditch in the first place. And Dick Cheney knows that he can lead the Republican revival by sticking to darkness.