First Nixon, Now Cheney: the Dicks Have It.


Dick CheneyTo those who view themselves as politically independent the meltdown of  the Republican Party since last fall’s election is, at best, worrisome, and, at worst, a pitiful display of division, dysfunction, and distemper. 

Dick CheneyTo those who view themselves as politically independent the meltdown of  the Republican Party since last fall’s election is, at best, worrisome, and, at worst, a pitiful display of division, dysfunction, and distemper. 

To the wide swath of political real estate not labeled as “conservative”, the Republican’s antics since November are as good as a circus can get. All three rings of that circus are full. One ring has elephants dancing on the heads of pins, clowns like Rush Limbaugh constantly display an astonishing sense of comedy that is hysterically funny while desperately attempting to appear to be serious is in another ring, and, in the third ring, the cartoonish display of what appears to be human figures running and crashing into each other like a comic bar fight in a John Wayne movie. Apparently this is how a circular firing squad is formed.

It’s not as if these Republican wounds were not self inflicted. Last week, the angriest of the angry white men who make up most of the Republican Party, former Vice-President Dick Cheney, made another of his patented “coded” speeches at a right-wing think tank in Washington.( About the only place he is welcomed these days).  Cheney spoke of the torture he approved as “enhanced interrogation.” We can suppose, to draw out the analogy, that he would refer to death as “enhanced sleep.” 

Cheney took the Obama administration to task for lowering our country’s guard against terrorists in the same confident, assuring monotone that he once used to tell the country about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the link between the regime of Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 hijackers, how a quick victory in Iraq was all but assured, how Iraqi oil revenues would pay for the war, and how he had no idea how a CIA agent’s cover was blown even though his convicted right hand man is doing serious jail time for the outing. This is a man who needs to go away.

One way of viewing the antics of Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, and the rest of the cast of characters that make up the current Republican Party mouthpiece brigade, is through the lens of insult. I feel insulted that Cheney, Limbugh, etc think I’m stupid enough, or gullible enough, or lazy enough, or uninformed enough to swallow the kind of junk they’re selling. I’m not. I won’t. And I’m willing to wager that few, if any, real independents will ever buy it. 

One of the keys to our functioning democracy is some form of balance between the two major political parties so that each may hold the other accountable for its actions, inactions, and policies. With the Republicans owning an approval rating in the lower twenty percent range, that balance is lost. 

The last time the relative strength of Democrats and Republicans was this far out of balance, we ended up with a divisive war in Vietnam, a stagnant economy, and the beginning of a major problem with inflation.

Michael Settle is the author of the blog New Negotiator. (



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  1. Which Party is more out of balance?

    Is the Republican Party really in such disarray or is it poised for a sooner-than-expected comeback? The most recent CNN and Gallup polls show Dick Cheney’s approval ratings have actually increased while Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s ratings have slipped below Cheney’s. The latest Quinnipiac University poll predicts Democrat Chris Dodd losing to Republican challenger Rob Simmons in the 2010 senate race. In New Jersey, the Rasmussen Reports poll predicts Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie handily defeating incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine. And two New York State senators just defected from the Democrat party, handing power back to a Republican majority. So the real question is not why the Republican Party melted down after losing the general election – that’s to be expected – but why the Democrat Party is melting down so quickly after winning? Something is very, very wrong…


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