On the very day that Obama defies his base and tries to rally flagging support for a cause most conservatives claim to believe in, here’s Cheney deciding it’d be a good time to wonder aloud in front of reporters how committed the commander-in-chief is to the cause. Gore ranted about Bush’s war policies too, of course, although as I recall, even he didn’t use the surge announcement as an occasion to undermine confidence in the president. I’d love to ride to DC’s defense here, guys, but after knocking Thompson and Beck for preaching Hopenchange-determined defeatism, the best I can do is offer you this link to Goldfarb:
When Cheney goes after the president, the president starts making unforced political errors. More than that though, Cheney’s attacks seem to push Obama into a more positive direction on policy. No doubt, the White House considered how Cheney would respond to Obama’s speech tonight. Cheney’s critique of Obama as “dithering” on the decision may have expedited it, and his critique of Obama as insufficiently clear in his commitment to the mission may force Obama to dig in a lot deeper than he’d like — which is a good thing.
Yes, but there’s a time and place for that, and that time and place isn’t the day Obama’s calling for national unity against a common enemy, especially when the White House is explicitly invoking continuity with Bush’s own war effort. If it’s true that Cheney retains enough political capital to move The One rightward on foreign policy then he shouldn’t want to squander any of that capital needlessly, and yet trying to horn in on Obama’s speech is inevitably going to do that. (It also arguably makes things much harder for the GOP’s message machine.) I’ve knocked Obama for dithering too, but I’m closer to Dan Senor’s position than Cheney’s: Frankly, I never thought a liberal as strident as The One would commit to Afghanistan as much as he has. And while there are things I don’t like about his strategy, he’s closer to our position on the war than he is, say, Michael Moore’s. Can we spare him a single night of high-profile criticism for that? Or am I being a Chamberlain-esque RINO candy ass again?