Is there a deeper strategy to this rollout, though? I’ll give you three possibilities. One: It’s exactly what it looks like, a platform from which to attack President Bumblefark as he works another two and a half years of Hopenchange foreign policy magic. Okay, but this is an odd moment for Dick Cheney, of all people, to be picking a fight with The One. He did a solid job of countering Obama when they clashed on enhanced interrogation and Gitmo back in 2009, but opinion on those issues has always been more equivocal than opinion on Iraq is now. Why would a guy whom the public remembers as a prime mover in the Iraq war debacle want to take the lead in arguing that O’s not being aggressive enough overseas, at a moment when Iraq is at the top of the foreign policy agenda? Yesterday Glenn Beck told liberals on his radio show that they were right to oppose invading Iraq; today, conservative journalist Byron York surveys the op-eds lately from Iraq war supporters calling for a new round of intervention and marvels at the lack of humility in most of them. If even commentators who are normally sympathetic to hawks are thinking twice about dropping more bombs in Anbar province, maybe Bush’s VP isn’t the guy to make the case for more muscle to the wider public. E.g.:
After Cheney op-ed says Obama “so wrong about so much at the expense of so many” – Jay Carney snarks “Which president was he talking about?”
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) June 18, 2014
Cheney, a savvy pol, obviously understands all that. So perhaps this is about more than trying to drum up popular opinion against O.
Two: Maybe it’s a vehicle for getting Liz back in the political game after her primary bid against Mike Enzi fizzled. Clearly she’s going to run for office again someday, whether in Wyoming or Virginia. Running a nonprofit designed to attack Obama will put her name in front of grassroots conservatives. It’s a smart way to keep positive buzz flowing on the right, except among libertarians of course.
Three, my pet theory: This isn’t about Obama at all, it’s about building a hawkish platform from which to attack Rand Paul as he runs for the GOP nomination in 2016. Really, why would you even need to attack O on foreign policy at this point? His numbers are already in the toilet; Chuck Todd read his political obituary on the air just this morning. He’s the lamest of lame ducks. The guy whom hawks are worried about is Paul, who could do a lot of damage to the interventionist cause by succeeding with a more dovish foreign policy agenda in the GOP primary. Remember, too, that the Cheneys have a history with Paul: He eagerly endorsed Enzi after Liz announced her primary challenge and offered to campaign personally for him in Wyoming in the name of squashing a famous hawk with the Cheney name. The Cheneys are going to repay the kindness next year by attacking him as a dangerously irresponsible appeaser who’ll build on Obama’s legacy of failure. That’s where the new group comes in, I think. By rolling it out now against Obama, they’re going to build goodwill among righties. Then they’ll put that goodwill to use next year in hammering Paul.