Three cheers for Dick Cheney

Should foreign terrorists who have declared war on our way of life be granted the protections of the U.S. Constitution? I don’t know. I do believe that Americans should not descend to the barbaric level of our enemies.

So on that point, I agree with Cheney’s critics. What I don’t agree with, and find despicable, actually, is the type of rhetoric directed against him. When Hillary Clinton, now the Secretary of State, is asked during a Senate hearing about Cheney’s expressed views that the tactics of the previous administration made the nation safer, she rolls her eyes histrionically, snickers and mutters something about Cheney’s lack of “credibility.” That was rich, coming from a person who claimed with a straight face during last year’s campaign to have braved gunfire in Bosnia, played an instrumental role in the Irish peace process, and warned her husband about the evils of free trade. When White House press secretary Robert Gibbs was asked a similar question about Cheney’s contention, he replied sarcastically that Rush Limbaugh must have been busy, “so they trotted out the next most popular member of the Republican cabal.”

In my view, that’s a low way to conduct political discourse. I’m with Liz Cheney, who said this week, “He’s always got a cute one-liner, usually about the vice president,” adding that Gibbs doesn’t engage legitimate questions about national security. “It’s a dangerous game they’re playing,” said the former vice president’s daughter. I agree. That game is called politics, and playing it with national security is indeed dangerous. Yet, the Democrats’ gambit had been effective. I was dismayed the other day when Eugene Robinson, a recent winner of the Pulitzer Prize for commentary, penned a column for The Washington Post essentially calling Cheney crazy and postulating that his argument cannot truly be called an argument at all.