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Cheney Tries to Give Joenertia Some Ooom-Pah


Dick Cheney called a press availability to give his BFF Joenertia a little oooom-pah after his loss in the CT Democratic primary.  And I got my hot little hands on the transcript.  Let’s peek in, shall we?

Jackson, Wyoming
1:33 P.M. MDT

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon. It’s suggested I chat with you a bit just for a couple of minutes here about the Connecticut Democratic primary yesterday, and then I guess, we’ll then be happy to respond to a couple of questions.

I was — obviously, we’re all interested in this year’s election campaign. I know Joe Lieberman and have a good deal of respect for him given that we were opponents in the 2000 campaign; and of course, spent a fair amount of time watching the man and studying him over the years, especially in connection with our debate in 2000. And as I look at what happened yesterday, it strikes me that it’s a perhaps unfortunate and significant development from the standpoint of the Democratic Party, that what it says about the direction the party appears to be heading in when they, in effect, purge a man like Joe Lieberman, who was just six years ago their nominee for Vice President, is of concern, especially over the issue of Joe’s support with respect to national efforts in the global war on terror.

The thing that’s partly disturbing about it is the fact that, the standpoint of our adversaries, if you will, in this conflict, and the al Qaeda types, they clearly are betting on the proposition that ultimately they can break the will of the American people in terms of our ability to stay in the fight and complete the task. And when we see the Democratic Party reject one of its own, a man they selected to be their vice presidential nominee just a few short years ago, it would seem to say a lot about the state the party is in today if that’s becoming the dominant view of the Democratic Party, the basic, fundamental notion that somehow we can retreat behind our oceans and not be actively engaged in this conflict and be safe here at home, which clearly we know we won’t — we can’t be. So we have to be actively engaged not only in Afghanistan and Iraq, but on a global basis if we’re going to succeed in prevailing in this long-term conflict.

So it’s an unfortunate development, I think, from the standpoint of the Democratic Party to see a man like Lieberman pushed aside because of his willingness to support an aggressive posture in terms of our national security strategy….

Q Yes. Mr. Vice President, thank you for joining us today. With Lieberman in Connecticut losing, Joe Schwarz in Michigan, Cynthia McKinney in Georgia, is there an anti-incumbent wave this year? If so, which party does it benefit?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I guess, I’d be hard put to think of what the wave is, or what parallel you can find between Joe Lieberman, Joe Schwarz and Cynthia McKinney.

Q Well, they’re all incumbents and they all lost.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: That may be. I don’t see it as an anti-incumbent move. I think each one of those races was — the Schwarz race, obviously, was a Republican race — there’s a history behind that in terms of how Joe got elected last time around and his opposition this time around. I didn’t see it as having national ramifications, nor do I think the McKinney race does. I think the Lieberman case clearly does.

Q But not in terms of anti-incumbent sentiment —


Q Thank you, Mr. Vice President, for doing this. Based on what’s happened now to Joe Lieberman, do you think that Iraq is going to be — the election is going to be a referendum on the Iraq war?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I can’t say that. I think national security policy is likely to be generally important. I supposed it will depend a lot — these off-year elections, obviously, turn a lot in terms of local issues, and issues that are identified with specific states and congressional districts. But clearly within the Democratic Party, it would appear to be that there are deep divisions. I think there’s a significant body of opinion that wants to go back — I guess the way I would describe it is sort of the pre-9/11 mind set, in terms of how we deal with the world we live in.

Q And do you see yourself on the campaign trail this fall making these same points? Are we hearing the beginnings of a strategy on how to deal with this situation?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I think it is appropriate and should be that there be some discussion, obviously, of these issues this fall. I suppose different people will look at in different perspectives. I expect there will be a number of people out there who put national security issues first and foremost when they evaluate candidates. And I suppose I’m probably one of those. And I think we ought to address it, and I think there will be a fair amount of debate associated with that campaign this fall. I can’t say that that’s going to be necessarily true in every single district. I certainly plan to talk about it a lot. I expect the President will, too….

Oh yeah.  Let’s have that conversation on how well things are going in your war to manufacture even more terrorists, shall we?  Can we also discuss your piss poor decision-making?  Or how you lied your way into a war for which you did little to no planning?  Or how, in the entire history of the Middle East, there is not one — not ONE — time that an occupying force was greeted with flowers and candy over the long haul?  Or how we are now fighting Sadr’s militia forces in the streets of Baghdad?  Or the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan?  Or…well, I could just keep going, couldn’t I?

Shorter Dick Cheney:

How dare you think for yourself and vote against one of our rubber stamps?  And now I’m going to spout the usual drivel about "soft on terror…blah blah blah…oooh, scary…blah blah blah…grouchy old man" and I’d like you to reprint it verbatim. 

Here’s what the Democratic party is against: 

— a government that lies its way into a war we didn’t adequately plan for;

— a President and his Administration who refuse to own up to their mistakes so that we can correct them;

— a defense department that is still not adequately planning for this continued occupation so that we are needlessly wasting lives and material and running up an enormous deficit in the process;

— a Department of Homeland Security that is doling out contracts to incompetent cronies who are gobbling down money with little or nothing to show for it. 

And that’s just off the top of my head.  Katrina, anyone?  Feeling safer?  Me, neither. 

And Joe Lieberman, who approved Michael Brown’s appointment as the head of FEMA in 42 minutes when he was chairman of the committee responsible for oversight, and who has served as a Presidential rubber stamp for every miserable failed policy for the last five years, and lectured "we the people" to STFU whenever we tried to point out the flaws in the Presidential logic — well, I don’t care if Dick Cheney is his BFF.  He was wrong, repeatedly, and the American public has the right to hold him accountable for it.

Just like we have the right to hold George Bush and Dick Cheney and all their failed policies to account.  And if the current Rubber Stamp Republican Congress won’t do the job — we will find one that will.  You think that doesn’t scare the bejeebers oput of Dick, Cheney, George Bush, Ken Mehlman and Karl Rove? 

Try this one on for size:  The American public is no longer buying your lies with an unskeptical eye.  We are on to you.  And we will not just sit back and let you drive without some oversight any longer — you can’t read a map, and we are sick of you refusing to ask for directions from people who actually know what they are doing.  Move over, the American public is taking the wheel.

If I were Joe Lieberman, the very last thing I would want is Dick Cheney shooting his mouth off about what great pals we are, given his 18% approval rating and sinking.  Ooom-pah, indeed.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com