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You Must Remember This

You Must Remember This
Hadley Freeman gives us a little holiday entertainment with her review of "Chatty Cheney". She writes as Maureen Dowd might write, if she had perspective and more brain than frustrated libido. A few snippets:

[I]t’s hard not to ­wonder if someone (Rush Limbaugh? Rahm Emanuel? It could work either way) has been putting cocaine in Cheney’s morning coffee. The man just will not shut the hell up….

[I]n the past two weeks he has become a media slut of Ulrika Jonsson-type proportions, with an accompanying sense of cringing ­embarrassment, and I would not be ­surprised if he turned up in the Big Brother house this summer, ­railing about the benefits of Abu Ghraib to ­fellow housemates.

Referring to the American media’s characterization of the mysteriously contemporaneous Obama and Cheney speeches this week as a Clash of the Titans, she says,

The idea that an out-of-office former vice-president is a "titan" on a level with the current in-office ­president is about as plausible as ­pitching Halifax Town as a threat to Manchester United.

An obvious discrepancy that was missed by most of the coverage on this side of the Pond. It’s a pity Ms. Freeman isn’t working for an American newspaper. Then again, it probably wouldn’t publish her work as soon as Rove or Limbaugh or Emanuel called – off the record – and complained that her opinion was neither "accurate nor newsworthy".

Ms. Freeman helpfully gives additional coverage to the Newsweek publication of Vice President Joe Biden’s description of Cheney’s "bunker-like room", newly built or heavily reinforced and shielded (annoying the neighbors and keeping them awake) on the grounds of the Vice President’s official residence at the Naval Observatory in NW Washington, DC:

[I]t fits in so perfectly with the popular ­perception of Cheney that not even the Biden office’s hastily issued semi-denial ­(apparently, it was just an "upstairs workplace") could quell the idea that for eight years America was ruled by Dr Strangelove.

I can see the wheelchair and his gloved hand, gripping either his circular slide rule or his own throat. Ms. Freeman’s final observation fits in well with those made here. But it’s refreshing to see it given a wider audience and from someone with no immediate stake in the game – apart from sharing the planet with the good ole US of A:

The wizard has stepped out from behind the ­curtain and he has shown himself to be…a ­ranting old man who…thinks the best way to govern is to incite fear and paranoia.

As was said of the theme song from Casablanca, As Time Goes By, true yesterday, true today, true tomorrow.

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