Monday, April 27, 2009

Please Tell Me He's Kidding

If there was ever a perfect example of how far outside the mainstream the American Right has gotten, it's Ross Douthat's bootlicking worship of Dick Cheney in the allegedly liberal New York Times:

George W. Bush seems happy to be back in civilian life, but Cheney has taken the fight to the Obama White House like a man who wouldn’t have minded campaigning for a third Bush-Cheney term.

Imagine for a moment that he’d had that chance. Imagine that he’d damned the poll numbers, broken his oft-repeated pledge that he had no presidential ambitions of his own, and shouldered his way into the race. Imagine that Republican primary voters, more favorably disposed than most Americans to Cheney and the administration he served, had rewarded him with the nomination.

There's more at the link, but the pathetic gist of the piece is that if the Republicans had just drafted Cheney, they and a "conservatism of supply-side economics and stress positions" would be doing a lot better right now.

Yes, he actually said that. He actually touts torture as a vital tenet of conservatism. That rumbling you hear is the sound of Barry Goldwater and William F. Buckley spinning in their graves.

Imagine Shooter Cheney, a guy who by the end of the Bush years was polling only slightly higher than necrotizing fasciitis, flip-flopping on his pledge not to run, then taking the field against Barack Obama, pushing a conservatism of torture and failed economic policies. That would've been a sight to see, you betcha. And he doesn't seem to be doing any better in America's rearview mirror. But to wingnuts like Douthat, their only regret is that they weren't mean and crazy enough.

Reality has really become a foreign concept to these people.


charlie stella said...

I must've read this piece wrong, JD ... I thought the piece was about what David Brooks had said a while ago (basically that the Cheney types are finito benito) ... I thought he was saying that had the Reps ran Cheyney they would've learned sooner rather than later that traditional conservatism is well into its swan song. In fact, I thought he was saying it much stronger than Brooks had implied.

Cindy(?) McCain has it a lot closer to reality than traditional GOPers want to admit, but unless they "adjust" and fast, they'll fade faster than my beloved new york state buffalo bills.

Anonymous said...

Remember that Saturday Night Live skit with Phil Hartman as Reagan and Jon Lovitz as Robert Bork that parodied the baseball bat scene from THE UNTOUCHABLES?

Think when the GOP finally figures out what it wants to be when it grows up might do that for real to Cheney?

(Actually, I suspect they'll just lure him to a 7/11, nuke a burrito while he's there, and let the pacemaker do the rest.)

This is a guy who badmouthed his own president before Bush's plane even landed in Texas after he left office.

David said...

I don't know if he's so much cheerleading for Cheney and Cheneyism as saying that if a candidate Cheney had gotten thumped by Obama, it just might have been perceived as a repudiation of Cheneyism rather than a sign that they weren't mean and crazy enough. I mean, you can find crazier folks out there on the Far Wrong, but they don't come much meaner than Deadeye Dick.

charlie stella said...

That was my read, Dave, that it would've been seen as a repudiation.

I think the backlash (from independents) McCain received for cozying up to the far right was evidence of that as well.

And Obama has enough charisma to carry the day probably against anyone ... which is why I think he's getting away with his following Bush's bailout program (although Krugman today or yesterday had mentioned how banker salaries are quickly on the rise again).

I guess they don't see the change it's supposed to be either. And so long as they can get what they want (we're so big, you have to bail us out), why stop now? Wall Street just held this country up (with nothing more than the same scare tactics that brought us to Iraq). Unlike Iraq, Wall Street won.

JD Rhoades said... may be right. He does admit Darth would have lost in a landlside.

But when Douthat gushes over how "disciplined and ideologically consistent" Cheney would have been and how "cuttingly effective...he was in his encounters with Joe Lieberman and John Edwards," one can't help but hear a bit of wistful hero worship.

Kate Hathway said...

I'd like to imagine that if that bastard had been running, that the actual hand of god would have smote Dick the Prick into cinders - and I would finally have had a reason to go to church.

Tom Panek said...

Am I the only one who sees a resemblance between Dastardly Dick and the mascot for that great bastion of barbecued soft shell crabs, "Dick's Last Resort" ("You Can't Hang A Man Born To Die)?