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.