Sunday, November 19, 2006

Cheney in Wonderland

On Friday, Vice President Dick Cheney resolutely persisted in his demand that America stay the course in Iraq. At a time when the Bush administration is making conciliatory sounds regarding pulling back from its intransigent stance on Iraq, Cheney said in a speech at the annual convention of the Federalist Society, “Some in our country may believe in good faith that retreating from Iraq would make America safer. Recent experience teaches the opposite lesson.” What recent experience? The fact is recent experience teaches that the whole world is less safe than it was before the Project for the New Century fascists took charge and began to put into effect their pre-emptive strike ideology. Cheney then told the gathered lawyers of the Federaiist Society that Donald Rumsfeld was an important reformer and “one of the great public servants of the age”. An article in the New York Times this morning (“A Somber Annual Meeting for Conservative Lawyers”) said about the Federalist Society “No group has been more influential in sending up candidates for the federal courts; when President Bush took office in 2001, the society had recommended to him the majority of his first slate of 11 federal appeals court judges. His appointments to the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., were both active in the Federalist Society and enjoyed strong support from it.” It was the first time since the November 7th elections that Cheney had spoken publicly. At a time when his buddies from the good old days have joined hands and seem on the point of trotting out peace beads at the Iraq Study Group, Dick Cheney went to the Federalist Society and preached a stay-the-course sermon. It’s as though Cheney has no understanding, or has willfully decided to ignore the fact that everything changed on November 7th. This morning’s NYT article said, “The wheel of judicial fortune has turned. The Senate Democrats who will be seated in January will constitute a majority, and they say they are determined to block any of Mr. Bush’s judicial nominees whom they deem too conservative…since that might include almost all of his nominees, there was a little less jauntiness as the conservative lawyers gathered this year.” How glum was the mood at the convention? the NYT asked. “”Well, I guess I’ve just about climbed back from the ledge — the one I was about to jump off of,’ said Daniel McLaughlin, a New York lawyer who attended the convention. Mr. McLaughlin said he could not stop fretting over who would be confirmed to the federal bench in the next two years.” John C. Yoo, the University of California law professor who wrote the 2002 memo on torture, which claimed the Prez is above the law, said the grim mood was because it’s likely the Democrats would block all conservatives from the federal appeals courts or the Supreme Court. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) agreed. He said the election “dramatically changed everything… days when the Federalist Society would get just about anything it wanted are over,” Schumer said. And yet Cheney said in his speech, “Nothing in the past two weeks has happened that will keep the President from appointing conservative judges.” The Federalist Society is anything but united in its views. The NYT reported, “At a spirited panel discussion Friday with Professor Yoo, one of the revered figures of the group, Prof. Richard Epstein of the University of Chicago Law School, branded as dangerous the notion of expanded powers for the executive branch because of the continuing fight against terrorism. ‘This is an issue which splits this group right down the middle,’ Professor Epstein said. The Federalist Society has capitulated. Rumsfeld is out. Rove is out. Condi never was in but she’s totally out now. Former Cheney supporters (one-time Reagan official Ken Adelman, for one) are no longer speaking to him. Iraq is in chaos and in the midst of an all-out civil war. The Prez is smirkin’, jivin’, clueless and has a 31% approval rating. And Vice President Dick Cheney is saying stay the course, keep the faith, victory is ours, and all the conservative judges your hearts desire are on the way. Seriously, guys, who caused this state of affairs? Lots of things, lots of people, lots of undefined, indefinable crap, corruption, venality, horrible ideologies, avarice and greed have caused us to come to this place where we are. But if the GOP is determined to find a scapegoat to pin this on, I say, drag Cheney out of his comfy habitat in Wonderland and blame it all on him. No bigger bastard nor more worthy son of a bitch ever existed.


Barry Schwartz said...

This is excellent writing.

Chris said...

Fantastically well written. Unfortunately for Democrats, Mitch McConnell is Minority Leader and Trent Lott is whip.

Put away the champagne. I'd rather have Condi in my corner than Harry Reid any day.

The situation is much better for Democrats in the House, but in the Senate, it sucks to be you.