22 May, 2009

Dick Cheney, STFU

Dear Dick,

The irony of you suddenly wanting to join the public discourse is lost on no-one. But you seem to have forgotten (assuming you ever knew) something pretty basic about American democracy – and since you're so out of touch with the rest of America, it's perhaps appropriate that it takes an Australian to explain it to you.

You see, Dick, America actually has a long and proud tradition of ex-veeps who want to continue to influence public policy. Do you know what they do? They run for president. That's what you do when you're an outgoing VP who still wants to run things. Sometimes they win, like George Bush Snr, sometimes they lose, like Hubert Humphrey, sometimes they lose then win, like Richard Nixon, and sometimes they win then lose, like Al Gore. But the one thing all these former VPs have in common is that they put their policies to the people and accepted the people's (or court's, as the case may be) decision.

But you were too good for that, weren't you Dick? Having spent eight years running a de-facto presidency out of the vice president's office, submitting yourself to the will of the people would have been awfully undignified for you, wouldn't it? However, something happened while you were off being all aloof. Your mob lost. You lost before they even had the election. While all the other Republican candidates (apart from Ron Paul) were bickering over which one had the biggest man-crush on Jack Bauer, the nomination went to the one Republican who had the courage and decency to stand up and say that torture is wrong and is not what America is about. Republicans did that. Your own people turned away from you and chose a man who not only stood up to you, but also happens to know more about torture than you, Mitt “double Guantamo” Romney, Mike Chuckabee and Rudy 9iu11iani put together. And thanks mostly to your poisoning of the Republican brand, he lost in the general election.

Now I know you're not entirely sure what this has to do with you so I'll explain further. It means nobody cares what you think about anything. You may get polite applause from other residents of the political scrapheap at the AEI but that doesn't count for anything because you lost!

But you know what, Dick? If you really feel less safe now (and you're one of the very few with good reason to) then why don't you go and live in a country where they still allow torture? See how you like their freedom. Of course, you were part of the mob that claimed that to criticise the president was unpatriotic and even treasonous. So Dick, why do you hate America? Why do you hate freedom?
I think I know why. There have been two previous vice presidents who were indicted for treason.
Wanna make it three?

Let's be honest, Dick. We all know what this media blitz is really about. You've always been a champion of the doctrine of pre-emption – that attack is the best form of defence – and you've got a lot to defend yourself over. Having lost so comprehensively, even to the point where your own party wouldn't have a bar of you even during the election, you're now in a position where the law applies to you too. It's a thought that clearly has you scared that you might end up spending a lot of time with Jack Abramoff. But even Abramoff never had the balls to try the “Hey, it worked!” defence.

Mind you, you have achieved one great thing recently – something many thought to be utterly impossible. As with everything you and your puppet ever attempted, it's all to do with unintended consequences, but it's an amazing achievement nonetheless. With your Quixotic attempts to justify your legacy and undermine your elected government, you have actually managed to make George W Bush look statesmanlike by comparison.

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