The Thing that Wouldn't Go Away
There was a time when a vice-president's term of office would end and he would slip away into quiet retirement. Those days are long gone. Other than the thoroughly disgraced Spiro T. Agnew, the last former V.P. to go gently into that good night of quiet obscurity was Harry Truman's number two man, Alben Barkley. Truth be told, Barkley wasn't very visible even during the four years he served as Veep. I have read more than one full scale biography of Truman where he is not even mentioned in the index. This only proves the profane observation of John Nance Garner, Franklin Roosevelt's first vice-president, that the office "isn't worth a pitcher of warm piss."
That was then, this is now. Old vice-presidents may die but they seldom fade away. Hubert Humphrey stayed in the media limelight until the day of his death in 1977; Walter Mondale won't be going anywhere any time soon; Al Gore, you may be certain, is here to stay - and even poor old Danny Quayle rears his empty little head every now and then.
So it really was pure naivete on my part to even think that, after spending eight long years destroying this country, Dick Cheney would be kind enough to go away. What the heck was I thinking? Not only does he still have his feet placed firmly and immovably on the national stage, we now have to endure the presence of his lovely daughter, Liz.
First of all, let me explain to you my theory as to why Cheney has been spending every waking hour of the last year trying to frighten his fellow Americans into believing that President Obama has left them in a dangerous position, vulnerable to terrorists: Cheney is guilty of enough felonies to send him away to federal prison for the next millennium. He must know that the shit storm of indictments are bound to come raining down sooner or later. When that day arrives, his plan, I am sure, is to scream "POLITICAL PERSECUTION!!!" as loud as can be heard. The Bush Mob know a thing or two about political persecution. Just ask the former Democratic Governor of Alabama, Don Siegelman, who was sent to federal prison by the Bush Justice Department without having committed any crime.
Because of his security clearance Cheney more-than-likely has access to intelligence which makes clear that another terror attack on the United States is all but certain. What is happening is that he is positioning himself to be able to smirk, "See? I told you so!" That is the strategy of Dick and Liz (Cheney/Cheney - not Burton/Taylor). It would just be like this wretched bastard and his charming daughter to exploit this very sensitive issue for pure and crass political purposes.
A tip of the hat to the man. Let's face some nasty facts here: You've got to get up pretty early in the morning to be in serious competition with J. Edgar Hoover for the title of "Most Despicable Human Being in American History". Although Hoover was on the national scene for a lot longer than the Dickster, it won't be much of a shock if Cheney ends up taking home the gold. Think about it! Edgar did some serious damage to his country throughout his life - no argument there - but he certainly was not culpable in the deaths of as many as a million innocent men, women and little children during his weird tenure. In this dubious respect, our man Dick is utterly without peer. What a guy!
Remember that? That was the word that the members of the elite Washington media establishment were using ten years ago when Cheney chose himself to be George W. Bush's running mate.
With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight it sure does seem a strange description for the man to say the least. Given all that we now know about him it's almost surreal to think that that once upon a time he could have been seen as a political asset to anything but the American Nazi Party. Fortunately for humanity, people as undeniably evil as Dick Cheney only come around once in a lifetime. Other than Hoover the only other Americans I can think of who even come close to Cheney in terms of pure villainy are Joe McCarthy and Dick Nixon. But even Nixon is able to take credit for some positive accomplishments during his time on this earth (and give me a day or two and I might be able to site one). Cheney's, however, will be remembered as a completely negative legacy.
It sure is lots of fun these days to watch Dick and his irresistible daughter Liz pounding the shit out of the TV talk show circuit! So desperate are they to see the utter failure of the Obama administration, there seems to be no depth to which they won't sink. I know they are hoping for another attack that gets a thousand or more innocents killed. I know they are praying that the economy collapses and that millions more lose their jobs. I am as sure of this as I am my own name. Their very survival depends on seeing as many Americans as possible suffer. That's the kind of people they are! Seriously, do you think that Dick Cheney gives a hoot in hell about any human lives other than those of his and his enchanting daughter Liz? As Al Smith liked to say in his day, "Let's look at the record."
In the meantime, there is now serious chatter out there about Dick Cheney actually making a political comeback. Some poor jackass even recently suggested that Cheney/Palin would be the ideal Republican ticket three years from now. Honestly, how mentally deranged would a human being have to be to come up with that combo? I can just see the campaign posters:
SICKIE DICK AND FASCIST BARBIE IN '12
Oh, please, fate! That would be a dream come true! Not even the American people would be silly enough to go down that road. Could it actually happen? Alas, probably not - my luck has never gotten that good and probably never will. But what a treat it would be, huh? I could get an endless supply of material out of a campaign that weird to keep me quite busy you may be sure.
And what if they won? While it would be a disaster for my fellow countrymen and women, for someone like me whose vocation is mining the streams for these choice nuggets of unintentional political humor, that would be like winning the fucking lottery, are you kidding me???
BUT WAIT! IT GETS BETTER! Two years into his term, President Cheney drops dead from a massive stroke while shooting ducks that have been strategically placed in the White House swimming pool by the Secret Service. In less than an hour SARAH PALIN IS SWORN IN AS THE FORTY-SIXTH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES! By this time I am beside myself with disbelief at my good fortune! "I'll never have to touch a computer keyboard again as long as I live!", I am telling everyone within earshot, "These things will just write themselves!"
But of course this is merely a wishful daydream on my part. As the heroine of the long-forgotten Broadway production "Sky Scraper" once musically asked:
Why in the world would anyone look askance
At an occasional fight of fancy?
Back to the real world....
I will continue to watch in awe as Dick Cheney and his magically appealing daughter Liz continue to stumble around the country in a caffeine-addled, right wing frenzy. My political fantasies aside, there is still much entertainment value to be derived from the two Cheneys. Gravitas indeed.
Julie and Julia:
Meryl Streep plays Julia Child. Such a sweet film. I loved it!