Monday, April 12, 2010

Liz Cheney Speaks

Yesterday I commented on how curious it was that a German newspaper would be so interested in the daughter of a former US Vice-President, but I concluded that this particular former Vice-President and his daughter were a reminder of eight deadly years the world suffered under the Bush administration. Of course, it didn't help that both of these figures are making their presence felt everywhere they can: hardly a Sunday goes by without at least one of them on the talk shows, and both are racking up some serious airline miles the rest of the week as they give speeches to the faithful of the GOP and attend the mini-conventions that party has been holding in gearing up for the November elections.

Liz Cheney attended and spoke at a conference organized by the GOP in (of all places) New Orleans. Here's a little of what she had to say:

Looking like a potential candidate for office herself, Liz Cheney kicked off a three-day Republican conference Thursday evening with a blistering indictment of President Barack Obama's foreign policy.


The daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney was reticent about her future political plans, but she admitted that she enjoys the national spotlight. "Like my father and mother before me, I am proud to be in the arena," she said.

Some have even suggested that she run for the Senate from her home state of Virginia.


It was in foreign policy where Cheney detailed her critique of Obama's record, though, from threatening to prosecute CIA officers on charges of torturing terrorism suspects to hiring lawyers for the Justice Department who'd represented detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.


She said that Obama's new nuclear strategy ruling out the use of nuclear weapons to retaliate against biological, chemical or cyber attacks from some countries showed his "naivete."

She also lambasted his approach to Iran. "All those deadlines that have been put on the Iranian government have been ignored again and again," she said. "In this administration's dealings with Iran, the deadlines are meaningless, the sanctions worthless and the speeches pointless."

She ripped Obama for criticizing Israel over its insistence on building new settlements in the occupied West Bank. "The world is safer when there is no daylight between the United States and Israel," she said.

Clearly Ms. Cheney is reading from the same script her father has been using for the past year: the same revisionism, the same fear-mongering of an administration too soft and too naive to keep the US secure in a world filled with devils, the same half-truths and even lies. Unlike her father, however, Liz Cheney is young and healthy and will be around a lot longer to spread the fear.

This isn't about the root differences between the two parties, the ideological markers which differentiate the Republicans and the Democrats. It's about winning elections and the power that comes with the win (something the Democrats don't appear to understand) by appealing to the basest of the base. In that respect, Liz Cheney is just like Sarah Palin, but, and here's the dangerous part, she's better educated, more knowledgeable, and better connected.

And that's why, as I said yesterday, she makes me very nervous.

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