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  • January 14th, 2015

The Ultimate Dick

By Joel M. Vance
Ralph Waldo Emerson said it 175 years ago: “”A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” Speaking of little minds and little statesmen, Dick Cheney, the über-Nazi of the Little Georgie administration, continues to advocate torture as a way to get information from recalcitrant prisoners, despite much evidence that it doesn’t work.
I have a mental picture of Dick Cheney crouched over a strapped down victim (doesn’t matter who—could be me or you—with a bottle of water and an expression of savage glee as he waterboards the anguished human into helpless hopelessness.
In a delicious bit of historical irony, had torture happened that even the Dick would recognize happened, Cheney might not exist, at least as the dungeon-master of right wing politics. When George H.W. Bush was shot down in the south Pacific during World War Two, he was rescued by an American submarine, went on to become President and father Little Georgie, the Howdy Doody puppet, manipulated by none other than Cheney, the ultimate Dick. All other American aviators captured by the Japanese in the same operation were tortured and killed, mostly by beheading. No Bush senior, no Little Bush, probably no Cheney.
“I’d do it again in a minute,” said Cheney of waterboarding, a proved torture, on “Meet the Press.” The thing is, Cheney didn’t do it himself—he just ordered it done, much in the manner of a concentration camp commander saying, here’s the Jews and there’s the oven—take care of it.” Speaking of concentration camps, how’s everything down Guantanamo way? In response to questions about innocent detainees at Guantanamo, the Dick said, “I’m more concerned with bad guys who got out and released than I am with a few that, in fact, were innocent.” And yet the right wing has strenuously opposed open trials of Guantanamo detainees in civilian courts. Let’s keep ‘em in secret military courts where that nasty media can’t interfere and ask embarrassing questions—like the New York Times which has called for prosecution of Cheney and his band of thugs: “….any credible investigation should include former Vice President Dick Cheney; Mr. Cheney’s chief of staff, David Addington; the former C.I.A. director George Tenet; and John Yoo and Jay Bybee, the Office of Legal Counsel lawyers who drafted what became known as the torture memos,” the Times said.
Better yet let’s don’t try them at all. Just lock ‘em up with a bucket of water handy.
The Times also said it doubted President Obama has the guts to go after Cheney and so do I. Obama has shown a consistent lack of courage when it comes to showdowns with the extreme right. Those who should be in jail or at least labeled for the extremists they are continue to strut free, spouting their dangerous nonsense.
My favorite Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin, said, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” While Franklin as writing about money matters and not the liberty he would be associated with in Revolutionary times, the quote does reflect the quintessential Franklin and no doubt he is whirling restlessly in his eternal rest to see his intent so warped by someone elected to one of the high offices he helped create.
Then there is Liz Cheney, the toxic child of the former veep who is a chip off the old blockhead. She briefly ran for the Senate last year and kicked off her campaign by branding her 69 year old Republican opponent as “too old” (I’m 80, bitch!). Then she got fined for illegally buying a Wyoming fishing permit. That’s minor compared to daddy’s outdoor peccadillos—he shot his hunting partner, apparently mistaking him for an eight ounce bobwhite quail. However if I were to go bird hunting with Liz (unlikely), I would want to be very, very careful.
Liz abandoned her Senate quest, citing “health” concerns (her poll numbers were sick). She also split with her sister, who is gay. If Father Dick deserves any praise, it is that he stuck by his lesbian daughter, Mary. Although at various times he has said he supports same sex marriage but also thinks Liz’s adamant opposition to it is okay. Mary is not quite so tolerant. Mary’s wife Heather said of Liz’s anti gay marriage statements, “Liz has been a guest in our home, has spent time and shared holidays with our children, and when Mary and I got married in 2012 – she didn’t hesitate to tell us how happy she was for us,” Poe wrote on Facebook. “To have her now say she doesn’t support our right to marry is offensive to say the least.” Well offensive is what Cheney pere et fille do best.
But gay marriage inconsistency is a minor blip in the Dick Cheney list of awful accomplishments. He is the major backer and architect of the Iraq war (at least 4,490 killed and more than 32,000 wounded). Estimates of Iraqis killed range widely from 100,000 to more than a million. Leaving the cost of human suffering aside (if you can) the war has cost the U.S. economy at least two trillion dollars. Think about that the next time you hear the Republicans bitching about “tax and spend” liberals or how it has been the Democrats who put the economy in the toilet.
When you research Cheney it’s remarkable how often the word “evil” appears. How else to describe someone who arrogantly dismissed evidence against a war to start one that killed tens of thousands? Someone said, “Wars are started by old men who don’t have to fight in them.” Cheney applied for and got five draft deferments during the Viet Nam war, one of which was because he had become a father of, of all people, Liz. If it’s any consolation to the hard right, the current veep, Joe Biden, also ducked the draft five times. Maybe it goes with the office.
Dick Cheney is like the mouse that somehow got caught and chewed up in the innards of our car. The smell persisted long after the mouse went out of office, so to speak. Unlike the mouse there doesn’t seem to be any mechanic who can drop Cheney in the nearest trash can where he belongs. The TV remote channel changer and the local newspaper recycling depository will have to serve for the time being.
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