|Happy Times in the Cheney Family|
It's been three years since Dick Cheney's heart transplant and there seems to be no change in his attitude. He either got a heart from a very similar person or we just have to accept the fact that a heart is an organ, not the spiritual center of our body.
Of course his family would tell us that the gruff persona he has honed to Darth Vader like perfection is just his public face. He's actually a pussy cat at home. I would like to think so, but judging by how his daughter Liz has taken up the very same persona, co-authoring a book slamming Obama for the ungteenth time, one can imagine the conversations at the breakfast table. They've both been busy promoting this virulent screed on the talk show circuit. For whatever absurd reason, mainstream media lap it up.
I guess I should make an exception for Mary, who doesn't seem to be cut from the same cloth. She's been an active proponent of marriage equality. Still, she sees herself as a "Log Cabin Republican" although there seems little room for gays and lesbians in the GOP these days. How she reconciles herself with Bobby Jindal and other religious conservative governors who have gone out of their way to make gays into pariahs of their states is beyond me. Even Andrew Sullivan had to throw in the towel and see Obama as the last best hope for recognition of gay rights.
Not the Cheneys. Even Mary has no time for Obama and the Democrats. She still firmly believes that the GOP has it right. It's just that its platform needs a little tweaking so as to not be so exclusive of the gay conservatives who want to be included.
Enter Marco Rubio, who defied all religious conservative morals by actively courting Log Cabin Republicans, portraying himself as a centrist. It doesn't matter that he rode the Tea Party Express into Congress four years ago, Rubio has tentatively moved to the center, testing the water ever so slowly, seeing if there are enough votes on the margins of the Republican Party to win him the nomination in 2016. Maybe Mary will join him on the campaign trail.
Meanwhile, Mama Cheney has been showing her historical muscle, penning a book on James Madison that actually received positive reviews from historians. Gordon S. Wood no less. It's nice to see that someone in the family seems to actually have an appreciation for history.
Dick seems to have none whatsoever. His most recent broadsides against President Obama, who apparently has a familial link to the Cheneys, is evidence that he may be suffering from Alzheimer's or some other form of degenerative brain disease. He claims that Obama has "diminished US power and emboldened enemies" by negotiating with Iran. He even claims that Obama is the worst president in his memory (what little appears to be left of it), noting in his snide voice that he is even worse than Jimmy Carter. Gasp!
Jon Stewart took the former Vice-President to task over these audacious claims, noting among other things that it was Dick Cheney himself who negotiated lucrative business deals with Iran when he was heading up Halliburton back in 1998, even going so far as to suggest sanctions should be lifted. A relationship that continued into the Bush administration. Little wonder this administration was so keen on having Nouri al Maliki head Iraq, as he was exiled in Iran during the Hussein regime, which for decades had kept the "Shi'a revolution" at bay. I guess an enemy of our enemy can be a friend to some degree, as long as we keep it under the table, but here it was all out in the open for everyone to see.
Lest we go too long into a history lesson, it is worth noting that this odd couple relationship dates back to Cheney's time in the Reagan administration, when the US worked out an elaborate scheme to fund the Contras in Nicaragua through Iran, otherwise known as the Iran-Contra Affair. As Jon Stewart would say, "who emboldened whom here?"
Some day someone will try to make sense of the Cheney family. For now all we can do is scratch our heads over their many irregularities and wonder why the mainstream media continues to view him as an expert on foreign policy. Every member of the family has discredited himself or herself in one way or the other, yet the media still seems enamored with them, allowing each a considerable amount of airspace to vent their opinions.
A family has to stick together, and it is nice that Dick stood up for his daughter Mary when she tied the knot with her longtime companion. At the same time, he found a way to defend his other daughter, Liz, who spoke out against gay marriage in her run for the Wyoming Senate seat in 2014, which she lost to Mike Enzi in the primaries. That's a pretty impressive feat. It's just too bad he can't extend this same sense of compassion to his distantly removed cousin, Barack Obama, who has had to spend the past 6 years cleaning up the mess that was left behind in the Bush administration.