Sunday, May 17, 2009
Al Gore shot back at Dick Cheney during an interview on CNN this past week, stating:
"'I waited two years after I left office to make statements that were critical,' Gore said during an interview on CNN, pointing out that his critiques were focused on 'policy.'"So that would mean he held his fire until late January of 2003, correct? Perhaps not:
(Boston Globe, 4/14/2002): "'They are wrong to vilify honorable men and women who oppose their right-wing domestic agenda and oppose a blatantly dishonest budget,' Gore said. 'They are wrong to imply that those who stand up to them are somehow unpatriotic.'"It is not clear to me why Dick Cheney has been relatively vocal, as I would have expected him to be somewhat more of a traditionalist in terms of maintaining silence about his successors, but Al Gore's misremembering of his own statements is truly remarkable.
(LA Times, 6/30/2002): "In a speech Saturday night to local Democrats, Gore attacked Bush's economic policies as 'a total catastrophe.' He also noted that in the war on terrorism, the U.S. has yet to catch Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, and he denounced the White House for 'trying to use the war for political purposes.'"
The Weekly Standard contributor Adam White lists a number of other quotes in the link, and finishes with a humorous jab:
"The truly ironic part is that my research was made easy by ... the Internet. I've turned Al Gore's own creation against him."
CWCID: The Weekly Standard
"It is not clear to me why Dick Cheney has been relatively vocal, as I would have expected him to be somewhat
more of a traditionalist in terms of maintaining silence about his successors."
Escort81, you may be missing an important parameter -- the behavior of the successor administration.
I don't remember Bush or his people attacking the preceding Clinton administration before, during, and
after the Bush election in 2000. I do remember Obama and his people making vicious attacks on the Bush
administration before, during, and after the 2008 election. Cheney should have responded sooner.
I agree with vk45 and would make the same point even more strongly: the government currently in office has to all intents and purposes accused the former Vice-President of being a war criminal. Yes, Obama has waffled on whether anyone in the Bush administration is going to be prosecuted but as far as I know he has NOT ruled it out; who knows where Congress is going to go with the committee hearings and the Truth Commission; and there's that strange guy in Spain who plans to ask the Obama DOJ for assistance in their prosecution (it's not clear whether he'll get it). I can assure you that if someone accused me of being a war criminal, I'd be far, far less temperate than Dick Cheney.
Furthermore, if Cheney truly believes that the actions the Bush Administration took from 2001 to 2009 are what prevented the US from suffering another 9/11-style attack and he truly believes that the Obama administration is recklessly dismantling those safeguards, he has an obligation to say so in hopes of changing Obama's course. If nothing else it's reasonable to believe that Cheney serves as a constant reminder that the Democrats are toast if they drop the ball in this area and that reminder may make Obama think twice when balancing transparency against the ongoing wars.
Elise and vk45 make a legitimate point, of course, that Cheney is trying to defend himself and the policies of the Bush administration. Cheney has a variety of means available to do that, including something along the lines of a weekly column in the Wall Street Journal op-ed section. He has been vocal in the sense of visible (on TV) in 2009 at least as much as he was while he was still in office in any of the preceding few years. I don't see anything wrong with that under these unusual circumstances (possible indictments of some of his advisors), and it is certainly his call.
I think what I meant to say is that knowing what we know about Dick Cheney and his service in a series of administrations (Ford, Bush I and Bush II), I would not have predicted in 2008 that he would be as outspoken as he has been thus far. My prediction would have been wrong!
But again, Gore's statement is remarkable.
Why is Gore's statement "remarkable"?
Gore lied about his service in Vietnam; lied about his role in developing the internet; lied about alleged Anthropogenic Global Warming.
It would have been out of character for Gore to say anything different.
One of my biggest beefs with the prior administration is that they let the Left set the story line every day and they did very little to counter such communications attacks. For almost eight years the Bush administration was on defense instead of setting the tone for what the message should be. The turning point in the communications war with the left came when Ari Fleischer left and we were stuck with that ding bat Scott Maclellan trying to deliver the message. (Talk about a guy who was never ever confident in the material he was delivering. Actually when I look at Gibbs I think of Scott Maclellan and that is not a good picture.) Tony Snow did an admirable job in trying to rehab the role of communications director but way too much was happening with the Surge and Bush's popularity plummeting to slow that train down.
The broader point I am making and I think the previous commentors are adding new dimensions to Cheney's activity, but where the hell was he when the message needed to be crafted and forcefully defended for eight years? So, I am glad he is finding his voice, but there is a part of me that wishes him to go away right now because I dont think he is helping the cause.
P.S. I am a Cheney fan too by the way...
Gore is terrified of Lord Christopher Monckton adn with good reason.
Those who want to learn the truth global warming should check out the Lord Christopher Monckton section of my website. Downloading Joanne Nova's skeptic's handbook in the Books/Links section would also be a good idea.
Dash RIPROCK III