Liz Cheney used to be Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. Now, that job was just made up, but it still sounds like it has something to do with diplomacy, which generally involves other countries. And representing America in a semi-formal way to foreigners. One of the job requirements would seem to be to not come off like a cretin. A certain amount of tact would be nice too, lest people think you're threatening to kill them, or may kill them out of careless ignorance, or just because you're generally John Bolton.
What you expect from a former United States Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary is finesse.
And that's just what Liz Cheney displayed last weekend, at the RedState Gathering in Atlanta.
(RedState, like I have to tell you, is the online publicity arm of Regnery Publishing and the Conservative Book Club. It's a no-holds-barred, grassroots, collaborative blog where Americans from all walks of life can get together and praise Regnery's authors and low, low book club prices.)
The RedState Gathering is a chance for RedState bloggers to pay their own way to Buckhead and rub shoulders with conservative icons like Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams, whoever he may be, and Liz Cheney.
(To book Liz Cheney at your event contact LAI Inc. She's five grand. For ten grand, you can get her and a Blues Brothers tribute band called Blooze Brothers.)
Liz gave a twenty minute speech about the importance of torture and closed with a homey anecdote about her seven-year-old calling Howard Dean an asshole. Really. And she killed, too. Much better than Blooze Brothers.
But then came the tricky part. The question and answer portion.
(It's at 26:15, if you're in a hurry.)
Q: My question is concerning if the Israelis... no, not if, when the Israelis attack the Iranian nuclear sites, roasting a few marsh-mullahs on the way...
(delighted laughter and applause)
... what do you think Barack Obama will do?
A: Boy, I don't think I can speak for him.
You know, it's really concerning. And I think that the best way for us to insure that military action isn't needed is for us to be working hand-in-glove with the Israelis on this for the Iranians to understand that we are a completely unified front... so the notion... that we are trying to tell the Israelis to take force off the table is extremely damaging.
See what I mean about diplomacy? You have to give her credit. She took a hard question with a really hilarious religious slur and a death threat in it and she diffused it completely. While agreeing that Israel gets to bomb Iran.
You would have probably screwed up that answer by saying "marsh-mullahs" isn't how civilized people talk. Or "Don't gloat about killing." Or "I'm a mother and a citizen of a great democracy, currently at war. If I wanted to indulge racist power fantasies I'd read the wall of the men's room where you eat the turds."
I'm sure I'd have just stood there, slack-jawed.
Liz Cheney didn't do any of that. She played along. That's why she earns the big Blooze Brothers money.
Elsewhere in her remarks, Liz Cheney says:
The purpose of diplomacy is not to be liked.
I could stare at that sentence all day.
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