It is more than a little ironic that Dick Cheney returned to the political fray on Valentine's Day and at the very moment that President Obama is taking the fight to the Taliban. Once again, Cheney, appearing on national television, spewed his mephitic brew of insinuations and allegations about Obama. The president is feckless. He doesn't understand that America is at war. The underwear bomber should have been water boarded. George W. Bush deserves the credit for winning the war in Iraq. And so on. The only thing Cheney forgot to mention was that Bush left behind a flourishing economy that was destroyed by the Obama administration.
Is this the best that the GOP can do? Apparently so. Republicans have always boasted that they, unlike Democrats, have a strong bench when it comes to foreign policy. But the periodic appearances of Cheney show that it ain't so--at least not any longer. Cheney's sell-by date passed a long time ago, but he remains the principal spokesman for GOP foreign policy.
The Obama administration didn't remain in a passive crouch, but correctly sent out Vice President Joe Biden to do battle with Cheney. Basically, Biden administered a drubbing to Cheney, pointing out that his rewriting of history bears no relation to reality, whether it comes to trying terrorists in civilian courts or the war in Iraq. The truth is becoming increasingly clear: Barack Obama is a war president.
If Obama's current military offensive in Afghanistan pans out, he will neutralize the GOP on national security. Obama will be able to campaign as the president who, in contrast to the feckless Bush and Cheney, polished off al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, just as he promised during the 2008 campaign. This is why Cheney is hurling, and will continue to hurl, incendiary charges at Obama. But his attacks against Obama are a sign of weakness, not strength.