THE BLOG
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Cheney: A Tortured Soul

Since he left office, former Vice-President Dick Cheney has exhibited a non-stop barrage of baseless, classless, and utterly indefensible insults to this nation and its Commander-In-Chief. Not since Spiro T. Agnew have we been so publicly assaulted by an individual so bereft of integrity and decorum. But what makes these tirades so infuriating is that they are cloaked in the wrappings of faux patriotism and the flag, in much the same way that those pathetic patriots, the so-called tea baggers, mask their seditious and treasonous rhetoric under the protection of the very Constitution they wish to violate.

Former President Clinton once said, "You cannot love your country and hate your government." Cheney does not just hate Obama, he despises the Constitution and has a deep distrust of the American people. During his tenure he participated in the greatest heist of civil liberties since the internment of Japanese-Americans in World War II. He continues to defend the abandonment and rejection of the Geneva Convention which has brought us the use of torture as a national defense policy and Guantanamo Bay.

This is a man whose chief-of-staff, a convicted felon, was found guilty of four counts in the investigation of the leaking of information to the press on the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame. Many are convinced that he did so only to protect his boss. In fact, just the other evening he was awarded a "Service Before Self" plaque for time in the White House. Now, without going into the nefarious credibility of the presenting organization, one can deduce that he was awarded service to Dick over service to self, but surely there is no pretense that he served his country or its Constitution.

At what point does dedication to an ideology betray the sworn oath to the Constitution? If obsessive devotion to an ideology conflicts with the ideals and precepts of the Constitution does elective office give one the luxury to disregard it without being subject to prosecution?

What is particularly odious about this man's conduct is the contemptuous disregard he has for the American people. Whether he likes it or not, whether he agrees or not, in our democratic form of government the people have spoken on the need for change. Now I realize that democratic governance might seem a rather odd notion to an Administration that assumed office under a dark cloud of suspicion and in any case did not secure the majority of votes from the populace, but that does not excuse ignorance of it. They didn't believe in the people because the people didn't believe in them.

Mr. Vice-President, you and your President had eight full years to chart a direction for this nation. That direction was soundly rejected by the voters in the most recent national election. Common decency suggests that at this point you just quietly retire into the dark hole to which you obviously are most comfortable.

No one should ever deny your right to speak out for what you believe is right. That, my good sir is the beauty of the Constitution you so righteously despise. But, for God's sake, do so in a respectful and dignified manner. To do anything less, as you are doing, makes you look petty and vindictive, which I have no doubt you are. But you have been in politics long enough to know that it does not help to show it. You should thank your lucky stars that you are a free man, this system has given you a free pass to dismiss the laws you were sworn to uphold.

And of course it is well known that your dedication to the nation has been a very deliberate if not cowardly one, you of the class of five deferments. Yes, your generous interpretation of service may in some quarters be suspect. Your devotion to self before service predates the recent awards ceremony. I would find no quarrel whatsoever if you decided to modify your service based on either religious grounds or on grounds of conscientious objection. Somehow I do not think that was the case. It was clearly out of self-interest, that ideology that has dictated your political career, and the obsession that has blinded your discretion on numerous issues, including those involving life and death, throughout your tenure in the White House.

Once again, unlike some decisions rendered by your Administration that reflected deep-seated disdain for civil liberties, oh let's say warrantless wiretaps or the policy of rendition just to name two, I do not deny your right to speak out; I respect it, and encourage it. But do it in a tasteful way, if that is possible, and do it in a manner that respects the Office of the Presidency, the Constitution, and oh yes, the American people.

I sincerely doubt you will heed my advice here as you have shown no proclivity to act in anything other than a provocative way on issues involving national security for decades. But think about it, it has not made us richer as a nation, it has made us poorer. It has not made us safer; it has made us more vulnerable. It has not made us more respected around the world; it has made us more reviled. In a very real way you and your Administration are largely responsible for Obama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, bet that really makes your skin curl. But your ineptitude and incompetence magnify the importance of having a reasonable, rational, and respectful foreign policy.

Write a book, go fishing, shoot something other than another human, read, travel, see a shrink, or just connect with your family. But for goodness sakes, work out your demons on your own time; do not force us to agonize over your tortured conscience. Don't go away mad, just go away.