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The Full Cheney: Our Phantom of the Obama Opera

06/25/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Every time Dick Cheney pops up again, he drags along his entire history of 9/11 references to make his case for the continuing use of torture and Guantanamo -- save one, that 9/11 happened on his watch -- that his FBI, his National Security Chief, his CIA failed to take action on information that might (and I do say might) have prevented the deaths of over three thousand innocent men and women on that fateful day. Failing to admit that and boasting of how his administration helped to keep American safe ever after ("Psst! You guys don't know how many terrorist plots we stopped! Ah, if I could only tell you.") he comes across as a crazy old Uncle who fell asleep smoking, dropped his cigarette on to the parlor curtains, set fire to the house, awoke, ran outside to save himself, failed to save the baby in the nursery, but brags that he called 911 from a safe distance so we have him to thank for all the other houses on the street that were not incinerated.

In my politically incorrect heyday he would have been called a loony; a nut job, barmy in the UK, bonkers in the USA, a guy you keep the old people and the small children away from -- at a very safe distance. We didn't mess with sociopath and other clinical terms, we took our index finger, made speedy circles with it in the air near our head -- street sign language for off his rocker -- and sent the silent message out into the world. But such warning signals can never stop a Cheney. He is one angry man, and being angry, the political pyromania starts up again in his brain and he reaches for the matches. Having helped in his own small way to lose the election to Obama by the very contrast of crazy Dick to sane Barack, he is now determined to set fire to the Obama administration by offering his alternative view of keeping Guantanamo open -- viewing torture as a necessary evil -- one might call it pyro-patriotism or a unique Republican form of blogging that takes the form of flogging. Sadly, many in the Congress have heeded the cry of the loon -- and the closing of Guantanamo is further complicated by Cheney's efforts to scare the people (some in Congress are actually people), thus further compromising America's reputation as a just nation guided by the rule of law.

Okay, so it isn't all his words. It's how he looks as he speaks and how he says them. There's the patented twisted smile, the death's head pallor, the Lon Chaney -- no relative (you young-uns check him out on Wikipedia or get his DVD's on Netflix) -- horror performance. Cheney is a man who has suffered all kinds of medical misfortunes -- I will not conjecture if one of them cut off a necessary supply of oxygen to his brain -- causing a condition called The Cheney-De-Brainy syndrome, but if anyone believes he will not live to 90 -- ranting against the Chelsea Clinton administration -- they don't know the endurance of this man. Garlic around the neck, a silver cross waved in his face, none of this can work. Could Freddy Kreuger be stopped? Do Vampires leave the room without one last bite to keep them going? No, my friends, Dick Cheney is here to stay. And as a progressive I rejoice in that fact. Where else can we find in one person all the qualities that the Republican party has spread around its members; intolerance to gay marriage, hatred of universal health care, corporate interests before worker's rights, disintegrated schools, sexual hypocrisy, an insane immigration policy, etc. Oh, we get parts of it in Supreme Court Justice Roberts and Alito, but nowhere does it all hang out as it does in the Full Cheney.