Dick Cheney's Cynical Bet

06/12/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Taylor Marsh Political writer and cultural voyeur, author and speaker.

What motivates Dick Cheney?

It's not what people think, though Mr. Cheney should be worried about his role in U.S. torture policy, even if he'll likely never be held to account. So, it's not that. Though we may get the "holy grail" evidence Cheney keeps talking about soon. What Cheney, Dick or Liz, won't talk about is the detainee who gave false information (under Egyptian torture) that sent us to war in Iraq, and disgraced Colin Powell. Because Al-Libi just committed suicide in a Libyan prison.

If we get hit again it's going to be blamed on torture, Rush said on his show yesterday.

So why is Dick Cheney on this media tour?

Mr. Cheney wants to draw a line in the sand where Pres. Obama began dismantling the torture policies of Bush-Cheney, which Cheney postulates is making us "less safe."

"That means, in the future, we will not have the same safeguards..." - Vice President Dick Cheney

Cheney knows that we will be hit at some moment in the future, something experts have said is inevitable, whether it's before Obama is out of office or not isn't the issue. Cheney's bet is that when this happens the legacy of Bush-Cheney must be solidified as the Administration who after 9/11 "kept us safe." He wants Americans to remember the moment those policies were dismantled. It happened on the Democrats' watch.

Mr. Cheney along with his fan club, headed by Rush Limbaugh, is betting that the American people need to be reminded of who kept us safe and when those safety policies were destroyed, believing that Americans won't care about torture anymore when the next attack lands.

Nothing Dick Cheney does is by accident. This is a calculated plan to weave a narrative before it happens into the political blood stream, with the attempt of casting blame in advance. Call it preemptive marketing.

It's the same tactic with a new twist, with Cheney finding a new line of attack on the old standard that Democrats are weak on national security. Considering what Bush-Cheney has cost us internationally this takes incredible gall. But when you think of how low Dick Cheney is thought of in this country, what has he got to lose? Since the Obama administration doesn't have the stomach to do anything about what has gone before, the answer is nothing. Considering the Cheneys are the strongest advocates on TV today for a policy that should have us all hanging our heads in shame, it makes you wonder who's really in power.

So, even as Cheney draws a line that he believes will eventually lead the Republicans back to power, Cheney's cynical bet that Obama and the Democrats will be blamed is one he's more than willing to let ride.

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