As Obama turns to Afghanistan, it seems so fitting that Jon Meacham and Newsweek turn towards Dick Cheney. Ironic that Meacham's cheerleading for Chency has a backdrop of the country Bush-Cheney forgot, giving us all this mess in the first place. Somebody tell Mr. Meacham, because he evidently thinks how Cheney handled Afghanistan actually makes him a perfect candidate for president.
In the quest to sell magazines, evidently Mr. Meacham thinks train wreck journalism is the way to go. But he's inadvertently turned Newsweek into the Onion, with no offense intended to the far superior latter named, whose mission is actually purposefully on point. Meacham's title tells all: "Why Dick Cheney Should Run in 2012."
But I think we should be taking the possibility of a Dick Cheney bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 more seriously, for a run would be good for the Republicans and good for the country. (The sound you just heard in the background was liberal readers spitting out their lattes.)
Why? Because Cheney is a man of conviction, has a record on which he can be judged, and whatever the result, there could be no ambiguity about the will of the people. The best way to settle arguments is by having what we used to call full and frank exchanges about the issues, and then voting. A contest between Dick Cheney and Barack Obama would offer us a bracing referendum on competing visions. One of the problems with governance since the election of Bill Clinton has been the resolute refusal of the opposition party (the GOP from 1993 to 2001, the Democrats from 2001 to 2009, and now the GOP again in the Obama years) to concede that the president, by virtue of his victory, has a mandate to take the country in a given direction. A Cheney victory would mean that America preferred a vigorous unilateralism to President Obama's unapologetic multilateralism, and vice versa.
Where to begin?
How about "bracing referendum on competing visions," with Meacham forgetting all about the 2008 race. Oh right, John McCain isn't a conservative, so there was never a real fight about "competing visions," right?
And never mind Dick's denials, starting in 2005, which aren't enough for Meacham, who after his mind blowing Sarah Palin sexpot cover is certainly on a roll... straight down hill.
Now, when Mr. Cheney's daughter Liz first floated that her dad was her candidate, it was an unremarkable moment that was only worth ignoring. Not because it couldn't happen or that Dick Cheney denies it, but that this stuff is just so predictable. Just like David Broder's whining.
In Meacham's mind, Barack Obama losing to Dick Cheney would prove something that Obama seemingly didn't prove to these people by beating McCain-Palin; running a campaign that was basically the anti-Bush platform, promising the opposite of everything his administration and Dick Cheney stood for and represented. To Meacham, these milestones only count when it's the conservative doing it. You know, someone from The Establishment, never mind the never ending resume of mistakes dragged along.
Liz is more likely to run than her dad (which I've already written). But Meacham's misogyny won't allow him to think about that horror.
Let's also not forget that this isn't the era of J.F.K. and multitudinous ailments hidden in plain sight, with Dick Cheney... Oh no you didn't. Now I'm even arguing in the negative, taking on this preposterous notion offered from a man who would be fired for his incompetence or laughed out of the business if he wore a bra.
A campaign would also give us an occasion that history denied us in 2008: an opportunity to adjudicate the George W. Bush years in a direct way.
Denied us, really? Meacham is hopeless.
Besides, that's the job of Congress, unfortunately Democrats don't have the spine.
Here's some advice: skip Newsweek's next issue. Read this instead. It's about Afghanistan and Tora Bora, one of the biggest mistakes of the Bush-Cheney era. Something Meacham ignores in cherry picking his case for Cheney.