Dick Cheney: The No-Apologies Rap

03/18/2013 12:17 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017
FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2011, file photo former Vice President Dick Cheney speaks at the third annual Washington Ideas Forum i
FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2011, file photo former Vice President Dick Cheney speaks at the third annual Washington Ideas Forum in Washington. Cheney is working on a book about his battles with heart disease and the revolutionary changes in treatment that helped keep him alive. The 71-year-old Cheney is collaborating with his cardiologist, Dr. Jonathan Reiner, and with his daughter, Liz Cheney. Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, announced Monday, Dec. 3, 2012, that the book is scheduled for next fall. It is currently untitled. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

He's baaack!

On Friday, the Showtime network premiered its much-anticipated documentary, The World According to Dick Cheney, a meticulous two-hour flashback to the eight-year reign of, arguably, the grumpiest Vice President in American history. The response to the landmark film has been nearly unanimous. While most critics agree that it is exhaustive (and, after two hours of Dick, even exhausting), they likewise conclude that the mammoth undertaking is missing one crucial element: contrition.

Directed by R.J. Cutler (whose credits include the 1992 backstage Clinton campaign expose, The War Room), the film features a full-frontal Cheney, fielding hard-hitting questions on everything from waterboarding to infighting with President George W. Bush to his much alleged overreach for power. Yet throughout it all, the Man from Wyoming remains unrepentant.

"If you want to be loved," he remarks at one point, "go be a movie star."

We've known this about "Vice" for years. As his unofficial, unauthorized biographers (you can still buy our 2008 book, Young Dick Cheney: Great American on eBay), we learned early on that, if you wanted answers from this dude -- honest, compelling, newsmaking answers -- you just had to make them up.

Here, then, is our exclusive and nonexistent interview with Mr. Secured-Undisclosed Location himself (written, of course, in rhyming, Dick-ensian verse). Our one question to Cheney: "Why can't you just say you're sorry?"


My rep is in shambles
It's hurtin' for certain.
But I should get thanks!
(Just ignore Halliburton.)

I don't say, "I'm sorry,"
that isn't my style.
I'd rather just flash you
my sinister smile.

Besides, if I give up
my aura of myst'ry,
I'll join all those dweebs
in the dustbin of hist'ry.

Those teary-eyed clowns who,
the second they spoke,
turned into the butt of a
Letterman joke.

Like Anthony Weiner,
whose graphic flirtation,
despite his remorse,
was a Twitter sensation.

Or Eliot Spitzer,
whose X-rated love
would cost him his rep
(and his gig as the Gov).

Like Bob McNamara,
whose penance for 'Nam
would backfire as big
as a megaton bomb.

Like Clinton! Like Edwards!
How can you admire
two guys who says "Oops!"
while their pants are on fire?

Like Nixon with Checkers.
Like Lance with his juice.
"My bad" doesn't fly
when the logic is loose.

Ask hikin' Mark Sanford!
Ask Tiger, ask Mel!
Excuses don't work
and repentance don't sell.

Who cares if I ran with
unlimited powers?
When scholars look back
I'll be "greeted with flowers!"

My soft spot for torture?
My war on the cheap?
I'd argue they made me
a butt-kicking Veep!

There's zilch to be gained
from some sad mea culpa
(unless you enjoy
getting beat to a pulp-a).

So, no, I'm not sorry,
not one little trace.
Not even for shooting
my friend in the face.

This piece originally ran in USA Today, on March 16, 2013