Dick Cheney wants to act as though he's still a relevant figure in American politics, despite an approval rating just barely in double digits when he left office as a greatly despised figure. He's gone on the antiObama attack tour recently, and when he couldn't launch some attacks himself, then had his daughter make some attacks for him. That should hardly be any surprise for someone who once sought several college deferments to avoid military duty in Vietnam, to now act as some sort of tough talking military expert guy, even if he needs his daughter to do the talking for him.
Dick Cheney's whole trip is to act as some sort of pseudo-foreign policy and military expert, although one would be hard pressed to find any glowing examples of Bush Administration foreign policy success stories. Iraq looks like a pretty good unresolved mess. There was a real absence of peace between Israel and the Palestinians or even Lebanon as another example. Iran is probably closer than ever to building a nuclear bomb. Afghanistan remains a real problem. North Korea is still building long range missiles. To find any Bush Administration foreign policy success stories would take a microscope. Yet Cheney is quick to voice his opinion, or have his daughter speak for him, condemning any attempt by the Obama Administration to search for something new that might just work in foreign policy.
Cheney also has made himself a poster boy advocate in favor of torture, viewing himself as some sort of latter day Grand Inquisitor figure or something. In his own mind, torture is the right way to get information, despite the fact that such practices only hurt the moral standing of the United States. But Cheney wants to hear nothing of that moral argument at all.
And when Cheney had an attempt to comment on some recent comments by Gen. Colin Powell in favor of the Republican Party turning more mainstream in order to win some elections, Cheney chose instead to cast his lot in with abrasive radio talk host Rush Limbaugh instead. During the Bush Administration years, Cheney reportedly fought battles with other more reasonable mainstream figures like Colin Powell and is now renewing that old feud.
Former President Bush has surprisingly turned out to be the real gentleman here, acting like a statesman like his father and reserving his judgment on the Obama Administration and giving them a fair chance to run the country and tackle the problems unlike Cheney. It is also another good example that Bush is a far more decent man than Cheney by all means.
Cheney probably has no real plans to run for president himself. His only real drive is to help to ruin his own party by denouncing moderates like Colin Powell, and reminding the public how glad they are to be free of Dick Cheney and the old Bush Administration.
If Cheney had some success to talk about it it would be one thing. But the Bush Administration failed on a lot of issues including the economy, Iraq, Afghanistan, to name but a few issues here. So about all that Cheney brings to the stage is his best imitation of the Cowardly Lion.
Cheney had a good chance to prove himself during Vietnam if he really wanted to prove some military toughness, but he avoided that with his several draft deferments. Cheney then had another chance to prove himself as former defense secretary and as vice president. But neither left a great legacy behind. What's left is a grumpy old man, quick to complain, but slow to offer real achievement. And that's not too much at all.
Cheney has nothing good to bring to the GOP. Certainly not success. Certainly not genuine expertise. He's only damaged goods and taking the stage from any rising figure in the party. Cheney is a major reason that the Democrats did so well in the last two elections. Cheney also gives the Democrats good hopes for a third good outcome as well.