It should be no secret to readers of this blog that I am a huge fan of of the immediate past Vice President of the United States. Not only was Richard Cheney The Most Pro-Gay Vice President in U.S. History, but he was also a steady advocate throughout his tenure in the Executive Branch and in Congress of a strong national defense.
Without getting to the substance of his criticisms of the current Administration (which, for the record, I believe to be sound), I believe it entirely inappropriate for a Vice President (or anyone with a prominent position in the previous Administration) so soon after leaving his office to criticize the succeeding Administration. He should take a page from the man who tapped him as his running mate and choose silence when asked to comment on the current Administration.
I believe history would relieve Cheney of the harsh judgment the media has conferred upon him and he will go down as one of the better American Vice Presidents. But, he doesn’t do his legacy any good by criticizing his successors so soon after he left office.
His successor, however, has failed to use Cheney’s criticism to his advantage. The classy thing for Joe Biden to do would be to say something like, “Well, he’s free to criticize us all we like. But, hile he’s enjoying a retirement free from the burdens of office and with a government pension, the president and I have been busy seeing to the security needs of our nation. To cite just one example. . . .”
Instead the incumbent Vice President chose to attack back, faulting Cheney for weakening America. He should have just ignored the criticism and not responded in kind.
That said, Dick Cheney did a great job as Vice President. He needs be patient and wait for passions to cool; in time, his real strengths and successes will again become manifest as he did those of the Gipper. He only delays that day by rushing to criticize his successor.
His criticisms are sound. He just let others articulate them in public.
UPDATE from Bruce (GayPatriot): I respectfully disagree with Dan on this one. Since President Obama has been in full-throated “Bush’s Fault” mode since Jan 20, it is about time someone step up to the plate and stand up for the good decisions that were made by Bush & Cheney. If it has to be Cheney, so be it.
There are too many lily-livered Republicans who forget about principle and are too consumed with politics to do the right thing. Cheney is not one of them, thank God.