Dick Cheney has sunk to new lows, even for him.
Showing the utmost disdain for democracy, which has become his trademark, Cheney last week dismissed polls showing two thirds of Americans rejecting the Iraq War. He gave a one-word response: “So?”
When Martha Raddatz of ABC News asked him a few days later about this response, he said, with regal haughtiness: “If I wanted to be loved, I’d ought to be a TV correspondent.”
What a jerk.
But it’s perfectly in keeping with what he said right before the 2006 elections when asked whether a Democratic win on the Iraq War issue might make the Bush Administration reconsider its course.
"It may not be popular with the public -- it doesn't matter in the sense that we have to continue the mission and do what we think is right. And that's exactly what we're doing," Cheney said. "We're not running for office.”
This is Cheney, the Great Unaccountable One.
It’s a point former Vice President Walter Mondale recently made with great force.
“Public opinion deserves respect and the President and the Vice President ought to be worried about it.
I think our Vice President ought to wake up every morning, like I did, wondering what he can do to enhance public support and respect. And I believe an election-free unaccountable Vice President, clothed with some of the aura and power of the president may, as this Vice President has, act as though he were beyond accountability to anybody but the President — beyond the reach of the Congress, the Court, the press, the Constitution and the American people. It scares me.”
Cheney displayed as little concern for the families of the 4,000 dead U.S. soldiers as he for the American public.
When Raddatz asked him about the terrible toll, first he said, “The President carries the biggest burden,” implying that the burden on the loved ones themselves is lighter than Bush’s.
I really doubt that.
And then he stressed that they volunteered to be in harm’s way anyhow.
To her credit, Raddatz followed up this way:
“When you talk about an all-volunteer force, some of these soldiers, airmen, Marines have been on two, three, fours, some of them more than that, deployments. Do you think when they volunteered they had any idea there would be so many deployments or stop loss? Some of those who want to get out can’t because of stop-loss.”
Cheney’s response: They signed up after 9/11 to defend the nation, and they are committed to the cause.
Looking for empathy from Cheney is like searching for remorse from OJ.