In the Arena

Truth and Consequential

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Dick Cheney gave ample evidence yesterday of why he was unsuited for the vice presidency:

“If he wants to diminish the office of the vice president, that’s obviously his call,” Cheney said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.” He added: “President-elect Obama will decide what he wants in a vice president and, apparently, from the way they’re talking about it, he does not expect him to have as consequential a role as I have had during my time.”

Yes, I would expect that Barack Obama would not want a vice president as consequential in the bending and bloating of intelligence to provide a rationale for war in Iraq and consequential in the intimidation of members of the intelligence community who might have opposed it; consequential–and still unapologetic–in the promulgation of the use of torture; consequential as the godfather of Donald Rumsfeld, the worst Secretary of Defense in American history…and therefore consequential in the mishandling of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; consequential in pushing for war against Iran–he couldn’t deny it when Chris Wallace asked. And yes, consequential in a willfully ignorant environmental policy. 

I’m not in favor of spending time and energy investigating the outrages of the Bush Administration, with one exception–the approval of the use of torture, which put the United States on the same side and in the same place (Abu Ghraib) as Saddam Hussein and other despicable characters. I hope Cheney’s “consequentiality” has real consequences in that case: see you in court, Mr. Vice President. What a dreadful man.