Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Bullshitting Bulldog

Regarding Cheney’s disconcerting interview earlier today with Wolf Blitzer, I wanted to make a few notes:

First off, this guy isn’t nearly as delusional as people are suggesting.  He knows he’s full of shit.  It’s part of his schtick.  If he wasn’t completely and totally full of shit, he’d know he was doing something wrong.  He’s been doing it for over forty years and it hasn’t failed him yet.  Sure, it’s set him up to be a complete failure, but he’s been a failure far, far beyond anywhere his actual talents could have taken him.  And in that regard, he’s a complete success.  He may be remembered by history as a disastrous jerk, but at least he’ll be remembered.  That’s more than most of us can say.

And he knows Wolf’s questions were fair and that his answers were crap, but what choice did he have?  The truth?  No way.  The only time he’ll ever be able to tell the truth about any of this is in his memoirs, long after he’s left office (and hopefully from his prison cell).  And even then, he’s likely to lie about everything and eventually take it to his grave.  This is a man who prospered under Nixon remember, and Nixon didn’t confess to shit.  Not even the stuff he taped himself saying.  These are people who lie to themselves about everything and have seen no reason to treat us any better.

And then there was Cheney’s assault on Wolf.  But again, that’s just standard operating procedure for a bullshitter like Cheney.  He does it by instinct.  He knew that those were good questions Wolf was asking.  That’s why he had to give him a hard time; to avoid answering them.  Because Wolf just wouldn’t take BS for an answer.  And I strongly suspect that Cheney likes his daughter being a lesbian, as it gives him yet another opportunity to act all bullshitty and make people feel sympathetic to him for being attacked for it.  Not that he wants the sympathy.  He just likes to use it to turn the tables on his opponent and put them on the defensive.  And it usually works quite effectively.

And then there were Cheney’s accusations of Wolf having an agenda, in this exchange:

Cheney: Just think for a minute -- and think for a minute, Wolf, in terms of what policy is being suggested here. What you're recommending, or at least what you seem to believe the right course is, is to bail out --

Q: I'm just asking questions.

Cheney: No, you're not asking questions.

And by Cheney’s standard, he’s absolutely right.  Because he doesn’t ask questions.  He uses questions as a means of getting people to say what he wants to hear.  That’s how he coerced CIA guys to give him the intel he wanted to justify the Iraq war and how he does everything.  And so it’s just natural for him to assume that this is what Wolf was doing.  For Wolf to ask tough questions that he wouldn’t allow BS for was proof that Wolf had an agenda and was taking sides. 

Because that’s how bullshitters do it.  They rarely ask real questions.  They just want to harass people using techniques that permit them to pretend that they’re “just asking questions”.  And if you accuse them of pushing an agenda, they’ll insist they were “just asking questions”.  And that’s exactly what we saw Cheney accusing Wolf of doing, because he really thinks that we all work just like he does, and that’s what he would have been doing.  And while it’s possible that this really was what Wolf was doing, I kind of doubt it.  He’s really not that kind of guy, and besides, they really were legitimate questions in any case.

But that’s just all the more reason for a bullshitter to find an excuse to stonewall.  If you won’t roll over and obey, they’ll force a confrontation and make you look like you’re attacking them in a biased and irrational manner.  That’s what Cheney was hoping for, and while I haven’t seen the video, the transcript makes it look like Wolf did a commendable performance of staring down one of America’s toughest bullshitting bulldogs.  And it really would have been better for Cheney had the questions been part of an agenda, as Cheney really didn’t have any good answers for any of them.

And so that’s my take on the whole thing.  Cheney’s not a madman, he’s just totally full of shit and refuses to backdown from his bullshit.  I’m telling you, if he could erase all of our minds and all records of what he’s done and said regarding this war (and I’m sure he’s got his men working on this technology as we speak), he’d not only be spouting the truth, he’d go above and beyond, leaving the truth far behind in the dust; pinning everything he’s done and said on his closest enemy.

That’s just how this guy works.  He doesn’t really believe any of this shit beyond his need to believe it.  He’ll believe it all 100% while he’s saying it, and you’d be in trouble were you to doubt his veracity to his face.  But that’s all the more proof of what a bullshitter he is.  Bullshitters hate to be called on their bullshit and can go to their grave insisting that you had mortally offended them for even suggesting they were bullshitting; all the while chuckling inside about how awesome their powers of bullshit are.  That’s what makes them so good at it.  And having risen as far politically as a wildly unlikable man could have any hopes to go, I’d say Cheney’s one of the best.


Tehanu said...

Another great post. Damn, you can write!

whig said...

Video here.