Thursday, May 14, 2009

Dick Cheney: Bullshitter Extraordinaire

Carpetbagger has a post referring to Cheney as The Dems' New Best Friend, and suggests that the DNC needs to give Dick an Employee of the Month award for how much he's helping to remind people why they like Obama so much. And I agree completely. Cheney has always been an unpopular joke, outside of the Beltway at least, and the more people see him out there, the better things are for us.

But not all Dems agree. Apparently, there are still lots of folks who still fear Cheney (Rove too, apparently), and they think we're making a big mistake by mocking him. Here are two separate commenters on the subject:
"Maybe there is a ghost in the political machine that is actually the seat of power, maybe the Star Chamber is not entirely fictional. Cheney and his crowd make me nervous. The question to ask is this: Is Cheney really out of power? Is he really as marginalized among the villagers as you would like to believe? I don't think so, and it is no laughing matter."

"You people keep making the same dangerous mistake over and over. "Oh, Cheney, he's so stupid. He's great for the Democrats. Keep it comin', Dick." Wake up. This guy is on major news 2-3 times a week, along with the right wing 24/7 radiobots, selling the country on the necessity and justification of torture like they sold, successfully, invading Iraq, WMD's, Swift-boating, etc."
But I just couldn't disagree more. Because as with Rove, there is no greater proponent of the Evil Genius theory behind Cheney than Cheney himself. And that's because he's a master bullshitter. Truly one of our country's best. The rest of this is a modified version of the comment I wrote in response.

My Comment on Dick

Dick Cheney's not some evil mastermind with super-secret connections. He's an incompetent boob who happens to be an awesome bullshit artist. And one of the biggest weaknesses of bullshit artists is that they never learn how to be actually good at anything, because they're so good at bullshitting everyone. Trying to obtain actual expertise would hinder their ability to lie, because the first person a bullshitter bullshits is himself. Expertise would only get in the way of that.

If Cheney truly had power, he wouldn't be on the TV trying to save his skin. He'd be pulling the strings behind the scenes, which is how he prefers to do things. But he no longer has the president's ear to whisper into, so he's stuck going to the only forum he can work in: The media. None of this is good for him, as he himself must realize that he's now the public face for torture. But he has no choice, as he's just a bullshitter and the only influence he can have is bullshitting people. And so that's what he's doing.

Remember, even as a power player in the Whitehouse he wasn't one to go out front and bully everyone. That's not his style. He's the guy who sits quiet and makes everyone nervous, asking only a few cryptic questions to put you on the spot; which makes you even more nervous. And his gimmick is that you get so scare of him that he psychs you out. And his main strength was being able to go directly to Bush, who himself is a bullshit artist and easily swayed by the superior bullshitter. That's his style and it obviously worked very well for him.

Going Public

So for him to be going public and defending his actions like this is the strongest indication that he has no real power. I'm sure he realizes that the more he talks, the less fear he can instill in people. It's obvious that he feels he has no other choice, or he wouldn't be doing it. And so the best thing we can do is laugh at Cheney and call him on his bullshit. He can smell your fear, but is completely helpless against mockery.

And really, the Star Chamber? This guy had to cherrypick the few points of cooked info that he himself used all his power to pressure into the CIA intel reports; and even that was laughable. Even as the most powerful man in DC, he had trouble getting the supposedly evil CIA to cooperate in selling war. And a real evil genius would have made sure we "found" WMD's in Iraq; god knows we've got enough of them around here.

Dick didn't have super-powers when he worked in the Whitehouse and he certainly doesn't have any now. Dick Cheney is a joke and the only mistake we can make is not laughing loud enough at him.


John Fulton said...

I think support for the Cheney-is-powerless argument can be seen by his choice of topic to make his stand on: torture.

Even the people who claim to be for torture know it is deeply unpopular. That's why they are arguing still that waterboarding isn't really torture. Sure, they'll say that we needed to be tough with tough characters, but they still weasel away from the evidence that we killed and tortured people during 'interrogations'. And the torture supporters are, of course, all aghast when Pelosi knows about the program because they know any association with torture hurts her.

So why would one of the least popular politicians in the country go into multiple interviews defending the Bush torture program? He's either truly sadistic and supportive of torture or he scared shitless and trying to defend himself the only way he knows how: using his status to get into the media and confuse the narrative.

The guy is defending torture. He knows that won't help him to look any less evil. It won't help him get paid speaking gigs or board appointments, or help him in any material way other than possible diverting the issue away from his illegal acts. He's in legal jeopardy, he knows it, and that's why he's out there turning on the charm.

Doctor Biobrain said...

He's either truly sadistic and supportive of torture or he scared shitless and trying to defend himself the only way he knows how:John - Reflexively, I'd like to say that it's both options. And yet, upon reflection, I don't think either is quite right. Some people just aren't capable of these sort of emotions. I don't think he has the ability to enjoy torturing someone; nor do I think he can be truly scared. He just has a one-track mind, which is focused on getting what he wants. And he's pretty damn good at it. Some people really aren't like you and me.

John Fulton said...

Doctor Biobrain: Some people really aren't like you and me.

I really hope you're right. I'd like to share as little as possible with that man.