In a virtual cage match pre-President's Day Super Sunday smack down on the morning TV talk shows, the battle of Cheney v. Biden reached a fever pitch. Never has the office of the Vice President seen such sexy, sweaty, oily action as it did on Face the Nation, Fox "News" Sunday, and the Huffington Post. Blame it on Olympic fervor that spurred the combative VEEP confrontation, or perhaps it's just that the snowbound nation is frustrated with the frozen gridlock -- with the iced-over transportation routes and the frosty Congressional standoffs -- and is ready for a little heated mano-a-mano action to melt the monotony. Either way, the stand-off did not disappoint.
In this corner, fresh from his box of sacred dirt, wearing the bold black and gold trunks of Halliburton/Blackwater is "Deadeye" Dick Cheney! Quadruple survivor of coronary arrest, multiple cardiac implants, an attempted attack by his own defective foot, partial paralysis and eight horrific years as acting President of the free world, the Undefeated champion of PNAC, defending his title of Most Feared Politician and Black-Belt Water Boarder, Heeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrssssssss DICK!
And in this corner, wearing the bleeding heart red trunks, with mostly-healed hair implants, armed with government secrets he's willing to disclose for a tasty orange Danish or keys to the Continental Airlines VIP Lounge, packing more Botox than the entire cast of Desperate Housewives,representing the second-smallest state of the union and home of the tax-free shopping frenzy, Heeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrssssssss JOE!
Early in the battle, Cheney came on strong, equipped with the powerful mythology that somehow the eight frightening years of the Bush/Cheney cabal actually kept this country safe from terrorist attacks despite the fact that al Quaeda gained in strength 10-fold during their tenure and the only major terrorist attack on this nation in 50 years occurred on their watch, sat wiseon the set of This Week and growled, "It's the mind-set that concerns me," making reference to President Obama's handling of national security, including the decision to try 9/11 suspects in civilian courts rather than military tribunals.
Biden, who once called Cheney the most dangerous vice president in history, countered on Face the Nation, saying that the United States is unlikely to face another 9/11 type of attack: "I always underestimate the way Dick Cheney approaches things. The reason it's unlikely is because we have been relentless, absolutely relentless in isolating al Qaeda; central al Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, and al Qaeda coming out of the Afghan-Pakistan region."
Not to be undone, Cheney brought the heat with an uppercut to the left, stating that notion was "dead wrong. . .I think, in fact, the situation with respect to al Qaeda to say that, you know, that was a big attack we had on 9/11, but it's not likely again, I just think that's dead wrong. I think the biggest strategic threat the United States faces today is the possibility of another 9/11 with a nuclear weapon or a biological agent of some kind, and I think al Qaeda is out there even as we meet trying to figure out how to do that."
Biden, still smiling though the pain, rallied with his own brand of precious pummeling:"That's Dick Cheney. Thank God the last administration didn't listen to him at the end, I think his fight seems to be with the last administration. We did exactly what President Bush did. We got the similar result. We are protecting America. And I don't know, it seems like Dick Cheney can't take yes for an answer," he countered, in reference to the controversial torture tactic of waterboarding that Cheney embraces as the answer to everything from extracting sensitive info from al Qaeda operatives, to the cure for the common cold.
Undaunted, Cheney rallied with this retort to the Obama administration's taking credit for successes in the war on terror with this: "If they're going to take credit for it, fair enough, for what they've done while they're there. But it ought to go with a healthy dose of "Thank you, George Bush' up front and a recognition that some of their early recommendations, with respect to prosecuting that war, were just dead wrong."
Not to be undone, Biden smoothed his hairs and responded from his comfy lounge chair ata Vancouver ski lodge: "We're not taking credit. We had to take responsibility.When we took responsibility for the mess that we were handed at the end of last year, an awful lot of very informed news people " were wondering whether or not the country could be put together."
And so it went. There was the predictable harangue about closing GITMO
and trying al Qaeda operatives in US courts. When the video battle of words and
charges ended, there were no clear winners, just ongoing racket on what will
doubtlessly be a preview of the mid-term elections.Why the irrelevant, unloved
former VP seems compelled to continue to blast away with both barrels at the
current administration as if it is one of the fated doves scheduled to be
released for his scheduled hunting pleasure is a mystery. No person in his --
or any other -- party takes him seriously anymore, and it's only the glaring
lack of leadership in the GOP -- peppered with a dose of fear -- that keeps him
headlining on the broadcast circuit.
As for Biden, his 35+ years in the Senate weakens his purported banner of "change" in Washington, and none of his stern-yet-smiley barbs about Bush-era torture tactics "change" the fact that his administration is escalating the unwinnable war in Afghanistan.
Nothing was said on either side about creating jobs in this country, or
solving the health care crisis, or the erosion of civil liberties, or the rights
of all citizens to marry or serve in the military regardless of their sexual
orientation, or the sorry state of educational funding and infrastructure
repair,or a host of other issues that are closer to the heartbeat of Americans
than the he-said/he-said endless chest-thumping machismo that was displayed on
Just two old white guys trash talkin' while our troops are dying. Haven't we had enough of that?