MILWAUKEE — Vice President Cheney sometimes starts speeches with a Ronald Reagan quotation about a “happy” nation needing “hope and faith.” But not much happy talk follows. Not a lot of hope, either. He does, though, talk about the prospect of “mass death in the United States.” The not-so-happy warrior of the past two campaign cycles is back on the road delivering a grim message about danger, defeatism and the stakes of the coming election. If it is not a joyful exercise, it is at least a relentless one. Even with poll ratings lower than President Bush’s, Cheney has become a more ubiquitous presence on the campaign trail than in the last midterm election.
If you listened to DIck Cheney (and increasingly to Our Glorious and Benevolent Leader, who’s becoming a Johnny-One-Note in his own right), you might be forgiven for thinking that Liberals are just a bunch of flag-mangling, America-hating, terrorist-loving, spineless weenies who would turn America over to the very terrorists who seek to destroy our great nation. Yes, a vote for a Democrat is surely a vote to undo all of the “progress” that has been made in securing America since 9.11. You wouldn’t cast a vote for Osame bin-Laden, would you? Then why would you vote for a Democrat?
What’s interesting about Cheney’s polemics, though, is not what he’s saying, but the venues in which he’s saying it. Most of his speeches are fundraisers, and about half of them are delivered behind closed doors, where he can be assured he is talking to the faithful. This also benefits the candidate because they aren’t running the risk of being photographed with Cheney, which, given his (lower than Our Glorious Leader) abysmal numbers is roughly equivalent to the kiss of death for a Republican in a close race these days. Yeah, they’re certainly proud of being Republican, eh?
What’s really fun is when Cheney gets wound up. Listening to him, it’s no wondering that Republican canddates want the money his presence brings while they want nothing to do with actually being associated with him.
Cheney remains focused on the terrorists, who are, as he says in his stump speech, “still lethal, still desperately trying to hit us again.” Bush, he says, is “protecting America” while the Democrats advocate “reckless” policies that add up to a “strategy of resignation and defeatism in the face of determined enemies.”
Yep, we’d just drop trou, grab our ankles, and take one for God and country, don’tchanknow….
It’s just too bad that Our Glorious and Benevolent Leader and the Prince of Darkness aren’t on the ticket this fall. Coattails? What coattails??