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Does Cheney Help or Hurt the GOP?

There's nothing like an article on former Vice President Richard B. Cheney to inspire rage among our Readers Who Comment. Democrats are mad at Cheney. Republicans are mad at the Post.

Political analyst Dan Balz has stirred up partisans in writing that Cheney is "the most visible -- and controversial -- critic of President Obama's national security policies and, to the alarm of many people in the Republican Party, the most forceful and uncompromising defender of the Bush administration's record."

Republican-sounding readers cite the article as another proof that the MSM is a bunch of left-wing loonies and Democratic-sounding readers mostly attack Cheney and his role in the Bush Administration and cheer him on, thinking he helps their cause.

We'll start with kenmayasun, who wrote, "Seems to me Cheney is the one who has defected to the Democrats. This is the way politicians frag their own party."

But CUPPAJO said, "I don't think it is the Reps that are wincing. I think you in the media and the Democrats are wincing. Cheney is basically saying to put it all out on the table. The media and the Democrats don't really want that b/c it will show just how hypocritical you and the Democrats are."

mack11 wrote, "Cheney has two objectives:
1) Try to reshape/control the perception of information about torture and other Bush Administration abuses so that the impact is softened/distorted...
2. Try to set up the Obama Administration to be blamed for any future terrorist attack...
I hope that we are smarter than to buy into Cheney's faulty logic and reasoning. America has been made less safe by Cheney..."

snesich agreed, saying, "Here's the "Cheney Family Strategy" in a nutshell: Keep criticizing President Obama and his administration on national security issues. Then, if there is a massive attack against the United States, you can say, "See, I told you so! If we were still in power this would have never happened." It's sick. And it's shameful..."

amazd asked, "Hmm. Did Cheney reverse himself and agree with President Obama's position about releasing the Gitmo photos, or did President Obama reverse himself and agree with Cheney's argument about the photos? If American lives were saved, Cheney wrong to speak out? What is the higher value, saving American lives or political correctness?"

aelemay wrote, "The real problem the Post and all the other leftist main stream press organizations have is that Cheney is right. Obama's perspective on national defense is a Pollyanna-like belief that if we are nice to the terrorists they will be nice to us, and a completly unfounded belief that we are at fault for a lot of the world's problems. It is hard to believe anyone could be so foolish..."

kemp13 said, "Now we know why the Bush Administration kept Cheney locked away in an undisclosed location. So Cheney was so afraid of another 9/11 that he was willing to do anything to prevent it - anything at all, including ignoring well-established conventions regarding torture and well-established Constitutional principles. That doesn't make him a proud and brave defender of the people. That makes him a coward."

fenoy wrote, "Cheney is not controversial but he is a real burr under Obama's saddle. Republicans, despite what the WaPo and NYT contend, are loving every minute that Cheney is out tearing into the White House and Democrats in Congress."

ttj1 said, "The New York Times is saying today that it's the Democrats, not the GOP, who are wincing over Obama's terrorism and military policies. So which is it? Can't the liberal newspapers get their spin coordinated?"

OhMy wrote, "He's very popular with the conservative "base". I'm so tired of hearing about the Republican "base" as if that is the only group who should be considered when decisions are made for the party. The result is the Republican leadership has left a whole part of the party behind..."

frodot said, "Cheney is near-daily testimony of the dogmatic stupidity and even wickedness of the Bush administration. The Democrats will make mistakes, but as long as Cheney is here to remind us of the alternative, Democrats are safe."

jquinlan29 wrote, "Cheney is acting on the preemptive strike principle, since if investigation really gets going into what he was doing as the shadow president for 8 years ever comes out he could be in big legal trouble."

FirstMouse1 wrote, "Cheney thinks the voters got it wrong and their decisions can't be trusted. But if he continues to imply that America is vulnerable with its Obama administration, and then another major attempt upon our safety befalls us, Cheney and the party for which he speaks will face a heavy burden of justifying his bombast."

dsrobins said, "The alleged handwringing among Republican moderates reported in this article is utter baloney. As long as they and their fellow Republicans refuse to denounce and condemn Cheney they will continue the party's march toward the oblivion which they so richly deserve. Dick Cheney is an extremist, a fanatic and a war criminal. To give him air time as the media is doing is shameful..."

NMremote asked, "Why is this man not behind bars - where he belongs? Why do the news people keep showing this man and printing his words?"

iamwhoistillam1 wrote, "It's about time a spokesman for many of us out here has the courage to tell the truth about what is going on in what I used to think was still the America I knew. It is well on it's way to being quite unrecognizable. Bring it on."

kypriotis said, "This Republican isn't wincing, Dan Balz. Hooray for Dick Cheney! Someone in the GOP has to have the guts to tell the truth about the two commies, Obama and Pelosi, who are strong-arming running this nation to oblivion..."

We'll close with Vacation4243 wrote, "Note from a fuzzy headed liberal! Mr. Cheney... almost never uttered any rationale for his positions while elected, whatever the merit of his rationale, it is useful to historians, political scientists, the press, and the public to finally gain some understanding of what many, including me, regard as terrible policy choices."

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  May 14, 2009; 7:48 AM ET
 | Tags: Cheney  
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the republican 'base' directs thir few on any issue they desire, as they are not capable of thinking on their own and are not intelligent to understand the true freedoms of the constitution. this is why they went about trying to destroy that document in the 8 years they were in power. their philosophy is to undermine and destroy anything that does not adhere to their strict adherance to their 'present' truth, as it changes as they run from one impending imagined disaster to another. their 'sky is falling' mentality freezes any attempt to fix anything; but in the years they had the ower, they only attempted to feed their greed and destroy america. now, after being 'put out' by the electorate, they squander their energy in bashing anything not defined in their strict adherance to their 'holy faith' at the time. it is quite sad to see such people operate in the common life of us all; the more when these people are followed with such loyalty that they are deceived into thinking that their 'worship' is somehow tied to loyalty and patriotism to this great country. their 'loyalties' do not serve purpose, however; they breed distrust, solve no problems - just look at the last 8 years - and take us down the road toward another dark ages, as they truly stand only for the rights of the few priveleged; and what is sad, the common man who has nothing like they do, in freedoms and privelege, would fight and die for them even though they have no interest in him at all. fear is their preaching and equality is not their direction. will everyone please try to see this?

Posted by: NOTORIOUSDAD | May 18, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

If you look at polling data, Cheny isn't getting any more popular, which would, he's not really helping the Republicans.
For him to have a positive impact, he'd have to get his ratings above 23% which is about the current size of the Republican party as percentage of population. As of April 26th he was still in the base with 18% popularity with the other 82% kinda wishing he'd go fishing or something.

Posted by: dijetlo | May 18, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Well, if having Dick Cheney all over the national media is not enough to convince people that Dick is working on revisionist history (with the help of national media), the ultimate insult for television viewers took place on ABC this morning, with the Cheney daughter participating in a panel discussion about her father, and being treated as if she is a serious commentator who should comment on her father's performance. I guess ABC should just go ahead a form a Kiddie Show and let all elected people's children get on and spout off the family spin lines.

Posted by: oldwoman | May 17, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

One of the more fascinating phenomena in the current climate is the apparent takeover of many comments threads by right-wing fanatics parroting right-wing talking points. Yahoo News is worthless as a forum, for example.

I guess when your point of view represents roughly one in five American voters, you have no problem justifying the behavior and comments of a fascist thug whose views represent, oh, one in five American voters.

Cheney is whirling like a Dervish trying to kick up enough dust to obscure his eventual prosecution, conviction, and imprisonment.

Posted by: DMC2 | May 16, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

The answer to your question is pretty self evident. Dick Cheney is well thought of by about 18% of the American people.Even the dyspeptic Rush Limbaugh is 10 points higher than that with his 28% approval levels.

People this loathed ought to take stock and ask themselves what it is they are doing so wrong. But, this is Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh, both of whom live in delusional bubbles where the only thing allowed inside the bubble is happy talk about how principled and courageous they are.

In truth, neith man has even a passing acquaintance with those or any other virtues other than making a complete rectal orifice of themselves.

Posted by: jaxas | May 16, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Cheney is among the least popular political figures in our history. His secretive, authoritarian, bully-boy politics is barely disguised neofascism.

And 60+% of the population knows about him and dislikes him and what he stands for. Let him continue his self-serving attacks, and let his right wing colleagues continue their support for him. He's a wonderful spokesman for the declining Republican Party, along with Limbaugh.

The right's attacks on the media confuses the message with the messenger. The nation is tired of them, we repudiated them in the 2008 elections, and we want them to slink back into their corners and stay there.

But they (Cheney, Limbaugh, Gingrich, the other chicken hawks) are welcome to come out and play out their self-destruction for the world to watch.

Posted by: JoeF45 | May 15, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Dick has every right to speak his peace about his actions and those of the current administration. He is a sincere man but he is terribly misguided...not to mention he's probably feeling a bit guilty that 3000 U.S. citizens were killed on U.S. soil while he was busy being the most powerful VP this country has ever had.

Posted by: beboplives | May 14, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

What kind of American wants to extend protections under OUR CONSTITUTION to the nuts who wage their "holy war" and kill Americans. They have no right to protection under our constitution. They are enemy fighters who would kill you right now if they could get to you. If they had been shot instead of taken prisoner, you wouldn't have all the bull crap about mistreating these murderers. Remember 9-11

Posted by: johntu | May 14, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe you are doing a story on the nitwits who comment on a Post article.

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | May 14, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

The pathetic attempt by the wingnuts to distract and divert by attacking Nancy Pelosi is totally transparent. She did not order the waterboarding, nor commit it. The guilty are Bush, Cheney, their subordinates, and the CIA torturers who earn their living by inflicting pain. It's shameful and a disgrace. The sadists and torturers who have dragged the nation's name in the mud should be put on trial, the criminals that they are.

Posted by: RichardKefalos | May 14, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Why does the liberal press ignore all the infighting that is occuring within the democratic party. pelusi is destroying President Oboma's chance to do something great.

Why does the liberal press feel free to forget about who actually started the morgage crisis. Can anyone remember President clinton and harry reed forcing the banks to take on risky morgages? Of course not, liberals have a very short memory.

I do beleive that the liberals have as many idiots in the making as they claim the republicans do. I just think the press covers it up, and the democratic followers(sheep) or just to stupid to rember their own history.

Liberals/Republicans... Same thing, different name... Just a different bigot hating someone for their convictions. Me, Im biggoted because I hate them all.

Posted by: LiberalBasher | May 14, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Just happy to see the radical left faction of the Democrat party foaming at the mouth and it won't be long before their party is run out of office AGAIN.
Everyday is something new failing and more corruption.
Bush/Cheney will seem like a lovely time in the US compared to the next four years!
God help us.

Posted by: betsy3 | May 14, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Dan Balz writes a misleading article. Sources are anonymous and those sources are quoted as saying they are wringing hands or whatever. Cited sources support Cheney.
I really don't care what the left wing radicals think about Cheney. They would hate Cheney even if he walked on water..
and performed miracles.

Posted by: betsy3 | May 14, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Those berating Cheney should consider why Obama chose to flip-flop on the issue of releasing the photos and why the unreleased documentation has been suddenly "classified." Perhaps Obama finally hopped off Air Force One long enough to finally review the information and determined there is a serious difference between the "need to know" classified information and the "desire to shame" the previous administration.

Posted by: judithod | May 14, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone really care what DC has to say about anything?? He is a proven liar and a coward whose only attraction to MSM is the "former VP" status and the fact that he bugs people. I'd like to see Jesse Ventura interrogate him.

Posted by: watchtower1969 | May 14, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

"Political analyst Dan Balz has stirred up partisans in writing that Cheney is "the most visible -- and controversial -- critic of President Obama's national security policies" ...............

That's funny... last week Rush was the "Leader of the Republican Party" and Obama's biggest critic.....

Seems to me the lazy-good-for-nothing-media would rather slap a label on anyone that disagrees with Obama's policies... Then report them to Homeland Security as a right-wing radicals....

Posted by: ravioliman6666 | May 14, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

We need Cheney, Limbaugh and the rest to speak up daily, lest we forget why so many Americans - Real Americans - voted overwhelmingly Democratic in the last election.

Posted by: kbtoledo | May 14, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

"Shouldn't this be once again reduced to:
Posted by: kurtbw

The truth is Bush and Cheney put the Congress between torture and the Whithouse.
They also called for a prosecution on torture which went forward.

That leaves the culpable body to prosecute
those who knew in Congress who Oked it.
Pelosi and the committee the plan came before, are who will dangle.
Bush Cheney and the cabinet look clear of it, with the prosecution of it.

Rahm and Eric made a huge boo boo for party power by opening this can of worms, but in the long run, we deserved to know.

Emanuel and Holder deserve more scrutiny for their involvement in "loopholes" and profiteering by misuse of power, and that too will happen.

Pointing any finger leaves three pointing backwards doesn't it?

Posted by: dottydo | May 14, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Let me see...

Does Satan hurt us or help us?

Are you kidding?

Let the great anti-christ continue to deceive the Evangelical Party of Satan.

Evangelical minister's can profit selling Dickie C. oil, and that may help the economy.

Posted by: morenews1 | May 14, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

The Progressives need to shut Cheney up. They think that the way to do this is to convince Republicans to shut him up. Sorry Libs. You don't get to define the GOP. You efforts may have other left wingers nodding in agreement. The people you want to influence are laughing at you.

Posted by: ifticar | May 14, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Shouldn't this be once again reduced to:


Posted by: kurtbw | May 14, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Meh. The GOP tried to play down their shame of the Nixon administration through bluster and whitewashing of the facts. It failed.

Cheney's efforts to do the same thing will also fail, despite the efforts of the Emperor's-New-Clothes Republicans. We moderates, who don't get our opinions spoon fed to us by demagogues like Limbaugh (or Moore), won't forget.

Posted by: nullconnect | May 14, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Cheney's stroy reminds me of "the trouble with tribbles".

It is a dangerous agenda to begin to think it is alright to mute any member of any party.

The ideal that no one can express an opinion and viewpoint in this Country is the problem isn't it?

A party that can't accept criticisms of it's self, or allow the criticism of another party, is not one to stay with.

Cheney is a man that is under scrutiny, and if he has something to say about what the truth is from his viewpoint...let him have the soap box.

So far because Cheney has "the kahoneys to beller", we have uncovered a lot pointing to our own Congress.
The Mummy Pelosi's seat is rank and rife with lies to the public, and that is news we deserved to hear.

I hear all of the time that the people didn't leave their party, their party left them.
Too much promise comes from politicians driven by bad money.We see the bigger the money coffer, the bigger the liar.

It is time to hear from people with nothing much to lose or gain from what they say.

Cheney has bad health and needs no big money promise, not does he have any fear of no future from what he wants exposed.

We should hear what he has to say.

If his party is too small to absorb it, or if the Dems are too small to belong to the people, another party will gain.

Independent Party is growing by leaps and bounds in all States, because people were made mute by thier representatives.

Posted by: dottydo | May 14, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

If Cheney's comments were made by anyone else I doubt we would see words such as 'assault' to describe his words. My guess is the Republicans who cringe when Cheney speaks are of 2 mindsets:

1.) winning the next election
2.) It is more important to be nice than it is to be assertive and stand for principle. (Talking to the GOP in the Senate)

There is nothing wrong with speaking out. There is nothing wrong with having a different opinion than the majority.

As a citizen who does worry about the next terrorist attack, I feel safer with someone who speaks frankly rather than someone who question the motives of Cheney.

Chris Mathews put forth the theory that Cheney actually wanted an attack so he could say "I told you so." I would suggest that it is that attitude that wil come back and bite this country in the butt and cost more innocent lives.

Posted by: swamprat1 | May 14, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

where are the jobs obama promised...
why has obama forgotten us...

Posted by: DwightCollins | May 14, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

what I find interesting is the fact that wapo writes more about the prior administration than the current one...
doesn't wapo want to write about the congress and how the dems are fighting among themselves...
you can't be the paper of record if you are not printing what is going on now...
seems wapo is the Cheney of this administration...

Posted by: DwightCollins | May 14, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

"Does Cheney Help or Hurt the GOP?"

Ha Ha. Tickles me.

As if it were relevant.


Posted by: T-Prop | May 14, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

The GOP is so completely discredited in the eyes of Americans that, rather than bringing Obama down by the coordinated effort to brand him a "socialist", they've actually succeeded in improving the favorability rating of the word "socialist" by about 10 percentage points in the last 6 months!

Keep the slander and the insults coming, guys. After next year's elections you won't even have the numbers to filibuster. Ordinarily a bad thing for democracy, but these are extraordinary times.

Posted by: BigTunaTim | May 14, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Cheney has spent the last eight years either in a hospital or shooting his friends....

Why is he so interested in how the govt is being run now? Afraid Mr. Obama's administration may outgovern the Bush administration?

We can't go anywhere but up from here. Cheney needs to retire retire...FOR GOOD!

Posted by: msdbwynn | May 14, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Cheney didn't torture people to prevent attacks. He tortured them to extract false confessions falsely linking Iraq to al-Qaeda.
He then presented those lies as fact to the American people, to justify an illegal, unprovoked war. That's the basic, essential truth about Cheney's torture.

Posted by: kevrobb | May 14, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I always find it vaguely unsettling when I read the posts of thoroughly indoctrinated automatons like @Phil6 above. I imagine it's a feeling similar to meeting a cult member who is well-versed in all the particulars and speaks intensely about it. Kinda creepy.

Posted by: BigTunaTim | May 14, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Bless Dick Cheney, I sure would feel better if he/George were protecting the U.S.

Posted by: franklin6 | May 14, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Cheney kept America safe? What about the 5,000 troops who were killed, and the thousands more wounded, in the war for Iraqi oil? "Those who would trade freedom for security, deserve neither". Ben Franklin

Posted by: bflagg | May 14, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I guess Cheney's defenders are going to defend him no matter how many times he was wrong in the past. Just like when he was in office, people just couldn't wrap their heads around the fact that once again, they were lied to by the Pres. and the VP.
So Cheney doesn't want low level staff to take blame or brunt of investigations? Where was this noble thought when Garon and English were left swinging over Abu Ghraib. A poll of some military and former military about that would be interesting. Let the country know how the boots on the ground feel about their former VP sticking up for lawyer minions, but not them.

Posted by: katem1 | May 14, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Carry on Mr. Vice President. You are defending our liberty and the security of our country. We need someone with courage out front on our very normal ideas. You represent what is great about the US. BHO is a politician, a community organizer, and a socialist. He is not a leader, not very smart, very arrogant, and destined to be a total failure, even worse than Jimmy Carter, in his presidential term. Too bad he had to be our first black president because he does not represent his race well at all. There are several outstanding black leaders in this country and the first one to run had to be a flop. I regret that.

Posted by: jplant1 | May 14, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

What a doofus! He reminds you of the pictured old man caricatured and voiced in the original MAC commercial on the screen that was destroyed by the lady throwing the hammer....If you can't rest in peace, at least rest elsewhere. Go home to Wyoming Dick.

Posted by: benighse | May 14, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

The misconception a number of people have about Cheney is that he is a conservative. No one who doubled the national debt, trashed the dollar, and expanded government like he did has any business being considered a conservative. There is a whole gang in the GOP: Bush, Rick Santorum, Bill Kristol, Gingrich, Limbaugh, Rove, and Cheney who essentially hijacked the conservative movement & turned it away from conservative principles.

Posted by: RobBaker1 | May 14, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

For all that matters, Cheney with his four heart attacks and the GOP can all commit collective suicide for the nation to rid it self of the menace that has plagued the country for too long. With the country ideologically divided, polarized and besieged in economic terror, all on account of Cheney/ Bush and conservative republican doing. The SOB megalomaniac shooter is just inciting his kind with their pestilence perversity to start a war within by these extreme right wingers, who have been buying guns, including AK 47s, other such assault weapons and ammo by the truckloads. There modus operandi is to sacrifice the country with coercion, reckless abandon and impunity to promote the rights only of their kind and continue the status quo.

Unless Obama and his justice department start appointing special prosecutors to nip this menace in bud, it is going to be long hot summer of discontent, with riots, murders the like of what will start a worst ever armed unrest.

Posted by: winemaster2 | May 14, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

1. I think that congress is systematically building a case against Cheney and his torture teams.

2. I also think that Cheney will eventually get his chance to testify in congress and in open court about his involvement in Iraq war and torture activities of his regime.

3. Cheney will surely be arrested, no manipulation and propaganda will stop this. Even Dem's collusion and lack of spine will not stop cheney from getting his day in the sun (court).

Posted by: dressypink | May 14, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

All I can say about Cheney's comments is that if he's not on the Democratic payroll, he should be.

And God bless the clueless Republican base for trying to force their party into looking like the version of it that's portrayed in "The Simpsons," meeting in a haunted castle with vampire bats flying overhead.

Just be sure to pass that "Democrat Socialist Party" resolution so that you can alienate the last remaining uncommitted moderate. We truly love you from the bottom of our big ol' heart.

Posted by: andym108 | May 14, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Since Cheney was part of the team that helped keep America safe for 8 years after the terrorist attacks, he helps the GOP. The Republicans are the party of America First and Peach Through Strength. The Democrats want to hold hands and "make nice," with terrorists. Obama thinks he can "talk" his way out of violent aggression from extreme Muslims. ha ha ha

Posted by: Phil6 | May 14, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Outside the delusional adrenalin-driven world of the GOP trolls there is no question about whether or not Cheney is right. The idea that our safety requires torture is nonsense. The idea that the two invasions were a good idea is beneath contempt.

Nor is there any question that he's telling the truth. One would be on firmer ground betting on the sun to rise in the west tomorrow. Cheney doesn't tell the truth as often as a stopped calendar gives the right date.

No, the only open question is whether or not Cheney is clinically insane, and the smart money says he's a psychotic.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 14, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Cheney just can't fathom the thought that anyone would doubt him.

The Bush Administration was a veneer for a Cheney Administration. Cheney and his team ran the show. Bush was simply the pitch man (just like Billy Mays or Carlton Sheets) for Cheney's policies.

Now out of office, he can't stomach the criticism of his administration.

And, he knows one day the illegalities fo the Administration he ran will point directly to him. He better try to re-write history as fast as possible.

Posted by: stephenrhymer | May 14, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

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