Is there a Method to Liz Cheney's Madness?
Many observers have found Liz and Dick Cheney's fervent crusade to ensure that President Obama define terrorists as "enemy combatants," and the fight against terrorism as a "war" on terrorism quite curious. Why would a former vice president break the long established tradition of fading into the woodwork to engage in a silly debate over semantics? Now we also have his daughter, Liz Cheney, attacking standards set down by the United States Constitution guaranteeing due process and equal protection under the law. Liz Cheney has now branded attorneys who defended 'alleged terrorists' the "Al Qaeda 7," and she's calling the United States Department of Justice--that's simply carrying out the prescription set down by the United States Constitution--"The Department of Jihad." Could there possibly be a reasonable explanation behind such radical behavior? I think there is.
The Cheneys are engaged in a preemptive strike against the Obama administration in general, and the Justice Department in particular, in order to stir up public opinion against the prospect that the Obama administration will finally decides to prosecute Dick Cheney for war crimes--as the rule of law demands. They're busily laying the groundwork to incite insurrection across this country to counter the application of the rule of law.
While the GOP is atrocious when it comes to governance, they're absolute geniuses when it comes to stirring up their base for war--and in this case, they're preparing the nation for an all out internal conflict. One can hear it in every speech as they sprinkle little gems like 'secession', 'socialist', and 'government takeover' into the political dialogue. Thus, the threat that they pose to America makes Al Qaeda pale in comparison.
They started exactly one month after President Obama entered office when on February 21, 2009, the New York Post published a cartoon portraying President Obama as a monkey being shot by the police. There was a lot of subliminal messaging in that cartoon. True to their usual method of operation, they began to dehumanized the enemy, just like they did Saddam, by portraying the enemy--President Obama in this case--as a monkey. They then show the police shooting the president in order to prevent him from pursuing what they consider an unpopular initiative. By showing the police--respected authority figures--shooting the president, that's intended to lend legitimacy to the action.
I immediately recognized what was afoot, and I pointed it out in my article, The Assassination Cartoon:
"That cartoon literally sent a message out to every deadbeat, and bigoted loser in the country that they can finally make something of themselves. They can finally find purpose in their previously miserable and lackluster lives by assassinating the President of the United States. Thus, what the New York Post is calling a meaningless joke is actually a clarion call to every bigoted fool in the United States. It says that there are people in this country who will consider you a hero if you bring violence against the president-and they know it. Can you imagine the hue and cry coming from Republicans if the New York Times had run a cartoon depicting the assassination of Ronald Reagan?"
I also pointed out that -
"We've had enough experience with neo-cons and radical conservatives where anyone with even an ounce of common sense recognizes that nothing is a joke with them-especially when they're out of power. They're dead serious, and they're desperate. Conservative Republicans know better than anyone that considering their atrocious eight years of governance, combined with President Obama's competence and responsible statesmanship, that the Republican Party faces an extremely bleak future. So they've gone to plan B, to eliminate Obama at all cost, and by any means necessary. As ugly as it seems, anyone who doesn't recognize that reality has blinders on.
"Look at the facts. Their proven method of operation is to demonize, dehumanize, then eliminate. When the neo-cons decided to exploit Iraqi resources instead of going after Osama, as was the intent of the American people, they first began to demonize, then dehumanize Saddam Hussein-a former ally--in order to prepare the American people to accept the idea that it was necessary to take him out."
If there was any doubt about my contention, however, it should have been immediately resolved when they trotted out turncoat and perennial loser, Alan Keyes. Keys called into question President Obama's legitimacy as president. He referred to the president as "a radical communist." He went on to say, "He's [Obama] going to destroy this country and we've either got to stop him, or America will cease to exist." He also indicated that since Barack Obama wasn't legitimately the president, if something wasn't done about it we were going to end up in "civil war."
Thus, these are people are clearly without limits, and have an absolute disdain for the United States Constitution. They're only concerned about one thing--power, and that's the only thing they respect. So President Obama's inclination for compromise and appeasement is totally lost on them. All appeasement does is give the GOP the breathing room to engage in further calculation and plotting. Their strategy clearly demonstrated in the healthcare debate. Even after the president allowed them to water down the bill, they voted against it. That's their method of operation. They're not interested it compromise--they want nothing short of complete control.
So when the president signaled Attorney General Holder that "we should look forward, not back," even though the president was obviously ignoring the rule of law to accommodate them, they didn't appreciate that. They didn't say, "Wow, this is a good guy;" they said, "This guy is weak--we're going to run all over him."
Had President Obama followed up on his campaign promise of change, on the other hand, and simply allowed the rule of law to play itself out, his entire base would still be behind him, and the Republican party wouldn't have dared engaged in the obstructionism that they are currently engaged in. First of all, politics as usual wouldn't have flown in such an environment. And secondly, the roots Bush and Cheney's corruption undoubtedly sank so deep into the Republican party that in response to the DOJ investigation a large percentage of the GOP would be too busy trying to cover their own butts to be obstructing the president's agenda.
During a recent debate I was having on this issue a gentleman indicated that this was no time to investigate war crimes. President Obama has to pick his battles. I strongly disagree. First, I have to wonder if the gentleman would have taken the same position if one of the charges was that a member of his family was tortured and killed?
But beyond any personal or political issues, in any democracy, maintaining the rule of law must always take priority over everything else. Because without the rule of law, there can be no democracy, since a democracy is established by the rule of law.
After all, what's the sense of enacting healthcare reform, or any other law, if a precedent has been set that renders the rule of law meaningless?
Eric L. Wattree