ADVERTISEMENTS FOR HIMSELF
This afternoon, Mark Halperin posted a transcript from Rush Limbaugh's radio show under the heading "Limbaugh on Cheney's Motivations." It read, in part:
What motivates Dick Cheney?
He doesn't need the money. He has no further political ambitions. He is not hot for interns. He is not a torture freak. He knows that he is toxic and despised by the drive-by media and the Democrat party and the left in this country. What motivation does Dick Cheney have to go out and say these things? Is it possible that Dick Cheney is motivated by national interest? Is it possible that Dick Cheney is motivated by love of and for his country? Is it possible that Dick Cheney is speaking from his heart and is not speaking politically?
I went over to Limbaugh's site and read the extended transcript of this bit -- and what's odd about it is that Limbaugh doesn't just say this; he says it over and over in almost exactly the same words. You know, almost as if he's reading carefully prepared talking points. He says a lot of other things, but he keeps returning to this message. He returns it to it seven additional times. Limbaugh mocks Obama for using a Teleprompter? Where is Limbaugh getting this from?
Before playing the sound bites, I want to pose some thoughts to you. Dick Cheney has all the millions he needs. He doesn't need money. He has no future political ambitions. He coulda run in 2000; he coulda run in 2008; he doesn't want to run for elective office anymore. What motivates him? He's not hot for interns. He's not a torture freak. What motivates Dick Cheney? He also knows that he is toxic to the Drive-By Media. He knows that the Obama administration and the Drive-By Media despise him. He could sail away into retirement, go hunting and fishing out in Wyoming, wherever he wants, what motivates Dick Cheney to continue to speak out? What is it that you think motivates Dick Cheney?
What motivates Dick Cheney? He doesn't need money. He doesn't want to run for political office. He doesn't want to run Club Gitmo. He's not hot for interns. What motivates Dick Cheney?
What motivates Dick Cheney? He knows the media hate his guts. He knows the media hate George W. Bush. He has all the money he needs. He has no political ambitions. He's not hot for interns. He's not a torture freak. What motivates Dick Cheney?
And now here's Dick Cheney, a lone voice who could avoid all of the grief that he gets. He doesn't need it. He could go hunting; he could go fishing; he could learn to play golf; he could write memoirs. He doesn't need the money. He has no political ambitions. He's not hot for interns. He's not a torture freak. He knows he's toxic to the Drive-By Media. What motivates Dick Cheney?
Dick Cheney is one lone voice in the Republican Party. What motivates Dick Cheney? He's not hot for interns. He has all the money he needs. He's not a torture freak. He doesn't want to run for political office. Dick Cheney is motivated by love for his country.
It's obvious that... Dick Cheney is a remarkable individual. No, he's not hot for the interns....
That's why I opened the program today with the question: "What motivates Dick Cheney?" He goes on Face the Nation, he's doing interviews, and he is telling the people of this country the dangers posed by this president and this administration. He is warning that our security is being endangered. He's the only Republican, and he doesn't seek it. I said, "What's his motivation? He doesn't need the money; he doesn't have any more political aspirations. He's not hot for interns. What is it?" I asked this repeatedly during the first half hour of today's program. What motivates Dick Cheney? Love of country, national interest.
I don't know what Cheney wants, but he wants something. And he's using Limbaugh to help him get it.
A sweet book deal? George and Laura Bush have book deals lined up; Cheney doesn't yet (though he's made sure we know he's writing a book). Limbaugh's talking points sound like nothing so much as a book's dust-jacket copy -- or maybe a book proposal. The book business is going through tough times. A Cheney book might seem like a hard sell (and an impossible sell overseas, where the publishers of Bill and Hillary Clinton's books made a big chunk of their big advances back). Maybe nobody is offering Cheney the kind of money he wants, so he's using TV talk shows as a sort of pre-book tour -- and his pal Limbaugh is helping him by pitching the book for him with a little carefully crafted hype.
The same, I suppose, could be said for Cheney's speaking fees. I don't know if he's planning to go on that circuit, but maybe he's trying to increase his price.
Maybe there's a better theory. Maybe Cheney really thinks he's at risk of prosecution (which I think he really doesn't have to worry about), and, like a lot of famous defendants, he's starting his defense in the court of public opinion well before the indictment. Limbaugh's little riff is just a very, very early closing statement by the defense.
Any other possibilities?
And I would be remiss if I overlooked Halperin's eagerness to carry Cheney's water and deliver Cheney's carefully scripted talking points exactly as written.