Charlie Pierce has unleashed a sustained howl of rage in response to Mike Allen's simpering, sycophantic account of a Politico luncheon featuring Dick, Lynne, and Liz Cheney:
Close it down.Please read it. It's terrific.
Its puerilty has finally crossed over into indecency. Its triviality has finally crossed over into obscenity. The comical political starfcking that is its primary raison d'erp has finally crossed over into $10 meth-whoring on the Singapore docks. Once a mere surface irritation, Tiger Beat On The Potomac has finally crossed over into being a thickly pustulating chancre on the craft of journalism. It has demonstrated its essential worthlessness. It has demonstrated that it has the moral character of a sea-slug and the professional conscience of the Treponema pallidum spirochete. Trust me. Stephen Glass never sunk this low. Mike (Payola) Allen has accomplished the impossible. He's made Jayson Blair look like Ernie Pyle.
Allen's write-up, Pierce says, is
written in the kind of cacophonous cutesy-poo necessary to drown out the screams of the innocent dead, and to distract the assembled crowd from the blood that has dripped from the wallet of the celebrity war-criminal leading the public display.He's right about the tone of Allen's prose:
Sing it with us: "Here's the story of a man named Cheney ..." Dick, Lynne and Liz Cheney had a message they wanted to send with their appearance at POLITICO's Playbook lunch on Monday: We're a family, we're happy together, we joke together, and we're beating the drum for an aggressive foreign policy together. It's almost as if the Cheneys were the Brady Bunch -- if the Brady Bunch had started a hawkish think tank and were warning the country about the failures of President Barack Obama's leadership around the world.What's up with that? What's up with trying to make this family of vultures -- or, if you're a sniveling Beltway insider, this family of Thoughtful, Serious Conservative Policy Intellectuals -- warm and cuddly?
I offered my theory a couple of weeks ago: Poppa Dick is determined to establishing a D.C.-based platform from which Liz can rebuild her career as ... something. It's not clear what -- Kristol-esque pro pundit? House or Senate member from Virginia? But he'll get her back in the big leagues one way or another.
I think the real goal is to get her elected to something. Hence the warm-fuzzy stuff -- Mike Allen is being used to send out word that she's not the heartless careerist monomaniac who tried to steamroll incumbent Republican Mike Enzi in the Wyoming Senate race, she's a family gal. First that word goes out to the Beltway movers and shakers, then they tell us rubes what a swell person Liz is. Then it's off to the races.
I think this is happening because Liz's Senate run was supposed to be just the first part of a multi-part process intended to make Liz a really important player. Here's what I think the Cheneys were envisioning: Liz (a one-time deputy assistant secretary of state) wins a Senate seat. She serves for a year and a half -- and, being a media-savvy Republican, gets a lot of face time on TV to bash Democrats, especially on foreign policy. Before you know it, it's the summer of 2016. Democrats have chosen Hillary Clinton, a woman and a former secretary of state, as their presidential candidate. Republicans have chosen a white-guy governor -- Scott Walker or Chris Christie or, hell, Jeb Bush.
At that point, the Great Mentioners start noting that Republicans can tick two boxes in their VP search -- the foreign policy box and the double-X-chromosome box -- if they pick that new senator from Wyoming as a running mate. Plus, she'd probably Darth Vader her way to a "win" against Julian Castro in the VP debate the same way her dad Vadered John Edwards in 2004.
Really, is that implausible?
But if that was the plan, the Cheneys now need a Plan B. I still think they want to get Liz elected to some office from Virginia and start the reconquista from there. Maybe this is crazy, but then, the Cheneys are mad, aren't they?
Ed Kilgore looks at the Mike Allen write-up and asks:
Why would you want to give the Cheneys yet another platform on which to agitate for another war? I guess it's the sheer celebrity factor. If the Kardashians are "famous for being famous," the Cheneys are famous for being wrong. But I guess that's enough to give them another chance to be wrong all over again.That's the wrong way of looking at this. Remember, back in 1998, when David Broder said of Bill Clinton, "He came in here and he trashed the place, and it's not his place"? The people who agreed (and still agree) with Broder look at the Cheneys and think: Washington is "their place." So of course accommodations will always be made for them there.