Monday, March 16, 2009


Newsweek's Richard Wolffe was on Keith Olbermann's show tonight, talking about Dick Cheney's CNN interview over the weekend. Here's what he said about the part of the interview in which Cheney once again foresaw danger to the Republic from foreign evildoers as a result of Barack Obama's policies (clip below):

Well, it's clearly a preemptive strike from a man who loved preemptive war. This is a guy who wants to print up the "I Told You So" pictures before there is another terrorist attack.

There's something else preemptive here: Yes, Cheney wants to say "I told you so" -- but he's also laying the groundwork for the dividing of the country along partisan lines if there is, in fact, a terrorist attack on the United States. Obviously he's attacking a new administration in a way that's unheard of in living memory for ex-presidents and ex-VPs, and he's doing so inseveral policy areas (which is why it's appalling that CBS's Chip Reid and ABC'S Rick Klein were asking whether White House press secretary Robert Gibbs was rude to Cheney today, rather than asking about Cheney's rudeness) -- but the talk about terrorism is clearly a dog whistle, an message sent out to the talk-radio GOP base that we don't have to pull together immediately after an attack, that, in fact, it will be OK to turn on the president right away. And, in fact, why wait?

In the aftermath of 9/11, a serious divide developed in this country only after Bush & Co. sought an optional second war. Cheney doesn't want it to take that long. He wants America, or at least his part of America, to turn on Obama immediately. He wants that notion of disloyalty in place now.

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