Dave Weigel points out that the conservative magazine Human Events chose Dick "deficits don't matter" Cheney for their "Conservative of The Year Award." In a year when the GOP tried to tap into populist anger by pretending they care about deficit spending, it's nice to see one conservative magazine focusing on the animating force of mainstream American conservatism: stuff that pisses off liberals.
I also doubt there could be a more appropriate person to write the tribute to Cheney than John Bolton, a man who would probably suggest dropping a daisy cutter on a restaurant that served his soup cold:
How is it, therefore, that someone who has no political ambitions can cause so much angst at the White House and in the mainstream news media? The irrefutable answer is that what Cheney is saying, primarily on foreign policy, defense and anti-terrorism, makes sense to more and more American citizens growing increasingly worried by the Obama Administration’s insouciance when U.S. national interests are threatened, both at home and abroad. Since the only real, long-term way to deal with persuasive positions on substantive policy matters is to refute them with sounder policy arguments, it is not hard to understand why the Obama White House is near panic. Where are they going to go to find a better policy inside his administration?
I'd really have to agree with Human Events. Sure, Sarah Palin seems to drive a certain subsect of liberals crazy, but quitting the governorship of Alaska hardly makes for a fantastic resume. Mainstreaming torture and legitimizing the abuse of people in American custody is truly a singular accomplishment that deserves to be recognized.
Ultimately, who cares about the effect Cheney might have on the treatment of American citizens or servicemen who get captured by hostile regimes who now have license to torture or sexually humiliate them with "enhanced interrogation techniques"? Who cares that torture produces faulty intelligence? Who cares that these policies actively contribute to terrorist groups being able to radicalize and recruit people to their cause?
Cheney made liberals mad. That's what's important.
-- A. Serwer