As someone who has criticized the Bush Administration for not fighting back enough against relentless Democrat attacks and disinformation, I was delighted by Vice President Cheney’s overdue dress-down of the Peter-principled and unprincipled Senate majority leader, Harry Reid.
If the mainstream media (MSM) gave as much credence to stories of real deception by Democrats as they do to phony allegations of Republican deception, the political landscape would look dramatically different. But no, I’m not holding my breath.
The MSM dutifully reports as fact the Democrats’ false allegation that Bush lied about Iraqi WMD, when at worst it was a mistake, since Bush was properly relying on the virtually unanimous opinion of all major intelligence agencies in the United States and the world. To lie is to say something you know at the time to be false.
In fairness, though, it was not President Bush’s mistake, but the intelligence agencies. If you insist on saying Bush made a mistake, so did the Democrats who voted along with him — with access to the same intelligence, though they’ve lied in denying that as well.
Though Bush clearly hadn’t lied, we wondered why Democrats were all of a sudden bothered by lying, since they habitually defended a habitual liar of their party who previously occupied the Oval Office.
That’s simple, they said. Clinton was lying only about sex. If you lie about sex, even under oath, you should come nearer receiving a Nobel Peace Prize than being punished for it. Of course, Clinton lied about much more than sex, but I digress.
President Bush, they say, lied us into war — about decisions that would affect lives and our national security. I certainly agree that for a public official actually to lie about such grave matters is inexcusable, which brings us to Dick Cheney’s verbal laceration of Harry Reid.
Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, the rest of the Democratic leadership and their MSM echo-puppets are portraying Cheney’s remarks as petty partisan politics. In the words of Reid, Cheney is the administration’s "attack dog." It’s more accurate to say that he has been one of the Democrats’ favorite scapegoats.
But here we go again. When Democrats assassinate Cheney’s character with absurd lies, like "war for oil," the MSM reports it matter of factly as "VP under fire." When Cheney hits Democratic leader Reid squarely in the eye with truthful charges of his lies and inconsistencies, Cheney is portrayed as a vicious partisan hit man. All the while, the sober and self-evident truth of those allegations is downplayed or ignored. But we must not miss the substance of Cheney’s pointed remarks.
The occasion for Cheney’s statement on Reid was the Senate majority leader’s regrettable declaration that we have lost the war in Iraq. Cheney decided to set the record straight on Reid’s opportunistic oscillation on Iraq.
Cheney noted that in just five months Reid has taken three distinctly different positions on the war: "from pledging full funding for the military, then full funding but with conditions, and then a cutoff of funding … on the most important foreign policy question facing the nation and our troops."
Are you with me on this? We’re not talking about sex here, but "the most important foreign policy question facing the nation and our troops." Reid has not only changed his position on the pivotal issue of Iraq, but flagrantly lied about it — and Cheney caught him dead to rights.
Cheney pointed out that Reid falsely stated the troop surge was against the recommendations of the Iraq Surrender Group (ISG), which is "plainly false." The ISG report "was explicitly favorable toward a troop surge to secure Baghdad." This surge, in the opinion of the general in command, is critical to our victory in Iraq, and Reid is lying about the ISG’s recommendation on it. So this lie conceivably could affect the very outcome of the war and, thus, our national security.
Cheney said that Reid chided Bush for not participating in a regional conference on Iraq, yet we’re scheduled to participate in one next week. Reid said Democrats aren’t given the opportunity for real substantive meetings with the White House. But just last week, said Cheney, Reid emerged from a meeting at the White House and said, "It was a good exchange; everyone voiced their considered opinion about the war in Iraq."
If Reid is going to continue this pattern of prevarication, he’s going to have to cover his tracks better.
Call Cheney a counterattack dog if you wish. But at least he’s counterattacking on behalf of truth and America’s national security. More power to him.