The identifying traits of fantasy are the inclusion of fantastic elements in an imaginary setting where inspiration from mythology and folklore drive a consistent theme that generally includes good guys versus a bad guy. Since 2009, Republicans have fabricated fantastic narratives of good, white patriots against their made-up bad guy, Barack Obama, and it never fails they take their good guy inspiration from the senile dead man they made into a god; Ronald Reagan. True to form, on Thursday, Liz Cheney told a fantastic tale replete with a quote from Reagan he “borrowed” from Thomas Jefferson, and used it to attack the President for all manner of make-believe offenses typical of conspiracy theorists and dysfunctional conservative sycophants.
The theme of Cheney’s fantasy screed was that Republicans had to start fighting back against President Obama and get over their defeat in the 2012 general election, and to avoid the counsel of those suggesting that Republicans should abandon their far-right extremism. No half-baked attack on the President is acceptable without at least a passing reference to Reagan and Cheney recalled a 52-year old speech about freedom and the need to fight for it, or watch America become a distant memory. She said if “we don’t defend our freedoms now against the onslaught of President Obama’s policies, American freedom will be a distant memory,” and that “we are all that stands between this president’s policies and a damaged and diminished America. It is time to get back in the fight.”
Cheney must have enlisted her vile father, Dick, to give her talking points the ignorant and “freedom-loving” patriot types would understand, and she went through a laundry list of assertions about the President so far removed from the truth there is little doubt she is a typical lying Republican fear monger. She began with the requisite “President Obama is the most radical man ever to occupy the Oval Office,” and accused him of creating diversions using manufactured crises meant to cover over “real threats to the republic.” As with every other Republican assertion about the President, Cheney claims his wont to borrow, spend, and high taxes agenda is the result of his lack of awareness of the free-enterprise system, and his ignorance “explains his hostility toward the private sector.” The private sector incidentally, is thriving because of the President’s economic policies and historically low tax rates, but when you are fantasizing about a bad guy, facts do not matter.
After schooling Americans on the devastation to the private sector and free-market capitalism, Cheney launched into tired and worn-out complaints about the President. She asserted that the President launched a war on Americans’ Second Amendment rights, launched a war on religious freedom, and launched a war on fossil fuels, and of course, nationalized healthcare and warned he was intent of creating an America that “looks like Cyprus or Greece.” Cheney failed to cite how the President launched wars against guns, god, and oil, but perhaps she is conflating gun safety proposals, contraception coverage, and America’s record-setting oil production with Bush and her father launching pre-emptive wars against fantasy enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It was the subject of war, or the hopes of new wars, that Cheney followed her father’s typical script and accused the President of “so effectively diminishing American strength abroad that there is no longer a question of whether this was his intent. He is working to pre-emptively disarm the United States.” Cheney parroted neo-conservatives’ assertion that President Obama is sending a message to Islamic extremists that if “you attack us with impunity. You will suffer no consequences.” According to Cheney, “President Obama stood by and did nothing when al Qaeda’s affiliates in Libya killed the U.S. ambassador and three other brave Americans in Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11,” and “turned his back on America’s allies around the world and ignored growing threats.” It is likely that Cheney missed the months of perpetual attacks on this President from the right and left for unmanned drone attacks on al Qaeda’s leadership and Islamic extremists in the Middle East, Pakistan, and Africa.
Ms. Cheney finished her fantasy with calls to Republicans to “defend our values with vigor and courage,” and listed limited government, low taxes, a strong national defense, individual freedoms, the importance of family, and the authority of America’s founding documents as values unique to conservatives. She also vindicated Republicans’ four year opposition to anything the President proposed and encouraged them to continue “preventing this president from enacting devastating policies” because “it is not obstruction, it is patriotism.” Cheney ended her screed in Sarah Palin style and told Republicans “it is our solemn duty to fight for, protect and defend our freedom. Now is the time to pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off, and man the barricades for freedom.”
There was nothing new, or true, in Cheney’s attack on the President and she clearly was speaking to recalcitrant Republicans who are realizing that their entrenchment in right-wing extremism is not setting well with voters. In fact, her words will ring truest with teabaggers and pseudo-patriots who yearn for Bush’s cowboy diplomacy and libertarians anxious to privatize the government, but for the majority of Americans it was just another Dick Cheney, Paul Ryan, and Koch brothers’ speech that was void of truth, contradicted facts, and sheer fantasy. Cheney outdid herself and entered the rarified air of Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, and Ted Cruz who fight imaginary villains with imaginary facts and wonder why no-one in their right mind takes them seriously.
Image: Rockford Register Star