On Tuesday, former Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter, Liz, appeared on The Rush Limbaugh Show to discuss Iraq and basically trash the President. The Cheneys have had a pretty rough go of it media-wise since co-writing an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal last week claiming that President Obama is solely to blame for the recent troubles in Iraq. Fox News’ Megyn Kelly famously tore the ex-Veep apart regarding his claim that Obama has been frequently wrong regarding Iraq, as she pointed out that Cheney has made many incorrect statements about the war during his tenure in office.
An appearance on ABC’s This Week didn’t go much better, as even Jonathan Karl gave Cheney a tough interview and pushed back on many of his claims. On top of that, The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart and numerous columnists and reporters have ripped apart the former Vice President for having the temerity to even show his face and try to criticize this administration considering his own track record. However, Dick Cheney and his loving daughter were able to find one safe haven to spew their dangerous and idiotic rhetoric, and that was El Rushbo’s show.
During the interview, which was more like a ‘Blame Obama’ whine fest, Limbaugh and both Cheneys claimed that the president is purposely trying to “take America down a notch,” weaken the economy and hurt the United States’ presence in the international community. Essentially, they are playing into the birthers’ conspiracy theories that Obama doesn’t believe in ‘American exceptionalism’ and that he is actually working to harm the country in order to make it pay for years of imperialism and colonialism. The fact that we have a former Vice President, along with his daughter, intentionally placing these ideas into the conversation is absolutely disgraceful. Based on what was said during this interview, it is apparent that the Cheneys new think tank, Alliance for a Strong America, is nothing more than a refuge for right-wing nut-jobs to gain ‘legitimacy’ for their crazy stories and conspiracy theories.
Below is just a sampling of the crazy that was witnessed in the interview:
RUSH: You bet. Now, you guys have formed a group, a think tank. I want to know what it is. It’s called the Alliance for a Strong America. I can pretty much guess why you’ve decided to do this now, but I want you to tell me why you’re doing it, if there was one particular tipping point or issue that made you finally throw down the gauntlet and say you just had to do this.
DICK CHENEY: Well, I think one of the things that stimulated our thinking, Rush, and sort of brought it to a head — we’ve been thinking a lot of this for some time — is Liz and I took a trip to the Middle East a couple months ago and visited with a lot of friends out there, people I dealt with 25 years ago during Desert Storm. And we came away from that experience thoroughly depressed at the perception they have of the United States, in particular of the Obama administration. Lack of trust, lack of confidence in our leadership or our willingness to keep our commitments. Just a decided diminution of the ability of the United States to influence events in a key part of the world, for all kinds of reasons.
RUSH: They volunteered this, or did you interview them?
DICK CHENEY: I think it’d be fair to say they volunteered it. These are people I’ve known a long time and that I’ve kept up with over the years, and they all agreed to see us in advance. Liz worked that part of the world extensively when she was at the State Department and previous administrations, and you just came away with this sense of weakness, of lack of trust and confidence in the US; that the role that we historically have played as sort of the leading nation in terms of maintaining the peace and stability in the world was gone.
RUSH: Well, I was happy to hear Dr. Krauthammer suggest that Obama is managing a decline. I’ve been worried about this for three or four years, and I’m gonna go a step further. I don’t think he’s managing a decline, ’cause I think the natural tendency of the United States economy — for example, like an airplane. The natural tendency is to grow. You have to sit on this economy if you want to suppress it.
The natural tendency of the American people is to expand, to grow, to improve themselves and everybody around them. Same thing with foreign policy. Some of this stuff doesn’t seem like it’s part of a natural decline. My fear is that this goes far beyond managing and is, in fact, purposeful because of a distorted view of this country that the president and people like him have about this country.
Being unjust and immoral and, “We have no business, we’re colonialists, we’re imperialists!” We fight now kidnapped girls in Nigeria with hashtags and we want people to take us seriously? You know, some of this stuff is just beyond belief. So it’s good that you’re doing this, but what is the practical application of your group? Who’s gonna join? What are you gonna do?
LIZ CHENEY: Well, there’s a number of different things. First of all, it’s clear to us that we’ve got the problem that you’re laying out, which is absolutely right. I think the president’s actions are very intentional. He wants to take America down a notch. He doesn’t believe in American exceptionalism. So what we’re doing initially is we’re gonna be a place where people can come to get ammunition, frankly, to make the arguments.
To be able to say, “Wait a second, this is why American power matters.” We want to be a place that can help to buck people up, to lay out the policy discussions, to lay out this side of the policy debate, so that people’s voices can be heard. People can sign up on our website, which is StrongerAmerica.com, in order to get information about all the important national security issues of the day.
Usually, you try to at least beat around the bush and not come right out and say that you think a President is trying to deliberately bring the country down. Let alone do you say you’ve created a group where people can get “ammunition” to use when trying to defend their crazy second-rate theories about the President. Yet, here you go. This was broadcast on hundreds of radio stations and listened by millions of people. Extremely dangerous and outlandish rhetoric of this type has no place in our national conversation.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).