Dick Cheney is different than you or me (to paraphrase Fitzgerald). He marches to a different drummer. Like one wearing the insignia of a Roman legion. How else to describe Cheney’s comment to Chris Wallace that the November election was nothing more than a popularity poll which can safely be ignored:
“WALLACE: I want to ask you one more question about this, and then we’ll talk about other issues. Iraq was a big issue in the November election. I want you to take a look at some numbers from the election. According to the National Exit Poll, 67 percent said the war was either very or extremely important to their vote, and only 17 percent supported sending in more troops.
By taking the policy you have, haven’t you, Mr. Vice President, ignored the express will of the American people in the November election?
CHENEY: Well, Chris, this president, and I don’t think any president worth his salt, can afford to make decisions of this magnitude according to the polls. The polls change day by day…
WALLACE: Well, this was an election, sir.
CHENEY: Polls change day by day, week by week. I think the vast majority of Americans want the right outcome in Iraq. The challenge for us is to be able to provide that. But you cannot simply stick your finger up in the wind and say, “Gee, public opinion’s against; we’d better quit.””
Hasn’t anyone ever told the guy that an election, unlike an opinion poll, actually decides things? Like who’s in power? And that if you lose an election it means a lot more than “sticking your finger up in the wind.” It means you’re gone, you’re history. Most presidents hearing such a verdict would change course. If not for themselves and their legacy, then at least for their fellow party members who hope to follow them into office someday.
Cheney’s motto is: “Democracy, I don’t need no stinkin’ democracy.” All he needs is a few Roman legions at his disposal. Then he’d ride their horses up the Capitol steps to announce he’s appointed himself emperor. Then he’d turn the floor of the Senate into a stable like one of the Roman emperors did. Elections, fuck ’em (to paraphrase his famous bon mot to Patrick Leahy).
Hat tip to Dahlia Khalifa.