Former Vice President Dick Cheney gave a long speech last night at the American Enterprise Institute. As usual, he defended his administration's record on national security policy, and sharply criticized the Obama administration. Every time Cheney gives a speech, I react with mixed feelings.
The first thing I always think upon hearing Dick Cheney is, where were these vigorous defenses of Bush administration policy during the Bush administration? Cheney continues to point out the obvious -- although the Bush Derangement Syndrome crowd tries to pretend otherwise -- that regardless of its many faults, it successfully defended the U.S. from any follow-up terror strikes after 9/11. I'm not going to go through the speech point-by-point, because I've addressed almost all of Cheney's arguments before. Most of the criticism of the Obama administration is well-aimed and effective. But the biggest problem is that it comes from Dick Cheney.
I understand why Cheney feels the need to speak out, given the Obama administration's ridiculous and continual attempts to blame any problem on Bush. But every time Cheney speaks, he reminds people about the Bush administration, helps keep BDS alive, and gives new life to Obama's strategy of blaming the past.
Obama and the Democrats have slipped in the polls primarily because of their inability to do anything about the economy. As long as job losses continue, and people see the economy languishing, Democrats are going to get most of the blame -- because they are now in charge. The health care debate has mobilized a significant number of independents to join with Republicans in opposing the administration. They are opposed to Democratic policies, but they are not and were not fans of the Bush administration. In my opinion, now is not the time to go on the attack regarding national security policy, at least not an attack led by former members of the Bush administration.