Daffy Does Doom
By Maureen Dowd
York Times" -- -- Dick Durbin went to the
floor of the Senate on Thursday night to denounce the
vice president as “delusional.”
It was shocking, and Senator Durbin should be ashamed of
Delusional is far too mild a word to describe Dick
Cheney. Delusional doesn’t begin to capture the
profound, transcendental one-flew-over daftness of the
Has anyone in the history of the United States ever been
so singularly wrong and misguided about such
phenomenally important events and continued to insist
he’s right in the face of overwhelming evidence to the
It requires an exquisite kind of lunacy to spend
hundreds of billions destroying America’s reputation in
the world, exhausting the U.S. military, failing to
catch Osama, enhancing Iran’s power in the Middle East
and sending American kids to train and arm Iraqi forces
so they can work against American interests.
Only someone with an inspired alienation from reality
could, under the guise of exorcising the trauma of
Vietnam, replicate the trauma of Vietnam.
You must have a real talent for derangement to stay
wrong every step of the way, to remain in complete
denial about Iraq’s civil war, to have a total
misunderstanding of Arab culture, to be completely
oblivious to the American mood and to be absolutely
blind to how democracy works.
In a democracy, when you run a campaign that panders to
homophobia by attacking gay marriage and then your
lesbian daughter writes a book about politics and
decides to have a baby with her partner, you cannot tell
Wolf Blitzer he’s “out of line” when he gingerly raises
the hypocrisy of your position.
Mr. Cheney acts more like a member of the James gang
than the Jefferson gang. Asked by Wolf what would happen
if the Senate passed a resolution critical of The Surge,
Scary Cheney rumbled, “It won’t stop us.”
Such an exercise in democracy, he noted, would be
“detrimental from the standpoint of the troops.”
Americans learned an important lesson from Vietnam about
supporting the troops even when they did not support the
war. From media organizations to Hollywood celebrities
and lawmakers on both sides, everyone backs our troops.
It is W. and Vice who learned no lessons from Vietnam,
probably because they worked so hard to avoid going.
They rush into a war halfway around the world for no
reason and with no foresight about the culture or the
inevitable insurgency, and then assert that any
criticism of their fumbling management of Iraq and
Afghanistan is tantamount to criticizing the troops.
“Bottom line,” Vice told Wolf, “is that we’ve had
enormous successes, and we will continue to have
enormous successes.” The biggest threat, he said, is
that Americans may not “have the stomach for the fight.”
He should stop casting aspersions on the American
stomach. We’ve had the stomach for more than 3,000
American deaths in a war sold as a cakewalk.
If W. were not so obsessed with being seen as tough, Mr.
Cheney could not influence him with such tripe.
They are perpetually guided by the wrong part of the
body. They are consumed by the fear of looking as if
they don’t have guts, when they should be compelled by
the desire to look as if they have brains.
After offering Congress an olive branch in the State of
the Union, the president resumed mindless swaggering.
Asked yesterday why he was ratcheting up despite the
resolutions, W. replied, “In that I’m the decision
maker, I had to come up with a way forward that
precluded disaster.” (Or preordained it.)
The reality of Iraq, as The Times’s brilliant John Burns
described it to Charlie Rose this week, is that a messy
endgame could be far worse than Vietnam, leading to “a
civil war on a scale with bloodshed that will absolutely
dwarf what we’re seeing now,” and a “wider
conflagration, with all kinds of implications for the
world’s flow of oil, for the state of Israel. What
happens to King Abdullah in Jordan if there’s complete
chaos in the region?”
Mr. Cheney has turned his perversity into foreign
He assumes that the more people think he’s crazy, the
saner he must be. In Dr. No’s nutty world-view,
anti-Americanism is a compliment. The proof that America
is right is that everyone thinks it isn’t.
He sees himself as a prophet in the wilderness because
he thinks anyone in the wilderness must be a prophet.
To borrow one of his many dismissive words, it’s