In response to the Christmas Day attempted terror attack, President Obama’s actions and former Vice President Cheney’s comments highlight the difference between the two administrations: The Obama Administration investigates first. On 12/29/9 President Obama said it was a systemic failure (Christian Science Monitor). On 1/3/10 he said the attack was planned in Yemen (NY Times).
The Bush / Cheney Administration shoots first, ask questions later. In response to the Christmas Day attempted terrorist “incident” the former VP attacked the President and the Administration, but oddly enough did not condemn the attack itself (Politico)
I think Obama should send Cheney to Guantanamo as a special investigator. I don’t think he should be sent to Kabul, Baghdad, Gaza, or S. Lebanon – those areas are too volatile, and besides, he already knows all the answers. That’s the difference. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, etc believed they knew all the answers, and the answer to every question was either coal, oil, or war. Obama and his team know that these are complex developing systems.
In all seriousness, at first glance Cheney doesn’t appear to know what he’s talking about. Obama is not talking about closing Guantanamo and setting the incarcerated suspected terrorists free, he is talking about closing Guantanamo and putting the suspects in jail until they are tried in a court of law. (Politico).
Cheney bears an uncanny resemblance to the character of Senator Bob Rumson, played by Richard Dreyfuss, in “The American President,” (IMDB)
the 1995 film by Rob Reiner (IMDB) starring Michael Douglas as President Andrew Shepherd, Annette Benning, as Sydney Ellen Wade, an environmentalist lobbiest, Dreyfuss, Martin Sheen, Michael J. Fox, etc. In a terrific monologue at the end of the film, President Shepherd says (YouTube)
“Being President of this country is entirely about character.
“For the record: yes, I am a card-carrying member of the ACLU. … This is an organization whose sole purpose is to defend the Bill of Rights, so it naturally begs the question: Why would a Senator, his party’s most powerful spokesman and a candidate for President, choose to reject upholding the Constitution?…
“You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country can’t just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the “land of the free”.
“I’ve known Bob Rumson for years, and I’ve been operating under the assumption that the reason Bob devotes so much time and energy to shouting at the rain was that he simply didn’t get it. Well, I was wrong. Bob’s problem isn’t that he doesn’t get it. Bob’s problem is that he can’t sell it! We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them. And whatever your particular problem is, I promise you, Bob Rumson is not the least bit interested in solving it. He is interested in two things and two things only:
- Making you afraid of it and
- Telling you who’s to blame for it.
“That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win elections.
“You gather a group of middle-aged, middle-class, middle-income voters who remember with longing an easier time, and you talk to them about family and American values and character. And wave an old photo of the President’s girlfriend and you scream about patriotism and you tell them, she’s to blame for their lot in life, and you go on television and you call her a whore.”