The American people have heard far more from former Vice President Dick Cheney out of office than while he was in it. He's anointed himself one of President Obama's most pugilistic critics (briefly tempered with praise for Obama's dedication to the Afghanistan war), endured liberal counter-attacks, and humored speculation about a 2012 presidential run.
He's resumed the offensive over Flight 253, telling Mike Allen of Politico that Obama "pretends we aren't" at war, making Americans "less safe." Cheney's criticism struck a chord with conservatives in the midst of a partisan blame-game over Flight 253, while other commentators have attacked Politico for serving as an unthinking mouthpiece of Cheney.
- Cheney's Right, writes Jennifer Rubin at Commentary. Rubin says that Obama's low-key response reflects his desire to discount Bush-era intensity about national security. "Liberals have sneered that Cheney was exaggerating or misreading the Obami's approach to terrorism. But at each turn -- the plan to close Guantanamo and send detainees to places like Yemen, the release of the enhanced interrogation memos (but only selectively), and the decisions to cease enhanced interrogation techniques and give KSM a civilian trial -- the Obama team have in effect proved Cheney's point."
- Cheney's 'Flat-Out' Wrong, says Eugene Robinson at the Washington Post. "It is as if he believes that saying something over and over again, in a loud enough voice, magically makes it so...Using a terrorist attack to seek political gain? I have a New Year's resolution to suggest for Cheney: Ahead of your quest for personal vindication, put country first."
- Don't Act Surprised, writes Chris Good of The Atlantic. "It should be noted that it's one thing to stage a speech in Washington on the same day Obama addresses national security matters, as Cheney did earlier this year, and another thing to respond to a newspaper's request for comment."
- Part and Parcel of Obama's Aspirational Foreign Policy Scott at Powerline. He believes Obama is operating not in the real world, but the world as he wishes it to be. "As Cheney observes, Obama conducts the foreign policy and defense of the United States as if. It will not bear much weight in the real world of war and power politics, where nothing is as if."
- Nonsensical Criticism, argues David Weigel at the Washington Independent. Weigel dismisses the idea that it's politically expedient to downplay threats. "Politically, it would be in Obama's interest to make lots of statements about an eternal war on terror, then pivot and use his capital on 'social transformation'...The idea that Obama doesn't care about terrorism because he's too interested in social democracy, however, is equal parts illogical and nonsensical."
- Politico's Reporter in Crosshairs Andrew Sullivan of the Atlantic unleashes on reporter Mike Allen: "Shouldn't the Cheneys be paying him rather than Politico?" Pete Abel of the Moderate Voice counters him, calling the accusation "unwarranted." " Yes, Allen and his editors republish Cheney's tirade. But they then proceed (immediately) to devote an entire (online) page to several, salient counterpoints, namely that Obama spoke up on the failed underwear bomber much faster than Bush did on the failed shoe bomber"