Monday, December 29, 2008

Cheney Unaware of America's Disdain

By way of Think Progress, soon to be history icky Dick Cheney told his hometown newspaper that he doesn't know why people don't like him. His out of touchness is exactly why, among other deeds.
Cheney hides behind the guise that he and Bush protected the nation against terrorist attacks, but as was pointed out on Meet the Press today, there were plenty of terrorist attacks off of US soil and US policy contributed to that.
Here he talks about Ken Salazar, Obama's new head of interior:
What impact will the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress have on important Western issues like wolf management and natural resource development?

"I'd be reluctant to make predictions at this point. It will depend, of course, on who the people he has appointed perform and what kind of guidance and policy they get from the White House.

"I think it helps to have people from the West in some of those key jobs. I guess Sen. Ken Salazar from Colorado is going to take the interior (secretary) job. I think that's helpful to have somebody from Colorado, the Rocky Mountain West, in that post. Now, you know I'd rather have a conservative Republican, given my view of the world. But Democrats won the election, and they get to fill those posts, and we'll see how they do."

What do you say to Wyoming residents who remember you fondly as their congressman but disagree strongly with the policy you've helped craft as vice president?

"I think the facts are that we were faced with a unique set of circumstances in the aftermath of 9/11, and we had to make some very tough decisions that not everybody agreed with. But I think they were the right decisions, especially in terms of defending the homeland.

"We've now gone seven and a half years without another attack. To do that, we adopted policies, such as the Terrorist Surveillance Program that let us intercept the communications of Al-Qaeda terrorists talking to folks inside the U.S., the High Value Detainee Interrogation Program, the Patriot Act. These were all measures we took that we felt were essential to defeat Al-Qaeda, to head off the next attack, and to defend the nation. Not everybody agreed with them; some of them have been controversial.

"Our critics have accused us of various and sundry deeds connected with those programs. I don't think the criticism is warranted. And I don't think anybody who has spent time looking specifically at the threat, and contemplating the fact that the next attack on one of our cities might not be just with airline tickets and box cutters as was true on 9/11, but rather with a biological and nuclear weapon.

"That's what we had to guard against, and that's what we had to take steps to prevent. Doing that has obviously generated a lot of controversy, but it goes with the turf."

How do you explain your low approval rating?

"I don't have any idea. I don't follow the polls.

"My experience has been over the years that if you govern based upon poll numbers, upon trying to improve your overall poll ratings, people I've encountered who do that are people who won't make tough decisions. And the job the president has and those who advise him is to make those basic fundamental decisions for the nation that nobody else is authorized or able to make.

"First and foremost among those is to defend the nation. If you're going to follow the polls, you are going to change your policy every week when the poll comes out. Secondly, I think you're adversely affected by the fact that you can get just about any result you want out of a poll.

"My own experience has been, in the administrations I've served in, for example Gerald Ford, a man who made a very, very tough decision when he decided to pardon Nixon, something that was extremely unpopular, universally condemned, but 30 years later he was praised as having done the right thing. So I think you need to have that kind of approach to it rather than watch the polls on any given day."