When you've been the Vice-President of the United States and your term in that position is done, it usually means one of two things. Either you've just successfully run for President and won, or you slip back into obscurity. There aren't that many former Vice Presidents around, of course. We have Al Gore, who after losing the 2000 election (well, sort of, but it's so convoluted to begin with, and Al's not the subject today) turned himself into an environmental guru, travelling the world in big jets and preaching the ways of environmental stewardship (apparently Al doesn't see the conflict of interest). He gives his patented Al Gore lectures* to crowds (* in short form, Gorture). And he drones on and on.
There's also Dan Quayle, who spends his time writing the definitive work on the proper spelling of potato, while chasing down Candace Bergin and challenging her to settle their vendetta once and for all in a duel. Rumor has it Little Danny prefers either a contest of rock paper scissors or an epic clash of thumb wars.
Then there's Dick Cheney.
The former Vice President, Dark Lord of the Sith, scourge of liberals and human rights activists, hunter of lawyers, and walking heart attack has never really gone away, spending his time on Sunday morning talk shows railing against the Obama administration, justifying himself, putting his record in the best possible light (no easy feat), and generally finding it impossible to just shut up.
Now he's out with a new memoir, continuing to make no apologies for his actions, taking cheap shots at pretty much everyone he ever knew, and, no doubt, justifying his ideology trumps facts as a wonderful idea. Today I thought I'd look at some of the more unexpected revelations from the Cheney memoir....
Dick never did understand why people love the Star Wars films as much as they do. The whole series comes to a conclusion with the good guy (the Emperor) getting betrayed and murdered by his apprentice, who, up until that point in time, is a stand-up kind of Dark Lord of the Sith.
Dick occasionally let Dubya in to play in the Oval Office while he ran the country, but he never let him near the buttons that set off the nukes. One couldn't be too careful, and Dick knew better then to trust a Texan around nukes.
Dick always broke down into tears at the end of It's A Wonderful Life, because he'd have preferred to see that villainous George Bailey carted off to jail, or throw himself off a bridge. "What kind of ending is that?" Dick was known to bellow each December 24th.
When he wasn't busy waterboarding people, Dick made Powell and Rice play hide and seek, telling them they couldn't come out of their hiding places until he'd find them. That way they were out of his (sparse) hair for seven or eight months.
Dick admitted that he's on his seventeenth replacement heart, thank you very much, and he's looking at arcane rituals that'll allow him to live forever. No, it doesn't involve cryogenics.
Yes, Dick waterboarded suspects. He freely admits it. He even waterboarded Carrot Top, but even the human rights activists who are after him for war crimes find it hard to find anything wrong with that.
Dick acknowledges that he's got some issues. He thinks it comes from being called Dick early on, and while he wishes he'd gone by Richard (he might have turned out to be a kinder sort of fellow), what's done is done. He remarks that there's an old expression about stealing candy from babies. He never saw anything wrong with that...
As to the whole shooting lawyers thing... well, Dick does bring that up. He remarks on his all time favourite story, The Most Dangerous Game, which is about a man who's hunting human beings. He sees nothing wrong with that. He thinks it's admirable and challenging. Dick doesn't come out and say it, but hypothetically skirts the issue in a remark about how thrilling it is to have a lawyer in your gunsights. He also adds that he wrote a lifetime worth of pardons for himself so that if... accidents happen while on a weekend hunting excursion, he's free and clear. Very handy when you can write your own pardons, isn't it?
Strangely though, he bemoans the fact that nobody takes him up on going hunting anymore.... You wonder why that would be.