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A Conservative Republican’s Problem With Dick Cheney

March 31st, 2008 | by Liberal Jarhead |

Mickey Edwards is the author of “Reclaiming Conservatism” and served as a Republican Congressman from 1977 to 1993.  He was a long-time ally and supporter of Vice President Cheney, but as he notes in this piece in the Washington Post, cannot reconcile his respect for the office and the man with Cheney’s attitude about who runs what as expressed in a recent interview.

As Mr. Edwards notes: “It is Cheney’s all-too-revealing conversation this week with ABC News correspondent Martha Raddatz.  On Wednesday, reminded of the public’s disapproval of the war in Iraq, now five years old, the vice president shrugged off that fact (and thus, the people themselves) with a one-word answer: “So?”

Edwards continues to explain that the most difficult decision he had to make while serving in Congress was whether or not to send young Americans to war by authorizing the first President Bush’s actions in Desert Shield and Desert Storm.  He makes the point that the Founders had seen, in the actions of the crowned heads of Europe, too many wars launched and continued without regard to the concerns of the peoples of the nations involved, and hence they wanted to ensure that any war conducted by the U.S. was declared and continued only with the approval of the American people.

As he eloquently concludes, “If Dick Cheney believes, as he obviously does, that the war in Iraq is vital to American interests, it is his job, and that of President Bush, to make the case with sufficient proof to win the necessary public support.

That is the difference between a strong president (one who leads) and a strong presidency (one in which ultimate power resides in the hands of a single person). Bush is officially America’s “head of state,” but he is not the head of government; he is the head of one branch of our government, and it’s not the branch that decides on war and peace.

When the vice president dismisses public opposition to war with a simple “So?” he violates the single most important element in the American system of government: Here, the people rule.”

Hear, hear.

  1. 3 Responses to “A Conservative Republican’s Problem With Dick Cheney”

  2. By Dusty on Mar 31, 2008 | Reply

    It feels good to hear a conservative take BushCo to task. It reinforces my belief that our current administration isn’t by the people and for the people.

    Thanks for posting this LJ ;)

  3. By Ditto on Mar 31, 2008 | Reply

    Shotgun Dick doesn’t care about (the REAL) America?
    It’s ruining the GOP’s image? So?

    Go fuck yourselves, Republicans… in the Men’s Room at the airport.

    (Love the new format!)

  4. By Liberal Jarhead on Apr 1, 2008 | Reply

    I think it’s important that this particular Republican is concerned not with his party’s image but with what he sincerely, and painfully, considers a betrayal of vital principles by someone he (however misguidedly) trusted for many years. I can relate to his feelings, thinking back to my reaction to some of the corrupt excesses of Democratic leaders at different times.

    I have deep and abiding disagreements with the basic outlook of the Republican party, given that during the last four generations it has fought against women’s suffrage, the New Deal, unions and workers’ rights, the civil rights movement, campaign finance reform, GLBT rights, the environmental movement, and damn near everything else that wasn’t in the interests of corporations and millionaires. But I do recognize that some Republicans are sincere and well-meaning, though I don’t understand them.

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