Saturday, May 23, 2009

Me thinks thou doth protest too much...

Former Vice-President Dick Cheney has certainly been pounding the news circuit lately, going out of his way to bash Barack Obama's policies in handling the terrorist threat facing America. It seems we've seen more of him in the last month than we did in the last eight years. He's found a receptive audience among some Republicans, who think he's probably right, and some Democrats, who are, in part, hanging their hopes on Cheney's polarizing rhetoric to insure their control of the White House in 2012.

Some of us are having a hard time reconciling Cheney's thinking. Outside of having a different party in control of the presidency, the policies haven't changed all that much.

Gene Healy, of the CATO Institute, made some interesting observations in this article. Among other things, Healy points out that:

"Either way, the claim that Obama has abandoned "essential tools" in the fight against terror is wearing pretty thin. Real civil libertarians aren't fooled by Obama's "kinder, gentler" rhetoric, but Obama knows that civil libertarians are a miniscule voting block. His aim is to convince Democratic voters that he's kept his promises to change Bush's draconian approach to the war on terror.

In this, Dick Cheney is an enormous asset to the president. As Obama quietly adopts the Bush policies, Cheney gives him cover by loudly insisting that there's a meaningful difference here."

Whether in foreign or domestic policy, Libertarians have long maintained that there isn't a nickels worth of difference in the two major parties. Hopefully by 2012 that miniscule voting block will get a little bigger.

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