Face the Dick

From Holden:

Bob Schieffer had a down home come to Jesus chat with Dick Cheney yesterday.

Turns out Dick was right all along — our troops were greeted with flowers and candy three years ago, and last June the insurgency was in its last throes. Unfortunately all that goodness was obscured by car-bombings, or something.

SCHIEFFER: Mr. Vice President, all along the government has been very optimistic. You remain optimistic. But I remember when you were saying we’d be greeted as liberators, you played down the insurgency 10 months ago. You said it was in its last throes. Do you believe that these optimistic statements may be one of the reasons that people seem to be more skeptical in this country about whether we ought to be in Iraq?

CHENEY: No. I think it has less to do with the statements we’ve made, which I think were basically accurate and reflect reality, than it does with the fact that there’s a constant sort of perception, if you will, that’s created because what’s newsworthy is the car bomb in Baghdad. It’s not all the work that went on that day in 15 other provinces in terms of making progress towards rebuilding Iraq.

Those death squads roaming the streets of Baghdad? Piffle! They got nothin’ on the death squads that terrorized Boston and Philadelphia in 1787!

SCHIEFFER: Isn’t it also a reality that the violence continues? They keep finding these people that have been executed. And isn’t it also reality that they can’t seem to put a government together? They can’t seem to find a way, a compromise, to get this government together.

CHENEY: Bob, it took us a lot longer to put an effective government together when we tried to do it 200 years ago than it’s taken the Iraqis. It’s remarkable when you think about a group of people who have been under the heavy hand of oppression for 35 years with Saddam Hussein, one of the bloodiest dictators of modern times, slaughtered hundreds of thousands of his own people, started two wars, used weapons of mass destruction against his own folks — to emerge from that as effectively as they have in as short a period of time as they have.

After seeking five deferrments during the Vietnam War, Dick finally drafted himself.

SCHIEFFER: Mr. Vice President, I must say candidly, you have become a lightning rod in this administration. Whether it’s, you know, defending the administration when John McCain says he wants to eliminate torture, on this whole eavesdropping thing. Some Republican pundits suggest that you may have become a liability.

I know Secretary Rumsfeld once offered to resign. Have you ever thought of that? Or would you think that would be something that would be helpful to the president?

CHENEY: Well, I made sure both in 2000 and 2004 that the president had other options. I mean, I didn’t ask for this job. I didn’t campaign for it. I got drafted. And delighted to serve. And it’s been the highlight of my career, to be part of this administration. I’ve now been elected to a second term; I’ll serve out my term.