Of all of Cheney’s various crimes and corrosive acts, his book may be the cruelest. Not because of its dubious authenticity. Rather, Cheney gives new leases of life to mealy-mouthed Colin Powell and the entire spineless cavalcade of our past.
Across D.C. one can’t escape General Jello’s plaintive, salad fork-like rebuttal. Again we are forced to endure the spectacle of a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and alleged warrior whining about ‘cheap shots’ — as if he’s in the NBA working refs after getting dunked on. A patent lawyer almost wholly oblivious of anything political couldn’t shut up about seeing Colin Powell on TV. Now that’s evil. Curse you again, Dick Cheney.
It’s Cheney’s misfortune that books themselves mean so little in 2011. As a cultural artifact they no longer command and monopolize the Imperial City hive mind. Not in the way say the former court reporter (in all senses of the words) Woodward’s routinely used to. Certainly not in the way Kissinger’s ghost written memoirs did. In fact, as Palin showed, a few well placed tweets command as much media spotlight. We draw comfort in our assessment because the kids at the WaPo disagree:
The difference between all these books and Cheney’s is the author. While the books listed above were often written by staffers and sometimes by political appointees, Cheney is a former Vice President of the United States. That gives his autobiography a certain amount of heft lacking from the others.
We doubt it. Not just because the WaPo is itself so enfeebled. Cheney, no matter how malefic, can not repeal the Law of Commodification. Already his book has been read, reported on. Thousands have fed its contents into the Twitter, StumbleUpon and other disposals of the modern intellect. Sliced, diced and churned. We doubt there are significant new details remaining that haven’t already been reported whether on Iraq, torture, Wilson/Plame, Rumsfeld, Afghanistan or domestic spying.
Cheney can count on the AEI/Hudson networks for a certain annuity. But his publishers want sales and Cheney clearly relishes attention. So both need Tenet, Rice, Leahy and others rise to the bait (“heads will explode”).
Thus is the full scope of Cheney’s sadism revealed. He is like the manipulator from the Saw movies. He opens a path to escape if the victims immolate themselves. Our only hope is they show the good judgment, courage and fortitude that evaded them when in office and spurn the invitation. General Jello already failed.
And for us, once again, we are forced to recall the bitter taste of pinning expectations on such a sorry bunch of self-serving mediocrities. We can in a way slightly sympathize with Cheney’s contempt for them all.
Curse you indeed, Dick Cheney.