Friday, September 2, 2011

I'd Still Buy The Man A Drink, If I Had The Chance

Recently, I was in Jackson Hole, Wyoming with my wife (partly a business trip for her, all fun for me). To call it scenic would be a severe understatement. And it being the off-season, it wasn't terribly crowded. It was my first time there, but my wife had been several times, before. On one one of those trips--which she took with a group of college pals--on of her friends tried to find out where exactly the home of a notorious local was, probably with less-than-noble intentions (but I still love her). It wasn't that serious of an attempt though, and ultimately failed. My wife related this story to her on our trip and our driver overheard, then soon pointed out where the residence in question actually was.

Who am I talking about? That scoundrel par excellence Dick Cheney, of course.

Cheney's memoir--In My Time--has just been released and, not surprisingly, it's attracting a great deal of attention. As far as reviews go, I've seen some of all sorts, though it seems that the reviewers' ideologies are the controlling factors. Shocking, right? Anyway, here's a typical hit piece on the book by one Paul Waldman. This line from the reviewer is priceless and pretty much says all there is to say about the reviewer's objectivity:
His descriptions of events tend to run as follows: Some things happened. Our critics said we were wrong. But they don’t know what they’re talking about, because we were right.
But it's still a really good line and--I would guess--likely very accurate. 'Course, he also takes Cheney to task for the title, saying it's "unimaginative" (which it is, but then it's a memoir). I can't help but wonder if he had the same opinion of Bill Clinton's far more cleverly titled tome, My Life. I mean, these are major political figures. Do we really need a catchy title to draw us in? But I digress..

Anyone, allowing that Cheney is the Devil incarnate, that he's the root of all evil, I'd just like to say that if I had happened upon him in Jackson Hole, I would have bought him a drink and shook his hand (if he didn't shoot me in the face, first). He served this country for many years and in my opinion, he did what he believed was necessary to keep it safe. I disagree profoundly with him on the issue of torture, but I can't fault him for much else. And given that 9-11 was supposed to be the beginning of al Qaeda's war on the Great Satan, it's pretty hard to argue with Cheney's results. And I'll be buying his book this week-end.

Cheers, all.

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