Cheney Slams Democrats Over Iraq

US Vice-President Dick Cheney slammed congressional Democrats in a scorched-earth partisan broadside on Friday, accusing them of taking a “hard left turn” by supporting timelines on US troop withdrawals in Iraq.  On Sunday, Cheney continued his fire on CBS “Face The Nation” while images of the Nixon days are being raised.

In his speech to the conservative Heritage Foundation, Mr Cheney said current attempts to impose timelines on US troop withdrawals harked back to the era of George McGovern, the Democrat anti-war presidential candidate who lost the race to Richard Nixon in 1972.

“That was the last time the national Democratic Party took a hard left turn,” said Mr Cheney. “Today, on some of the most critical issues facing the country, the new Democratic majority resembles nothing so much as that old party of the early 1970s.”

On Face the Nation, Cheney said regarding the Democratic position votes on Iraq War funding, “And the fact of the matter is, I do believe that the positions that the Democratic leaders have taken, to a large extent now, are irresponsible.”

Democrats quickly returned fire after the Heritage Foundation and said that, given the dismal public approval ratings for the Iraq war, it is Bush administration officials who appear out of touch.

“It’s interesting that the vice president would make a reference to the 1970s because, just like Nixon, President Bush is isolated and hunkered down in the White House while his administration is under investigation and top officials are withholding key evidence,” said a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

On CBS, Schieffer asked Cheney about the Bush administration and he in particular being out of touch.

Here is the relevant conversation:

Q: Senator Reid, who you mentioned earlier, the Democratic leader, said that he thought that President Bush had become more isolated over Iraq than Richard Nixon was during Watergate. You were around during those days.


Q: Do you think that’s true?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I do not. I think that’s a ridiculous notion.

Q: It’s a ridiculous notion?

Cheney is clearly projecting himself as the attack dog.  With references to Nixon, his counterpart, Vice President Spiro Agnew was known to use phrases such as “In the United States today, we have more than our share of the nattering nabobs of negativism …”  Agnew also said, “A spirit of national masochism prevails, encouraged by an effete corps of impudent snobs who characterize themselves as intellectuals.”

At that time, the issue was Vietnam and the scandal was Watergate.

Thanks to Stephen Sabludowsky at for contributing to this article.


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