If you live on Jupiter -- or read The Wall Street Journal, which is becoming the print arm of FOX News -- you might think the following is a good idea:
Dick Cheney running for President in 2012.
James Taranto wrote in Monday's edition about the prospect of Cheney running for the Republican nomination, mostly thanks to this passage:
"If the Bush administration's policies really did keep us safe for 7½ years, then it stands to reason that the Obama administrations' policies may be endangering us now. Certainly that is how the public would see it in the event of another terrorist attack.
If that happens, heaven forbid, Obama will be seen to have failed in the most basic presidential duty, and the Bush administration will be vindicated. As inconceivable as it may seem today, the 2012 election may end up turning on national security. Republicans would be wise to nominate someone with both toughness and experience. Under such circumstances, it's hard to think of a better candidate--assuming, of course, that he could be persuaded to run--than Richard B. Cheney."
Vindicated from what, exactly? How does one become vindicated after allowing the worst terrorist attack on American soil occur? How can one be vindicated when he (allgedly) authorized illegal interrogation practices that may or may not have worked? I find it hard to think Cheney would be vindicated when I strongly believe he broke the law, and I'm sure there are thousands of American families who point to eight years ago this month and rightly wrap that little banner around Cheney's shoulders.
In a perfect world, the Department of Justice's investigation into CIA torture would eventually lead to Cheney, which would lead to charges and sentencing, thus rendering his shot at running for President in 2012 (if he would even want to) pointless. Even if Cheney isn't implicated in an investigation, though, the perception of him as a war criminal would keep him from winning a general election, let alone the party nomination.
Cheney might fire up the base, much like Sarah Palin, but the ever-elusive independents and conservative Democrats wouldn't be caught dead voting for him.
I'm not sure what's scarier: the idea of Cheney running, or the fact that some within the Republican Party aren't laughing their heads off over it. I'm sure Cheney's ability to fire up the base has to be taken seriously, but given his reputation and how unpopular his and George W. Bush's policies were, whoever's running for the Democrats would have a field day with him.
John McCain couldn't distance himself properly from Bush/Cheney policies ... why would we think Cheney himself could?
This isn't even taking into account Cheney's age and heart problems.
I'm confident this will never materialize, and that the thought of Cheney running is nothing more than a case of some right-wing WSJ columnist trying to make a name for himself, but still ... were he to run, we'd probably see one of those beatdowns like the one Ronald Reagan put on Walter Mondale back in 1984, when Mondale won D.C. and Minnesota -- and nothing else.
Then again, it would be nice to see almost the entire United States painted blue ...