Obama Loses Merely by Debating Cheney on National Security Policy

By taking on Cheney, Obama leaves himself two options. In neither one does the president win.

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By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog.

In the debate over the debate between President Obama and former Vice President Dick Cheney on anti-terrorism strategy, I'm in line with those who say to our president, why bother? The country has already decided which strategy to pursue and Mr. Cheney's administration left office with record low approval poll numbers. By engaging him in debate, Mr. Obama does one of two things:

1. Only gives the Cheney/Bush administration a chance to justify its actions ex post facto and thereby increase support for the biggest group of thugs who ever ran this country.

2. Further equivocate about his own strategy. Mr. Obama is a master of hair-splitting and has an extremely annoying habit of trying to make everyone happy. It can't be done, and he's deserting his base in the process of trying to claim the middle. Enough is enough! Cheney is winning:

In line after line, Mr. Cheney drew upon the horrific imagery of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 as though they had occurred just yesterday. While commending Mr. Obama for a new Afghanistan war strategy, he accused the president of faulting and mischaracterizing Bush practices. Indeed, Mr. Cheney added as a prelude to his lengthy speech, so much so that Mr. Obama "deserved an answer." Mr. Cheney continued to insist that the harsh interrogation methods now opposed by the president were successful in thwarting more assaults against the United States. And he argued that "seven and a half years without a repeat is not a record to be rebuked and scorned, much less criminalized. It is a record to be continued until danger has passed."

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