Biden on Cheney Criticism: 'Who Cares?'

The current number two gives his predecessor what's coming to him.

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By Robert Schlesinger, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

Kudos to Vice President Biden for putting Dick Cheney in his place. According to today's New York Times, Biden was asked about Cheney's criticism that President Obama is "dithering" over whether to send more troops to Afghanistan and had made a "strategic blunder" in ditching the Bush administration's missile defense plan. "Who cares what—" Biden apparently said, before catching himself. He went on to give a political answer about circumstances changing in Afghanistan and blah blah, so on and so forth. (OK, he did say Cheney was "irrelevant" too.)

But his first instinct was correct: Who cares what Cheney says? If the last eight years have taught us anything it's that Cheney is reliably wrong, especially on foreign policy. He is, to use the expression that Dwight Eisenhower coined, a gloom-doggler. Sure the news media has to take him seriously because he is a former vice president of the United States; and sure, Democrats stand to gain by taking him seriously because it keeps him in the public eye as a face of the GOP.

But Biden was right about his views: Who cares?

Update: Mea culpa—it seems that Biden's specific quotes referred to a report left behind by the Bush-Cheney administration, but he was broadly dismissive of Cheney's comments. He was correct to dismiss Cheney, whose views are irrelevant.

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