He hunkers down to play the Dolchstoss card, preparing to blame the next terror attack on the Obama administration's disavowal of his torture program. It seems to me that regardless of the merits or demerits of his view, it's a remarkable violation of civil norms for a vice-president just out of power to assault his successors and all-but declare them indifferent to public safety. It's deeply divisive, deeply partisan and utterly self-serving. In other words: as cheap as one would expect. And part of what ails conservatism. Yes, they seem to be rooting for failure at home and abroad, because it would help vindicate their own appalling record on both fronts.

Think of Cheney and Limbaugh as the two centers of gravity for the current GOP. A deeply unserious and deeply disturbing pincer movement against the democratic mandate of the new president.