A day after the former Vice President and his daughter wrote an op-ed criticizing Obama's policy towards Iraq, the "please stop talking" hits keep coming from a broad segment of America's politicians and pundits who aren't impressed by his current opinions.
On Wednesday, Fox News's Megyn Kelly confronted Dick and Liz Cheney about their assertion that "Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many," because history seems to indicate that the administration preceding this one — the one under which Cheney served — was perhaps a little tiny bit more wrong about Iraq.
Here was Kelly's question to the pair:
"Time and time again, history has proven that you got it wrong as well in Iraq, sir. You said there was no doubt Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. You said we would be greeted as liberators. You said the insurgency was in its last throes back in 2005, and you said that after our intervention, extremists would have to 'rethink their strategy of jihad.' Now, with almost a trillion dollars spent there, with almost 4,500 American lives lost there, what do you say to those who say you were so wrong about so much at the expense of so many?"
And a video of the exchange, via Politico:
His answer? "No, I just fundamentally disagree, Reagan — Megyn," adding, "you've got to go back and look at the track record. We inherited a situation where there was no doubt in anybody's mind about the extent of Saddam's involvement in weapons of mass destruction." Cheney also pointed out that Congress "overwhelmingly" approved action in Iraq during the George W. Bush administration, adding that it "would have been irresponsible" for the administration to not act in the way it did.
Other pundits piled on. E.J. Dionne Jr. at the Washington Post mocked Cheney's "chutzpah" calling the op-ed "astonishing" and "outrageous." James Fallows at The Atlantic argues that Cheney has essentially forfeited the right to voice his opinions on the matter.
John Kerry got a chance to weigh in on the op-ed in an interview aired Thursday morning on NBC, too. In short, the current Secretary of State scoffed at the validity of Cheney's criticism of Obama's Iraq policy: "This is the man who took us into Iraq saying this? Please!” he said. Kerry was one of many Democratic Senators who voted for Bush's invasion of Iraq in 2002.
Kerry didn't address his vote to approve military action in his short statement on the matter on Thursday, but at least one Senator who slammed Cheney's op-ed has already tried to reconcile his history on the issue with his criticism of Cheney's piece. "Being on the wrong side of Dick Cheney is being on the right side of history," Reid said on the Senate floor on Wednesday.
After his floor speech, Reid told the Huffington Post that he "regretted" his Iraq vote and was "sorry" for being "misled" over the Iraq invasion:
"I accepted what [former Secretary of State] Colin Powell and the others said. But it took me just a matter of a few months to realize it was a bad mistake, and my record speaks for itself. I've spoken out against what was going on, not once, not twice, but lots of times. And I'm sorry that I was misled, but I was, and it was a mistake for me to vote for that war."
At least one writer, however, is interested in having Dick Cheney keep talking for as long as he likes. New York's Jonathan Chait argued against a sea of "shut up" op-ed responses to Cheney's Wall Street Journal piece, writing that "We shouldn’t disregard Dick Cheney’s arguments about Iraq because he’s Dick Cheney. We should disregard them because they’re stupid."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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