Some congressional Republicans have been expressing grief that former vice president Dick Cheney has been attacking President Obama in the media. It is fair to say that they would like the unpopular Cheney to return to his secure, undisclosed location.
According to The Hill Rep. John Duncan Jr. said, “He became so unpopular while he was in the White House that it would probably be better for us politically if he wouldn’t be so public…But he has the right to speak out since he’s a private citizen.” Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) said, “Tending a legacy is best done in a memoir. I would just encourage everybody who has left office to follow the tradition of the Founding Fathers — to write your memoirs, but to refrain from [criticizing].”
Rep. Zach Wamp (R-TN) said, “Interpret it however you want to, but what I’m saying is: We should focus on the people that will lead us tomorrow, not the people who led us yesterday. With all due respect to former Vice President Cheney, he represents what’s behind us, not what’s ahead of us.” The article also featured three Republicans who said that Cheney should keep keeping on, but the overall message especially from House Republicans, who more vulnerable to the tides of public opinion then their Senate counterparts, to vice president Cheney is please be quiet. You aren’t helping.
I think Cheney has the same attitude about Congress now that he had when he was vice president. He doesn’t care about Congress because in his view of presidential power, they were meant to do the president’s bidding and rubber stamp his policies. Definitely part of Cheney’s motivation for his recent media tour was to protect his legacy, but he could be injuring his party while doing so. His reemergence put the Bush administration back front and center, and gave the Obama administration a fresh punching bag.
The Republican Party is not going to rebound until three things happen, they need to recruit better candidates, find a message besides no, and put the Bush administration into the past. Until people forget about the Bush years, and making them forget goes hand in hand with coming up with a new appealing for voters, Republicans will continue to lose elections. Democrats wondered through these same woods from 1994-2006, and it is takes a while to get out of. Cheney is not helping the GOP move forward, so this is why so many Republicans would love to see him go away.