Cheney stenography

CHENEY STENOGRAPHY…. By some accounts, White House aides aren’t especially impressed with Politico. It’s understandable.

Take this morning, for example, where the lead Politico story, kicking off coverage of President Obama’s speech on the future of U.S. policy in Afghanistan, is a lengthy chat with the corrupt, incompetent clown who helped create the mess the president is trying to clean up.

On the eve of the unveiling of the nation’s new Afghanistan policy, former Vice President Dick Cheney slammed President Barack Obama for projecting “weakness” to adversaries and warned that more workaday Afghans will side with the Taliban if they think the United States is heading for the exits. […]

Cheney rejected any suggestion that Obama had to decide on a new strategy for Afghanistan because the one employed by the previous administration failed.

Cheney was asked if he thinks the Bush administration bears any responsibility for the disintegration of Afghanistan because of the attention and resources that were diverted to Iraq. “I basically don’t,” he replied without elaborating.

And in response, Politico didn’t elaborate either. Sure, the piece does a fine job of publishing all of the various, baseless attacks against the White House trying to clean up Cheney’s messes, but the article makes no meaningful effort to tell the reader why the depraved rhetoric falls somewhere between literally unbelievable and hopelessly insane.

During the interview, Cheney laced his concerns with a broader critique of Obama’s foreign and national security policy, saying Obama’s nuanced and at times cerebral approach projects “weakness” and that the president is looking “far more radical than I expected.”

“Here’s a guy without much experience, who campaigned against much of what we put in place … and who now travels around the world apologizing,” Cheney said. “I think our adversaries — especially when that’s preceded by a deep bow … — see that as a sign of weakness.”

Cheney went on to suggest the president’s decisions may give “aid and comfort … to the enemy.” (Now imagine what would have happened if Al Gore, less than a year into Bush/Cheney’s first term, had said something similar.)

For any reasonable adult, Cheney’s rhetoric is genuinely pathetic. The disgraced, humiliated former vice president sounds no more coherent here than a random right-wing radio loudmouth in a third-tier market.

But there’s no real journalism to be found. No fact-checking, no pushback, no scrutiny. Just an uninterrupted string of predictable, misguided nonsense. Cheney could have just written a blog post/screed, and had Politico publish it. This would have saved Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei the trouble of adding quote marks to their stenography.

Keep in mind, rank-and-file Republicans were asked the other day who best reflects the party’s principles. Just one chose Dick Cheney — not 1 percent, I mean one individual person.

So, why is Cheney’s 90-minute tirade against the president the lead Politico story today? It’s hard to say — they reported without elaborating.