MAYBE HE’S STUCK IN AN UNDISCLOSED LOCATION…. About a month ago, the lead story at The New Republic had a provocative headline: “Is Dick Cheney To Blame for the Oil Spill? Signs Point to Yes.” The fairly brief piece raised some important points, which still tend to go overlooked, including the fact that the Deepwater Horizon rig did not have a remote-control acoustic shutoff switch, routinely used by rigs elsewhere, because Cheney’s secretive energy task force decided the $500,000 price tag was too great a burden on BP.
Major media outlets have generally been reluctant to dwell on Bush/Cheney administration failures and how they relate to the oil spill disaster, but the fact that Cheney has received at least a modicum of blame should have been enough to inspire the former V.P. to schedule a few media interviews.
Indeed, what usually happens in a case like this is predictable — Cheney faces criticism, Cheney calls Politico and/or Fox News, Politico and/or Fox News run lengthy pieces with scathing Cheney quotes attacking the U.S. leadership, run without scrutiny or fact-checking.
But Ravi Somaiya notes that we just haven’t heard much from the former vice president lately, even after some limited public criticism.
Frank Rich, in The New York Times, pointed out that the Interior Department degenerated into a “cesspool of corruption,” under Bush and Cheney, and that the pair bequeathed Obama “a Minerals Management Service as broken as the Bush-Cheney FEMA exposed by Katrina.”
His ears ringing with the cries of “Cheney’s Katrina,” a title many are striving to bestow on the gulf oil spill, one might expect the former VP to convene journalists for a speech, like he did in May last year at the right-wing American Enterprise Institute to talk about national security…. The closest we have this time is Liz Cheney, Dick’s daughter, arguing with Arianna Huffington on ABC’s This Week.
We wondered why. Are the claims too substantial to refute? Is Cheney so incensed that he cannot trust himself to speak? Or, conversely, is he perhaps so sanguine about the entire issue that he doesn’t feel it merits comment?
Cheney’s bound to pop up one of these days, attacking the nation’s elected leaders for something or another, though his silence of late is kind of interesting.
But I’d just add that of all the possible explanations for Cheney’s absence from the political stage, there’s simply no way the claims being “too substantial to refute” is part of the explanation. This guy has manufactured his own twisted reality for years; there’s no reason to think now would be any different.