Old Times

It seems Mississippi’s not the only place where it can be said “The past isn’t dead; it’s not even past,” per this dispatch from the Billings (MT) Gazette:

Former Vice President Dick Cheney continued his harsh criticism of the Obama administration in Billings on Wednesday, saying the president is peddling a “false narrative” about increased turmoil in Iraq.

Cheney told about 500 people at the Energy Expo trade show at MetraPark that military drawdowns by Obama, a Democrat, are opening the door for terrorist growth around the world.

“Now we’re in a situation where the administration has chosen in effect not to recognize the extent of the problem,” Cheney, a Republican, said at the Energy Exposition.

Cheney was the keynote speaker Wednesday night, talking for about 20 minutes and seeming to use few notes. He left immediately after his talk and declined to speak with reporters.

Now get this bit:

Though denying he’s seeking future elected office, Cheney spent most of his talk on politics, particularly in the Middle East. He said he worries that Iraq will continue to destabilize.

Denying he’s seeking future elected office? Who on earth asked him about that?

Outside the MetraPark gates, about a half dozen protesters had gathered, holding signs blasting Cheney’s support of waterboarding. They said they were with Peace and Justice Forums, a Billings-based activist group

.

But inside, Cheney was met with a much more positive reaction. Supporters came up to him during dinner, snapped photos and gave him a standing ovation when he rose to speak. Before his prime rib and lobster tail dinner, Cheney spoke briefly with former U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns, R. Mont.

Standing Os! Protesters! Conrad Burns! Yeah, must have seemed like old times for His Saturnine Majesty, Mr. Cheney.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.