What Cheney is Really About by Steven Jonas, MD, MPH

by Steven Jonas, MD, MPH
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
crossposted on Buzzflash.com 2.15.09
March 26, 2009

George W. Bush apparently really believes in the “alternate realities” that he presented to our nation and the world over and over again during his Presidency. Bush was a uniter, not a divider; Saddam really did have weapons of mass destruction (until it was absolutely proven otherwise); cutting taxes for the rich really would boost the economy; as president, he really did have all of those powers that Dick Cheney, Richard Addington, and John Yoo pretended to find for him in the Constitution; abolishing Social Security really would benefit everyone whose Social Security was thereby abolished as well as the country as a whole; he really did as president have the authority to say “I’ll follow this Act of Congress but not that one, at my own discretion;” he could, on his own authority, abrogate treaties if his White House Legal Counsel thought they were “quaint;” Saddam really did buy “yellow cake” in Niger. And George Bush really is an undereducated, both ignorant and dumb, person. No, he was not a secret voracious reader, as “Turdblossom,” otherwise known as Karl Rove, was so fond of telling us. There were never any references to such readings except on the occasions that such were written into speeches for him. But he probably thought that he was, given that Rove told the world he that was. That fit right into his alternate reality.

Dick Cheney is cut from an entirely different cloth. He is very knowledgeable, very smart, and knows exactly what he is doing every minute. He had a very clear agenda when he was in office: to run both the presidency and the president to the extent that he could. His ultimate objective was to establish an authoritarian state, something he called “The Unitary Presidency.” Most not otherwise prejudiced observers, under the brief definition that follows, would call it “fascism”:

“Fascism is a politico-economic system in which there is: total executive branch control of both the legislative and administrative powers of government; no independent judiciary; no Constitution that embodies the Rule of Law standing above the people who run the government; no inherent personal rights or liberties; a single national ideology that first demonizes and then criminalizes all political, religious, and ideological opposition to it; and total corporate determination of economic, fiscal, and regulatory policy.”

Dick Cheney does not make off-hand remarks. Dick Cheney knows the truth from falsehood. Dick Cheney does not live in an alternate reality. Dick Cheney does try very hard to conceal the reality that he lives in. That is why during his vice presidency, he made very few public appearances where one or more members of the media could question him. However, he did make such an appearance this past Sunday on CNN.

There he uttered several palpable falsehoods. The claim that Iraq was a “state sponsor of terrorism” by implication related to 9/11. There was absolutely no proof to substantiate this claim, and Saddam went out of his way to avoid associating with terrorists such as Osama bin Laden (who happened to hate Saddam as a secularist) so as not to give the U.S. an excuse to attack him is beside the point.

Cheney stated that Democrats were responsible for the current economic crisis and that his administration and the Republican-led Congress controlled policy and monetary blank checks through 2006 had no responsibility, even though no one but the Republican Scream Machine holds to that view. He stated President Obama’s policy of closing Guantanamo would make the U.S. “unsafe,” when only a handful of the persons held there are known terrorists or potential terrorists. At the same time, it is now widely acknowledged that the Iraq War that Cheney largely ginned up has become, over the years, a major recruiting and training ground for potential terrorists.

So why did he offer these falsehoods? To score current political points? To indicate that he is now, post-position-of-power, falling into his political dotage and succumbing to the George W. Bush alternate reality disease? Certainly not. What Dick Cheney did was to make it very clear that his battle to establish an essentially fascist state in our country for the benefit of the primary power elements that he represents — the extractive industries, the military/industrial complex, the prison/industrial complex, the major agribusinesses, and certain elements of the other major economic sectors — is far from over. If the Cheney Wing of the Republican Party, now lead by Rush Limbaugh and his Republican Scream Machine clones, is ever to make it back to power, the first essential is to establish a mythology on which they can run. For they cannot possibly run on reality and hope to come close to winning.

The German Right in the 1920s did it with the “Stab in the Back” claim for the German loss of the World War I. Never mind that by 1918 Germany had been thoroughly bled of men, material, and money, that the U.S. was fully engaged on the British/French side, and that following the failure of the 1918 Summer Offensive under Hindenburg and Ludendorff, even the Kaiser was ready to quit. No. It was the “Socialists” and the “Communists” who “stabbed the German nation in the back.” They did it. So “we,” the patriotic Germans, have to get them. For it is all their fault.

And here, Cheney is marching down the same track. In collaboration with O’RHannibaugh and their clones, the Republican leadership in the Congress and outside of it (Gingrich) who see nowhere else to go, and their echo chambers, such as NewsMax (the voice of the American Conservative (sic) Union), the Fox “News” Channel, and the Heritage Foundation, he is laying the groundwork for their hopped-for GOP comeback, but this time with a vengeance. It’s “The Liberals,” dontchaknow, those traitors who, so Limbaugh and Coulter tell us, are responsible for everything that is wrong with the U.S., and “we” have to get “them,” “squash them like cockroaches,” so the self-parodying Mark Levin tells us.

Stay tuned. Indeed we all better stay tuned, because these people are serious when they say that they want Obama to fail. For that failure, combined with the mythology they are quickly developing, would very easily lead them back to power. And were that to happen, the GW Bush Presidency would be something that we would look back upon with longing.

Steven Jonas, MD, MPH is a Professor of Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University (NY) and author/co-author/editor of 30 books. He has also published numerous articles and reviews in both the academic and the lay literature on health policy, health and wellness, and athletics. On politics Dr. Jonas is a www.TPJmagazine.us Contributing Author; a regular Columnist for the webmagazine Buzz Flash; a Special Contributing Editor for Cyrano’s Journal Online; a Contributing Columnist for the Project for the Old American Century, POAC; a regular contributor to Thomas Paine’s Corner; and a Featured Writer for Dandelion Salad.

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The Most Successful American President: George W. Bush, Part 2: The Constitution by Steven Jonas, MD, MPH

Prosecuting the Bush Administration’s Torturers by Andy Worthington

What Can Bush Teach Us? by Ralph Nader

6 thoughts on “What Cheney is Really About by Steven Jonas, MD, MPH

  1. Now that’s obviously an angry man, yet brilliant, very educated and knows all too well what he’s talking about, and who dared telling it as it is, as ugly as it may have sounded. He spoke the words many of us – well, we’re not that many Natureboy, unfortunately – thought, felt and screamed in our heads, and tried coyly, in so many words, to utter or just mumble here and there, fearing being judged as overreacting, or being called so. I thought and felt your same words and thoughts, and just couldn’t fathom why there were so few people who see it for what it is, the way you so passionately described. These people, the ultra-religious/conservatives, are simply sick, to the bone, in every sense of the word, and the worst part is that so, unbelievably many people, don’t see how dangerous and destructive they are to this nation, and to the world at large. They are so pathologically dogmatic, so myopic in the way they see the world, what’s happening in it and the right way, as they think, it should be like. They are waiting for the biblical end of the world, Armageddon, rapture, the anti-Christ…the whole biblical fairy tale, which they cling on to so staunchly, and would be willing to go to any insane lengths, if they think they are called upon, to help and enable it to happen. These guys scare me, as they are capable of causing, intentionally, and creating what they perceive to be God’s will and wishes. Some of them are as Looney as can possibly be, up to the point where nuclear Armageddon might and does sound palpable and desirable to their sick, delusional minds. I’m not saying all of them would go that far, but there’s enough of them who do, I have no doubt, that it ought to scare the hell out of us who don’t subscribe to that diseased mentality. Just listening to them lie, fabricate and connive to convince the feeble-minded simpletons of this country, and God, there are many of them, would and does scare the hell out of me, because people, the majority of people, don’t see how crazy and dangerous these demented minds are, and what they’d like to do, if they just could. I’ll go out on a limb here and say it: that I’m seriously worried about our sane and grounded president Obama. That they , well some or one of their followers, who will think God is talking to him, just like Bush did before he invaded Iraq, will try to do away with this guy, who stands against everything they believe in. Somehow, somewhere, somehow, some one of them will try to do it, and God help us and help the world if they ever succeeded. I have no doubt that, for instance, groups like the moral majority, or what’s left of it, the many other wacko, cultish evangelicals and their sheepish, in-the-millions followers, the hard-core pro-Israel extremist groups like JDL, the Limbaughs, Palins and their alikes and many others who subscribe to the same mentality, would love to see Obama out of the way, one way or another, today before tomorrow. And that some of them wouldn’t mind helping, one way or another, if they just couldn’t get caught. Honestly, I don’t see much difference between these guys and Osama Bin Laden. What they believe in and what he believes in, with few cosmetic differences, are the same. They, and he, are religious fanatics who have a God-wishes-so mentality, and anything can be simply justifiable and acceptable collateral damage, and would say and do anything, with clear conscience, to obtain power, mould the world into the way they think it ought to be, for that’s, in their minds, is the wish of God. Beware world and the sane rational people in it, for that scenario isn’t impossible, and unless more, a lot more, people are made aware of the danger these wackos represent, we may just be in for some form of Armageddon, not biblical, but some apocalyptic one of sorts, nonetheless.

    • Thanks Walid, I too am admirer of your intelligent commentary.

      Likely my words are a bit too exacerbated to be generally tolerated, and I certainly regret any indulgence, but indeed the failure of the nation to pursue justice against our war-criminal-in-Theif has had me nearly apoplectic with outrage–

      It’s one thing if we vote to destroy our own ill-gotten wealth, but rampaging across the globe, yet again, to the tune of a million murdered, with virtually no resistance from the people, it’s beyond a rational ability to comprehend quietly.

      Anyway I did transliterate a version less focused on ‘insanity’ of conservatives, and more on the ‘indoctrination’ part for a NY Times comment board, but couldn’t resist a few ‘not on my blog’ jabs at the heartland who votes republicon.

      This time they allowed a rant or two to slip through, hope the links work:

      http://blow.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/28/steele-ridiculous/?apage=4#comment-16793

      http://blow.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/28/steele-ridiculous/?apage=6#comment-16911

  2. Here’s one of the articles explaining why conservatives are pre-programmed via their scientifically identified brain disorder, to remain stuck in their idiotic convictions, no matter how blatantly disproved they are:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-politics10sep10,0,5982337.story?coll=la-home-center

    There should be a lab test for this conservative brain disorder, ruling out ANY participation by ANY conservative who displays evidence of this disease, in any form of government, military, or position of authority of any kind.

    This proves that conservatives are simply retarded, and unable to adjust to changing circumstances, and therefore need to be banned, on biological grounds.

    I’m only being half-sarcastic when I say, If there was ever a reason to use eugenics, it’s against these conservatives. They are clearly a militaristic, environmental hazard to life on earth!

    Next we need to find out if the disease of conservatism is inherited, and whether or not they should be simply sterilized as too dangerous to the genome to be allowed to ever propagate.

    Seriously, this disease transcends race and gender, it’s a brain-disorder akin to dementia or paranoia. These are the poeple who devolve into fascists and nazis, authoritarian militaristic regimes (if they’re smart), and gangster neonazis (if their slow-minded). Treat them humanely, but wall them out of any further influence to damage the planet or society.

    They cannot be reasoned with nor debated, they are rabid, anti-human, inhumane, they will always claim guidance by some higher power (or in the case of Hitler, the occult), and cannot be fixed nor rehabilitated. They just must be banned, not cooperated with!

      • Well I can’t say I’m quite sure what a ‘liberal’ actually is at this point, or that they’re ideologically correct. Nor can I identify any more what constitutes a ‘Leftist’ and if ideological ‘leftists’ are necessarily liberals or if traditional ‘liberal’, or Leftist values (insofar as they’ve ever been properly tested) are necessarily entirely correct.

        Certainly it cannot be said that contemporary ‘democrats’ are by and large liberal, nor that they started out that way. Democrats were, after all, the party of Jim Crow, and wanted things to stay the old-fashioned racist way. Change was inevitable, and the ‘conservative’ values of the southern democrats were once again wrong (hence they all became friggin’ republicons, where it’s still ‘safe’ to be a sociopathic conservative!).

        Perhaps it could be said that adherents of old and disproved ideologies are necessarily conservative, be they left or right, and certainly the divide between good and evil is not along ideological lines, rather it’s the unwavering adherence to wrong-headed & disproved ideology that is itself the cognitive, conservative flaw.

        It seems that this flaw is far from a personal choice, and, quite seriously, appears to be a form of personality disorder, a disease that extends far beyond some reflexive comfort with the familiar. It’s a destructive, pathological, regressive behavioral mindset, and needs to be identified as such, requiring therapy as with other such mental problems, rather than taught and trained into youths at some ‘Creationist Museum’ where tanned white people in leather miniskirts live alongside dinosaurs like in the Flintstones (!).

        The capacity to adapt, to change, to adjust to a changing reality is a progressive stance that is a requirement of leadership, as opposed to holding steadfast to a previous, disproved notion of reality that no longer applies (as could be considered the definition of ‘conservative’).

        The pathological clutching for the ‘safety’ of a conservative ideology is born of fear, xenophobia, paranoia and an unbalanced inability to adjust to the reality of societies and their evolving flaws. Hence, as the referenced experiment points out, Botch was unable to waver from his steadfast, wrong-headed warmongering in Iraq, Chainey is defending his war, Ashbrook is now back applauding waterboarding, and the republican ‘budget’ issued today cuts the top tax bracket for billionaires from 35% to 25%!! This is not ‘conservatism’, it’s reckless, and dangerous, and ideologically wrong, as has been proven irrevocably by history.

        A sane political mind would not adhere to such extremist, dangerous, corrupt ideas. As sane political mind would adhere to sane political principles intended for the common good, such as Peace, Justice, and the Progressive rule of Law. So-called ‘conservatives’ have proven themselves so incapable of the rational cognition required for leadership, so incapable of Peace, in such flagrant violation of Law and Justice, and so anathema to Progress that they must now be banned, forced to reform, or legislated into oblivion.

        Hallmarks of conservatism are that they generally simply don’t learn, they don’t change, they refuse to adjust, to adapt or to compensate through reform for their ghastly mistakes. In fact they’d like to roll everything back to ca. 1940’s nostalgia for some Notre Dame ballgame, when real americans had buzz-cuts and quoted ‘win one for the Gipper’ (if only Raygun really had faded out in that moment and saved us the last 40 years of sociopathological cultural regression and two lost generations down the rabbit hole of endless warmongering paranoia and ‘defense’), You know, like John Wayne’s “America Good Things”, a parallel universe where we pretend we really didn’t carpet-bomb innocents humans, nor napalm babies nor torture people in the name of “American Values”, etc.

        Conservatism, whether social or political, is by design, simply blind to reality, indefensible, unrealistic, disproved, distorted, deranged, and a hazard to our ability to cope with the changing delicate and difficult challenges at hand. How much more must the world suffer before conservatism is rejected as deranged lunacy??

        Imagine if a guy who studied Rev. ‘america’s chickens… are coming home to roost’ Wright (hardly a conservative, and definitely right) could have come to office without having to invert the ‘conservative’ minefield of global disasters, blow the budget for the next foreseeable decades, resolve these ridiculous wars, and undo a whole depression’s-worth of economic damage, all wrought by conservatives (yes the bills that undermined Glass Steagal and gave rise to these rabid derivatives were written by, you guessed it ‘conservatives’, & a Clinton veto would have been overridden by the ‘conservatives’ controlling congress)?

        Imagine if a guy like Obama could have come to power to do the genuinely good things he likely genuinely would rather be doing? Instead almost anything he does is required by the circumstances to be vast, too fast, and likely wrong in some way or another. He was thrust into a panic of epic economic, militaristic, and fiscal proportions in which he can’t possibly win, and nobody could know how to properly unwind. The vastness of the damage done by conservatives to this world is simply too huge to overcome, the impending ecological, fiscal and social doom we now face would never be what it is if Raygun and the Botches, and the hideous conservative ‘contract on america’ hadn’t come to pass (and you know I’m no Democrat!).

        These are people who cannot accept change, who hold fast to misguided principles long past the point of proven wrong, and are therefore dangerous. We the people have the right to be eternally outraged by the epic crimes of these miscreants, and the right to now ban conservatives from inflicting through government, this level of damage upon the world. If anyone ever again votes for them after the disaster of the past 40 years, regardless of the comparatively benign evils of contemporary democrats, then we the people deserve every bit of pain they get.

        Conservatives would say that liberals seek to change things, while conservatives feel things are just fine the way they are, or better yet, the way they were. But truth is things were never “fine” in America, and a progressive stance has always been required, and progress is ultimately applauded by the majority in retrospect (civil rights, women’s suffrage, etc.).

        Cheney, and his entire cabal of wrong-headed demented, mouth-frothing conservative minions are proven, beyond doubt, in the court of human history, to have been wrong, to a point defying the most basic laws and primal logic, and yet they stoically stand by their epic errors as per Cheney’s latest appearances, Jindal’s latest gaffs, Palin’s ghoulish brainlessness (she now says she lost the debate because not enough republicans prayed with her? Who ARE these people??) and McBomb’s hundred years war on Arabs.

        It’s one thing if such a mindset is employed debating decor or music genres, but to give these people who defy any realistic view of the consequences of their actions and the damage their myopic world-view and destructive actions cause, a military and a government, especially in light of the militaristic and environmental and economic horror conservative US governments have wrought on this world? That’s been shown over and over and over to be beyond dangerous, genocidally dangerous, apocalyptically deranged– each and every time.

        So hyperbole aside, I would say history has proven beyond any doubt that so-called conservatism, left or right, Dem or GOP, is to be kept out of government. It’s dangerous to have leaders with this kind of sociopathic, selfish tunnel-vision in such positions of power in such a hazardous political and ecological world reality.

  3. Don’t doubt for a minute they won’t be on the rise again, after all they almost won, despite all, ’08 was hardly a landslide presidential election.

    But iif Cheney is so smart, why would he be pursuing a path to fascism, anathema to what the USA claims to be about, money? Corporate power? Do even these ends justify in his mind the Machiavellian path he pursued?

    Is it ‘smart’ to sacrifice liberty, checks & balances, the rule of law, the economy itself that sustains corporate hegemony, regulation preventing collapse of the banking system and the world economy in turn, when economic and social collapse can be the only result?

    Where and when in the miserable march of militaristic dictatorships did an empire benefit from squandering its treasure on weapons of war, ruling its populace with an iron fist, rolling back freedom and political debate, fixating the populace through false-flag fears, dictating policy through the whims of the corporate class at the expense of the proles; Britain? Spain? Portugal? Germany? the USSR?

    It’s never worked. It’s always collapsed in the end. So consistent are the failures of fascism that only an evil man could attempt to convert an elected office into fascistic coup against the very system of electoral laws that put him there.

    I think we need to distinguish between ‘smart’ and ‘evil, tyrannical despot’. Notwithstanding the various apparent failings of so-called ‘liberalism’, we need to for once and for all identify the fact that the right wing, starting at the putrid bottom from skinheads, neonazis, through the culture of cultism among the bible-belted zionist faith-healers and televangelists, on up through to the corporate robber-baron class of free marketeers and their political pawns and militant ‘scream machine’ of FOX & Limbaugh, each and every element of the ‘conservative’ ‘right’ whether smart of daft, is simply insane.

    The ‘right’ wing is not a path of political choice, it is a matter of a diseased brain. There is apparently evidence worth investigating, which shows that ‘conservatives’ are not unhinged by indoctrination, rather their brains are actually different from normal, compassionate, peace-loving, progressive people.

    Perhaps with the vast network of pharmaceuticals the ‘conservative’ aversion to healthcare has spawned, they will come up with a pill, a cure for conservatism, a ‘peace-pill’, something to allay their incessant profiteering and warmongering, their bloodthirsty need to fabricate lies in order to promote wars, anti-environmentalist policies, and the insatiable urge to destroy everything in the name of personal & corporate profit, pretentious paranoia, racism, sexism, an endless fascination with firepower and firearms, and the general predisposition to follow false profits to global ruin.

    Without a cure for these miscreants, the blood-sucking vampires of the social and political ‘right’ will lurk in shadows, waiting to rear their hideous heads and once again lead the nation off the a cliff of selfish greed, environmental destruction, and the final global war of obliteration their religion compels them to promote.

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