Mar 02,2007 00:00
Richard Cheney and his sizable entourage have returned from nearly nine days in the Orient,
A half-century ago one of our more provocative veeps, Richard Nixon, traveled two weeks on what was intended to be a goodwill mission through Latin America. He became a target of riotous throngs from
That trip had negative results for
There's scant likelihood we'll see a repeat of that sequence. Cheney makes it clear he's not in the chase for president, so it doesn't matter much what people think of his recent overseas performance. From the standpoint of
First, what was the purpose of this oddly timed hegira? Some veep watchers have speculated Cheney chose to be out of the country during final stages of the "Scooter" Libby perjury trial - thus to avoid his availability as a witness in the ex-aide's defense.
As with a well-remembered explanation for evading service in
Whoever arranged details for the goodwill mission couldn't have looked for unpleasantness. The ostensible aim was to thank two reliable friends of the
Alas, nothing ever seems easy anymore. In
No polygraph could have faulted the fellow. But so what? In an all too familiar display of heavy-handedness, Cheney's coterie crossed Kyuma off their list of persons the vice president wished to hear from.
Is anyone to blame for scheduling
At which point, we'd expect, a band breaks into "Waltzing Matilda."
Perhaps the forgoing provides a glimpse into the thought processes of a man who, topping almost any other, has steered our nation's fortunes over the last five years. An era of one-party
A long-standing rule in our public life - one substantially adhered to by both major parties - holds that politics stops at the water's edge. Public officials headed abroad traditionally leave their partisan battles behind.
But not Cheney. Hardly a day passed during his circling of the globe that this man did not have something unpleasant to say about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. To hear his version of things, the
Though unfamiliar with the ways of our domestic politics, persons elsewhere might wonder why a person who's first in line of presidential succession would speak in such terms of anyone - let alone the lady who is now close behind him in that order.
I'm disappointed. In addition to the outdated views he holds on many matters, Richard Cheney appears to have become a common grouch.