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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Cheney Takes Congress to the Woodshed and Spanks Them

My favorite line to begin with:

Q Mr. Vice President, what has Senator Reid been like to work with?

: Difficult. He's -- I'll leave it at that. He's difficult.

Talk about an understatement!!!!

In an interview with Mike Allen, Jim Vandehei and John Harris, all former Wapo reporters now reporting for The Politico, Vice president Dick Cheney has some harsh, truthful, criticisms about Congress and the Senate.

The Politico headlined with with "Cheney bashes top Democrats", and personally after reading the complete transcript from the WH site and the smaller piece written up at The Politico, I would say he was pulling his punches.

Some of the key excerpts, starting with the job Congress is doing overall:

Q It's an interesting time, so we really are eager to talk to you about especially a lot of the stuff that's happening on Capitol Hill right now. But I'd love -- I mean, I'd love your overall assessment from -- of what's been happening on the Hill, like Pelosi's leadership and how Democrats have sort of handled their end of negotiating with you guys, whether it's Iraq, the economy, spending -- dealing with that right now. What is your assessment of how the Democratic Congress is handling --

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I don't think they're doing all that well. That probably wouldn't surprise anybody. I just think -- I think if you look at the track record on what they've been able to move, on important items that are sort of basic need-to-do-every-year kinds of things, like the appropriations process, I think the record is pretty dismal. We've got one appropriations bill so far that we've got signed; we've still got 11 pending. And here we are at the end of the calendar year, well into the new fiscal year, and I think -- I look at that and see that as an indication in terms of their capacity to function as not a good indicator.

Part of that same answer, referring to John Murtha and John Dingell:

: I'm also somewhat surprised -- I look at the House -- there are members of the House I worked closely with over the years when I was Secretary of Defense who would ordinarily have been staunch advocates for this kind of legislation, who no longer are staunch advocates -- and I'm referring to my friend, Jack Murtha -- I think of all of them as friends of mine -- but Jack and other senior leaders who now all march to the tune of Nancy Pelosi, to an extent I had not seen, frankly, with any previous Speaker. And I'm surprised by that. I think of John Dingell and the energy business. This is a hot item right now. But I don't see John Dingell driving that train. It looks to me like Nancy Pelosi is driving that train. And that is -- well, it's surprising when I think of the -- I'm trying to think how to say all of this in a gentlemanly fashion -- but the Congress I served in, that wouldn't have happened. We would not have had a Speaker who, from my perspective, is that far out of the sort of mainstream -- she is a San Francisco Democrat, certainly entitled to her views, but able to dictate policy as effectively as she apparently does to the rest of the caucus.

Q Well, did any of those guys lose their spine? Is that what you're saying?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I was being very diplomatic in the way I phrased it. (Laughter.) They're not carrying the big stick I would have expected with the Democrats in the majority.

I guess he very well couldn't have publicly said they lost their balls, so his diplomatic answer will have to carry the day.

Notice the leading questions also? Yet they title the piece "Cheney bashes top Democrats" instead of "reporters push Cheney to bash Democrats?"

On Joe Lieberman & Reid:

Q Mr. Vice President, what has Senator Reid been like to work with?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Difficult. He's -- I'll leave it at that. He's difficult.

Q Are you surprised at how partisan he's become, I mean, given both his state and his past politics? He has -- quite frankly, his past views on foreign policy have been -- (inaudible) -- Are you surprised that he's become so stridently anti-war, saying not long ago that the war is lost --

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I obviously -- I have major differences with him. When he announced the war was lost, he was clearly wrong. And I -- the man I respect most on the other side of the aisle -- that nobody would be surprised about -- is Joe Lieberman. I see Joe willing to take on the powers that be, if you will, in what used to be his party -- I guess he's not formally a Democrat these days, although he caucuses with them. But I think what happened to Joe Lieberman says a lot about the party; that he was, in effect, purged by the Democrats on this issue because he supported the President on the war on Iraq, and obviously, defeated in the Democratic primary, ran as an independent, and won the election. And he's a very independent sort these days, which he can afford to be.

They also deal with Iraq, Iran, The NIE report, and leaks.

Read the whole interview here and the The Politico piece here.

All in all, I really wish he was able to be blunt and not diplomatic, that would have been great fun to read.

The best part of any Cheney interview though comes from the left's complete meltdown every time he speaks:


So, according to Dick Cheney, Democratic congressmen are all a bunch of pussy-whipped losers because they let that little bitch Nancy order them around:


See now, THAT is what I would have liked VP Cheney to say, but obviously he felt the need to show more class that Digby is capable of.