I haven't commented on last week's dueling speeches between President Barack Obama and former Vice President Dick Cheney. From a purely political standpoint, the fact that Cheney is the one making these sorts of speeches just goes to show you how shallow the GOP bench is on national security issues.
As former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy has repeatedly noted, President Obama has been two-faced when it comes to national security issues. He bashes President George W. Bush's use of enhanced interrogation techniques as "torture," yet reserves the right to use the same techniques. He attacks Bush's military commissions as fundamentally unfair then adopts them with only cosmetic changes. He decries Bush's plan to keep terrorists too dangerous to try in court and too dangerous to release indefinitely and then turns around and does the exact same thing. He attacks the military for simply flying over Pakistan and Afghanistan and just blowing up women and children, and then continues the Predator missile strikes without pause.
The good news is that this will hopefully help keep our nation safe from terrorists. The bad news is that the Bush-hating press is so enthralled by him that they're letting him get away with hypocrisy on a gargantuan scale. The lack of honest debate and coverage of this issue is bad for our national political dialogue.
A case in point is this from Sunday's "Meet the Press", the whiplash caused by Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) is impressive.
After former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (more evidence the GOP bench is shallow) made the case that Americans should have a healthy fear of potential terrorist attacks rather than pretending everything is unicorns and rainbows, Durbin made the following retort.
First, let me tell you that America cowering in fear is not going to be a strong nation.
Not 2 minutes later, Durbin was all for Americans cowering in fear.
Well, I can just tell you this. When it comes to this attack on Speaker Pelosi, there are those on the right who will do everything they can to divert attention from the real issue of the threat of terrorism...
So, when Republicans bring up the danger of terrorism, there's nothing to worry about and Obama will keep us safe. When Republicans bring up Nancy Pelosi's complicity in "torture," Republicans are distracting us from the real problem of terrorism.
I encourage you to read the entire transcript of the Durbin-Gingrich exchange, because like last week's Obama-Cheney duel, the GOP has the better of the argument. I also encourage you to check out this bit of fisking by McCarthy on the falsehoods contained in just one Durbin statement.