'Dark... Spectral' Dick Cheney Still Living Rent-free in Chris Matthews's Head

Although more subdued compared to his June 18 anti-Dick Cheney diatribe, MSNBC's Chris Matthews returned on his Monday, July 14 program once again to his unhealthy, creepy obsession with the former vice president. The relevant news hook was what Matthews derided as a "Cheney family offensive," referring to a Politico Playbook lunch event held earlier in the day in Washington, D.C., featuring Cheney, wife Lynne, and daughter Liz.

"Cheney, who was the number one force pushing was on the American people, said he's sticking to his tragic position of 2003," Matthews groused before playing a clip of Cheney saying he "believed it in then" and "looking back on it now, it was the right thing to do." "What did anyone expect, is what I have to say," Matthews huffed, adding, "Is it news that Dick Cheney [chay-nee] is Dick Cheney [chee-nee]?"


In the strictest sense, no, it's not really news. But it did serve neatly as the latest excuse for Matthews to invite two hard-left writers to harmonize with him in singing the same old tired song:  Iraq is a complete and utter basket case right now thanks exclusively to Bush and Cheney. Oh, and President Obama is just the victim of bad timing apparently. 

"I think timing's a lot to this thing. I think he sees the whole world coming apart right now.... It's probably a good time to fish in troubled waters. Is that why he's back?" Matthews posited to guests Michael Tomasky of the Daily Beast and Joe Conason of NationalMemo.com.

Moments later a pleased Matthews concluded the segment by gushing, "I like your attitudes, both of you. You don't like this guy."

After a brief commercial break, Matthews wrapped up his program with a Let Me Finish commentary devoted to painting Cheney as a veritable Prince of Darkness. The hypocritical Hardball host projected onto the former vice president the sort of politics of demonization that Matthews engages in regularly, particularly when the subject is Dick "it's pronounced Chee-nee, by the way" Cheney (emphasis mine; MP3 audio here):

Let me finish tonight with this.

There is something deep, dark, even spectral in Dick Cheney's role in this country's public life.

Why would someone who led us down a path to war, a path of unfounded evidence, love so much the chance to take us down it again and again and again? Would a normal person like to relive with such weird relish the worst thing anyone did to his country in a generation? Oh, yes, it's not about loyalty with this fellow, it's hostility.

What drives him is not so much his acute sense of direction as the hatred that propels him.

Dick Cheney exudes a  brooding sense that demonizes anyone who fails to snap to, to genuflect before him. That could be a Democrat, it could be Saddam Hussein.

War, destruction, annihilation are his own means and only means of action and his reasons that concern me, even today, that people around him in the years 2000 through 2003, all met his demands.

They let him lead this country into a war that left thousands of Americans and tens of thousands of others dead.

The reason Dick Cheney still supports the Iraq war of 2003 is crystal clear. 

 He continues to support it for the basic reason that the public alibi for the war, that country's possession of nuclear weapons, was for him never more than that, a way to get people to support it. Again, Dick Cheney continues to back the war because the nuclear weapons reason was never his own reason, and therefore the nonexistence of those weapons did nothing to undercut his personal determination to invade and occupy Iraq.

Cheney didn't need those public reasons for hitting Iraq. He had his own personal reasons. Reasons that drove him and his chief of staff, Scooter Libby to push the case for war and to punish those who dared expose it as dishonest.

Cheney can't deny blame for the Iraq War any more than he can deny how to pronounce his family name. Again, it's Chee-nee! Just ask any one of them. Go ask them. Lynn, Liz, or Dick. Just ask them. It's Chee-nee!

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters