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Tilting at Windmills

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October 13, 2009

THE IRONICALLY-NAMED 'KEEP AMERICA SAFE' GETS TO WORK.... Liz Cheney and Bill Kristol have created a new right-wing political organization. What could possibly go wrong?

Former Vice President Dick Cheney's eldest daughter Liz will launch a new group aimed at rallying opposition to the "radical" foreign policy of the Obama administration which it says has succeeded only in undermining the nation's security.

The new group, Keep America Safe, will make the case against President Barack Obama's moves to wrench America away from Bush era foreign policy on issues from detaining alleged terrorists at Guantanamo Bay to building a missile shield in Eastern Europe.

"The policies being proposed by the Obama administration are so radical across the board," Cheney said. "Whether you're a Republican or a Democrat, you want the nation to be strong and so many steps this president is taking are making the nation weaker."

Liz Cheney, whose role in American politics has become strikingly poisonous, will head the group with none other than Weekly Standard editor William Kristol. They'll be joined by Debra Burlingame, the sister of a pilot killed in the September 11 attacks. Michael Goldfarb will be an adviser to the group.

Kristol, unashamed of his humiliating record and comically-flawed judgment, said, "The Left has dozens of organizations and tens of millions of dollars dedicated to undercutting the war on terror. The good guys need some help too."

Liz Cheney added that the group would defend and promote Bush-era policies: "There's no turning away from that legacy at all."

That's not unexpected -- self-reflection is not one of the neocons' strengths -- but it does offer an opportunity to remind the Cheney/Kristol crowd that we tried it their way, and it was a spectacular failure. "Keep America Safe" looks back at the Bush era and sees a national security record to be proud of. Except for the catastrophic events of 9/11, and the anthrax attacks against Americans, and terrorist attacks against U.S. allies, and the terrorist attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Bush's inability to capture those responsible for 9/11, and waging an unnecessary war that inspired more terrorists, and the success terrorists had in exploiting Bush's international unpopularity, they may have a point.

The truth is, Cheney/Kristol had their day. They got to do exactly what they wanted to do -- torture, preemptive war, abandoning the rule of law, abandoning democratic norms, alienating allies, ignoring the concept of international cooperation -- and they failed anyway.

In contrast, President Obama is playing by the rules and having great success in counter-terrorism. The administration isn't relying on torture, and is nevertheless stopping, catching, and killing the bad guys -- all while improving the United States' standing in the world and reclaiming America's role as a global leader.

Liz Cheney and Bill Kristol have become clownish figures, so blinded by their ideology that they can't even see the dangerous ineptitude of their agenda. I don't doubt that wealthy right-wing financiers will be delighted to throw some checks at "Keep America Safe." Likewise, I can only assume that news outlets will continue to pretend that Cheney has some shred of credibility on these issues, and will have her on national television every day for the next year.

But that doesn't make this endeavor any less ridiculous.

Steve Benen 8:35 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (46)

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Comments


was "keep america nuts"...already taken?

Posted by: mr. irony on October 13, 2009 at 8:36 AM | PERMALINK

I read "The good guys need some help too" and threw up in my mouth a little. Someone should do something like drop kick Kristol in the nuts to make sure he doesn't procreate.

Posted by: Comrade Jake on October 13, 2009 at 8:36 AM | PERMALINK

I'm so delighted that Liz Cheney will now be invited to appear on absolutely every Sunday talk show. Not.

The only good thing about it is that maybe we'll now see less of that sterling gentleman with the keenly penetrating intellect, John McCain.

Posted by: Harlow Wilcox on October 13, 2009 at 8:36 AM | PERMALINK

Is it just me or is Liz Cheney running for the Republican nomination in 2012? While she's clearly deluded and misguide (her father's daughter, in other words) might not conservatives view her as a viable alternative to Sarah Palin, one with more brains, less baggage and more appeal to female voters? Could their strategy be to defeat Obama, the first African American president, with a woman, another history-making choice?

Posted by: dalloway on October 13, 2009 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

"Liz Cheney added that the group would defend and promote Bush-era policies: "There's no turning away from that legacy at all.""

The only surprising thing about her making that statement is that she wasn't wearing a straight jacket.

The country's heart has not grown fonder since George Bush rode off into the sunset. I find it amazing that these conservatiives are pitching their message to what at this point can probably be called a cult.

As far as Liz cheney goes, she's one of the vilest, most unpleasnat figures to hit the political scene in a while. In looks and demeanor she resembles one of those big albino snakes. I always feel like I want to wash my handds after watching her. It's a good thing that she has surfaced. She's personally as icky as her message. I don't see her being an effective spokesperson for the cause.

Posted by: SaintZak on October 13, 2009 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney and her crowd are extremists! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on October 13, 2009 at 8:49 AM | PERMALINK

People will do almost anything to avoid having to admit that they were completely, horrifically, tragically, stupendously wrong.

Posted by: shortstop on October 13, 2009 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

There is a parallel point, which you keep making. WHy do these nutjobs keep getting invited to the yak shows? I saw Kristol's flaccid head the other day, while trying to find a football game. Why do the media keep having these clowns on?

Posted by: bigwisc on October 13, 2009 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

What a team. Bevis and Butthead of the neocon world. I can see them both sitting in the back room saying " This here will get us some TEEVEE time. Unfortunately it is so true. We are about to be subjected to their fair and balanced worldview ...mebee even one of them thar TEEVEE talk shows on the Fair and balance Faux NOOZE. (or CNN) - BTW Anyone see Jon Stewart hammer CNN last night - priceless

Posted by: John R on October 13, 2009 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

"The Left has dozens of organizations and tens of millions of dollars dedicated to undercutting the war on terror. The good guys need some help too."

I never realized that Kristol had such a sardonic wit. He should do stand-up.

Liz Cheney added that the group would defend and promote Bush-era policies.

Hmm. President Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize largely because the world sees him moving AWAY from Bush-era policies. Do these asshats not realize that the USA is NOT safer when it has alienated most of the world?

Posted by: josef on October 13, 2009 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

Us normal Americans occasionally have that dream where we find ourselves naked in public.

Bill and Liz are LIVING the "American Dream". . .

Posted by: DAY on October 13, 2009 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

Keep America Safe already has an offshoot organiztion in place: The Keep The Palins Classy Project. Equally valid.

Posted by: slappy magoo on October 13, 2009 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

"Why do the media keep having these clowns on?"

Follow the money.

Posted by: Buford on October 13, 2009 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

"The Left has dozens of organizations and tens of millions of dollars dedicated to undercutting the war on terror. The good guys need some help too."

Like,.......who? Who's included with these "dozens of organizations"?

Cobra Command? SPECTRE? The Legion of Doom? The Pentaverate?

Posted by: 2Manchu on October 13, 2009 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

Liz Cheney and Bill Kristol have created a new right-wing political organization

This should help Obama immensely. If he's ever undecided on foreign policy he only need look to this organization and do the opposite.

Posted by: ckelly on October 13, 2009 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

You are missing the point here, Steve. The Bill and Liz show will use this to make money. Their old gigs are drying up fast and they are searching for new revenue sources.

Posted by: Th on October 13, 2009 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

And people wonder why Obama won a Nobel prize for throwing this crowd out of D.C.?

Posted by: T-Rex on October 13, 2009 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

Is it just me or is Liz Cheney running for the Republican nomination in 2012? - dalloway

I don't think it will be 2012, that sounds a bit too early, but otherwise I'd see the same motivation on Liz Cheney's part. And good old Bill Kristol obviously has given up on the idea that Dan Quayle might ever provide him an opportunity to move into the office next to the oval one. Who is providing the welfare for Liz and her new outfit?

And yes, better get used to seeing her face on TV even more frequently. Especially if you're still a customer of Unfair&Unbalanced.

Posted by: SRW1 on October 13, 2009 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

For a monthly, this site is awfully daily.

Posted by: Tim on October 13, 2009 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

Keep America safe...
Condoms for everyone!!!!

Posted by: Yo Yo Ma on October 13, 2009 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

Keep America safe...
Sugarless gum for everyone!!!

Posted by: Yo Yo Ma on October 13, 2009 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

BEST 1st comment to a post I've seen in ages! SAFE...yegods, just to continue to feed the braindead with the idea that anyone can insure safety for all time...simplistic and stupid...the new GOP motto!

Posted by: Dancer on October 13, 2009 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

"The American Dream" what a sweet dream to be in.
On the other hand we have...
The World Reality and just start to notice it.
Does that mean we are waking up?

Posted by: Yo Yo Ma on October 13, 2009 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

"Keep America Safe"
Buckle up!

Posted by: Yo Yo Ma on October 13, 2009 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

"Keep America Safe"
Stay in your bunker...

Posted by: Yo Yo Ma on October 13, 2009 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

Oh wait...
Here comes the swinefluence!!!

Posted by: Yo Yo Ma on October 13, 2009 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

Congratulations, Steve - you've finally written the perfect blog post.

It consists of nothing other than vitriol, abuse, unsupported tendentious assertions and conventional far-left talking points. It contained no original thinking and practically no information whatsoever.

Posted by: am on October 13, 2009 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

Please don't underestimate this. (It should be mocked and ridiculed to keep it from gaining legitimacy.) I remember hearing about the PNAC in the late 90's and thinking it was the craziest thing I'd ever heard and thanking God these people were the fringe who had no power.
By 2001 they were running the government.

Posted by: tlliberal on October 13, 2009 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

There is a parallel point, which you keep making. WHy do these nutjobs keep getting invited to the yak shows? I saw Kristol's flaccid head the other day, while trying to find a football game. Why do the media keep having these clowns on?

Social ascendence. The right conquered socially back in the Reagan days and have used their leverage to seized control of most of the television coverage. Liz Cheney has no rational credentials to be on any network show, but as a daughter of Beltway royalty, she is an easy pick to represent that social elite.

Bill Kristol is an amoral, bloody-minded, lying fool, but he would have to knife someone on camera to lose his Beltway social status. He'll be with us forever.

Posted by: Midland on October 13, 2009 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

It consists of nothing other than vitriol, abuse, unsupported tendentious assertions and conventional far-left talking points. It contained no original thinking and practically no information whatsoever.

. . . And, of course, if you make an obvious point in criticizing the aristocracy, you get a contentless ad hominen attack in riposte.

Posted by: Midland on October 13, 2009 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

There is no Liz Cheney. It's Dick Cheney with an obvious blonde wig. Jesus Christ, people, just look at "her!"

Posted by: kc on October 13, 2009 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

Obama should handle them using Bush era policies. Do we still have any black sites? Or maybe he'll just handle them the Chicago Way.

Posted by: cat on October 13, 2009 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

The Republican War Crimes Party led by torture advocates.

Go figure...

Posted by: Not Jack Bauer on October 13, 2009 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Obama has offered some pretty rhetoric about America's new role in the world which has obviously given some people, mostly western elites, reassurance that their interests will be protected and given due consideration. This, from their point of view, is certainly an improvement over the shamelessly unilaterel rhetoric of the Bush administration. But Obama has done nothing yet to diminish America's intrusive military presence throughout the world.

He offers hopeful words to the Palestinians by condemning the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and speaking of a two-state solution, and yet US dollars and military support continue to flow to Israel. Further, we have yet to hear the Obama administration condemn the brutal attack in Gaza, and the humanitarian disaster there continues to this day. I understand that these issues are practically unmentionable in the US media, whether on Fox or NPR, but they are vital to people throughout the Muslim world. Obama's rhetoric cannot be anthing but shamelessly hypocritical from their point of view.

We continue to fight for "democracy" in Afghanistan by banning and violently suppressing one of the largest political factions there, the Taliban. Demonizing the Taliban plays well in the US media, but it is difficult to imagine that people in the region, including Pakistan, do not understand that this simply a power struggle that has little to do with ideals like "democracy" or "freedom." Again, our hypocrisy is shameless and no doubt the butt of many grim jokes on the lips of the people there.

Obama offers words of hope about an end to nuclear weapons and the threat of nuclear annihilation. Coming from the world's formost owner and manufacturer of said nuclear weapons, who is currently engaged in fighting two wars, these words must be considered skeptically, or even cynically, by rational people.

My point, in relation to the post about the neoconservatives, is this. Words do not change these realities, and if we are not committed to effecting real change in the actual policies of America, then we had better adopt and doggedly pursue the aggressive militaristic policies of the neocons. Words aside, the reality remains that the United States is the premier military aggressor and enforcer throughout the world, and unless we are going to change that fact, we had better be serious about it; or, in the short term, we'll just get ourselves killed.

Such an attitude is, of course, a garuntee of annihilation in the long run. SO let's hope Obama is serious about "change".

Posted by: Jason on October 13, 2009 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

The truth is, Cheney/Kristol had their day. They got to do exactly what they wanted to do -- torture, preemptive war, abandoning the rule of law, abandoning democratic norms, alienating allies, ignoring the concept of international cooperation -- and they failed anyway.

Don't forget that they also privatized the military by turning many of its functions over to Halliburton. The entire Cheney family made money on that, which is why Liz doesn't have to have a real job today.

Posted by: Gaia on October 13, 2009 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

Liz is after a paycheck, that's all. She sees that she can latch onto the reputation her father built and collect money for it. There's always another too wealthy right wing basket case all too willing to fund someone who's foaming at the mouth crazy & both Liz & Kristol are from the same mold, children of elite right wing nutz and willing to sell their family name for money.

I mean really, what has Liz Cheney ever done aside from being the spawn of Darth?

One question I have though....she sits with those who would jail gays & deny them any rights at all. Isn't that an issue with those people or are they all just complete hypocrits?

Posted by: kindness on October 13, 2009 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

New "Keep A Man-Sized Safe" media empire coming our way? Need full-size company to handle all the media appearances, I guess.

Can't say I'm ready for the tie-ins that might come along with The Torture Channel's big roll-out. But, I guess it's as well as not to keep these loons where we can see them. In small doses. With the volume turned way down.

Posted by: This Burden Shall Pass on October 13, 2009 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, did I mention Liz Cheney and her crowd are profiteering-on-death extremists! Just look at their priorities: military as peacekeepers (death to all who would step out of line), no bid contract for companies who supply infrastructure for death, and other misc. military-industrial complex death making! Cheney and her ilk would not hesitate to destroy anything merely to save it! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on October 13, 2009 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

Liz Cheney is, always has been, and most probably always will be, an asshole.

Posted by: rbe1 on October 13, 2009 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

Liz Cheney is self-described on the website as a "specialist" in Middle East Policy? Really? Based on her tenure as her father's planted representative in the State Dept? I am curious to hear whether her responsibilities there really created expertise on her part, since it is clear from her resume that she had no prior relevant experience in or with the Middle East. Does she speak any of the languages common there? Has she had any hands-on experience with the Middle East?

Debra Burlingame, the other Board Member, also doesn't appear to have any real expertise in foreign policy or security issues. Yes, she has written editorials, but always from the vantage point of a member of the family of a 9/11 victim. There is nothing in her bio on the site to suggest that she has any particular expertise.

That doesn't mean that Cheney and Burlingame can't put together a useful, challenging foreign policy blogsite from the perspective of the right. However, based on the look of the website, it appears that it is more focused on partisan criticism of and attacks on President Obama than on a rational, intelligent, informed policy debate.

As has become all too apparent, Liz Cheney's immediate agenda is nothing more nor less than defending her father's reputation, and she will say and do pretty much anything to that end.

Posted by: DRF on October 13, 2009 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

Could I suggest a small edit? Instead of 'stopping, catching, and killing', please say 'stopping, catching or killing'. I hope we have not caught and killed anyone, as I have not seen any trials. We have caught some and killed others.

Posted by: David Margolies on October 13, 2009 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

THIS LIBERAL ADMINISTRATION, ET AL, ARE BURYING THEIR HEADS IN THE SAND - WHAT A BUNCH OF STUPID OSTRICHES. I DON'T CARE IF THE INTERROGATION TECHNIQUES WERE "TOO SEVERE" - WHAT A SHAME!! I THINK ALL THE DETAINESS IN CUBA, AND ALL THE RADIAL JIHAD MUSLIMS, ARE GUILTY OF FIRST DEGREE MURDER. THIS ADMINISTRATION IS OUT TO RUIN OUR GREAT COUNTRY. THE LIBERALS CAN'T SEE THIS. I AM SICK AND TIRED OF THIS ADMINISTRATION APOLOGIZING FOR OUR COUNTRY AND WHAT WE STAND FOR. MR OBAMA NEEDS TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY AND LIVE IN IRAN OR LYBIA AND HE CAN TAKE NANCY PELOSI AND ALL THOSE OTHER "USERS" WITH HIM. I AM TIRED OF THIS ADMINISTRATION USING AMERICAN TAX DOLLARS AS IF IT IS THEIR PETTY CASH DRAWER. THEY CAN ALL KMA!!!

Posted by: CPRITTERS on October 13, 2009 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

SHOOT THE LAWYERS! MORE SKIN ON HBO! THIS IS L. H. PUTTGRASS SIGNING OFF AND HEADING FOR THE TUB!

Posted by: L. H. Puttgrass on October 13, 2009 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

Lynne Cheney is a fascist, like her father. This family clearly views, the US MILITARY, as their personal army to carry our oil wars and imperial projects. Have we forgotten, the Cheneys didn't serve in the military, they dodged at all costs.

Posted by: Simon Templar on October 14, 2009 at 1:56 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, ok, I get it, I guess - but does this really work?

Posted by: roulette on December 20, 2009 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

Amazing as always

Posted by: pharmacy tech on January 5, 2010 at 2:56 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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