Political Animal


July 18, 2012 11:21 AM House Republicans Smell the Brimstone

By Ed Kilgore

It’s never a good sign when Dick Cheney shows up on your doorstep.

So it must have sent a few shivers down the back when the sinister former vice president arrived at the House Republican Caucus meeting yesterday to urge members to find a way to avoid the sequestration of defense funds that is set to occur at the beginning of next year.

It seems the Military Industrial Complex decided to bring out its very biggest gun to remind GOP lawmakers that Republicans never, ever cut defense spending, even if (a) they’ve spent the last three-and-a-half years shrieking about the imminent collapse of Western Civilization attributable to runaway federal spending, and (b) the sequestration device (as Steve Benen has been reminding folks) was their idea to begin with.

I don’t know what sort of dirt Cheney might have on key Republican House members, or whether he was brandishing a list of campaign contributions from the defense industry, but I suspect his mere appearance—accompanied, I imagine, by the distinct smell of brimstone—was chilling enough to make an impression.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • bleh on July 18, 2012 11:37 AM:

    Lord Vader's shuttle is arriving in the Capitol South Garage.

  • c u n d gulag on July 18, 2012 11:40 AM:

    "...I imagine, by the distinct smell of brimstone—was chilling enough to make an impression."

    What was chilling, was the 'No-beating of the Tell-tale Heart!" *

    *And yeah, I know he got some poor person's good heart, and that the mechanical one is gone, but it was too good a gag to pass-up.

  • stormskies on July 18, 2012 11:51 AM:

    Cheney is look looking at an embalmed corpse that is taken out of it's crypt an set in motion through a series of electro shocks to menace anyone not aligned with the evil that itself is ...

  • Lucia on July 18, 2012 12:10 PM:

    You're mixing your thermal metaphors there. The arrival of an infernal ambassador should make people sweat, not chill them.

  • Daniel Kim on July 18, 2012 12:47 PM:

    Why isn't he cooling his heels at The Hague?

  • rwgate on July 18, 2012 12:50 PM:

    Is Cheney still involved with Halliburton? Or any other defense contractor? Certainly he still has friends there. Trust the Republicans to turn over the rock and bring him back to life.

  • Zorro on July 18, 2012 12:51 PM:

    Darth Cheney had a simple message: you do what I say, or I take your heart next.

    Loving the mixed metaphor,

  • bdop4 on July 18, 2012 1:13 PM:

    He brought all the contracts they signed which assigned their souls as collateral in exchange for limitless support while in office and a cushy seven-figure job when they leave.

    Just gave their beating hearts a nice little squeeze to let them know who's still the boss.

  • catclub on July 18, 2012 1:27 PM:

    "I don’t know what sort of dirt Cheney might have on key Republican House members,"

    Is it not widely rumored that the NSA and other three letter agencies were in harness to eavesdrop on some congressional phone calls during the Bush admin?
    I am sure that even if Cheney was not doing it, he let on that he was.

  • 2Manchu on July 18, 2012 1:44 PM:

    He finds their lack of faith disturbing.

  • MuddyLee on July 18, 2012 1:44 PM:

    I hope a lot of people write and talk about Cheney and Bush between now and the election - and talk about their party, the Republicans, and how Romney is the nominee of that same party, the Republicans. Then talk about all the great things that Cheney and Bush, the Republicans, did for us during the Bush presidency.

  • tcinaz on July 18, 2012 3:49 PM:

    Darth's appearance from his undisclosed location in the puppetosphere confirms what we always knew. Darth, Halliburton, and, dare I use the Eisenhowerish term, the military-industrial complex, own the GOP lock, stock and barrel, and will unload a round of buckshot in the face of anyone who crosses them. They sent Darth, not the presumptive leader of the party, whom apparently Darth doesn't trust with such a sensitive message. Tells us lots about the GOP.