Vice President Cheney warned in an interview with The Politico that a premature withdrawal from Iraq would invite “further attacks” against the United States and said he has been surprised by the weakness of the Democratic Congress.

The funny part of the interview is when he taunts the Democratic leadership. He talked about Democratic Reps. John Dingell and John Murtha, scoffing at the idea of two men who spent years accruing so much power showing so much deference to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the big debates of the year.

Murtha “and the other senior leaders … march to the tune of Nancy Pelosi to an extent I had not seen, frankly, with any previous speaker,” Cheney said. “I’m trying to think how to say all of this in a gentlemanly fashion, but [in] the Congress I served in, that wouldn’t have happened.”

“They are not carrying the big sticks I would have expected.”

Rep. Rahm Emanuel got wind of the Vice President’s talk of sticks and fired back,

“Some of us were surprised that the president didn’t have a bigger stick when he could have stood up to Dick Cheney.”

Cheney also left no doubt that he takes pride in the most-criticized policies of the Bush administration, including the wiretapping of suspected terrorists, and the long-term imprisonment and aggressive interrogation of suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

“We’ve been very successful,” he said. “It’s not an accident; it’s because those programs have been there.”

The Vice President also made the prediction that Iraq will be a self-sustaining Democracy by 2009.

But Cheney said that by the middle of January 2009, it will be clear that “we have in fact achieved our objective in terms of having a self-governing Iraq that’s capable for the most part of defending themselves, a democracy in the heart of the Middle East, a nation that will be a positive force in influencing the world around it in the future.”

One thing you have to admire about Dick Cheney and President Bush is their willingness to do what they think is right, even in the face of withering criticism. Say what you want about the Bush Administration, but the fact remains that we haven’t been attacked again.

I’m also glad that Cheney brought up the one fact everyone is aware of, but refuses to acknowledge. Republicans really do have “bigger sticks” than Democrats.

-Chris Jones
The Hot Joints 

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