In yesterday’s Los Angeles Times, National Review editor Jonah Goldberg wrote, “I’m a longtime member of a pretty select group: the Dick Cheney Fan Club.” Goldberg appeared on MSNBC with Tucker Carlson to discuss his membership in this exclusive club and to explain the traits in Cheney that he found worthy of admiration.
“[Dick Cheney] just does not care. I think it’s a sign of character and integrity on his part that he just doesn’t care,” Goldberg said, adding, “He’s a serious guy.”
Asked by host Tucker Carlson why some critics have such a strong distaste for Cheney, Goldberg offered this penetrating analysis:
I have no idea. I truly have no idea. I like Dick Cheney — love to have a beer with the guy. I think he is a smart, serious man in American life. I think one of the things that bothers them is he doesn’t care. … He looks like he should be eating a sandwich while he’s [giving a speech]. That’s just the sort of matter-of-fact, eating lunch over the sink, oh yeah and by the way, here’s my view of the world. I love that!
A March 2004 report by Rep. Henry Waxman’s office documented 51 misleading pre-war statements made by Dick Cheney about the threat posed by Iraq. Cheney has expressed no regret or remorse for having committed the nation to a war on false grounds. Instead, he has continued to propagate one falsehood after another to maintain the U.S. occupation of Iraq.
As the Washington Post has recently detailed at length, Cheney’s harmful impact has been felt far beyond Iraq and extends to everything from denial of due process to torture to deficit spending and environmental degradation.
Cheney’s “matter of fact, eating lunch over the sink” manner of speaking doesn’t alleviate the damaging impact that his ill-conceived, hard-right agenda is having on the nation. It appears Goldberg just “doesn’t care.”
CARLSON: Why are you defending Cheney?
GOLDBERG: No, I, I — well, first of all, I have — I just simply, I have always liked Dick Cheney. I think that he’s, you know, as I put it in the piece, you know, everyone — everyone on both sides of the aisle, there’s a lot of this you know, sort of talk about how we don’t want politicians to go by the polls, who don’t put their finger in the wind and go with just whatever the prevailing conventional wisdom is.
And yet, Dick Cheney is really the only guy who doesn’t bother talking the talk, he just walks the walk. He does not care, and I think it’s a sign of character and integrity on his part that he just doesn’t care. There are a lot of people out there who worship the masses and Dick Cheney doesn’t. He cares about history, he cares about the merits of the argument. He probably cares about power quite a bit, too. But he’s a serious guy.
CARLSON: People hate Cheney on this visceral level. What is so hateable about Dick Cheney?
GOLDBERG: I have no — I really, I truly have no idea. I like Dick Cheney, love to have a beer with the guy. I think he is a smart, serious man in American life. I think one of the things that bothers them is that he doesn’t care. You know, there’s nothing — you know, the opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference. It drives stalkers and some hard-core lefties crazy. He just doesn’t care what they think about him.
CARLSON: Have you ever seen Dick Cheney give a speech? I mean, the contempt for the audience is palpable. He doesn’t, he doesn’t — he tells a joke that’s written into his speech, he doesn’t wait for them to laugh, he just blows right through it.
GOLDBERG: I know, I — see, I love that. He looks like he should be eating a sandwich while he’s doing it, you know. I mean, it’s just this sort of like matter-of-fact, eating lunch over the sink. Oh yes, and by the way, here is my view of the world. I love that.