We are hearing more and reports from people like MSNBC and HuffPo that Republican leaders really, really want Cheney to shut the hell up, but everyone is so terrified of him that no one has had the guts to sit him down and slap some sense into him. They're afraid that Blackwater goons will lock them up in Cheney's man-size safe, tow them out to sea in a sealed lead container, and drop them to the bottom of the Marianas Trench. Hey, if they can grab innocent people off the street, hold them in a cage forever and torture them, they can do it to me too!
Or, more realistically, they're afraid they'll get ripped apart by the loony right. RedState has launched a boycott of the entire GOP senatorial election committee just because they approved of Charlie Crist's Senate run. Likewise a GOP political action committee sent warning letters to GOP Senators that if they didn't fight tooth and nail to block Obama's Supreme Court nomination -- still unnamed -- the committee would go into their home states and drive them out of the GOP like they did with Specter. Even Jeb Bush, a reliable GOP thug who helped usher the Bush era into existence in the first place, was shredded by the far right for daring to admit that it's time for the GOP to move beyond the Reagan era. The few remaining hardcore Republicans are incredibly vicious and dangerously insane, but so far they seem to be aiming all their spittle and bile at their own GOP leaders. Rock on!
To survive at all, the Republicans need to find new leaders and new issues, and attack Obama on things like government spending. But instead Cheney, in a doomed effort to rewrite his sordid page in the history books, keeps dragging the national dialogue back to topics where the Republicans can't win: the issues wherein everyone knows that he, Bush and the GOP were dead wrong and criminally liable.
Every week that Cheney dominates the airwaves, screeching that torture is legal and necessary, and that Obama is endangering American lives, is another week that the Republicans (whom the Democrats will soon rebrand as "The Whigs" in a DNC resolution) can't run with their health-care-socialism ads and their screeching about spending.
Cheney is proving to be really, really bad at the one thing the Republicans always excelled at: message management. Because now it's all about him: not the country, not even the party. He is clearly damaging his own party and he couldn't care less.
Back in the 1930s there was a loudmouth opponent of FDR who was so obviously off the wall that he was damaging the anti-FDR cause. One of FDR's staffers joked that he must be working secretly for the Democrats, and FDR replied something like -- yeah, it's working so well that he wants to charge us more.
Go Dick go! Your check from the DNC is in the mail! We'll even fund a speaking tour!
PS Did you notice that Bush hasn't lifted a finger to back Cheney up?