It appears CBS News's Chief Legal Analyst doesn't agree with his colleague Bob Schieffer that former Vice President Dick Cheney is winning the national security debate with Barack Obama.
Quite the contrary, Andrew Cohen thinks Cheney is still living in "the world of September 11, 2001, a world where hijacked planes are screaming toward their targets, chaos reigns, and anything goes."
As a result, Cohen wondered in a Friday posting at his CBSNews.com blog "Court Watch" if Cheney is, "as many people say, just a d**k":
People far smarter than me have tried to psychoanalyze Dick Cheney to understand his motivations, both recent and past. Books have been written on the topic; talking head politicos have strained neck muscles arguing the matter before television cameras. But after watching Cheney’s terror-law speech on Thursday, and after reading his prepared remarks, let me humbly offer a theory that may explain both why he seems so creepy to so many and so right to some. [...]
How do we account for Cheney’s failure or refusal to acknowledge all that we have learned about the world since 2002? How do we explain the worldview he continues to share with his camp followers both in and out of power? Do we chalk it up to him being a stubborn, venal, self-righteous man incapable of admitting his own mistakes? Is he truly what Andrew Sullivan calls a “dead-ender?” Do we hang it on his ideology? On his Western individualism that eschews the need for consensus and compromise? Or is he, as many people say, just a d**k. [sic]
I hereby choose the following explanation. Cheney’s world today is still the world of September 11, 2001, a world where hijacked planes are screaming toward their targets, chaos reigns, and anything goes. It’s a world where civil liberties are endangered, laws are overlooked, and the enemy, for all we know, is truly at the gate. Cheney simply hasn’t moved beyond that mode into the realm of the present. That’s why he cannot accept that the decisions he and others made in the long shadows of that day—water-boarding, indefinite detention, Gitmo, and so on— were short-sighted and even, in some cases, counter-productive.
If wanting our military and intelligence agencies to behave like we're living in a post-9/11 world makes one a d**k, count me proudly amongst the so afflicted.