COMMENTARY: Gall and Cheney

Hell hath no fury like an ex-Vice President scorned. Or so it seems.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, still smarting over the fact that former President George W. Bush failed to grant a full and complete pardon to Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, has grabbed a rhetorical shotgun and and toothbrush and is shooting his mouth off again. This time he states that Americans feel less safe now that President Barack Obama is in the White House.

I cannot speak for anyone else, but unless Vice President Joe Biden accidentally shoots one of his friends in the face while hunting small and defenseless birds, I am feeling decidedly more safe.

Among the remarks made by Cheney and reported by the Associated Press was his assertion that Iraq will never 'go back to producing weapons of mass destruction.' Of course, there were no weapons of mass destruction, as anyone who has follows the historical record, including the 'Downing Street memo' can attest. I had a greater sense of anxiety worrying whether I was going to get Salmonella after eating a Reece's peanut butter cup.

And of course Cheney had to do a bit of crowing about how safe Americans were at thwarting plans for terrorist attacks after 9/11 due to the repressive measures offered up by the Bush administration. But when pressed for details, Cheney stated such things were classified and couldn't be disclosed.

At least he didn't opt for the old (and not very good) joke: 'I would tell you but then I would have to kill ya.' That would have made us feel so much safer!

What would make me feel both safe and content is for the media to stop reporting Mr. Cheney's utterances. Yes, he's entitled to speak his mind, but I don't think he intends being a contender for the GOP nomination in 2012. I also want to point out there is precedent for a 'mute button' on former Vice Presidents: Spiro T. Agnew and Dan Quayle come immediately to mind. Historically, of course, many Vice Presidents were muted within 24 hours or so after taking the oath. I mean, is there anyone who can name the VP's for Coolidge, Hoover and Benjamin Harrison without looking up that information?