Last year I went to CPAC and had a hell of a time monitoring the atrocities. I’m not going this year, but fortunately for me Mister Leonard Pierce of Sadly, No! is there and doing a better recreation of Hunter S. Thompson’s gonzo journalism than Matt Taibbi could ever dream to achieve. In his latest update, he writes about Cheney’s arrival into CPAC:
People are clapping rhythmically – well, as rhythmically as this crowd is ever going to get – for Cheney. For Cheney! I keep expecting them to start chanting “WE WANT THE SHOW” like they’re waiting for the Blues Brothers, the presence of whom would color up the crowd considerably. Wyoming senator John Barrasso introduces the fiend of the hour: “The C in CPAC should stand for Cheney!” The C in CPAC should stand for cocksucker, how about that?, I think, as the combination of drugs and fear turn me into a surly 15-year-old. Cheney is damned lucky I don’t have a roll of toilet paper, that’s all I can say. The crowd gives Dick a standing o, and, as a gang of bull-veined dudes in front of me start chanting “FOUR MORE YEARS!”, I get the sensation for the first time all day that I’m at something that could easily turn into a fascist rally. When the applause finally quells, Dick chuckles evilly. Can that be done? Is a chuckle even feasible as the delivery vector for evil? If it is, Dick Cheney is the man capable of pulling it off with finesse. I have to admit, the guy has a certain degree of charm, but it’s the same kind of charm that you might find in Stalin or Dracula: the easy charisma of a man who knows he can, with a wave of his hand, have you ground into paste.
Cheney goes on to discuss national security issues:
National security, though, that’s another matter: he gets another standing ovation for “The absence of another 9/11 is not an accident, it’s an achievement”. (The presence of the first 9/11, apparently, was and accident.) A laundry list of constitutional butt-wipes get standing ovations from about half of the crowd: an expansion of FISA, the torture of terror suspects, and the financial protection of any big corporation who might theoretically have allowed illegal wiretapping to take place. The telecoms, says Cheney, shouldn’t be “hassled” for acting in “good faith”, which usage of the phrase is unfamiliar to me. Terror, terror, terror: it’s the Dick Cheney boilerplate. (Bonus homosexual innuendo, Dick Cheney edition: describing the President’s term in office, he says “We’ve done hard things and done them well.”) Weirdly enough – or maybe not so much – his defense of torture gets a standing ovation, but his praising of our fighting men in uniform does not. It takes a man to fight, but it takes a train to waterboard.