Sunday, March 28, 2010

Liz Cheney: Like Father, Like Daughter

It seems the apple doesn't fall far from the tree after all in the case of former Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz Cheney. To say the younger Cheney is a mere clone of her father—politically speaking—is no understatement. Going over the top is quickly becoming just as much a signature of her persona as it was her father's.

Whatever chance Liz Cheney may have had to be taken seriously by a broad audience seems to have gone out the window. In a move seen as repugnant even by many of her Republican cohorts, Ms. Cheney's new political contraption, Keep America Safe, has unambiguously affirmed her wing nut predilections. By publicly maligning lawyers for representing defendants with ties to Al Qaeda, Ms. Cheney has bludgeoned a cornerstone precept in American jurisprudence, one which allows lawyers to vigorously defend their clients without assigning to them whatever nefarious associations their clients may possess.

It's not very likely Ms. Cheney doesn't know—or has forgotten—that legal representation is something any defendant is entitled to. Rather it is more likely she is out to capitalize on whatever political ill will she can conjure by associating legal representation of terror suspects with President Obama, who she says is failing to keep America safe by being "soft on terror."

Whatever one thinks of Ms. Cheney's political misorientation, you have to admire her sense of loyalty, especially given that it is directed toward people who are not likely to be treated kindly by history. As for her political aspirations, she may not may able to resist the call of the wild constituents; there certainly are enough of them. As one political observer put it, Liz Cheney is Sarah Palin with a brain, which could spell trouble for those of us who assumed no such creature could possibly exist.

Yes, it is clear Liz Cheney is intelligent, articulate and confident. It's almost a shame she is so arrogant, calculating and misguided. With assets like these, however, she should make a fine conservative politician.

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