Posted by Brad @ 2:42 pm on November 25th 2008

More Skepticism Please

Glenn Greenwald, by way of making a point, links to a New York Times editorial written when Dick Cheney was appointed as the Vice Presidential nominee. Click through to Greenwald for the analysis, or here for the original editorial, excerpted below:

In choosing Mr. Cheney as his running mate, Gov. George W. Bush has turned to an unflappable Washington insider whose easygoing exterior masks a steely confidence, a man who, once he makes a tough decision, never looks back.

”He sort of chews on issues, and chews on them until he makes his mind up,” said former Secretary of State George P. Shultz, ”then he goes on and he doesn’t second-guess himself. He has very good judgment.”

Mr. Cheney, 59, who served 10 years in the House of Representatives and four as President George Bush’s defense secretary, brings stature, decisiveness and decades of government experience to a campaign sometimes short on all three.

But the real secret to his success may be an ability to wrap a staunchly conservative ideology in a mantle of moderation and civility to get people to trust him and get things done.

It is not just Republicans who feel at ease with Mr. Cheney, who while in the House opposed abortion and gun control and supported aid to anti-Marxist rebels in Nicaragua and President Ronald Reagan’s ”Star Wars” anti-missile shield. Mr. Cheney has a knack for working with political rivals, colleagues say.

Leon E. Panetta, a former Democratic congressman and White House chief of staff, recalled that Mr. Cheney was one Republican with whom he could confide during sensitive Capitol Hill budget negotiations.

”There was never any question he had conservative views, but he was always someone you could deal with and talk to, and never one to demagogue the issues,” Mr. Panetta said. ”I trusted that what I said would not be used against me in negotiations” . . . .

And he abhors the scorched-earth politics that came to characterize House Republicans under Speaker Newt Gingrich.

I love the “mantle of moderation and civility” bit. Oy vey.

Lots of praise, including from me, for the “pragmatic” “experienced” picks Obama is turning too. And, given the honeymoon period, that’s natural. But as Greenwald reminds me, it’s worth picking through the tea leaves a little more deeply.

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