Wednesday, March 2, 2005

Cheney in '08

For the past several months I've been telling anyone who would listen (an audience made up mostly of house pets and young grandchildren) that I thought the best candidate the Republicans could offer for the presidency in 2008 is Dick Cheney. I know, I know, he doesn't want it. All the more reason to urge him to accept. As Plato writes in his Republic anyone who actually wants the job should be suspected of base motives. Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard agrees:

As professions of lack of interest in the presidency go, Cheney's is unusually strong. Yet there's every reason he should change his mind. He's not too old. President Reagan was 69 when he took office. Despite past heart trouble, Cheney hasn't had a serious health problem for years. Besides, his health has nothing to do with his refusal to consider running in 2008. He's an experienced candidate at the national level and an effective debater with a wry sense of humor.

But there's a larger reason Cheney should seek to succeed Bush. In all likelihood, the 2008 election, like last year's contest, will focus on foreign policy. The war on terror, national security, and the struggle for democracy will probably dominate American politics for a decade or more. Bush's legacy, or at least part of it, will be to have returned these issues to a position of paramount concern for future presidents. And who is best qualified to pursue that agenda as knowledgeably and aggressively as Bush? The answer is the person who helped Bush formulate it, namely Cheney.

Cheney should not commit to run, in our view, but the party should ask him, behind the scenes, to be its candidate in the event no one else of comparable consequence emerges. Right now, no one on the Republican horizon has the star power, expertise, credibility, and "gravitas" (forgive me) that Cheney has. He would be a shoo-in for the nomination, and perhaps best of all, a Cheney candidacy would drive the Left to stratospheric altitudes of hate-inspired insanity and heretofore unplumbed depths of political depravity. It would be great fun to watch.

Reaction to "Watching Our Kids Self-Destruct"

A reader offered a personal experience of his own in response to our post the other day titled Watching Our Kids Self-Destruct. He writes:

Your most recent blog entry struck a chord with me. I have to relate my own experience from [a local] Middle School last year.

I was substituting in an 8th grade classroom, and one of the girls in the homeroom came in dressed in the traditional post-"Matrix" "outsider" attire of a black trenchcoat and dark eyeshadow. I also noticed some scratching on her wrists when she took the trenchcoat off during part of the period. If it was cutting, it was halfhearted at best, but still disturbing given the context of what I saw next.

She was also in my 4th period social studies class and she sat right in front of the podium. I noticed her binder was covered with quotes from the Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, and most strikingly, the Columbine killers - one I can remember to this day: "The lonely man strikes with absolute anger. - Eric Harris."

During my free period I walked down to the guidance office and asked to talk to someone about the girl and what I had noticed about her questionable identifications. They told me to call down later and talk to a guidance counselor.

Towards the end of the day I had another free period so I called down and got a guidance counselor. "Oh, we've told her she's not supposed to write things like that in school before. I guess we'll have to have a talk with her again."

I was pretty numbed by the thought that the best thing these highly-paid, highly-trusted "guidance counselors" could come up with was "we will tell her not to do that in school anymore." In my mind someone who is covering their binder in quotes from mass murderers has a problem that needs to be addressed more definitively. It is a disservice not only to the other students and staff, but especially to the girl herself, not to help her by figuring out what is going on.

But hey, the guidance counselors collected their paychecks that weekend whether her problems got solved or not.

Sometimes we misinterpret other people's responses to us, of course, but if the counselors in this instance did indeed respond as insouciantly as our correspondent perceived them to, then their indifference is no less disturbing than that a 14 year-old girl would find Eric Harris worth quoting. Perhaps more.