Dick Cheney was still in New York this morning after the poignant papal send-off last night. He was still passing out compliments, today to the Manhattan Institute, which he praised for being a bastion of common sense.
Talking about the war in Iraq and the progress we’ve made, Cheney cautioned that our success and commitment in the region sends a message to moderates in Lebanon and Iran and other countries — and so would our failure. He used words like “betrayal” to describe the Democratic Congress’s cut-and-run instinct. And he left the NYC audience with a haunting reminder of what we’re facing in the coming months (and then years) as he concluded: “the only way to lose this fight is to quit,” Cheney said. He went on:
History will hand down its own judgments. But right now it’s for us to live and write that history, in the choices we make and the promises we keep. And we can be proud of our country. The world is often untidy and dangerous. But for millions who suffer under tyranny, or who struggle to maintain newly won freedom, there would be little hope without the active commitment of the United States.
As much as a nation of influence, we’re also a nation of character. And that sets us apart from so many other great powers in history –- from ancient empires to the expansionist regimes of the last century. We’re a superpower that has moral commitments and ideals that we not only proclaim, but that we act upon. Today, in a tough fight, we are turning events toward victory. And the world will be a better place because of what the United States of America did.
If I were a campaign-ad producer, I’d then cut to images of Barack Obama and Jeremiah Wright, Jimmy Carter hanging with Hamas, Nancy Pelosi in Syria ….
The veep, making a joke — can’t you tell?
UPDATE: Read his full remarks — especially if you’re a Democrat in Congress or running for president — here.