Republicans should be shouting Dick Cheney’s name from the rafters, writes William Kristol in the Weekly Standard. While the rest of the party sat passively by as Obama attacked them on torture, “Dick Cheney—Darth Vader himself, Mr. Unpopularity … stepped onto the field.” Thanks to his nettling, Obama is actually on the defensive, looking alternatively irresponsible and hypocritical.
But Republican operatives have responded by “doing what they do best: complaining, on background to the media.” “We want Bush to be a distant memory by the next election,” lamented one. That’s ridiculous, says Kristol. The real question is, “What will Republican chances be in 2012 if voters don’t remember the Bush administration as successful in defending the country?” Cede that issue, and you resign the party to “a post-Herbert-Hoover-like fate.”