It turns out that a few years ago, Dick Cheney may have been lateralizing out of the other side of his mouth.
Taegan Goddard offers up this quote from the Seattle Post:
In an assessment that differs sharply with his view today, Dick Cheney more than a decade ago defended the decision to leave Saddam Hussein in power after the first Gulf War, telling a Seattle audience that capturing Saddam wouldn’t be worth additional U.S. casualties or the risk of getting “bogged down in the problems of trying to take over and govern Iraq.”
The story got picked up by more outlets as John Edwards took the ball and ran with it during an interview with Imus.
One does wonder though, in an election season that has been so focused on the false notion of Kerry as a flip flopper, why this attack on Cheney didn’t come earlier and often; and why it didn’t come from the Kerry-Edwards advance team as opposed to a newspaper report.
Now, you can ask whether or not the attack is entirely fair. But you could ask the same thing about nearly every attack on John Kerry (he’s been attacked for everything from agreeing with Cheney on weapons reductions to serving with valor in Vietnam).
If he had been forced to deal with this quote endlessly, Cheney could certainly have explained that the risk of getting “bogged down” in Iraq became worth it in the post 9-11 world. But to explain the nuances of this change of heart would have taken at least two sentences. And in this political age, that’s about a sentence and a half too much.