Much has been written about how no one seems to be calling the shots at the GOP. Michael Steele, whose job it is supposed to be, has in his short tenure as chair of the RNC had to backtrack at least twice, once having to apologize for telling the truth about Rush Limbaugh and once for making a comment that the base interpreted as being suspiciously pro-choice.
Limbaugh is a guy who many people see as the public face of the Republican Party, and the radio loudmouth has certainly not helped Republicans with their image problem, suggesting that the latest attempt by GOP leaders to reach out was motivated by the Presidential ambitions of Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney and suggesting that their 'listening tour' was a joke and that they should have just preached more conservatism. Apparently it still isn't sinking in to conservatives that their day in the sun is over and that the minority of Americans today that calls itself "conservative" is, based on demographic trends, only likely to decline some more.
Even when Republicans recruit a popular moderate who can appeal beyond their base (Charlie Crist of Florida for Senate, for example) the base foams at the mouth (like the Redstate.org blog which is spearheading a drive to dry up donations to the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee because they support Crist or the Club for Growth's President Chris Chocola, who was defeated for re-election to congress by a Democrat in 2006 precisely because he was too conservative for his district and who has now opened an attack on Crist.)
So who steps in and fills the void? Well, as a Democrat all I can say is it's someone who I practically would pick first if I were to choose the new face of the GOP: Dick Cheney.
Yup, Bush's Vice President, and a Vice President who left office even less popular than Bush did. Who better to continue to remind voters of what they voted against the past two elections than the dour Cheney, hammering away at the same old, worn out arguments he's been making for years? Cheney is no longer in an undisclosed underground location, giving interviews and appearing as a guest on all sorts of TV news shows and this week even giving what was the de facto Republican response to President Obama's speech on torture and the Guantanimo detainees. I'm sure that the GOP leadership if they could pick someone to respond, would have picked practically anyone else but Dick Cheney, but he in effect pre-empted any kind of a Republican response by timing his own speech almost perfectly to dovetail with the President's speech.
As a Democrat, I can only say that I hope Dick Cheney stays as the face of the Republican party for a long time. Continuing to pound the drums for war, torture and a deregulated, trickle down economy. The old twentieth century policies that failed so spectacularly to start off the twenty-first.
But Republicans can take a glimmer of hope. Today we learned what really drives the man. He's fishing for a book deal.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney "is actively shopping a memoir about his life in politics and service in four presidential administrations, a work that would add to what is already an unusually dense collection of post-Bush-presidency memoirs that will offer a collective rebuttal to the many harshly critical works released while the writers were in office and beyond," the New York Times reports.
"A person familiar with discussions Mr. Cheney has had with publishers said he was seeking more than $2 million for his advance. That sum may prove hard to get in this economic climate, especially given his generally low approval ratings, which publishers view as a potential -- but not certain -- harbinger for sales."
Yup, that's what this is all about. Cheney wants to make a buck. Considering how much damage Cheney and his friends did to the image of the Republican brand over the past eight years, if I were in charge of the GOP I'd seriously consider paying Cheney $2 million just to crawl back into his bunker and go away.