Dick Cheney's 'war' on Obama

In a battle of words, the former vice president and the White House fight over Flight 253 and national security policy

The White House pushed back at Dick Cheney after the former vice president said Obama's "low-key" response to the failed Christmas Day bombing of Flight 253 proves he's "trying to pretend we are not at war," which "makes us less safe." White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said Wednesday that Obama "doesn't need to beat his chest" to fight al Qaida, and that Cheney and other critics could help make the country safer by focusing on the enemy instead of pointing fingers at the administration. Will either side win a war of words over the war on terrorism? (Watch Rachel Maddow respond to Dick Cheney's attacks on Obama)

Cheney should stop lying: Dick Cheney is using a terrorist attack to score political points, says Eugene Robinson in The Washington Post. But his "shrill screed" is based on a "big lie" — that Obama takes terrorism lightly. Obama has said repeatedly that we are at war with terrorists, so perhaps it's time for Cheney to drop the "histrionic Rottweiler-in-Winter act" and "put country first" for a change.

"Dick Cheney's lies about President Obama"

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Obama reacts quicker to Cheny than to terrorists: It "beggars belief" that the White House would "accuse of all people, Dick Cheney," of being soft on al Qaida, says Mark Hemmingway in the Washington Examiner. But the real outrage is that the White House found time for a petty "rapid response" to Cheney's jab, after Obama took four days to respond to this "barely averted domestic catastrophe." Um, "priorities!"

"White House...responds to Cheney criticism in matter of hours?"

Obama is too similar to Cheney: Dick Cheney's argument may be "stupid," says Jacob Sullum in Reason, but so is his — and Obama's — fixation on the word "war." It's not like "an insufficiently martial attitude explains the intelligence screwups" that allowed the "underwear bomber" to walk on a plane with explosives. So Cheney should relax: if anything, Obama's terrorism policies aren't, unfortunately, "substantially different from his predecessor's."

"War: What is it good for?"

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.