Steve Benen makes a good point about the Dickmentum that Jon Meacham is feeling right now:
Indeed, rank-and-file Republicans were asked in a new poll about who best reflects the party’s principles. Just one chose Dick Cheney — not 1 percent, I mean one individual person.
Republicans deserve a lot of condemnation for making Bush their 2000 nominee and for generally supporting Bush-Cheney policies until the bitter end. But Republican voters never really chose Dick Cheney. Bush won the primary in 2000 before Cheney chose himself to be vice-president, of course. For the first four years of the Bush administration, Cheney had his way with a dumb and weak president. However, by many accounts, from 2005-2008, even this weak and dumb president rejected many of Cheney’s foreign policy ideas (I buy into the idea that the Cheneyites would have gone into Iran but the Condiites managed to nix it, I realize not everyone believes this).
I’m sure that there’s all kinds of polling showing that Republicans are expressing or have expressed reasonable levels of approval for Cheney. That doesn’t prove anything. The party functioned as a Bush personality cult for many years and some amount of support for Cheney was bound to be a byproduct of that. If Republican voters thought of Cheney as the heart and soul of the party now, there would be more than one person in a sample of a 804 who thought he best reflected the party principles.
The disconnect between the Village and the voters here is near total. It isn’t just that Cheney is disliked by the public at large, it’s that rank-and-file Republicans don’t even love him that much.
Cheney is probably too monstrous for outside-the-beltway wingers, as crazy as they are. But he’s not too monstrous for the Village.