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Did Cheney Go Too Far?

Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy writes in a Hartford Courant op-ed: "Vice presidents are notorious for serving as an administration's chief attack dog, and time and again Dick Cheney has been unleashed to accuse anyone who is opposed to the Bush administration of aiding the terrorists. But this time he has gone too far.

"The comments he made on the result of the Connecticut Democratic primary -- that it might encourage 'the al-Qaida types' who want to 'break the will of the American people in terms of our ability to stay in the fight and complete the task' -- are an attack not just on Democrats, but on democracy itself.

"What happened in Connecticut is in fact a model for democracies everywhere. The people of the state heard a vigorous debate between two competing visions of how to protect this country. Young citizens became deeply involved, and turnout was high. The primary reminded us of the miracle of our democracy, in which the nation is ruled by its people -- not by any entrenched set of leaders. There are few better messages we could send the world in these troubled times."

Arianna Huffington writes on her blog that "to hear Dick Cheney and company using illogical, over-the-top, fear-mongering rhetoric conflating Ned Lamont's victory with the war on terror is as deeply offensive as it is jaw-droppingly outrageous. . . .

"It would help if the MSM reacted to the GOP drivel by treating it with the contempt it deserves instead of dutifully reporting it as if it contained even an ounce of logic or sanity."

On the Editorial Pages

The Philadelphia Daily News writes: "For Cheney -- and other Republicans like GOP National Chairman Ken Mehlman -- to suggest that those Americans are encouraging terrorism is reprehensible. . . .

"To exploit a very real terror threat that could have led to major casualties, and to even indirectly implicate Americans who were exercising their democratic right by going to the polls and making a choice borders on the criminal, to say nothing of the insane.

"Has Cheney completely lost it?"

The Trenton Times writes: "Leave it to Vice President Dick Cheney to turn the results of a fair and honest election into some kind of sinister scenario. . . .

"Actually, comments such as the above are more of a sad reflection on the state of the Bush-Cheney administration, which just doesn't get it. Americans are fed up with the war in Iraq, from the false pretense for going to war to the tragically inept handling of the effort after the fall of Baghdad. Meantime, terrorist groups continue to prowl and plot, as evidenced by last week's arrest of 24 terror suspects in London, while this country spends enormous resources and sheds the blood of so many brave Americans in a war that has no end in sight."

The Minneapolis Star Tribune writes: "It's bizarre enough that a sitting vice president would decide to meddle in the politics of the opposition party and try to tell Democrats how to choose their own candidate for U.S. Senate. But it's downright outrageous that Cheney would yet again try to draw misleading parallels between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaida. Time and again White House officials have backed off that assertion when challenged frontally -- only to find some new way to insinuate it again a day or a week later."

The Berkshire (Mass.) Eagle writes: "Six years into the Bush-Cheney era, no one should be surprised at the levels the vice president can reduce himself to in his unending efforts to smear his political foes. Yet, he continually comes up with new approaches. . . .


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