Night of the Living Republicans
Obama's electoral victory has occasioned lots of blather about how the Republicans were not only defeated in 2008, but that the Democrats' victory signals the death of the Republican party and the conservative principals they espouse.
Don't bet on it.
In recent weeks and days, Dick Cheney, who was all but invisible during the last few years, has popped up here, there and everywhere he could get a microphone to undermine Obama and, specifically, to criticize Obama'a decision to close Gitmo and release the Bush-Cheney administration's DOJ's torture memos.
Though Cheney and the usual cabal of neocon TV shills - Ari Fleischer, John Bolton, ad nausea (and stir gently) - have been hammering at a number of points, it basically boils down to these:
1. Waterboarding and other "enhanced interrogation" techniques fall short of torture.
2. But if it was torture, it produced "actionable intelligence" that prevented another 9/11 attack and kept us safe.
3. Obama is a weak sister who wants to "try weakness, like Jimmy Carter did" (I believe Newt Gingrich said that).
These assertions have all been discredited before, but, like the zombies in George Romero's classic film, they just keep marching forward, unrelentingly.
Between 1980 and 2008, Republicans occupied the White House for 20 out of 28 years. And one reason they are so successfull and resilient is that they have a playbook of political talking points and strategic techniques which they never retire from active service, no matter how many times they've been discredited.
Obama is escalating the war in Afghanistan, hasn't withdrawn one soldier from Iraq or any other foreign base, won't prosecute CIA torturers, and has authorized the biggest Pentagon budget yet, but conservatives call him a weak appeaser.
Dick Cheney and the Republicans are dreaming that the "smoking gun in the form of a mushroom cloud" should appear over an American city - just not one where they reside - so that they can rush forward and shout, in unison, "You see, we told you so!" and springboard their way back to power.
The Republicans are far from finished. If Obama's teflon finally wears off and things get bad enough, they'll stage their comeback. I'd bet on it, because it's the cyclical nature of American politics.