I know I'm late to the party, but this Dick Cheney quote really is staggering:
Five years after the start of the war in Iraq, Vice President Dick Cheney offered a positive assessment of the war today and called last year's troop surge a "major success."
"On the security front, I think there's a general consensus that we've made major progress, that the surge has worked. That's been a major success," Cheney told ABC News' Martha Raddatz.
When asked about how that jibes with recent polls that show about two-thirds of Americans say the fight in Iraq is not worth it, Cheney replied, "So?"
"You don't care what the American people think?" Raddatz asked the vice president.
"You can't be blown off course by polls," said Cheney, who is currently on a tour of the Middle East. "This president is very courageous and determined to go the course. There has been a huge fundamental change and transformation for the better. That's a huge accomplishment."
Has any other president or vice president in the contemporary era expressed such open disregard for the views of the public before? While I don't believe that elected officials should mindlessly follow public opinion, public opinion should always be a factor in their decisions in a democracy.
At a more fundamental level, this is the problem with the 22nd amendment -- it puts lame duck administrations outside the reach of democratic accountability.