It’s been five years and we are still waiting for Dick Cheney to learn that it is proper etiquette for the last administration to refrain from criticizing the successor. George W. Bush who seemed incapable of learning anything has followed that tradition, refraining from making critical remarks about the current administration. This week, it was the proposal to downsize the military as a budget cutting measure, that prompted Cheney to open his mouth again.
Wednesday night Jon Stewart took a look at Cheney’s remarks and put them into their proper perspective. It turns out that Cheney is somewhat of a hypocrite, among other things.
It is no secret that the United States spends more on its military than anyone else in the world. In fact, we spend more than the next 13 of our allies combined. So when Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced we would be reducing the military by 5.9%, to most people it made sense. Not to Dick Cheney, though. He immediately came out to criticize the move saying that the President would rather spend money on food stamps than on defense.
Jon began by saying, “You know, the United States may not have won the most medals at this year’s Olympics, but there is one event we’ll never be second best in — fighting! The United States has the best military on this here planet, we lead the world in smart bombs and increasingly stupid children.”
He goes on to say that it makes sense, as long as we are going to maintain the benefits we have promised to our veterans and still be in a position to defend ourselves, there is nothing wrong with reducing the military to to 450,000 men under arms.
Enter Dick Cheney who told Fox News in a telephone interview after the cuts were announced, “it does enormous long term damage to our military. They’re basically making the decision, the Obama administration, that they no longer want to be dominant.”
“Yes, yes,” Stewart responded, “The Commander in Chief and the Secretary of Defense want the United States to be weak and defenseless, because only then can the Chinese swoop in, roll us over on our bellies and tickle us until our leg shakes,” challenging Cheney to make a better argument than that.
“He’d much rather spend the money on food stamps than on a strong military,” says Cheney on the tape.
Of course as Jon points out, a large share of those food stamps go to military families. Last year alone, over $100 million in food stamps was spent in military grocery stores.
“But here’s where America’s best known Dick really makes his mark,” said Stewart.
“I think the whole thing is not driven by any change in world circumstances it’s driven by budget considerations,” Cheney said.
“You make Dick Cheney Secretary of Defense,” Jon said, “there’s no way he’d let some bulls**t budget constraints force him to cut our troop count by the 5.9% proposed.”
Cue video of Cheney as Secretary of Defense in 1991:
[box type=”shadow”]”The budget that we have submitted to Congress just in the last few weeks, calls for approximately a 25% reduction in force structure between now and 1995 and 96.”[/box]
At that time, Cheney said that “the only way I know to cut the budget is to cut the budget.”
It makes a difference who is making the cuts as to what constitutes to large a cut.
Watch the segment in the video below.
h/t: The Daily Show