Or so says Human Events, in a paean penned by John Bolton:
“Cheney’s unwillingness to be deterred by the media assaults on his character, his judgment and his performance in office are therefore his most impressive force multiplier with the general public. Outside-the-Beltway Americans see him for exactly what he is: a very experienced, very dedicated patriot, giving his fellow citizens his best analysis on how to keep them and their country safe.
Cheney’s quiet, inner-directed motivation is simply impervious to the attacks orchestrated against him by the Chicago machine-style politicians at the White House, a fact also plainly visible to his fellow citizens. And it is yet another important reason to have confidence that Cheney’s solid policy analysis will yet prevail in the national political arena. Of course he is the conservative of the year!”
Of course, it’s easy to make fun of the selection of a discredited, destructive former vice president who by his second term was largely frozen out of decision-making by his own boss as “Conservative of the Year.” They named a guy who — even with such competition as Spiro Agnew, Andrew Johnson and Aaron Burr — easily ranks as “Worst Vice President Ever?” (Burr, for all his faults, was at least a better shot than Cheney. Ask Alexander Hamilton.)
The problem is: Who would be better? If you had to name a “Conservative of the Year”, who would be a better choice? Personally, I think Human Events got it right: Dick Cheney — out of power, out of touch and deeply resentful — indeed epitomizes the conservative movement in 2009.