If you know former Vice President Dick Cheney's history (I highly recommend his autobiography) you'll know that while he's always been a conservative he wasn't one of the bomb throwers on the right. As White House Chief of Staff to Gerald Ford he defended Ford against the conservative challenge from Ronald Reagan in 1976. Later, as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives elected from Wyoming in 1978, he steered a more centrist path through the GOP caucus eventually rising to a leadership position under the go along to get along House Minority Leader Rep. Bob Michel (R-IL).
Taking that into consideration, his comments here about the Tea Party are especially instructive:
Cheney went on to say that it's perfectly natural for new Tea Party leaders like Ted Cruz to break some of the "crockery" and that might upset some in the old guard. It's also essential, according to Cheney, that new leaders come forward with bold ideas. He cited his daughter Liz's campaign for U.S. Senate in Wyoming as an example.
FMR VICE PRES. DICK CHENEY: I'm not unsympathetic to the frustration, I think, that's led many Americans to sign on for or become part of the tea party. I'm as frustrated as anybody else can be, but I think we have a situation where the circumstances in Washington, the inability and the unwillingness of the this administration to come to grips with our basic long-term debt problem, for example. The frustration out there is very, very high. And so when I see people talking about the tea party, I don't think of the tea party as extremists the way some of the folks in Washington want to describe them. The extremist in Washington is Barack Obama. He's the guy that wants to fundamentally transform our health care system. He's the guy who has done enormous damage to America's standing in the world. To the extent there is an extremist or radical political view in Washington these days, I believe it is the president of the United States.
Cheney's appearance on Monday night was a reminder of what it was like when the adults were still in charge in Washington. Unlike the current Vice President, Cheney never embarrassed us every time he opened his mouth!