For many weeks, Americans have engaged in a passionate debate about who's running the GOP. Is it Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican party, who keeps having to apologize for saying things that make him sound like a Democrat? Is it Rush Limbaugh, the conservative radio show host who represents the views of millions but will never deign to run for public office? Or perhaps it's John McCain, the recent presidential hopeful who has given up on real politics and now spends his time bitterly Twittering about earmarks.
The answers to these questions are no, no, and no, because the head of the Republican party remains the same man who held the post during the eight years of the Bush administration: Dick Cheney.
In the brief stretch since he left office, Cheney has demonstrated his continuing and vital importance in getting people to talk about something besides whether or not the Republican party should be more "hip-hop." To his dubious credit, Cheney actually manages to spark discussion on serious topics, like the economy and terrorism.
Cheney says he doesn't think the Bush administration can be blamed for creating the economic woes. Cheney says it's a global financial problem. He says the idea that fault can assigned to the previous administration is "interesting rhetoric" but he doesn't think people care about that.
Or how about this gem:
Former Vice President Dick Cheney on Sunday defended the Bush administration's economic record, the invasion of Iraq and the treatment of suspected terrorists, warning that reversing its anti-terrorism policies endangers Americans.
[...] "President Obama campaigned against it all across the country, and now he is making some choices that, in my mind, will, in fact, raise the risk to the American people of another attack," he said.
He said both of these things on CNN's Sunday show, "State of the Union," and today every media commentator is forced to write about them. Why? Because he's Dick Cheney! And, for the first time in weeks, we hear an important Republican talking something other than inside baseball.
Cheney's a visionary. He talks big, he's got big ideas, and he's got a plan for Republicans -- which, as the head of the Republican party, is only appropriate.