Sunday, August 13
Six years into the Bush-Cheney era, no one should be surprised at the levels the vice president can reduce himself to in his unending efforts to smear his political foes. Yet, he continually comes up with new approaches.

The uncovering of an alleged plot to blow up airplanes as they flew from Great Britain to the United States had scarcely been revealed when Mr. Cheney was telling reporters, in reference to the defeat of Senator Joseph Lieberman by Ned Lamont in the Connecticut Democratic primary, that Democratic voters encourage "al-Qaida" types. He then made reference to an "Al-Qaida for Ned" blog. Imagine the hysterical wailing from Fox News, Anne Coulter or other elements of the right wing media had a Democrat called Republican voters terrorist sympathizers. But all was silent on the right-wing pundit front.

Mr. Cheney doesn't go to many blue states so he may not be aware that Connecticut is quite close to New York City, where the World Trade Center towers fell nearly five years ago. Many Connecticut residents were touched personally by that tragedy in ways that Mr. Cheney will never grasp. To suggest that the 145,000 Americans who voted for Mr. Lamont are soft on terrorism is a low blow even by the exceedingly low standards of Mr. Cheney

Mr. Cheney was hurting, of course, by the loss in the primary of the White House's most reliable Democratic enabler. Though he is now running as an independent, Mr. Lieberman sounded a lot like a Republican office-holder Wednesday when he said America's leaving Iraq would be seen as a victory by the plotters uncovered in England. Mr. Lieberman, like his Republican patrons in Washington, continues to spout the big lie that the invasion of Iraq had something to do with the fight against terrorism, even though most Americans have long since come to see through that lie.

America turned away from the fight against terrorism when it left the battle against the Taliban in Afghanistan unfinished and invaded Iraq to fulfill neoconservativist pipe dreams about reshaping the Middle East by making Iraq a puppet state. That blew up in America's face, at the cost of billions of dollars and the loss of the lives of 2,500 American soldiers, and the Middle East is close to tearing itself apart. Iraq is a hotbed of terrorism and America is less safe than it was the day the New York City came under attack.

The shameful smears of patriotic American voters by Mr. Cheney and White House apologists like Mr. Lieberman can't disguise how utterly they and their ilk have failed America. Their unspoken fear is that America is finally on to them.