John Seven: Dick Cheney reprises role of evil genius


Dick Cheney’s recent mediapalooza offering all sorts of advice on how to further ruin our country tipped the scales and I’m willing to admit the man is a genius. An evil one, sure, but a genius nonetheless. It seems like he’s the only world leader who actually understands how to wield power for ill gain successfully and how to get away with it.

So many egomaniacs have insisted on being head tyrants or dictators, but Cheney proves it is so much better to be No. 2, with a clueless No. 1. Some have acknowledged this tactic, but no one ever pulled it off with Cheney’s finesse.

Most importantly, Dick Cheney has realized that time limits to power are good. The American system works for the powerful because of the limitations we impose on holding office. That’s the real mistake so many dictators make -- they want to be in control forever. Cheney knows that is impossible, but with a four-to-eight-year plan, you can gauge your shenanigans for maximum benefit at a deadline. You know when you are out of there and so you know how to plan for the most benefit from the shortest realistic time on the secret throne.

There is one important factor that makes this plan perfect for the United States even if it might not work in some of the more hot-headed countries. We are a sentimental nation and when we see evil people age and become more and more decrepit, depending on the evil they did, especially if in elected office, we prefer to allow for mass forgiveness. Or at least widespread shrugging. Sure, so-and-so was heinous a decade ago, but look at him now, just look at him now.

Besides, unless it’s directed toward minorities, Americans are undeniably opposed to any sort of vigilantism that could result in someone chasing down Dick Cheney with vengeance in their head. I mean, any given person in Florida or Texas might want to show a transgendered kid who’s boss, but old white men are delicate flowers. Plus, we have respect for our elders, especially our sinister smirking ones.

The beauty of Cheney is that he calculated all this with the understanding that any failure to be elected -- thank goodness for ballot-tampering that didn’t happen -- would be George Bush’s failure. Not his. As any good swindler knows, easy come, easy go. Plus, there will always be a well-paying corporate consultancy waiting somewhere.

Just writing this reminds me how much I’ve missed having Cheney to kick around. Better than Nixon. It’s so nice to have him around again saying things like, "I think there will be another attack. And the next time, I think it’s going to be far deadlier than the last one. Imagine what would happen if somebody could smuggle a nuclear device, put it in a shipping container, and drive it down the beltway outside Washington, D.C."

It sounds like he’s given this a lot of thought, planned it out to the smallest detail. It’s a good thing actual terrorists don’t have access to the types of Conservative radio programs he says these things on.

The great thing about this kind of prognostication is that if there is a terrorist attack -- any terrorist attack, even a foiled one -- some members of the media will trot out this quote and hail him a visionary. And if there is no terrorist attack, no one will mention this ever again, other than some screamy liberal website that no one really pays attention to anyhow.

Dick Cheney, your sneer is magic. May the evil twinkle in your eye never fade.

John Seven, a writer, lives in North Adams. He can be reached at or at


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