Former Vice President Dick Cheney walks out of a Republican Senate luncheon, Nov. 2011.
Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA

Dick Cheney has found his base

The running joke for much of the Bush/Cheney era was that it was hard to know where Vice President Dick Cheney was on any given day because he was always at “an undisclosed location.” Lately, however, his location isn’t a mystery at all: Cheney spends a lot of time on Capitol Hill.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney will speak to the House Republican whip team Monday evening, a source familiar with the meeting said.
 
Cheney will likely address the series of foreign policy issues before Congress, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming joint address on Tuesday and the ongoing negotiations with Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program.
In addition to the Politico report this morning, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s (R-La.) office later confirmed that Cheney will, in fact, participate in tonight’s meeting with the House Republican whip team.
 
The point of these meetings, by the way, is fairly specific: when Congress is in session, the House GOP whip team meets weekly to “outline its strategy and message for the week.” Apparently, they’re looking for some guidance from the former vice president.
 
Cheney will be back on Capitol Hill in a few weeks to headline a fundraising dinner for the National Republican Congressional Committee.
 
All of this comes on the heels of a briefing Cheney delivered in the fall to House Republicans on foreign policy.
 
Which came on the heels of Cheney meeting with members of the Republican Study Committee.
 
Which came on the heels of Cheney delivering a foreign policy briefing to House Republicans.
 
Remember, we’re not talking about the former vice president roaming the halls of Capitol Hill, looking for an audience, and Republicans giving him a platform as a courtesy. Rather, this is GOP lawmakers seeking Cheney’s guidance on purpose – House Republicans aren’t inclined to listen to Speaker Boehner, but they welcome guidance from the former veep.
 
And that’s discouraging, because Cheney shouldn’t be guiding anyone on anything.
 
When he was on “Meet the Press” last month, defending torture as a responsible national-security policy, some suggested it didn’t much matter because Cheney’s power is in the past – he no longer holds elected office and he’ll probably never have any official power again.
 
But his abhorrent views remain relevant so long as he helps guide congressional Republicans.
 

Dick Cheney and House Republicans

Dick Cheney has found his base