In the U.S. Senate, where Republicans have the majority, a plot is underway to honor former Vice President Dick Cheney with a statue that will go on display in the U.S. Capitol.
Starting in December, the likeness of former Vice President Dick Cheney will grace the U.S. Capitol, in accordance with a Senate tradition honoring former vice presidents.
The Huffington Post was tipped off by a Senate resolution “authorizing the use of Emancipation Hall in the Capitol Visitor Center for the unveiling of the marble bust of Vice President Richard Cheney on December 3, 2015.”
The placement of the statue is being justified by a Senate tradition in which former vice presidents, who constitutionally preside over the body, are honored with busts. The office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed the Cheney statue’s placement to the Huffington Post.
Cheney’s bust will stand alongside statutes of figures the official Capitol Visitor’s Guide refers to as “human rights leaders.” That includes figures like Sojurner Truth, a former slave who became a tireless advocate for ending slavery and supporting women’s rights.
Interestingly, the George W. Bush presidential library has no Cheney bust but has statutes of the former president’s dogs.
As part of the Bush-Cheney ticket, Cheney became the first vice-president elected in U.S. history who failed to secure the support of a plurality of voters in the controversial 2000 election. He followed that up by becoming one of the administration’s chief advocates of invading Iraq in 2003, and was part of that administration’s public relations campaign which forcefully claimed that weapons of mass destruction were in that country.
When asked about the collapse in public support for the war by 2008, Cheney told ABC News “So?”
Cheney was also a strong supporter of torture, and continues to defend the tactic using the term “enhanced interrogation.”
Cheney’s office was subject to an investigation about the leak of the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame, which prompted the resignation of one of his top aides, Scooter Libby. Libby was later convicted of obstruction of justice, perjury, and making false statements to federal investigators.
Cheney left office with a 13% approval rating.
In the years since he left the vice-presidency, Cheney has often publicly complained about President Obama’s foreign policy, including ending the war in Iraq. Most recently Cheney opposed the deal to end Iran’s nuclear capability, but as a sign of his diminished influence, the Senate sided with the Obama administration.
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