Cheney's Run for the White House

29-year-old conservative wunderkind Ross Douthat breaks into The New York Times today with his first column: “Cheney for President.” For his debut, Douthat has gone the counterintuitive path: “Watching Dick Cheney defend the Bush administration’s interrogation policies, it’s been hard to escape the impression that both the Republican Party and the country would be better off today if Cheney, rather than John McCain, had been a candidate for president in 2008.” Dick Cheney would have been the “diamond-hard distillation” of “real conservatism”—“a conservatism of supply-side economics and stress positions, uninterested in social policy and dismissive of libertarian qualms about the national-security state.” “Disciplined,” “ideologically consistent,” and “cuttingly effective”—“when [Cheney] went down to a landslide loss, the conservative movement might – might! – have been jolted into the kind of rethinking that’s necessary if it hopes to regain power.”