Former vice president and demon in human form Dick Cheney reportedly mixed it up with equally—if differently evil—current Vice President Mike Pence at a private conservative retreat this weekend. Their fight? Whether or not the Trump administration is war monger-y enough these days.
According to transcripts of their tête-à-tête obtained by the Washinton Post, Cheney got up in Pence’s pasty white grill about the president’s foreign policy decisions, including his cancellation of war games with South Korea and his recent insistence that some countries hosting U.S. military bases pay a 50 percent premium for the privilege of having American troops on their soil.
“I don’t know, that sounded like a New York State real estate deal to me,” Cheney reportedly joked, during a back and forth that the Post reported left some in the room murmuring in surprise.
“I worry that the bottom line of that kind of an approach is we have an administration that looks a lot more like Barack Obama than Ronald Reagan,” Cheney said at one point, which is, I guess, a real big insult in GOP circles.
Cheney, who engineered the U.S.’s disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, also reportedly pushed Pence on the Trump administration’s willingness to reduce American foreign policy to a basic financial transaction, rather than, y’know, get in there and mix it up (read: actually fight) with boots on the ground.
“It’s a lot more complicated than just, ‘Here’s the bottom line. Write the check,’” Cheney exclaimed at one point.
Pence, meanwhile, found himself forced to defend the president’s ultra-nationalist, non-interventionist leanings in front of a Republican crowd representing a party torn between its love of spending money on the military and actually using that military to fuck the world up.
“You can be confident, as one of my favorite hawks,” Pence told Cheney, “We’re going to continue to stand strong for a strong national defense with President Trump in the White House.”
Just a cool fight between two bad dudes over what specific flavor of badness the Republican party should embody these days.