Everybody loves Fred. He has the healing qualities of Gerald Ford and the movie-star appeal of Ronald Reagan. He is relatively moderate on social issues. He has a reputation as a peacemaker and a compromiser. And he has a good sense of humor.

He could be just the partner to bring out Bush’s better nature — or at least be a sensible voice of reason. I could easily imagine him telling the president, “For God’s sake, do not push that button!” — a command I have a hard time hearing Cheney give.

Not only that, Thompson would give the Republicans a platform for running for the presidency — and the president a way out of Iraq without looking like he’s backing down. Bush would be left in better shape on the war and be able to concentrate on AIDS and the environment in hopes of salvaging his legacy. ~Sally Quinn

It’s official.  The waning years of the Bush administration have actually driven some people completely mad.  The psychotic break in this instance is apparently so great that it appears to the author that Fred Thompson appears to have powers of political reconciliation (perhaps he could persuade Mr. Bush to pardon Libby and Cheney, the latter for any crimes he may have committed while in the office, and perfect his Ford-like qualities) and the answer to all of our national ills.  I am pretty sure that this must be a joke (a sort of gallows humour that plays off of the deep depression some Republicans must be feeling at this point), but it really isn’t funny.     

The idea of Republicans replacing Cheney is surreal enough (many of them really like Cheney and think he has done a bang-up job–don’t ask me why), but replacing him with Fred because Fred is significantly different from Cheney is the stuff of hallucinations and fevers.  As a joke, this article doesn’t work, because the change of VPs is not only unbelievable, but also completely pointless.  Why bring in a replacement Cheney when you have the real thing?  Maybe the thinking is that Fred Thompson is Cheney, but without the perpetual scowl! 

Apparently no one told Ms. Quinn that Fred is just as incredibly irresponsible on foreign policy as the Vice President.  She has evidently not heard that Fred is being advised on foreign policy by Liz Cheney, and advised politically by Cheney hanger-on Mary Matalin.  She has apparently missed that he is a leading defender of Cheney’s man, Scooter Libby.  To go to the trouble of removing Cheney from office and replacing him with Fred would be a waste of time for everyone.  Even if successful, Fred would embrace the Cheney way–because Fred thinks that Cheney is basically right on all of the things that most horrify the rest of us.  The downside of this imaginary move is clear: it would put someone just as dangerous as Cheney in a position of power, but because of his geniality Fred could cloak his more nefarious designs under the cover of Southern colloquialisms and awshucksishness.