SAME TIME TOMORROW

In the Octagon: Dick Cheney vs. Bob Dylan, American Smackdown

Posted in Uncategorized by Sean Holton on September 10, 2009
Born Jan. 30, 1941

Born Jan. 30, 1941

Born May 24, 1941
Born May 24, 1941

Comparing a politician to a poet would be dicey under any conditions. Except for an obscure coincidence in their lives, it would never have occured to me to stand most-powerful-vice-president-in-history Dick Cheney next to world-class-poet-and-mystic Bob Dylan to see how the two stack up in terms of their lifetime achievements as well as their overall contributions to country and humanity.

The obscure coincidence: Both men were born in 1941.

I mentioned that fact in an earlier post, using the Cheney-Dylan deal as a throwaway example of how issues of aging and generational politics are far more complex these days than what you see portrayed in typical media coverage of politics. People such as Cheney tend to be treated as “patriots” and “traditional Americans” — who simply by virtue of their age, physical appearance and life experience automatically are assumed to have some sort of direct-dial access to what the Founding Fathers always intended our country to be.  People like Dylan really serve only to muddy up that simplistic storyline — at least as far as the television cameras are concerned. We’d rather just think of them as forever young, even as they grow old. So how could such people possibly fit into any conversation about the greatness of our nation as envisioned at its founding so long ago by Men Wearing Knickerbockers?   

Sure, it may just be a quick illustration of the extremes in sensibility that can be present within just a single generation. But I thought it would be fun to go ahead and push the dichotomy forward. So let’s compare Cheney and Dylan in the 13 key categories that professional historians and everyone else universally agree are important in order to determine which man really is the greater American. As our source material, we’ll use the unassailably reliable Wikipedia biographies of each man supplemented by random snatches from my own memory of the lots of stuff I’ve read over the years about both. (You want real research? Buy a newspaper.) And then we’ll throw the answer right back at the cameras and dare them to film it instead of another town-hall meeting on health-care reform.

Seniority: Cheney has been a living, breathing, sentient human being four months longer than Dylan. THE EDGE: Cheney

Humble beginnings: Cheney was born in Nebraska, raised by working-class parents in Wyoming, flunked out at Yale before getting busted for a DWI at age 21 and applied for and received five draft deferrments to avoid military service during the 1960s. Dylan was raised in Hibbing, Minnesota by parents who were both children of Jewish immigrants and he dropped out of the University of Minnesota after his freshman year to move to New York, play the guitar and shag groupies. THE EDGE: Tossup

Overall Life Trajectory: Dylan had already achieved worldwide fame and immortality as a folk singer and songwriter by the early 1960s — when he was still in his 20s. He subsequently went through several career transformations — from electric, to born-again, to all sorts of other weirdness, including traveling with the Wilburys and doing voice over for lingerie commercials as well as time more recently as a radio DJ. But enthusiasm for his work has never really diminished. Movies and documentaries are still being made about his life and work. Cheney toiled in relative obscurity as a draft-dodging, snot-nosed intern and low-level Washington bureaucrat until his mid-30s, when around 1975 he succeeded Donald Rumsfeld as President Gerald R. Ford’s White House Chief of Staff. [That same year, Dylan released his critically acclaimed Blood on the Tracks album and could have retired right then, done nothing else for the rest of his life and still been more revered than any of his contemporaries]. Starting in 1979, Cheney served five terms as a Wyoming congressman before becoming Secretary of Defense under President George H.W. Bush after the Senate rejected womanizing drunk John Tower for the job. After spending the Clinton years out of power, he returned to the scene in 2000 when he led George W. Bush’s vice-presidential search team to the conclusion that he, Dick Cheney, was the best man for the job. He then went on to be arguably the most powerful man in America — at least during Bush’s first term. He was running the government and calling most of the shots on the fateful, tragic day of Sept. 11, 2001 and he and his aides shaped the framework for the immediate U.S. response in the so-called “War On Terror” that followed. Today Cheney is seen as the cantankerous, vocal standard-bearer for out-of-power Republicans who can’t stand where the country is going. He might even hate America now. Who knows? THE FINAL ANALYSIS: While Dylan has been famous far  longer and has made a contribution likely to be far more enduring, Cheney did succeed fabulously in achieving what he spent a lifetime training for — becoming a world-famous, angry, old man with lots of secrets to protect. THE EDGE: Tossup

youngcheneyyoungdylan

Vision: Dylan is a modern mystic with an unyielding poetic vision and the musical gifts to express it. At around age 24, he wrote the song “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)”, which contained the following lines: While preachers preach of evil fates/Teachers teach that knowledge waits/Can lead to hundred-dollar plates/Goodness hides behind its gates/But even the president of the United States/Sometimes must have/To stand naked. Cheney has been an incredibly gifted bureaucrat, competent manager and Washington political infighter who never really developed the vision to be a national leader in his own right. During Gulf War I, there was probably no one better qualified than Cheney to be Secretary of Defense. I personally remember being thrilled to have him calling the shots at the Pentagon back then. Yet at the pinnacle of his career, which came with the 9/11 attacks, Cheney had a failure of vision. On an entirely human level, this failure makes him almost a tragic figure. His reaction was to be afraid and to lead GW Bush and the rest of us down the path of fear. For the sake of vast simplicity, let’s just say there were 10 paths the country could have gone down after that day. Nine of those paths were wrong, so maybe we should cut Cheney and Bush some slack for being only human when they picked one of the nine bad ones. After all, there was only one right path, and we still aren’t sure which one it was. But a great leader would have stepped back from the immediate fear, imagined the world we wanted to be in 10 years hence, recognized the right path to get there and chosen it at the beginning. We elect our national leaders because they are supposed to have more than competence and knowledge and power — we expect them to have vision to lead the country. Think about how Roosevelt positioned the United States to face the rise of Nazi Germany in the 1930s, or how Churchill led his nation during the relentless, sustained air attacks (not just four in one day) of the Battle of Britain. THE EDGE: Dylan.

Dealing with criticism: Both Dylan and Cheney have been undaunted in the face of withering criticism. Dylan was castigated by the old-line folkies when he plugged in an electric guitar at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, and he has been castigated at every turn in his career ever since. But he hasn’t cared. He hasn’t really answered many questions about it and hasn’t been defensive. He’s just gone on doing what he wants to do, for decades. Cheney, too, has been unapologetic in the face of criticism both during and after the Bush Administration about things like war, torture and domestic spying. But he has been a bit too showy as he plows through all this adversity — seeking out speaking engagements in front of friendly audiences and TV appearances to mount his defense over and over again while attacking his successors in office. Dare I say he’s been a bit too defensive? A bit of a martyr? Maybe even a big baby? THE EDGE: Dylan

Overall excellence within their chosen field: Let’s go to the history books for some perspective here. If this were 19th Century America and we were looking for examples of great poets and great political leaders who were rough contemporaries, we’d have to look no further than Walt Whitman and Abraham Lincoln. History’s verdict is that both easily make the cut as great Americans. Dylan, I think, will be spoken about in the same exalted terms as Whitman in terms of artistry and cultural impact after he’s long gone. But Cheney and Lincoln? In the same conversation? THE EDGE: Dylan.

Accidents, having them: — Dylan crashed a Triumph street bike in 1969, supposedly breaking several vertebrae, nearly killing himself and taking himself out of the public eye for nearly eight years. He explained the accident by saying he’d been up for days without sleep, and that he had taken his bike out for an early morning ride and was topping a hill facing into the sunrise when,  “I went blind for a second and I kind of panicked or something. I stomped down on the brake and the rear wheel locked up on me and I went flyin’.”  Here’s my theory: Dylan was a sissy who didn’t know how to ride a motorcycle. I’ve seen pictures of him on his Triumph, and he looks like he has no idea what he’s doing. His feet aren’t even on the footpegs, and his grip on the handlebars makes it seem as if he’s holding a high-voltage power line. In short, he looks like the president of the chess club who has been forced by the guys on the wrestling team to try to ride a motorcycle. No wonder he crashed. Now onto Cheney’s accident: He shotgunned his buddy in the face while out pounding beers and bird hunting in the middle of a big Texas ranch. Then he went back and had a big roast beef dinner. Now THAT’s manly. THE EDGE: Cheney.

Accidents, dealing with them: As can be seen from the quote above, Dylan almost literally was able to turn his accident into song lyrics (See: “I went flyin'”). And the rebellious nature of being out on a motorcycle coupled with his disappearance from public view only heightened the overall mystique of his legend. Cheney, on the other hand, shotgunned his buddy in the face while out pounding beers and bird hunting in the middle of a big Texas ranch. Then he went back and had a big roast beef dinner. Now THAT’s dumb. THE EDGE: Dylan.

Hard power: This one is simple. It’s just a matter of adding up albums sold and gate receipts and comparing those figures to wars started, nations subjugated, weapons systems funded and lives committed to battle. Look up the numbers yourself. THE EDGE: Cheney.

Soft power: When Dylan dies, the world will mourn the passing of a great poet and cultural icon who will probably then be elevated to “prophet” status. Great intellectuals will be called to hold forth on “what Dylan meant.” It will make what we just went through with the recent death of Michael Jackson look like a global cotton-candy binge. People such as Cheney — no matter how much hard power they amassed during their lifetimes — are ultimately only functionaries on history’s stage. When such people die, the world usually just burps and asks what’s for dessert. THE EDGE: Dylan.  

Who’d win a physical fight: We’re talking about a couple of 68-year-old dudes suiting up in wrestling tights here, so this isn’t going to be pretty no matter how it turns out. But it would all pretty much come down to how much Dylan’s medical history of cigarette smoking, substance abuse, weight fluctuation and those broken vertebrae will handicap him even against a Heart-Attack-A-Year man like Cheney. I don’t have height and current weight stats for either man. But I think I’ll go with Cheney in this category, if for no other reason than he must have learned a lot of cool secret death grips from the CIA and Blackwater over the course of his Washington career. THE EDGE: Cheney.

Best dinner companion: I’d rather be seen having dinner with Dylan. But, in reality, I’d be way too scared to actually have dinner with either Cheney or  Dylan, for entirely different reasons. So I’m saying neither. THE EDGE: Tossup.

Greater apparent ‘patriot’ (whatever that means): In the photos I posted up top, Cheney is bald, has an angry look on his face and is wearing an American-flag lapel pin. Dylan has unusual facial hair, an enigmatic look on his face and is wearing a cowboy hat and some sort of sissyfied shirt. THE EDGE: Cheney.

PRELIMINARY TALLY: Dylan–5; Cheney–5; Tossup–3.

TIEBREAKER 1: Love for America. Bob Dylan has railed about America’s hypocrisy in the past and seems non-commital at best about our country’s place in the world today. But as mentioned above, I think right now Cheney may actually hate what America really is. So I’ll say they’re still tied.

TIEBREAKER 2: Whose face would I rather have on my T-Shirt as I drove across America? Or as I traveled around the world? Bob Dylan, no contest.

FINAL SCORE:  Bob Dylan is a greater American.

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36 Responses

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  1. Pat & Becky said, on September 10, 2009 at 11:59 am

    First and foremost, we wanted you to know that your are in our thoughts.

    In addition, we wanted to thank you for the incredible insight and history regarding your life and your parents relationship. Each and every one of “the Holton kids” knows how much Becky and I respected them both. One of the first stops we made as proud parents in 1990 with our infant son (Graham is now 19) was to see “Doc and Lucy”. I think they were beaming as much as we were.

    During that visit, your dad held Graham and looked him in the eyes and said “Do you know how lucky you were to be born to parents who love and wanted you?”

    That statement has resonated within us every since, and we have shared the story time and time again with friends/family over the years. Without a doubt, we always felt incredibly welcome in their home and each and every visit was a highlight of the many, many trips we made “back home”. Those are good memories…one’s we will certainly cherish forever.

    You blog hit so many truths so many times in succession it’s hard to pick and choose something specific to comment on….but other than the “LL” tag that made us laff outloud…I think that the “old people” schtick you described is so, so “right on” it is damn near scary! In the end I think every community has a ranting/raving “patriot” amongst them who shouts at the top of his lungs about FREEDOM as he simultaneously tries to take rights away from others that he just doesn’t agree with. Maybe it’s the Agent Orange…maybe it’s the scotch…I dunno…but ‘something” in the picture isn’t right….for sure.

    I see a few other long-time friends posting here who we’ve lost touch with along the way….so if you or anyone else wants to get in touch a good email addy to use is toddisgodd@37.com.

    We’re hopin to figure out a time where we can all meet up in KC….so let us know when you’ll make it that way and we will do the same.

    love to all

    P & B

  2. RebelliousRenee said, on September 10, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Sean…. ROTFLMAO!!!

    of course Dylan is the greater American….
    Dick Cheney is the greater….. well….. Dick

    Rick and I are leaving tomorrow for a vacation on lovely Ogunquit Beach, Maine.
    We’ll be back late next week. Until then…. do as Colorado Bob always does…. keep the shiny side up and the rubber to the road.

  3. Jeff Propst said, on September 10, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    Hi Sean:

    I’ve spent a good part of my afternoon here in my fetid little quasi cube farm I call work reading over your blog. I was directed to it by an e-mail I received today from a mutual friend, a notice of your current situation, trials and tribulations.

    You may remember me, as I am literally from the old school. I am part of that ugly, sordid past that Brian’s kids should be shielded from. A purveyor of illicit substances diabolically hidden in tennis ball canisters, a flinger of late night toilet paper, a lover of exotic music like Tom Waits, Pete Seeger and Patti Smith- exotic for 1976, anyway.

    I knew Kevin Bear (his father was my land lord 20 years ago) and many of the old Westport Road crew like Steve Carroll, Brett McMahon, Mike Sampson, etc., and ran amok with Derrek Woods your brother Brian and you many a weekend.

    We had much fun back in those days before we all had to split up and go our separate ways. I still see Derrek. He’s a TSA security supervisor at KCI. He’s the wall between you and terrorism. How does that grab you?

    I was on the “decade plan” at Mizzou in the 1980s. After six years of college, I dabbled in electronic journalism, until, after about two years of being a field photog for the local Central Missouri NBC station, decided that I didn’t want to have a front row seat for the absolute worst thing that happened in the region each and every day. So I got out for my mental health. Glad I did too.

    In 1986 I moved back to KC, took what I thought would be a very short term job with a videotape manufacturer, and now I’ve been in the business for 24 years. Now I make CDs and DVDs, which will all too soon be obsolete, as I too slowly become obsolete. Next I’ll probably be a greeter at Wal-Mart (I’d prefer working where the Blue Ridge Mall used to be) or possibly hosting avant-garde borderline fetish websites from my basement. I have lots of storage space of my hard drives and I’m good at Dreamweaver. So I’ve got that going for me.

    I’ve enjoyed reading your posts today, and congratulate you on your elegant writing style and wit. I too have had friends in the newspaper business who have been laid off, cast off or otherwise pissed off over the past couple years, and shudder to think where journalism will be ten years from now without traditional media sources like the daily fish wrap. I personally have no plans to read the KC Star from my wireless laptop on the crapper every morning. My balance simply isn’t that good, and I like the feel of newsprint.

    I wish you all the best, my friend, and please continue to write and write well. Tomorrow I have to leave for Arkansas to help my sister with some living arrangements for my aging parents -I was sorry to hear that you parents are now both gone. My dad has been in poor health for about a year now, he’ll be 80 in December. And my mom needs help to care for him, as her health is not very good either. Then on Monday I come back to KC to eat a radioactive pill for “ablation of hyperactive thyroid.” So, as we will both surely be glowing in the dark that week, I will keep you in my thoughts.

    I am not overly religious either, but I did marry a nice Catholic girl who prays for me every week at St. Mary’s. I tell her that I dearly love the Lord, I’m just not too wild about his various fan clubs. But I do pray for her and my family, and will pray for you too my friend.

    All the best. Hang in there.

    Jeff Propst
    Independence, MO

  4. Jamie said, on September 11, 2009 at 10:50 am

    Great writing as always. Another off the wall way to compare them: Cheney is an Aquarius http://www.stariq.com/Main/Articles/P0009622.HTM which is amazing and Dylan a very typical Gemini http://www.neilspencer.co.uk/pages/bob_dylan.html

  5. Craig Crawford said, on September 11, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    Yes, but could Cate Blanchett possibly play Dick Cheney in the movie?.. http://bit.ly/p2mXn

    • M1keM1lls said, on September 12, 2009 at 1:55 pm

      Roseanne would be the perfect match.

  6. Lila said, on September 11, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    That was great…but could you delete the part where Cheney is from Nebraska. I’ve done my best to forget that I share anything with him & I really don’t want anyone else who doesn’t know already to find out. So I guess if I compare myself to Cheney: Place of birth – toss up…but I still have my soul, so I WIN!!!

  7. harborwoman said, on September 11, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Lila is also a great American!

  8. Zosha said, on September 11, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    RE: in a physical fight: Dylan supposedly boxes everyday with a trainer. He’s small and wiry. He’d so take Cheney down… in a fair fight.
    RE: Patriotic: Dylan did perform in front of a giant American flag at a concert in Paris, thus pissing off the French. That’s American.

    Dylan, by far, is the greatest American.

    • Phil T. Listener said, on September 12, 2009 at 10:15 pm

      Also, Dylan is a Yankees fan (America’s Team).
      He says “Derek Jeter? Who wouldn’t want him on their team?”

      On September 11th, 2009, Derek Jeter broke Lou Gehrig’s records for most hits as a Yankee.

      Remember on 9/11 we are all New Yorkers.
      Thanks for the lighthearted reading. Just what I needed after Tea Bagger Rallies coverage on TV.

  9. Mike Griffin said, on September 11, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    You are WAY OFF, man, WAY OFF.

    You’ve never heard Cheney’s version of “Blowin’ in the Wind” or “All Along the Watch Tower”

    Cheney rocks, man.

  10. Maxtrue said, on September 11, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    LL, my sister had many dinners (and nights) with Dylan in the nineties right up there on 79th St. and Amsterdam. From what she tells me, he’s not all that bad at the dinner table.

    I can see other Dylan/Cheney comparisons filed under “secrets”, you know, illegitimate children & illegal substances v hit squads and death camps sort of thing.

    I thought Dylan was most prolific after break-ups and Cheney, after major terrorist attacks.

    Dylan seems sure history will regard his conservancy of traditional American folk music, his most important legacy. His personal tape compilations are legendary. In some way, Cheney regards himself as a conservator -of the American Way and yet strangely they both rather distain the masses, although for different and similar reasons.

    Glad to see your wit is healthy. May the rest follow fast…

  11. Dudemaster said, on September 11, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    …both very creepy-looking these days. I actually think Dylan’s mystique will die with the last boomer, but maybe not.

  12. Fairweather said, on September 11, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    No question. Dylan. Straight up. Great post, Lard. Thanks for sharing.:)

  13. Travis said, on September 11, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Just as a reminder, I’m here from Jamie’s place at Duward Discussion. I’ve been enjoying your posts.

    I read recently that Mr Dylan had been stopped in a small town on the east coast by a local cop. Mr Dylan had been walking through a neighborhood looking at the cottages. Someone had called in a report about an unknown person.

    Bob Dylan…an unknown person.

    An officer showed up and questioned Mr Dylan, asking for his ID. Mr Dylan didn’t have it with him and politely said so, and that he could get it at his hotel. The officer drove him to the hotel, where Mr Dylan produced documents that proved he was Bob Dylan. The officer thanked him and they parted ways.

    Bob Dylan…not known in a small town by at least two people. And by the account in this article, Mr Dylan never uttered the phrase, “Don’t you know who I am?” He merely complied with an official request to produce ID.

    This probably couldn’t have happened to Mr Cheney, since he’s unlikely to be wandering about a small eastern town looking at cottages, and certainly not without his Secret Service protection detail. So according to your grading scale, this might be a toss up.

    But I like the idea that a celebrity calmly complied with a cop’s instructions, and the cop calmly resolved the situation.

  14. jrich said, on September 12, 2009 at 8:07 am

    Well done!

  15. Maddy said, on September 12, 2009 at 9:26 am

    I thoroughly enjoyed your post comparing Cheney and Dylan. There are 2 things that you didn’t mention. I’ve heard that Bob Dylan regularly visits gyms and works out and/or boxes. The touring that he does must be grueling, even more so now that he is 68. I don’t think that Cheney could match Bob in that category. Also, it was recently announced that Dylan’s first Christmas album will be released in October, and that all the proceeds from this album, both here and abroad, will be going to charities to feed poor people. Even though it’s not officially announced, we’ve heard that Dylan has a favorite charity to which he regularly donates. Dylan is definitely the more charitable of the two men. Yes, by far Bob Dylan is the greater American.

  16. Robert said, on September 12, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Your article was interesting,but the date of Dylans motorbike crash was in fact 1966 not 1969 as you stated and he did not leave the public eye for 8 years as you also said.
    He released an album John Wesley Hardin in 1968 and had recorded a lot of material with the Band in Woodstock before this which was to be released in 1975 as the Basement tapes.And as for who is the better man Bob or Cheney there is no comparison, Bob and his music will live forever while who will actually remember Cheney.

  17. JacqueBona said, on September 12, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Clever article. I am probably in the minority–I love both Bob Dylan and Dick Cheney.

    Since your bias against Mr. Cheney was obvious and did seem to muddy your judgement a bit: THE EDGE: Cheney

    FINAL SCORE: Both are great Americans.

  18. Tony DePalma said, on September 12, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    They are both great Americans and have both impacted my life in a positive way. Dick Cheney is a great great patriot ,whom along with GWB protected this land. Dylan is an icon no doubt and I have every album and love the man. But he has never been right about politics ever. He was always smart enough to stay out of them. His silly quote on election night speaks volumes we elected a Saul Alinsky trained radical and he said darkness was over??? Like Bruce Springsteen who dream he was working on came true. American regrets it. ” if you are not a liberal when you are 18 you have no heart, if you are not Conservative by age 30 you have no brain”. Winston Churchill

    • Phil T. Listener said, on September 12, 2009 at 10:20 pm

      He was right. Darkness is over.
      And Cheney may rot in prison some day. Notice how silent W has been?

      • Tony DePalma said, on September 13, 2009 at 8:57 am

        Darkness is just beginning but those TH’s and protests will stop it as Obama is a lame duck already. He can’t pass anything the country is revolting against big government. GWB is silent because he is a statesman. Former Presidents with Character never comment on their successors. Cheney is also a great Statesman who loves this country much more then himself. the Constitution will prevail. Tyranny will be halted. Liberty for all!

      • Phil T. Listener said, on September 13, 2009 at 11:51 am

        Thought you might find this reading enlightening and well worth your time if truly interested.

        http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/other-views/story/1227832.html

        Here is an excellent starting point from it:

        On Aug. 24, the United States took an important step toward moral clarity and the rule of law when a special task force recommended that in the future, the Army interrogation manual should be the single standard for all agencies of the U.S. government.

        The unanimous decision represents an unusual consensus among the defense, intelligence, law enforcement and homeland security agencies. Members of the task force had access to every scrap of intelligence, yet they drew the opposite conclusion from Cheney’s. They concluded that far from making us safer, cruelty betrays American values and harms U.S. national security.

        On this solemn day (9/11/2009) we pause to remember those who lost their lives on 9/11. As our leaders work to prevent terrorists from again striking on our soil, they should remember the fundamental precept of counterinsurgency we’ve relearned in Afghanistan and Iraq: Undermine the enemy’s legitimacy while building our own. These wars will not be won on the battlefield. They will be won in the hearts of young men who decide not to sign up to be fighters and young women who decline to be suicide bombers. If Americans torture and it comes to light — as it inevitably will –it embitters and alienates the very people we need most.

        Our current commander-in-chief understands this. The task force recommendations take us a step closer to restoring the rule of law and the standards of human dignity that made us who we are as a nation. Repudiating torture and other cruelty helps keep us from being sent on fools’ errands by bad intelligence. And in the end, that makes us all safer.

        Charles C. Krulak was commandant of the Marine Corps from 1995 to 1999. Joseph P. Hoar was commander in chief of U.S. Central Command from 1991 to 1994.

  19. Mick Leahy said, on September 12, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    Dylan was speaking sarcastically about darkness being over on election night, Tony. Much of his song lyrics going back to the beginning portray a world heading for a severe judgement-and not by the Democratic Party either. I’m Irish, but am aware that Dylan, a famous Jew, and therefore a juicy target for Al-Queda, continued touring around the US after 911, with an American flag on the back of the bus and singing songs to his audiences such as ‘Waitin’ for the Light to Shine’. He was supposed to be privately rather supportive of the Vietnam War, and never came out publicly against it. His true political identity must be carefully differentiated from those that claim him as the ‘Spokesman for His Generation’ a title he has always rejected. God Bless america.

    • Tony DePalma said, on September 13, 2009 at 9:17 am

      I don’t think he said it sarcastically. I believe he meant it as it was used everywhere you went the Dylan quote was there. I agree he always stayed out of politics and he was never a spokesman for any movement. I love Bob. But I love Cheney too how such a sincere good man gets so trashed is ridiculous. He actually is called “defensive” in a post here. He loves this nation more then anything someone has to defend the soft tyranny that Obama is purposely trying. We have a man in the WH who is a radical Saul Alinsky trained and these nuts are focused on a former VP that is still trying to keep us safe!

  20. Mick Leahy said, on September 12, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    And God Bless you too, Sean, just discovered the purpose of your blog.

  21. The Dude said, on September 12, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Recommend rightwingbob.com for more Dylan and Cheneyesque type stuff.

  22. quentin said, on September 12, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    You forgot a category: Which of the 2 has been the crankiest with reporters?

  23. quentin said, on September 12, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    You forgot a category – which of the 2 has been crankier with reporters?

  24. Denis Campbell said, on September 13, 2009 at 4:34 am

    Bet365 and William Hill both set up betting lines this morning here in the UK strictly on the basis of this article. Very clever. Loved it and thanks to Craig for recommending it!

  25. Joe said, on September 16, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Great comparison of two of my most favorite living Americans from opposite sides of the spectrum (art vs politics). Just saw Dylan in concert this summer and it amazes me how he continues to reinvent himself… and it makes me proud that Cheney is standing up for his country and his beliefs in the face of the onslaught for radical, immediate “Change”!

  26. TERRI said, on October 11, 2009 at 3:49 am

    BOB IS ABOUT SOUL,PASSION,LOVE,GUTS,HONOR,WHAT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO,HONESTY,HARMONY,TAKE A STAND, GET REAL,..THINGS I LIKE TO BE REMINDED OF,THINGS I LIKE TO DREAM ABOUT. HE HAS A GREAT SPIRIT .HE LOVES HIS FAMILY AND TAKES GREAT CARE OF THOSE IN HIS LIFE. I DON’T KNOW MUCH
    ABOUT CHANEY BECAUSE HE JUST ISN’T MY CUP OF TEA. I GUESS THE POET WON MY HEART AND WILL ALWAYS BE ENDEARING TO ME…LOVE YOU BOB!

  27. Jamie said, on May 24, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    Lard this is a beautiful piece of writing. As it happens I will have a short blurb on Dylan on Friday which happens to be the anniversary of his second and break through album. This means the poet and I have been keeping company now since 1962. This is a no contest. One man served himself to the detriment of us all. The other served art and probably benefited himself in the process while making the world better for everyone.

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