Few can admit it, but for better or worse most of us conflicted types would like to live in Cheney World, at least some of the time. He may be in the bunker, but the guy's got a groove going in there. Cheney's principles are intact, he defends them with full-throated confidence and he clearly cares not what anyone thinks of him. This appears to include President Bush.

In a remarkable vignette piece about the Scooter Libby trial in the New York Times Friday, Scott Shane noted that a stopped clock in the courtroom, stuck on 9:25, is a telling detail for a political drama that is taking us back in time. But it is the metaphor for Cheney, who remains stuck in one place, content, no matter the hour, circumstance or crisis. He can tell Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) to "F" himself. He can accidentally shoot a friend, and then decide not to call the president himself to inform him. He can direct his staff to make former CIA director George Tenet walk the plank for the Iraq-was-shopping-for-uranium-in-Niger claim the president dramatically announced in a State of the Union address and could never undo, no matter how long he lives.

Last week Cheney smiled (some call it a smirk but it is actually his smile) throughout what should have been a depressing State of the Union address for any Bush administration employee — let alone the guy staring out at the faces seated and often sleeping in the House chamber. There were new revelations from the trial that day, painting the picture of Cheney at the helm of a public relations campaign to sell the 2003 invasion of Iraq — the self-appointed point man in charge of quashing the doubters. On to the interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer where Cheney cited the "enormous successes" the United States has achieved in the Iraq war. No, not a replay of a 2005 interview, this was what he said last week. In the face of now bipartisan opposition to the war, and a majority of voters opposed, Cheney places the blame on his critics who don't have "the stomach for the fight." After more than 3,000 American lives lost, Dick Cheney is worried about the wimps.

Time will tell us whether Cheney, who turns 66 this week, was correct all along. But for now this Birthday Boy sure seems peaceful.