Wednesday, May 03, 2006

That Dick Cheney, He’s A Good Fella

There have been many jokes made about Dick Cheney selecting himself as the Vice Presidential candidate when he was put in charge of the search committee, but no one’s really laughing anymore. Cheney has been the most influential and powerful Vice President in history. Perhaps he saw his opening to be President, without ever having to be elected to that office. I guess the joke is on us.

George Bush is a lightweight. He has no intellectual curiosity, he views the world in a very limited and simplistic way and he understands very little about public policy, diplomacy or how the government works. Bush was a blank slate, someone Cheney could sweep aside or at the very least manipulate. It appears that Cheney holds the power, he just let’s George think he’s in control by presenting him with binary choices that, of course, have clear right and wrong answers. “Hey George, what do you think, should we let Saddam Hussein continue to terrorize his neighbors, develop nuclear weapons and murder his own people OR should we do something about it?” Bush may be the “decider” but his choices are likely limited and once the decision is made, Cheney deals with the details.

There are so many things that are unprecedented about this Vice President, the lighter side of things being, he shot someone in the face. On the more disturbing side, He made numerous personal trips to the CIA when gathering, or rather cherry-picking, intelligence to support an invasion of Iraq. He convened secret meetings to set our energy policy, a policy that has resulted in the rip off of public utilities by Enron, record high gas prices for consumers and obscene profits for oil companies. The latest unprecedented role of the Vice President to be revealed is that, Cheney may have been given the authority to preside over National Security Council meetings. Cheney’s presence at these meetings has resulted in what an unnamed senior official describes as “the most dysfunctional NSC that ever existed.”

Clearly, Cheney knew exactly what he was doing when he resigned his post at Halliburton and picked himself to be the next (Vice) President of the United States. This may not have been an ideologically driven move on his part, but rather an offer he simply couldn’t refuse to extend to himself. James K. Galbraith, in his article “Predatory State” appearing in the June issue of Mother Jones, writes about the “profit is king” culture in which our current leaders are steeped:

That a government run by people rooted in this culture should also be predatory isn’t surprising—and the link between George H.W. Bush, who led the deregulation of the S&Ls, his son Neil, who ran a corrupt S&L, and Neil’s brother George, for whom Ken Lay sent thugs to Florida in 2000 on the Enron plane, could hardly be any closer. But aside from occasional references to “kleptocracy” in other countries, economic opinion has been slow to recognize this. Thinking wistfully, we assume that government wants to do good, and its failure to do so is a matter of incompetence.

In Cheney’s hands, Bush provides the perfect cover for the looting of our treasury. Bush seems to have no aversion to criminal behavior, in fact it runs in the family, and when the theft becomes noticeable, just blame the lost funds on his incompetence. I mean, really, how hard is it to sell the idea that Bush just wasn’t smart enough to make the government work? It’s almost hard to imagine Cheney not taking the opportunity when, like Henry Hill said in Goodfellas, “Everything was for the taking.” For someone like Dick Cheney, “everything” would be awful hard to pass up.

So what do we do about this rogue administration with Cheney at the helm? One of the most common reasons given by those on the left for not getting behind impeachment is the fear of President Cheney. Well, for all intents and purposes, we already have a President Cheney so how could that possibly matter? But for those who still can’t imagine legitimizing his power, how about this? As David Swanson suggests, impeach Cheney first. Sounds like a winner to me.


Blogger Yellow Dog said...

Did you just say that the lighter side was that he shot someone in the face? Whaaaaa?

1:43 PM  
Blogger The (liberal)Girl Next Door said...

Yellow Dog--That's how bad things have gotten, shooting someone in the face isn't even close to the worst thing Dick Cheney has done since taking power.

2:18 PM  
Anonymous geocrackr said...

You know, as I recall, after all of the obligatory joking about Cheney selecting himself, I heard a lot of commentary during the '00 campaign along the lines of "Well, sure, Shrub's 'inexperienced', but now he'll have Cheney as the experienced adult in the administration." I didn't know anything about him, and didn't see anything at all about what a raving lunatic he is, even though his record must've been well known (another failure of that "liberal" media). As the bitter "centrists" who continue to whine about Nader conveniently forget, the ShrubCo campaign was based on the "compassionate conservative" nonsense, and Cheney's addition was used to con people into believing their administration would just be a continuation of Bush I. There was not one whit of speculation (that I saw) that Cheney would take over and enact such radical statist policies.

3:25 PM  
Anonymous Betty Cracker said...

My indispensible news source, The Onion, revealed months ago exactly how Cheney manipulates Bush:

But seriously, I like the idea of impeaching Cheney and Bush, and I don't necessarily care in which order.

7:56 PM  
Anonymous geocrackr said...


That reminds me of this cartoon from '04, prescient and brilliant in so many ways.

9:55 PM  
Blogger GraemeAnfinson said...

yeah, i can think of a lot worse thats that pathetic human being has done than shoot somebody in th face.

12:27 AM  
Anonymous Roberta Kelly said...


Hi Roberta here. Please be certain to check your email and read it very, very, carefully.

Love, R

1:33 PM  
Blogger The (liberal)Girl Next Door said...

GeoCrackr--You're right, I didn't see any early indication that Cheney was nuts either, but from what we've learned since, he clearly had a nutty agenda already cooked up in his deranged head.

Betty--Yes, I don't care how they go, or in what order, as long as they all go away.

Graeme--Sad, isn't it?


2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Impeachemnt doesn't remove a sitting President or Vice Presidentfrom office. It's an indictment. To be removed before the term is over would require conviction in the Senate.

2:49 PM  
Blogger The (liberal)Girl Next Door said...

Anonymous--Yes, I understand that, but in order to be convicted by the Senate, he would have to first be impeached by the House. All I'm saying is, let's get the ball rolling, it's a long process that, even if started now, likely wouldn't be completed by the time his term is up, but it's still worth doing. If for no other reason than to make clear that what he has done has crossed the line and the law.

5:22 PM  

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