Saturday, February 10, 2007

Is Cheney The Real President In The White House

   We have all noticed over the past six years how stupid our President really is and how ignorant at the same time. Those are not good combinations to have in one individual especially if they are sitting in the White house supposedly running the country.

   We have all pretty much wondered who was really running things in Washington and we have made the jokes that Cheney is the real president and Bush is just a puppet. Ha, Ha! The joke may be on the citizens of the United States.

    If you have kept up with the Libby trial then you know that many things are pointing in Dick Cheney's direction.


After seven days of such courtroom testimony, the unanswered question hanging over Libby's trial is, did the vice president's former chief of staff decide to leak that disparaging information on his own?

No evidence has emerged that Cheney told him to do it. But Cheney's dictated reply is one of many signs to emerge at the trial of the vice president's unusual attentiveness to the controversy and his desire to blunt it. His efforts included the extraordinary disclosure of classified information, including one-sided synopses of Wilson's report and a 2002 intelligence estimate on Iraq.

   It would seem that the Vice President has his hands in just about everything, like Iraq, Iran, and domestic surveillance, to name a few.

TPM    ( Edited For space )

(February 04, 2007 -- 09:01 AM EDT)

I will confess to having been extremely skeptical in the early years of the Bush Presidency that Cheney was really running the show. It seemed too facile an explanation for what I was convinced was a far more complicated situation. Until the 9/11 Commission report came out.

Even the watered-down version of events in the Commission's report made it absolutely clear that Cheney, ensconced in the White House bunker on the morning of the attacks, had issued shootdown orders outside of the chain of command and then conspired with the President to conceal this fact from the Commission.

Since then, I've gone from being open to the idea of an Imperial Vice Presidency to being convinced that historians will debate whether something approaching a Cheney-led coup d'etat has occurred, in which some of the powers of the Executive were extra-constitutionally usurped by the Office of the Vice President.

Last week, in trying to break the lock on who actually works in the OVP--which the Vice President refuses to reveal--the guys at Muckraker stumbled across this entry from a government directory known as the "Plum Book":

The Vice Presidency is a unique office that is neither a part of the executive branch nor a part of the legislative branch, but is attached by the Constitution to the latter. The Vice Presidency performs functions in both the legislative branch (see article I, section 3 of the Constitution) and in the executive branch (see article II, and amendments XII and XXV, of the Constitution, and section 106 of title 3 of the United States Code).

For a long time, talk of Cheney's unprecedented power carried with it a whiff of left-wing radicalism and Oliver Stone conspiracies. But in the last year, several serious journalistic efforts have explored the Cheney vice presidency. Robert Kuttner surveyed the field in his essay, "See Dick Run (the Country)," for The American Prospect. While it is axiomatic that Cheney is the power behind throne, what remains missing, as Kuttner pointed out, is the sort of relentless, day-to-day media coverage of Cheney that befits his claims to constitutional power:

If Cheney were the actual president, not just the de facto one, he simply could not govern with the same set of policies and approval ratings of 20 percent. The media focuses relentless attention on the president, on the premise that he is actually the chief executive. But for all intents and purposes, Cheney is chief, and Bush is more in the ceremonial role of the queen of England.

Yet the press buys the pretense of Bush being "the decider," and relentlessly covers Bush -- meeting with world leaders, cutting brush, holding press conferences, while Cheney works in secret, largely undisturbed. So let's take half the members of the overblown White House press corps, which has almost nothing to do anyway, and send them over to Cheney Boot Camp for Reporters. They might learn how to be journalists again, and we might learn who is running the government.

By custom and tradition, the Vice President's role had been circumscribed by how little express power and authority the Constitution granted the position. Hence, all the jokes over the years about the vice presidency. But in a move that is decidedly anti-conservative, in the conventional sense, Cheney moved to fill the void. I fear that what we will eventually find are structural flaws that were deliberately exploited by the OVP, which in turn further undermined constitutional and statutory structures.

Still, I can't help but be fascinated by the more pedestrian issue of how Cheney continues to assert himself so vigorously without running up against the ego of a cocksure President. How is it that Bush, who is so caught up in macho public demonstrations of his own personal strength and courage, can tolerate a shadow presidency within his own White House? What kind of spell has Cheney cast that allows Bush to continue to believe he is the decider? You can imagine all sorts of dysfunctional psychological dramas playing out behind the scenes.

But whether it's the legal or political aspect of Cheney's role, it all comes down to the same thing: we just don't know.

It's about time we find out.

-- David Kurtz  

       Dick " the decider " Cheney. That sounds about right. 


Technorati tags: , ,


Ads by