"Your Superfluous Excellency" no more... more like Capo di tutti i capi
June 24, 2007 3:06 PM   Subscribe

'A Different Understanding With the President' The first of four chapters in this week's Washington Post on how Dick Cheney became the most influential and powerful man ever to hold the office of vice president. This series examines Cheney's largely hidden and little-understood role in crafting policies for the War on Terror, the economy and the environment. By Barton Gellman and Jo Becker.
posted by psmealey (83 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
An amazing piece. How Cheney set up his own government within the government of the United States, answerable to none.
posted by digaman at 3:07 PM on June 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


This has been all over the blogsphere. Here's TPM, and Matthew Yglesias who says:
There's a ton to chew over in The Washington Post brilliant exposé of Dick Cheney's methods, but on a different note this was the first time I'd read that George W. Bush's nickname for the Attorney-General of the United States is "Fredo." Shouldn't this, alone, have been grounds for blocking his confirmation? Do Senators not get these pop culture allusions? Bush was clearly trying to warn us.
posted by delmoi at 3:09 PM on June 24, 2007


I think Steve Benem is dead on in the TPM post. Cheney has exploited the power vacuum in the Oval office that has persisted because, since day one, the President has been unwilling or unable to rise to any occasion. We've all been kind of joking that these past six years, but the fact that it's demonstrably true is outrageous and chilling.
posted by psmealey at 3:13 PM on June 24, 2007


Benemn
posted by psmealey at 3:14 PM on June 24, 2007


the war on terror, the economy and the environment

A bit more apt without the capital letters.
posted by smackfu at 3:33 PM on June 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Not part of the executive branch, you say?

Well, okay then.
posted by homunculus at 3:50 PM on June 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


Now so much coming together about Cheney and just about all the papers, magazines etc badmouthing him without fear of biteback.
posted by Postroad at 3:51 PM on June 24, 2007


We've all been kind of joking that these past six years...

Wait, everyone else was joking about that? No WONDER my candidate didn't win in 2004!
posted by DU at 4:57 PM on June 24, 2007


Nice of the Post to do some reporting for a change. None of this (at least this chapter) is new, why are we just reading about it now in 2007?
posted by octothorpe at 5:03 PM on June 24, 2007


Clearly, none of the ideas presented here are necessarily new to anyone that's been paying attention since 2001. What's new is the level of substantiation, the number people willing to go on record and offer unflattering accounts of the actual goings on, "on the inside".
posted by psmealey at 5:09 PM on June 24, 2007


What's very interesting to me is that Cheney is half-right. The Constitution makes very little mention of what the Vice-President is actually supposed to be doing when he's not waiting around for the President to die and serving as President of the Senate (for which he has no vote, except to break a tie). We normally think of the VP as a protocol officer, the guy that attends funerals. But that's tradition, not a job description. The 32nd Vice President, John Garner, once remarked that the office "wasn't worth a warm bucket of spit."

So, if Cheney ISN'T right ... then he should be bound by all the normal rules of the executive branch.

But if he IS right, then he has no claim to executive privilege, no claim to receiving classified information, no claim to a budget, etc. If you're not part of the executive branch, why do you have a chief of staff? Why do you have a staff at all?

I really wish the Democratic leadership had the balls and the brains to call the bluff and follow this through to a conclusion, because either way, they win.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:24 PM on June 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Republics are interesting creatures.

Here in the West, Monarches would often remain as titular "heads of state" while democratically elected Prime Ministers would handle all the important stuff -- wars, intelligence operations, domestic policy and so on.

As is often the case with some Republics, America unoffically bound up the duties of both Head of State and Head of Government within the office of the President.

Until now, I guess.

Dick Cheney is America's PM, or maybe -- more accurately -- our Reichschancellor. GWB is America's doddering, drunk Kaiser who likes to play make-believe in military uniforms and review the troops all day.
posted by Avenger at 5:33 PM on June 24, 2007 [3 favorites]


Cheney Bypassed Environmentally ‘Clueless’ Bush To Craft Administration’s Climate Change Agenda
posted by homunculus at 5:58 PM on June 24, 2007


It's so funny to me that we learned in school that the US had checks and balances, and a separation of powers, and separate branches, and all that. I seem to remember something about a legislative branch to make laws and an executive branch to direct their implementation and a judicial branch to resolve conflicts.

It seems like that's been replaced with the Cheney branch, to make laws and decide how they are carried out; the vestigial branch, which makes other, ignorable laws and decisions; and the judicial branch, which occasionally tries to stop the other branches.

Too bad, you know, you guys had a good thing going there for a while. It sucks that the Congress is a complete waste of money. I guess the Constitution should have come with more instructions.
posted by blacklite at 6:01 PM on June 24, 2007


Now that Cheney et al. have set up this apparently extralegal apparatus -- does it end in early 2009, or does it take on a life of its own? That's what I'm sitting up nights worrying about.
posted by pax digita at 6:21 PM on June 24, 2007


um, anyone who didn't know that Cheney has been in charge for the last six years is kind of out of it.
posted by caddis at 7:10 PM on June 24, 2007


I think we're in an echo chamber here. Cheney was clearly picked as someone who could never inherit the throne; probably to leave the seat open for Jeb Bush. Given that, what is in it for Cheney to pursue all these evil schemes? More money? He's already rich.

I feel like if I could sit down with the man, although he repulses me, I would probably hear some reasonable explanation of why he does what he does. What would he say?
posted by atchafalaya at 7:11 PM on June 24, 2007


What would he say?

That he believes fervently in his agenda, no matter how much suffering it causes. This is usually how Evil keeps chugging along.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:28 PM on June 24, 2007


Yeah, but why? I mean, nobody thinks they're actually evil. For example, I met Ralph Reed at some local Republican dinner I covered once. I was braced to meet a frothing whacko, but face-to-face, he was genial, modest and moderate.
posted by atchafalaya at 7:34 PM on June 24, 2007


Even with all these behind the scenes machinations, the man has been extraordinarily ineffective.

Where is Bin Laden? How did they let him get away? Why has Iraq been such a cluster-fuck? How is it that this administration has gotten everything wrong, even the items they really wanted, like killing social security?

Maybe Cheney is right. Maybe he's not bound by the strictures of the executive branch. But either way he's been entirely incompetent.
posted by bshort at 7:47 PM on June 24, 2007


I feel like if I could sit down with the man, although he repulses me, I would probably hear some reasonable explanation of why he does what he does. What would he say?

He always spouts absurd bullshit in interviews, so he would spout absurd bullshit with you. I think he just does it because he loves power. People who love power just want more and more.
posted by delmoi at 7:59 PM on June 24, 2007


Why does he do what he does?
CHENEY: There's a great sense of freedom when, in fact, you don't have to worry about the polls. We don't worry about the polls. They go up, the polls go down. The fact of the matter is, we're doing what we think is best for the nation. And that's what the American people elected us to do. I think, ultimately, in the final analysis, that history will judge this president as a very successful, very effective leader. And I'm proud to be part of his team.
curious way to go about it. Then again, if your sole source of "history" is FOX news....

cue obligatory "you know who else was doing what he thought was best for his nation?"posted by Challahtronix at 8:09 PM on June 24, 2007


I would probably hear some reasonable explanation of why he does what he does. What would he say?

I highly recommend the book The One-Percent Doctrine, which covers a lot of Cheney's thinking on Iraq.

I personally don't think Cheney is evil, but impossibly wrong for the job. Probably made a great CEO at Halliburton, if all you measured was ROI. I think it's his absolute, curmudgeonly certainty about issues that makes him wrong for the job yet appealing to "regular folks" who like their issues in blackest and whitest black-and-white clarity. The book covers that in detail -- "It's not about analysis. It's about our response."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:23 PM on June 24, 2007


I think Rahm Emmanual has the right idea with de-funding his office. It's a hell of a lot easier than impeaching and nobody is going to say that the VP's office is vitally important in a time of war.

Just cut down the VP's budget to salary for himself and his chief of staff.
posted by empath at 8:31 PM on June 24, 2007


A Proclamation by the Vice-President of the United States of America
posted by homunculus at 8:46 PM on June 24, 2007


Part 2: Wars and Interrogations. Convinced that the “war on terror” required “robust interrogations” of captured suspects, Dick Cheney pressed the Bush administration to carve out exceptions to the Geneva Conventions.
posted by homunculus at 8:48 PM on June 24, 2007


what would he say?

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power."
posted by SPrintF at 9:13 PM on June 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


it's not that cheney is strong, but that the republic is weak...
posted by geos at 9:27 PM on June 24, 2007


more like the president is weak
posted by caddis at 9:36 PM on June 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Maybe Cheney is right.

When has that ever been the case about anything he's said? I can't remember the last time the man said anything that was factually correct. He's been proven flatly wrong so many times, he's either got to be the most stupid man in politics or he's got to be deliberately, pathologically misleading.

And you don't get to where he is by being stupid.
posted by darkstar at 9:53 PM on June 24, 2007


It's so ironic that Dick Cheney sees himself as some superhuman enema for what he views as the "constipation" of rule by law. The fact is he is the big impacted turd fouling things up. What will it take to blow this war profiteer out the backside and clear the pipes?
posted by chance at 10:03 PM on June 24, 2007


I personally don't think Cheney is evil, but impossibly wrong for the job. Probably made a great CEO at Halliburton, if all you measured was ROI.

Actually he bought Kellog Brown and Root and in doing so inherited billions of dollars of Asbestos related liability. He actually did a huge amount of damage to the country.
posted by delmoi at 10:44 PM on June 24, 2007


Haha, I mean company. Of course I can think of a couple countries that Cheney fucked up right good as well.
posted by delmoi at 10:48 PM on June 24, 2007


Yeah, but why? I mean, nobody thinks they're actually evil. For example, I met Ralph Reed at some local Republican dinner I covered once. I was braced to meet a frothing whacko, but face-to-face, he was genial, modest and moderate.

People like to think of themselves as intelligent, logical, and benevolent. Sometimes they construct world views accordingly, and can present you with interesting justifications:

Testing the rules ensures that the rules are strong. Actions not expressly forbidden make fair play. Playing upon the people's fears helps continue the people's work. The good of the many outweighs the good of the one; the ends justify the means. Only the strong should bear the burden of unpleasant knowledge.

The actions that come of such thinking are not inherently evil, but when mixed with a sense of destiny and allowed to grow unchecked in the dark, they can be very effectively so. You have to ask yourself, if someone truly feels that he is on the side of light, why would he conitnually run from exposure?
posted by zennie at 10:51 PM on June 24, 2007


Setting the Stage for the Next War
posted by homunculus at 11:01 PM on June 24, 2007


I feel like if I could sit down with the man, although he repulses me, I would probably hear some reasonable explanation of why he does what he does. What would he say?

Much like the 20th century fascists, he'd tell you that a complex of big government, subsidized industry, and the military represents the best tool for solving our problems and asserting national primacy. It would be like listening to a man convinced that anything can be fixed by buying enough hammers.
posted by kid ichorous at 12:05 AM on June 25, 2007


Reading about this I couldn't help but wonder if some monkey somewhere couldn't say, accidentally free some of the documents Cheney et al. consider secret/SCI ? So the rest of us could have some sense of what they consider so goddamn pressscious anyway.

Or maybe a quick look into .gov directories by someone far more clever and wiley than myself could shake loose some of the information.

Then, frankly, I thought about jackboots and kick-in-the-door searches and the suspension of Habeas Corpus and, well, around then I started to cry...

I hope Mr. Emmanuel's tactic shakes something loose, maybe a remark in the press, so people can see how batshitinsane this guy is.

Wait, is Condi/Powell behind all this?
posted by From Bklyn at 4:28 AM on June 25, 2007


He actually did a huge amount of damage to the country.

...

Haha, I mean company.


"You're a dinosaur, Artie. I'm just exercising my right to be the best I can be. That's what America's all about, okay? That's what makes it a great company."

"Country."

"What'd I say?"

-The Beginning Of The End
posted by stammer at 5:25 AM on June 25, 2007


This is setting the stage for Cheney to step down ("for health reasons", of course) and for a Thompson (Cheney's daughter is now working for him) or someone to take his place before the election. It also takes the heat and responsibility off Bush and Gonzales and all the others.

The Washington Post has been openly covering for this criminal administration for years and years -- they wouldn't be running this at all now (even tho it's old news) unless it was ok.
posted by amberglow at 8:57 AM on June 25, 2007


Related, too, from 06: ... Most people don't realize I'm actually on the Senate payroll. That's where my paycheck comes from. ...

Of course, that wasn't questioned at all.
posted by amberglow at 8:59 AM on June 25, 2007


Don't miss this:

“I’ll ask the vice president if he’ll come to the press briefing room and answer your questions,” [White House spokesperson Dana Perino] said.

This was said sarcastically. It was a joke. In other words, Cheney has so habituated this country to the notion that he is an untouchable monarch who can treat the electorate with undisguised contempt that the official White House spokesperson can make a joke like this.

"Oh yeah, I'll have Chairman Mao come right on in here and answer your questions!"
posted by digaman at 9:08 AM on June 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


and a great analysis at Next Hurrah: Cheney's Method
posted by amberglow at 9:18 AM on June 25, 2007


Say what you will about Dick Cheney but I have to admire the size and polish of his shiny titanium balls.
posted by MapGuy at 9:21 AM on June 25, 2007


As you were: Say what you will about Dick Cheney but I have to admire the size and polish of his shiny titanium balls.
posted by MapGuy at 9:26 AM on June 25, 2007


on Rice and Powell and Gonzales, who come off terribly: ...Neither of them took their objections to Cheney, the official said, a much more dangerous course. ...
In another instance, the article recounts a meeting over the administration’s denial of due process to detainees. At the meeting, “Gonzales listened quietly as the Justice Department and his own staff lined up against [Cheney lawyer David] Addington. Then he decided in favor of Cheney’s lawyer.”

posted by amberglow at 9:41 AM on June 25, 2007


related, of course: White House opposes move to declassify report on Iraq's WMDs --...A board set up to combat excessive secrecy might go extinct without ever declassifying a single executive branch document.
posted by amberglow at 9:46 AM on June 25, 2007


THE PANOPTICON WHITE HOUSE--...Apparently the West Wing has been transformed into a panopticon for the benefit of Dick Cheney and his staff: they can watch you, but you can't watch back. Jeremy Bentham's passion for "invisible omniscience" must have struck a chord with them.
posted by amberglow at 9:51 AM on June 25, 2007


A New Cheney-Gonzales Mystery
posted by homunculus at 11:43 AM on June 25, 2007


“Yeah, but why? I mean, nobody thinks they're actually evil.”

But other people do.
Y’know, you hear about the French revolution and you think “Boy those people had a lot of angst. I wonder why they did what they did?” It’s because monkey-smart people like this grab up power and wealth and waste it on destructive games or at best useless crap.
Resentment to stuff like that builds up, and if it isn’t redressed it explodes and just starts killing everybody. Which is one of the reasons Jefferson talked about revolution every generation or so. Without some play in the mechanism people wind up wanting to kill Cheney and people who look like Cheney and people trying to stop them from killing people who look like Cheney. (Substitute Marie Antoinette or King Louis, etc.)
S’why evil is such a pain in the ass. It’s not just the damage done, it’s the unfocused payback, the displaced social aggression that does the real damage because it’s proportionate, but completely unfocused.
Doesn’t really matter why he does what he does (I suspect self-aggrandizing ego, like all the other power-seekers) what matters is that he not only warps the system, but that it eventually pushes back hard, perhaps too hard, and the authoritarian types say “See how people are without someone to rule over them?”
posted by Smedleyman at 12:33 PM on June 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


I have a friend who has been referring to the Cheney Administration for years. George Bush is the sock puppet's sock puppet. Has anyone made the case for Bush being the Antichrist? That would make Cheney the Prince of Darkness incarnate.
posted by RussHy at 1:15 PM on June 25, 2007


Has anyone made the case for Bush being the Antichrist? That would make Cheney the Prince of Darkness incarnate.

“God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them.”

God, or Cheney?--for Bush there's no difference i guess.
posted by amberglow at 2:01 PM on June 25, 2007


RudePundit has it right, as usual --The Motherf*ckering of America, Part 1: Keep Your Mothers Away From Dick Cheney:
posted by amberglow at 2:26 PM on June 25, 2007


well, well, well-- ...UPDATE: The Washington Post changed its headline in today's hard copy from "The Unseen Path to Cruelty" to "Pushing the Envelope on Presidential Power" in the electronic version. One of the article's authors was just asked in a live chat why he omitted my report of torture. The Post's Gellman said: "Oh, we've omitted a lot more than that." ...
posted by amberglow at 2:32 PM on June 25, 2007


Dana Peroxide at the WH Briefing: ... Q Has the President turned over documents and allowed inspections that the Vice President's office has not done?

MS. PERINO: In terms of the White House office?

Q Yes.

MS. PERINO: I don't believe we did. No.

Q So the White House also has not allowed those same inspections that the Vice President's office --

MS. PERINO: The President has discharged, as their supervisor, the ISOO to do these investigations, on-site inspections at agencies of which the President and the Vice President are not a part.

Q Okay, so the President has not had those inspections either -- that's what you're saying?

MS. PERINO: No.

Q Okay. Has he been asked to have those inspections by the National Archives?

MS. PERINO: Not that I -- not that I'm aware. But again, it's the President that's discharging the EO, he's the sole enforcer. ...
posted by amberglow at 3:02 PM on June 25, 2007


More money? He's already rich.

Um, you mean rich people get tired of making money?

I personally don't think Cheney is evil, but impossibly wrong for the job.

Are you ignoring his staunch advocacy for torture? (And can you truly turn off the lightswitch then jump into bed before it gets dark?)
posted by Mental Wimp at 4:01 PM on June 25, 2007


Are you ignoring his staunch advocacy for torture?

In my book, evil is "Hooray torture! More, more, more! Can't wait to waterboard me some more brown people! Look at 'em squirm, Georgie!"

Instead, he seems to have this idea that if you slap someone just right, he'll tell you where the bombs are hidden. Harder, slap him harder. He's not talking? Then you're not slapping him right. Try it again.

That's not evil. That's a misreading of Jack Bauer Hollywood with tragic results. Cheney's evil in the same way Cujo is evil.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:38 PM on June 25, 2007


the first time I'd read that George W. Bush's nickname for the Attorney-General of the United States is 'Fredo.'

Shouldn't Gonzales' Godfather nickname be Tom Hagen? I think it's Bush that's oblivious to the pop culture reference in this case.

The 32nd Vice President, John Garner, once remarked that the office 'wasn't worth a warm bucket of spit.'

He actually said it was "not worth a bucket of warm piss."
posted by kirkaracha at 4:40 PM on June 25, 2007


He says he's not part of the Executive branch (a total lie and he knows it), yet he used "Executive Privilege" over and over to keep his Energy Meetings secret--and to not provide information to Congress.
posted by amberglow at 4:40 PM on June 25, 2007


He says he's not part of the Executive branch (a total lie and he knows it), yet he used "Executive Privilege" over and over to keep his Energy Meetings secret--and to not provide information to Congress.

Look on the bright side. If he keeps up this level of eating and having his cake too, maybe it'll clog up his arteries to the point of triggering the big one.
posted by psmealey at 5:30 PM on June 25, 2007


I personally don't think Cheney is evil, but impossibly wrong for the job.

Are you ignoring his staunch advocacy for torture?


Not to mention his shameless advocacy for turning the US Treasury into an ATM machine for his buddies and former colleagues in the oil/gas, security and construction businesses. During a time of war, no less.
posted by psmealey at 5:43 PM on June 25, 2007


Scholars Urge Bush to Ban Use of Torture
posted by homunculus at 5:48 PM on June 25, 2007


cool papa bell I was afraid that's what you thought. If I understand your statement correctly, you feel that as long as a person has good intentions for advocating something that is flat out evil, that person isn't evil. Under that definition, no one is evil, and the word loses its meaning as a descriptor of a human being. And I guess that's a valid stance, that no one, not even Stalin, can be described as evil. But in the everyday use of the term, I think someone who advocates evil acts in order to benefit himself, his family, or his country, especially if he has been exposed to discourse making clear that the civilized world considers the behavior evil, can be considered evil. The extent to which he manipulated the justice department and the English language to justify its use indicates that he does understand it unacceptability to most of the civilized world. Ugh.
posted by Mental Wimp at 5:58 PM on June 25, 2007


Part 3: Dominating Budget Decisions. Working behind the scenes, Dick Cheney has made himself the dominant voice on tax and spending policy, outmaneuvering rivals for the president's ear.
posted by homunculus at 7:56 PM on June 25, 2007


I'm beginning to suspect that what the USA currently has is a dictatorship masquerading as a democracy-of-sorts.

Bush and Cheney just do whatever the hell they want and are never held accountable.

It's not a representative government. It's questionable whether it's even a democratically elected government, what with gerrymandering and fraud.

It is an ugly beast.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:46 PM on June 25, 2007


If I understand your statement correctly

You didn't.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:30 PM on June 25, 2007


Sally Quinn is now saying Thompson's Cheney's replacement.
-- A GOP Plan To Oust Cheney
posted by amberglow at 8:50 AM on June 26, 2007


Daily Show: Cheney’s Dick Move
posted by homunculus at 9:19 AM on June 26, 2007


Sally Quinn is now saying Thompson's Cheney's replacement.
-- A GOP Plan To Oust Cheney


That's an interesting article, but it ignores the fact that Bush himself is toxic to other candidates, especially whoever wins the Republican nomination. Unless Thompson gets into office, rips Bush a new one, and declares himself the voice of a reasonable Republican party, becoming the VP would guarantee Thompson's loss.

The public has had enough of Bush, and his 26% approval rating shows that.

I do agree, though, that it looks like someone is trying to force Cheney to resign.
posted by bshort at 10:00 AM on June 26, 2007


Dick Cheney: The Keeper Of The Bush Bubble
posted by homunculus at 11:43 AM on June 26, 2007


How many people can you impeach at once?
posted by blacklite at 11:52 AM on June 26, 2007


FLASHBACK: Cheney Argued Energy Task Force Probe ‘Interfered With Executive Branch’
posted by homunculus at 6:02 PM on June 26, 2007


The last chapter is up:

Part 4: Environmental Policy. Dick Cheney steered some of the Bush administration's most important environmental decisions -- easing air pollution controls, opening public parks to snowmobiles and diverting river water from threatened salmon.

This look like a good companoin to this new Rolling Stone article:

The Secret Campaign of President Bush's Administration To Deny Global Warming
posted by homunculus at 7:49 PM on June 26, 2007


If I understand your statement correctly

You didn't.


That's a comfort.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:14 AM on June 27, 2007


White House, Cheney's office, subpoenaed but they'll be ignored, i bet.
posted by amberglow at 12:26 PM on June 27, 2007


I swear, the Administration is jonesin' for an impeachment. They're basically forcing the issue to the wall; presumably, they feel they've got the ability to out-smart the H&S.

They certainly seem to have loaded the dice over at the Justice Department: how the hell do you deal with a Justice that simply refuses to investigate and prosecute?

And for that matter... do they also have the military in their pocket? 'cause without Justice and without Military, I daresay y'all be right fucked about it. Pray the elections are still useful, and that the majority votes for honest people this next time around, I guess.

You need a Vice-President who will lead the Senate in enacting Constitutional Laws that safeguard you and your citizens from yet another near-successful hijacking of the US Government. Nixon was bad enough, something should have been done then; this time around it has really come close to fucking up everything for everybody for all time.

We've got some serious, hard issues to deal with regarding our environment and our energy sources. This past Administration has produced a self-inflicted crisis that requires a global effort to resolve; and ignored a global crisis that requires a global effort to resolve.

Vote smart.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:28 PM on June 27, 2007


Nobody's getting impeached (although, they should be, over the warrantless wiretapping). It's a losing strategy for the Dems. They don't have the votes, and it'll play as payback for the impeachment of Clinton, at a time when people think we're at war. The Clinton impeachment will look "merely" misguided, while a Bush-Cheney impeachment will play as mindlessly vindictive.

A couple of guys (Gonzales, maybe Addington, but I doubt it) will fall on their swords. That's the best you can hope for.

The better strategy is keep hammering them and use all of it as leverage for 2008 campaigns, when you can presumably win the presidential campaign and shore up Congressional seats. Then you go after them at trial.

The problem is ... that strategy works if the A-No. 1 Democratic candidate is not named Clinton. Ironically, if Hillary gets elected, Bush and Cheney skip off into the sunset, untouched. She voted for the war. She defended some of their tactics. She'd rather not have a front row at another impeachment during her first term, when the story is First Woman President, not First Woman President Scoring Points Against Republicans That Wronged Her Husband.

Vote smart.

Indeed.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:45 PM on June 27, 2007


Impeach Cheney: The vice president has run utterly amok and must be stopped.
posted by homunculus at 9:40 AM on June 28, 2007


Dems: Investigate Cheney for role in salmon die-off

Perhaps the fish will be his downfall.
posted by homunculus at 12:43 PM on June 28, 2007


The Clinton impeachment will look "merely" misguided, while a Bush-Cheney impeachment will play as mindlessly vindictive.

To whom, exactly? Martians, deaf-mutes living above the Arctic Circle, people who have not been vegetative and on life support these past 6 years?

I hear pundits make this argument all the time, and it's false. I can't think of a single reasonable person (outside of hardened partisans) who thinks that (A.) the Clinton impeachment was anything other than an unwarranted, tawdry maneuver by partisan hacks to "get" Slick Willy, and (B.) For all that's gone on during the past six years, impeachment is not at least worth an honest and sober look.

But it won't happen for any other reason than the Dems don't have any balls and the Republicans with any conscience don't either.
posted by psmealey at 12:55 PM on June 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


For all that's gone on during the past six years, impeachment is not at least worth an honest and sober look.

I agree. But I don't think it's gonna happen.

The Clinton impeachment will look "merely" misguided, while a Bush-Cheney impeachment will play as mindlessly vindictive.

To whom, exactly?


Didn't say I agreed with it. Just saying that's how it would be played. And that story will play quite well in the red states (you'll notice that up until somewhat recently, all three branches of government were Republican-dominated). And right-leaning moderates who agree with impeachment in principle will react, "Do we have to go through this again? Are we going to do this every time now?"

1-20-09, folks. One. Twenty. Oh. Nine.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:38 PM on June 28, 2007


I think impeachment would be tremendously supported by the American people. The great majority of people are properly pissed that the US has been made to look so awfully bad, terribly in debt, and stuck in a quagmire.

Impeachment would be a relief valve.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:37 PM on June 28, 2007


I think impeachment would be tremendously supported by the American people.

Agreed, but file under: Titanic, rearranging deck chairs on the. The damage has already been done. Both Ford and Carter told us what we needed to do, btu along came Reagan, who said that none of that mattered, and he pulled out his big old corporate credit card (backed by Treasury bills and commercial paper), and all the presidents since have been passing the buck. Bush, God love him, is witless, stupid, weak and corrupt to his core, but at least he brought us to the realization that we are a nation at the brink: there ain't no way back, and the way forward is a long, long way down.
posted by psmealey at 6:54 PM on June 28, 2007


Poll: Majority of Americans Want Cheney Impeached
posted by homunculus at 1:12 PM on July 6, 2007


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