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  1. #1
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    The Cheney Presidency...

    I wanted to share this to put things into perspective about Cheney and Rumsfeld.

    It is my contention that Vice-President Cheney and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld will say anything to ensure that the Republican Party continues to control all three branches of government after the November 7, 2006 Mid-term elections.

    The Cheney presidency

    By Robert Kuttner | August 26, 2006

    GEORGE W. BUSH has been faulted in some quarters for taking an extended vacation while the Middle East festers. It doesn't much matter; the man running the country is Vice President Dick Cheney.

    When historians look back on the multiple assaults on our constitutional system of government in this era, Cheney's unprecedented role will come in for overdue notice. Cheney's shotgun mishap, when he accidentally sprayed his host with birdshot, has gotten more media attention than has his control of the government.

    Historically, the vice president's job was to ceremonially preside over the Senate, attend second-tier foreign funerals, and be prepared for the president to die. Students are taught that John Nance Garner, Franklin Roosevelt's first vice president, compared the job to a bucket of warm spit (and historians say spit was not the word the pungent Texan actually used).
    Recent vice presidents Walter Mondale and Al Gore were given more authority than most, but there was no doubt that the president was in charge.

    Cheney is in a class by himself. The administration's grand strategy and its implementation are the work of Cheney-- sometimes Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, sometimes Cheney and political director Karl Rove.

    Cheney has planted aides in major Cabinet departments, often over the objection of a Cabinet secretary, to make sure his policies are carried out. He sits in on the Senate Republican caucus, to stamp out any rebellions. Cheney loyalists from the Office of the Vice President dominate interagency planning meetings.

    The Iraq war is the work of Cheney and Rumsfeld. The capture of the career civil service is pure Cheney. The disciplining of Congress is the work of Cheney and Rove. The turning over of energy policy to the oil companies is Cheney. The extreme secrecy is Cheney and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

    If Cheney were the president, more of this would be smoked out because the press would be paying attention. The New York Times' acerbic columnist Maureen Dowd regularly makes sport of Cheney's dominance, and there are plenty of jokes (Bush is a heartbeat away from the presidency). But you can count serious newspaper or magazine articles on Cheney's operation on the fingers of one hand. One exceptional example is Jane Mayer's piece in the July 3 New Yorker on Cheney operative David Addington .

    Cheney's power is matched only by his penchant for secrecy. When my colleague at the American Prospect, Robert Dreyfuss, requested the names of people who serve on the vice president's staff, he was told this was classified information. Former staffers for other departments provided Dreyfuss with names.

    So secretive is Cheney (and so incurious the media) that when his chief of staff, Irving Lewis Libby, was implicated in the leaked identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson, reporters who rushed to look Libby up on Nexis and Google found that Libby had barely rated previous press attention.
    Why does this matter? Because if the man actually running the government is out of the spotlight, the administration and its policies are far less accountable.

    When George W. Bush narrowly defeated John Kerry in 2004, many commentators observed that Bush was the fellow with whom you would rather have a beer. It's an accurate and unflattering comment on the American electorate -- but then who wants to have a beer with Cheney? The public may not know the details of his operation, but voters intuitively recoil from him.

    Bush's popularity ratings are now under 40 percent, beer or no, reflecting dwindling confidence in where he is taking the country. But Cheney's ratings are stuck around 20 percent, far below that of any president.
    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.

    Robert Kuttner is co-editor of The American Prospect. His column appears regularly in the Globe.


    © Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company
    source: The Boston Globe

    Who's holding Cheney and Rumsfeld accountable? Certainly not GW, or the Republican Controlled Congress!

    *Discuss*
    Never regret anything, because in that moment it's exactly what you wanted.

  2. #2

    Re: The Cheney Presidency...

    I never thought of Cheney as running the show. I have always thought that Bush does and says whatever Karl Rove tells him to. Cheney strikes me as more of an attack dog for the Administration then as the brains behind the operation.
    I am a Friend of Dorothy (Zbornak)

  3. #3
    HazeMaster
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    Re: The Cheney Presidency...

    Quote Originally Posted by centexfarmer View Post
    Who's holding Cheney and Rumsfeld accountable? Certainly not GW, or the Republican Controlled Congress!

    *Discuss*
    Certainly not the House and Senate Democrats

    Certainly not our mainstream media

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    Re: The Cheney Presidency...

    Quote Originally Posted by lawdude View Post
    I never thought of Cheney as running the show. I have always thought that Bush does and says whatever Karl Rove tells him to. Cheney strikes me as more of an attack dog for the Administration then as the brains behind the operation.
    Karl Rove IS the Republican Party.

    February 2005
    "They aren't kidding around"

    Rove is promoted. President Bush announces that he will now be assistant to the president, deputy chief of staff and a senior adviser, the title reflecting influence over both politics and policy. Rove also gets a new office, just steps away from the Oval Office.

    With Bush re-elected, Rove is thinking long-term. He intends to use both politics and policy to create a permanent Republican majority. He designs a legislative agenda that he hopes will lead to future Republican gains. High on the list: an overhaul and partial privatization of Social Security, and the appointment of "strict constructionist" judges who will reverse what many Republicans see as judicial activism. "I think what they are trying to do is bigger than the Great Society, and approaches the New Deal," says Washington Post reporter Thomas Edsall. "They aren't kidding around."

    source: Frontline: Karl Rove

    Karl Rove gets the Republicans Elected no matter the cost.

    Cheney is the politics of Power in the Republican Party.

    Here's a link to a chart showing Cheney's unparalleled influence on the Bush Administrations policies.

    Vice-President Cheney's Network

    Did you know that Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld can be closely linked going back more the three decades?

    Did you know, for example, that Donald Rumsfeld oversees roughly 85 percent of the nation's $44 billion intelligence budget?

    Karl Rove doesn't begin to have that type of power.
    Never regret anything, because in that moment it's exactly what you wanted.

  5. #5
    LeoMikey
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    Re: The Cheney Presidency...

    Rove, Cheney and Rumsfeld are the ones i think are the puppet masters, Bush is just the puppet. Sorry, i take that back. Puppets are smarter. I hated Bush back when he was the Texas governor. That anal drip claims he is for protecting ALL life, hence the anti-abortion anti-birth control stance. Yet as gov of Texass he had more people executed than any other governor of any state...ever! And he certainly has no problem sending kids right out of high school off to die in a war that was wrong to begin with. I just keep praying that more and more people, especially conservatives, wake up and smell the stench that hangs over this country. I'm always torn in two directions because on the one hand i can't handle watching the news and seeing any of this administration, but i also know if i tune it out i will be just as ignorant as the people i despise!
    If i never left the US i would no doubt have a different opinion on things, or even worse, if i believed the crap on Fox News. But since i go to Denmark ever year to see family, and travel around Europe as much as i can, i dread telling people hearing my accent. I usually just tell them i'm Canadian. The typical question i get asked is "Your fellow countrymen seem like such good people, why do you keep that *&!#%?$! in power?" What can i say? I did'nt vote for him, i'm not a Republican....but the votes are fixed or uncounted so what difference does it make what i do?
    The current program of warrentless wiretaps is an impeachable offense. The list of stuff Bush and his buddies have done wrong would take up more space than any of us have here! The fact that he got re-elected after 4 of the worst years ever is beyond belief. I'm so glad i'm gay, which pisses off the Bushie's, but i'm also glad i don't have kids because i'd hate to explain the last 6 years to them.
    And if impeachment happens, the vice president takes over, which is another bag of bullshit. Something has to give, the madness needs to stop. I'd like to think i did'nt get abused, gassed and beaten at anti-war rallies for nothing! Do you sometimes get so angry and upset that you start crying too? Canada is looking better everyday!

  6. #6
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    Re: The Cheney Presidency...

    I think now is a good time to mention the novel fact that Karl Rove actually suggested Lynn Cheney to be the Vice Presidential pick. It was Bush who was like "Hey, that's the wife of my dad's friend..." and thus chose Dick.

    And could I have one wish this year,
    this only would it be:
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    that you have been to me.


  7. #7
    General_Alfie
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    Re: The Cheney Presidency...

    Quote Originally Posted by HazeMaster View Post
    Certainly not the House and Senate Democrats

    Certainly not our mainstream media
    Really? Let's see -- the Dems are in the minority in the House and Senate, so they cannot supoena witnesses, they cannot call committee hearings, either. Seems to me that if you're looking to blame someone, you might want to, you know, look at the ruling Pugs? I mean, what, Sir, would you have the Democrats do -- what would you SPECIFICALLY want the Dems to do?

    As to the media's complicity, well, that happens when every media outlet is owned by a Fortune 500 company...

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    Re: The Cheney Presidency...

    Cheney, Rove, Rumsfeld, the Republican Controlled Congress, they're all complicant in the decline of everything that once made America the envy of the free world.

    I'm begging for some one to prove me wrong. Cite one example where the current political leadership in this country has successfully advanced the "cause for freedom."
    Never regret anything, because in that moment it's exactly what you wanted.

  9. #9
    ds_writr
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    Re: The Cheney Presidency...

    That Kuttner article gives one GOOSEBUMPS.

    Its rather a sad tale of running a kingdom from behind dark velvet curtains.

    What I find most disturbing though is that the whole country knows who is and has been at the controls and yet stands (nearly) idly by allowing it.

    As much as Rove-Cheney-Rumsfeld are what they are, there have often been such castle maggots throughout history.

    Why though are the people so aware and yet behaving so impotently?

    The people are not near as impotent as the trio's Marshall Law of the Mind would have them believe.

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    Re: The Cheney Presidency...

    Quote Originally Posted by centexfarmer View Post
    Cheney, Rove, Rumsfeld, the Republican Controlled Congress, they're all complicant in the decline of everything that once made America the envy of the free world.

    I'm begging for some one to prove me wrong. Cite one example where the current political leadership in this country has successfully advanced the "cause for freedom."
    You must have pretty high expectations for the next (non Republican) administration. I think you're setting the bar high.

    No question 911 set us back, financially, spiritually plus. In terms of advancing the "cause for freedom", would you consider regime change in Iraq (whatever the pretext) attempting to provide freedom to Iraqis? Does that count?

    Cheney and Rummy can do whatever they want - but the country is not buying their act. If the Dems play their cards right (quiet), they win - in the House for sure and perhaps the Senate. The Dems need to play 4 corners and stall. The current admin is as unpopular as it gets. We are inundated 24/7 with how bad America is - Iraq, Middle East, Iran/No.Korea with nukes, Katrina retrospective, Ford Motors struggling, terrorists attempting to blow up more planes. Change is in order and is an automatic.

    As for Cheney - he hasn't really been much of a factor since he shot the guy if you ask me. The admin is on neo-con auto pilot. And Rove is in the doghouse - too much bad press.

  11. #11

    Re: The Cheney Presidency...

    Quote Originally Posted by chance1 View Post
    No question 911 set us back, financially, spiritually plus. In terms of advancing the "cause for freedom", would you consider regime change in Iraq (whatever the pretext) attempting to provide freedom to Iraqis? Does that count?
    No, because he said "successfully advanced the cause of freedom." It isn't currently successful then or now and the past tense of "advanced" prohibits any speculation.

    As for Cheney - he hasn't really been much of a factor since he shot the guy if you ask me. The admin is on neo-con auto pilot. And Rove is in the doghouse - too much bad press.
    Indeed interesting how badly this administration fucked up since 9/11, just so sad that a lot of it was done before the elections 2004 that those complicit, the administration and in Congress, didn't get at least the boot then.

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    Re: The Cheney Presidency...

    Quote Originally Posted by chance1 View Post
    You must have pretty high expectations for the next (non Republican) administration. I think you're setting the bar high.
    Why shouldn't we set high expectations for the leaders of our great country?

    I don't think it's unreasonable to expect an Administration that's leading this country to be honest, open, and forthright with the very constituency that elected them. More so to those who didn't.

    No question 911 set us back, financially, spiritually plus. In terms of advancing the "cause for freedom", would you consider regime change in Iraq (whatever the pretext) attempting to provide freedom to Iraqis? Does that count?
    Not when the President who's running this country said during his 2000 Presidential campaign:

    2000 Presidential Election Debate: "I will not use our troops for the purpose of nation-building," G. W. Bush.
    So "nation-building" has been renamed "advancing the cause for freedom?"

    Wouldn't you agree that bombing Afgahnistan back into the dark ages was punishment against the Taliban, and thier harboring of al-Qaeda operatives?

    I seem to recall during that time that North Korea was waving nuclear missiles, and threating to launch missiles, that Iran was dealing with North Korea, but Bush 43, decides to go after Bush 41's nemesis Saddam Hussein.

    Who, at the time was not waving nuclear warheads, and launching rockets, and wasn't even on speaking terms with Iran.

    One thing is certain in retrospect, Saddam Hussein let his alligator mouth overload his humming bird ass (as we say here in Texas). Bush 43 was itching to get us over there, and here we are.

    How many times have the Bush Administration's excuses changed for why we went into Iraq and why we're there?
    1. He has weapons of mass destruction. WMD's! Turned out to be a lie.
    2. He's an evil and bad man, he gassed his own people. Turned out to be true, but he wasn't doing prior to our invasion. I find it ironic how even in his trial he's not being charged with events that took place before, during, and immediatly after the first Gulf War. I maybe confused.
    3. He was harboring terrorists. Another lie. There's never been any facts to support that Saddam Hussein was "exporting" terrorism. But it must be true because Cheney said so.
    4. The Iraqi people needed to be freed from a tyrannical regime. Only to be replaced by half-a-dozen tyrannically "Islamofascists." I'm sure that the Iraqi peoples just cannot thank us enough.
    I'm not going to get into the lies that the American People were told prior to the U.S. led invasion as to the Iraq people's expected response.

    Would you consider my prefering that Bush 41 finished the job he started during the first Gulf War setting my standards too high, compared to the standards that Bush 43 has set?

    To compare recent presidencies, Clinton lost me as a supporter of his presidency when he lied about having an affair with Monica Lewinski. However, he did confess that lie to the American people and apologized for it. That's more that I expect to get from Bush 43's presidency.

    Clinton, lied but nobody died. As the bumper sticker states, and as if ANY lie from our Commander in Chief is acceptable.

    Cheney and Rummy can do whatever they want - but the country is not buying their act. If the Dems play their cards right (quiet), they win - in the House for sure and perhaps the Senate. The Dems need to play 4 corners and stall. The current admin is as unpopular as it gets. We are inundated 24/7 with how bad America is - Iraq, Middle East, Iran/No.Korea with nukes, Katrina retrospective, Ford Motors struggling, terrorists attempting to blow up more planes. Change is in order and is an automatic.
    After what happend in Florida in 2000, and in Ohio in 2004, I can't say that I share the same optimism as you do.

    This is one of the reasons that I started this thread. With Cheney and Rumsfeld banging the drums of fear, fear, fear, and painting any opposition to their failed policies as "appeasing terrorists" (propaganda wouldn't you agree?) that it might just stick in the minds of the electorate.

    Tell a lie enough times it becomes the truth?

    Just to be sure, we'll make sure that our company (Deibold) provides "electronic voting machines" with no paper trail, so that we can ensure another victory for our party.

    As for Cheney - he hasn't really been much of a factor since he shot the guy if you ask me. The admin is on neo-con auto pilot. And Rove is in the doghouse - too much bad press.
    Sorry, I don't see that. Would you cite a few examples of how Cheney and Rove are no longer a part of political machine of the Bush Administration?

    Once again, with my deepest respect and appreciation.
    Never regret anything, because in that moment it's exactly what you wanted.

  13. #13
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    Re: The Cheney Presidency...

    Thanks fo the update cen..........mer . I am not a G.W. Bush/Dick Cheney/GOP fan.


    One comment I would add......the US Iraq invasion was unquestionably mishandled...

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    Re: The Cheney Presidency...

    To Centex - regarding your last post

    Re: next admin
    Agreed - keep the bar high for sure

    Re: advancing the cause of freedom
    I am excited about the prospect of a Middle East where democracy could exist - great for Iraqis - men and women - not easy - and perhaps not the reason to put American GI's at risk (argument for another day) - but I think it is worth the effort - especially that we are now there

    Re: Iran
    I've read and listened to their leader - scary dude - not sure talking with him is the right way to go - I think sanctions/isolation is - with the aid of European allies

    Re: Previous elections
    I don't think Florida 2000 was anything more than sour grapes from a select few - sorry - not the conspiracy type (except for movies). I just think the Dems did not make their case for national election - should have won for sure

    Re: Cheney and Rove
    Other than Cheney's speech last week, he's been real quiet/not front and center and Rove is almost exclusively behind the scenes now - with cause - the former is a dark character who shot someone and has gone from being an "experienced hand" to "darth vader" and the latter has gone from "genius" to "unethical" - they should be exclusively behind the curtain IMO

    I guess while I feel Bush has done a poor job I don't see the evil you portray - perhaps some level of incompetence. And for the all the fear mongering you write about, I see a similar/greater level of admin baiting by the dems with defeatist rhetoric about the war, which emboldens our enemies. I find that inexcusable.

    I know I haven't responded to all your stuff - you make very good points - and lots I cannot/don't want to refute.

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