Sunday, February 19, 2006

The tyrannical rule of Richard B. Cheney

Yes, yes, I've already written a lot about The Shooting (see here, here, and here, for example), but the story still won't go away. At least not entirely. And that, in my view, is a good thing.

Questions and loose ends remain, but what is most interesting to me is the extent to which both the shooting and its aftermath reflect, in miniature, in metaphor, the Bush presidency: Cheney's arrogance, Bush's ignorance, the blind loyalty of the lackeys, the gutlessness of the partisan apologists, the utter contempt for the press, the disregard for the American people, the spinning of the truth into various contortions of misdirectional truthiness.

And now we have this excellent piece in Newsweek by Jonathan Alter on the imperial vice presidency of Dick Cheney. It's a must-read, but here are some key passages:

-- "Cheney believes in what might be called partisan accountability—you answer only to your own side, on your own terms, not to the jackals of the mainstream media."

-- "Cheney has simultaneously expanded the power of the vice presidency and reduced its accountability. Because his health made him the first veep since ancient Alben Barkley (under Harry Truman) with no realistic chance of moving up, he felt he could change the rules. Fears of terrorism made his decision to go to an 'undisclosed location' understandable, but he has taken secrecy about his whereabouts to inexplicable lengths."

-- "So Cheney has quietly figured out how to avoid answering the messy questions that are a vital part of a modern democracy... By not holding a press conference since 2002, Cheney is telling the men and women assigned to cover the White House that they are irrelevant. No wonder they went crazy after learning of the shooting accident from a Texas paper."

And here's where Alter sums it up brilliantly:

-- "The shooting could hardly be a better metaphor for Cheney. It neatly packages his faulty judgment, insularity and arrogance in a story that is not cataclysmic on its own terms but will prove hard to forget. That's too bad for Cheney, and certainly for Harry Whittington. But it is a blessing for anyone hoping to restore some accountability to a government that increasingly believes it is a law unto itself."

I recently referred to Cheney as a "tyrannical declassifier" (see here). But Cheney has proven himself to be a tyrant through and through.

Once upon a time, democrats knew what to do with tyrants. Nowadays, for all the high-falutin' rhetoric about the march of freedom and the spread of democracy, mostly from Cheney's alleged boss, we elect them to second terms.

Enough is enough, wouldn't you say?


Also in Newsweek, Evan Thomas looks back at "the shot heard round the world". Also a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the tyrannical rule of Richard B. Cheney.

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  • If the general public hasn't figured out that this guy Cheneny is a first class sleeze bag, then shame on them, also with his buddy G.W. they form a ideal dance team.

    Aparently America is satisfied with this kind of leadership.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:35 PM  

  • First of all: Get over yourselves.
    Second of all: When "G.W." was re-elected, who did you guys have running against him? A man so full of himself that he couldn't see past his own Purple Heart. Get real. If you want to really change who is running this country, run for office yourself. You will see that it isn't as easy as you think.
    BTW: The press has blown this thing way out of proportion. Just as you have done.
    How about this: Let's give that cheating, lying, sax player another term in office. Liberals seem to love him.

    My .02

    My opinion is not a personal attack on anyone in particular. I think it's great that you have started this blog and are voicing your opinion. It's what AMERICA is all about. FREEDOM to say what you feel. But let's stop all the name calling. please?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:43 AM  

  • Cheney doesn't fit the classical definition of a tyrant, only because he doesn't (we assume) wield absolute power. But he certainly acts as if he has to answer to no one, except possibly the President. And the President acts as if he has to answer to no one at all. The only time this attitude seems to break is when Karl Rove detects a shift in the political balance. It's never about right and wrong, only politics.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:43 PM  

  • I dislike Cheney intensely, but I still think this shooting accident is getting far too much coverage. The press should have hounded him on real issues, such as his lie that Mohammed Atta met with iraqi intelligence prior to 9-11. Press obsession with trivial issues like the shooting distract attention away from real stories like the Iraqi fiasco and the NSA spying scandal.

    By Blogger Jack Davis, at 10:56 PM  

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