I've been enjoying all the shocked pearl clutching this week as Washington insiders suddenly discover that their favorite party guest Dick Cheney is a secretive megalomaniac. But if the insiders and the press had not been so blinded by Bush's adorable obsession with PB&J sammiches and his "pull my finger" style of boyish humor, (followed by a smooth shift into embarrassing codpiece worship after 9/11) perhaps someone might have wondered if his babysitter might have some odd ideas. After all, his love of monarchical presidential power is the one thing he hasn't been secretive about:She then directs us to this FRONTLINE piece, Cheney In His Own Words, An overview of the vice president's views on presidential power and covert action that shows a remarkable consistency from the 1980s to today.
Read it at your own risk.
Nancy Reagan knew it. She made sure that Cheney and Rumsfeld were never alone with St Ronnie after he really wasn't doing most of his own thinking - most if not all of his second term.
So what do the Republicans do? They pair Cheney up with a dry drunk who had done any of his own thinking for years if ever. And now everyone is surprised. As Digby says and the FRONTLINE piece documents Cheney was never won to hide his lust for an all powerful executive. Here is an example from 1987:
Discussing the Iran-contra report and proposed reforms on The NewsHourDigby concludes with this:
"I think you have to preserve the prerogative of the President in extraordinary circumstances not to notify the Congress at all [of covert actions]. Or that is to exercise discretion to wait for days or weeks, or even months. I think that's within his constitutional prerogative. I am reluctant to see us impose any additional restraints or restrictions upon the President's ability to operate in this area. ... I don't think that you can pass a law that will guarantee no future president will make mistakes, and I think we have to guard against passing laws now that will restrict some future president in a future crisis that we can only guess at at present.
It's not like he didn't warn us that he was nutty as a fruit cake. It's just that everyone was so distracted by Gore's sighs and Bush's assurances that he'd never have sex in the White House that nobody paid attention.I must admit that I was so concerned about having another Bush in the White House that I really didn't pay that much attention to Cheney. I can't really tell when I discovered the error of my ways. I started Middle Earth Journal in May of 2004 and had over 50 posts on Dick Cheney in the first five months. I realized in 2000 that a Bush presidency would be really bad news but I really had no idea how bad it would be. I suspect I didn't take into account the Cheney factor.
But it didn't take me over six years to recognize that Cheney was indeed the Lord Of Darkness.