No Honor Among Kleptocrats

Dick Cheney is writing his memoirs, and <A HREF=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/12/AR2009081203306.html?hpid%3Dtopnews&sub=AR>informants say</A> that he is deeply, deeply disappointed with You-Know-Who:

“In the second term, he felt Bush was moving away from him,” said a participant… “He said Bush was shackled by the public reaction and the criticism he took. Bush was more malleable to that. The implication was that Bush had gone soft on him, or rather Bush had hardened against Cheney’s advice. He’d showed an independence that Cheney didn’t see coming. It was clear that Cheney’s doctrine was cast-iron strength at all times — never apologize, never explain — and Bush moved toward the conciliatory.”

The two men maintain respectful ties, speaking on the telephone now and then, though aides to both said they were never quite friends. But there is a sting in Cheney’s critique, because he views concessions to public sentiment as moral weakness. After years of praising Bush as a man of resolve, Cheney now intimates that the former president turned out to be more like an ordinary politician in the end.

Apparently omerta has its limits.   I know a lot of us DFHs feared that the horrors of the Cheney Regency would never receive a public airing, if only for fear of the War Crimes Tribunal, but perhaps vanity will achieve what mere human decency and the rule of law never could.

Some old associates see Cheney’s newfound openness as a breach of principle. For decades, he expressed contempt for departing officials who wrote insider accounts, arguing that candid internal debate was impossible if the president and his advisers could not count on secrecy…

“If he goes out and writes a memoir that spills beans about what took place behind closed doors, that would be out of character,” said Ari Fleischer, who served as White House spokesman during Bush’s first term.

Yet that appears to be precisely Cheney’s intent. Robert Barnett, who negotiated Cheney’s book contract, passed word to potential publishers that the memoir would be packed with news, and Cheney himself has said, without explanation, that “the statute of limitations has expired” on many of his secrets. “When the president made decisions that I didn’t agree with, I still supported him and didn’t go out and undercut him,” Cheney said, according to Stephen Hayes, his authorized biographer. “Now we’re talking about after we’ve left office. I have strong feelings about what happened. . . . And I don’t have any reason not to forthrightly express those views.”

Of course allowance must be made for an agent tasked to sell a hard-Right neoconservative apologia in a down market, and Cheney has no reputation for honesty.  But the urge to settle scores burns in many a heart pacemaker long after all other human emotions have expired, and much of the worst we know about Cheney’s first and foremost mentor was inadvertently revealed over Nixon’s twenty-year crusade to rehabilitate his own reputation as a statesman and great leader.   I look forward to further revelations with interest, and popcorn.

76 replies
  1. 1
    Hunter Gathers says:

    Am I the only one who thinks that Dick was in charge during the first term?

    The upcoming Bush-Cheney gossip wars will be excellent entertainment.

  2. 2
    ADM says:

    “Of course allowance must be made for an agent tasked to sell a hard-Right neoconservative apologia in a down market,…”

    We’ve already seen Mclellan go through this marketing approach – promise revelations, deliver nothing.

    Here’s a pretty simple test: the more these memoirs are pimped by the usual suspects (matthews, MTP, fox, etc), the less telling they’re going to turn out to be.

  3. 3
    David says:

    This would confirm all our suspicions and make us want to order the book before it comes out but I’d be willing to bet that the promotions department at Cheney’s publisher is attempting to gin up a little interest in something that is bound to be as dull as dishwater. Isn’t that almost always the way it is with these kinds of books?

    Cheney has no interest in being forthcoming nor in being honest.

  4. 4

    This just confirms that Bush sucked with or without Dick’s hand up his ass.

    “Now we’re talking about after we’ve left office. I have strong feelings about what happened. . . . And I don’t have any reason not to forthrightly express those views.”

    This is much easier than tedious business of cutting out the letters from a newspaper and gluing them to a sheet of paper in order to make a blackmail note. “Pay up Babs or I dish the dirt on your little boy!”

    Really, I second David. Cthcheney can’t Tell All about Dubya without building a case that they both should be shipped to The Hague.

  5. 5
    El Cid says:

    I like the fact that Bush Jr’s dialing back of the super-crazy in the last year and a half drove Cheney mad.

    And I don’t think Bush Jr did it so much out of principle as having finally gotten tired of being sold a line of bullsh*t by Cheney and the Kristalloids that ‘hey if you do this and go all out and don’t blink then you’ll have great policies and everyone will love you’.

    At some stage late in the last couple of years, Bush Jr. just finally noticed that by following the Cheneyites to a ‘t’, all the policy went to sh*t (and I mean in ways that proved annoying to him, of course he doesn’t care about real world consequences) and it caused most people to hate him.

    Remember, these are the people who were most surprised about the Katrina aftermath and the Iraq war inevitable collapse (and please don’t waste my time with this ‘SURGE’ and ‘but things have gotten better’ nonsense) that anyone actually cared.

    If it had been up to the Cheneyites, we’d also, for example, have carried out a military attack on Iran and/or facilitated an Israeli one, with all the nightmarish local and international consequences.

    And I think Bush Jr. just got tired of it all.

    Not only was it “hard work”, but it sucked, and everyone hated him, and I think he grew to resent the Cheney brigades for selling him a line of sh*t on how if only he doubled down on the right wing crazy all the time, things would turn out awesome and everyone would love him.

  6. 6
    R-Jud says:

    From the article: “If [Cheney had] been equipped with a group of people as ideologically rigorous as he was, they’d have been able to push further.”

    Chilling.

  7. 7
    PeakVT says:

    The other day I was trying to think of all the non-policy criticisms of Bush made by the left during the 2000 election and how they held up. I remembered 1) idiot who would be in over his head, 2) failure unless his daddy’s friends bailed him out, 3) self-centered jerk with no empathy, 4) religious person with no real understanding of his religion despite drawing immense confidence from it, and 5) liar. I think the criticisms turned out to be mostly right.

  8. 8
    Uloborus says:

    I buy the ‘trying to sell books’ explanation for why it probably won’t have any real revelations. I actually discount the ‘danger of prosecution’ explanation, though. I’ve watched Cheney on interviews (a little), and he seems simply incapable of grasping that he might have done anything wrong or illegal.

  9. 9
    El Cid says:

    @R-Jud: I have long argued that we were in a sort of sense ‘lucky’ that this temporarily massively popular sub-fascist right wing populist authoritarian nightmare party government was just so, so, so incompetent, venal, and short-sighted.

    I think Cheney’s right. Had the White House and Republican Party 2002 – 2006 been led by much more disciplined, far sighted authoritarians, we would likely have been mired in their post-Constitutional hell for maybe a generation, until collapse or whatever.

  10. 10
    JGabriel says:

    I find it hard to believe that Cheney is only 68. He comes across as someone much older and closer to death, like late 70’s or early 80’s.

    .

  11. 11
    donovong says:

    I was under the impression that there is no statute of limitations on treason.

  12. 12
    JGabriel says:

    David:

    Cheney has no interest in being forthcoming nor in being honest.

    Of course not. The question is: Does Cheney have any interest in making particular people (cough, Bush, cough) look bad?

    One of the issues that keeps cropping up is Bush’s refusal to pardon Libby and Cheney’s cont’d bitching about it. Frankly, it makes Cheney look pretty dumb. Anyone who can’t see the political advantages of protecting Libby’s 5th amendment right against self-incrimination is an imbecile.

    Given that, one is left to ponder what Cheney might reveal in his memoir due to pique and stupidity, despite his penchant for secrecy.

    Not that I recommend anyone buy it. I’m sure all the choicest bits – if there are any – will show up in WaPo or the Times eventually.

    .

  13. 13
    JGabriel says:

    Uloborus:

    I’ve watched Cheney on interviews (a little), and he seems simply incapable of grasping that he might have done anything wrong or illegal.

    Possibly he doesn’t care. Between his riches and his position, Cheney may well believe he is beyond the reach of the Hague.

    Unfortunately, he may be right.

    .

  14. 14
    R-Jud says:

    @El Cid:

    Had the White House and Republican Party 2002 – 2006 been led by much more disciplined, far sighted authoritarians, we would likely have been mired in their post-Constitutional hell for maybe a generation, until collapse or whatever.

    If Cheney had gotten his way on everything, I think it would have meant the end of the American Experiment. As it is we will be cleaning this mess up for at least twenty years, provided we get the right leadership we need.

    Unfortunately, you go to govern with the Congress you have, not with the Congress you want or wish to have.

  15. 15
    Napoleon says:

    @PeakVT:

    Peak VT said: “I think the criticisms turned out to be mostly right.”

    I would say entirely right.

  16. 16
    Cervantes says:

    Napoleon:

    PeakVT: “I think the criticisms turned out to be mostly right.”

    I would say entirely right.

    I would say “understated.”

  17. 17
    robertdsc says:

    I wish that war criminal would shut the fuck up. He’s done enough damage to the country.

  18. 18
    bob h says:

    He probably feels some urgency to get his “views” out before his rotting corpse expires.

  19. 19
    JGabriel says:

    R-Jud:

    If Cheney had gotten his way on everything …

    … Pelosi might have been forced to put impeachment back on the table.

    It’s possible that – among other reasons he stopped following Cheney’s lead so slavishly – Bush simply started getting better legal advice from Fred Fielding and Mike Mukasey after Gonzales and Miers were gone.

    .

  20. 20
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    Some old associates see Cheney’s newfound openness as a breach of principle.

    This begs the question of whether the sonofabitch has any principles other than “power is good”.

  21. 21
    Uloborus says:

    Actually, given my whole impression that Cheney absolutely believes in his own rightness, I kinda go for the ‘feels some urgency to get his “views”’ explanation. He’s the tired old father trying to explain to his children one more time why walking five miles to school in the snow builds character, so he’s not going to get out of bed and drive them.

  22. 22
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    “If he goes out and writes a memoir that spills beans about what took place behind closed doors, that would be out of character”

    Bwahahahahahaha! “Cheney” and “character” in the same sentence! Good one!

  23. 23
    JGabriel says:

    J.D. Rhoades:

    This begs the question of whether the sonofabitch has any principles …

    That is a really unfair aspersion to cast upon the female gender of the canine species, especially when Cheney is so obviously the spawn of the Cthulu.

    .

  24. 24
    JGabriel says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.:

    “Cheney” and “character” in the same sentence! Good one!

    Yeah, but the one with “Cheney” and “principles” in the same sentence is even better.

    .

  25. 25
    WereBear says:

    Cheney knows he’s “right,” and the fact that history and the American people don’t see it that way is chapping his hide.

    We can all be grateful we don’t have a system that would let him take the next tyrannical step; torturing a bunch of people until they can only babble “Cheney is always right” for public consumption.

    The fact that he cannot do this is chapping his hide.

    I don’t know if we have a category to put Cheney in, (besides Evil, which is not specific enough.) If there’s anyone who exemplifies “power mad,” it’s him.

    But he’ll go to his grave (which won’t be anytime soon… nobody hangs in there like the Evil folks) certain that he was right, and he just can’t get the quality of henchmen to make all his dreams keep coming true.

  26. 26
    JGabriel says:

    Uloborus:

    [Chenyey’s] the tired old father trying to explain to his children one more time why walking five miles to school in the snow beating them, waterboarding, and shocking their genitals with electrodes builds character …

    Fixed for accuracy.

    .

  27. 27
    geg6 says:

    @JGabriel:

    I couldn’t agree more. I truly believe that Fielding and Mukasey finally made him see the light as to how far he was dangling from the limb Cheney put out there. And Cheney is just frothing at the mouth that he lost control over monkey boy.

    I have no idea whether Cheney will be forthcoming or not. I don’t believe a word out of the man’s mouth, so I will tend to disbelieve whatever he says even if it confirms all my worst nightmares. I have to hand it to him for being such an accomplished liar in that I have never seen even a glimmer that he believes anything he says nor cares if anyone thinks he does. He is the most perfect example of evil in my lifetime. I’m not at all a religious person, but this guy is just evil.

  28. 28
  29. 29
    georgia pig says:

    Daddy Bush’s cronies, namely Gates, came in during the second term to save Jr’s lazy, unqualified ass once again and put Cheney back in his crazy uncle closet. Cheney had his chance and completely blew it because, while good at bureaucratic backstabbing, he is an incompetent idealogue (remember those Gulf War I stories about his “genius” plan to drop airborne into western Iraq). Most of Jr’s fuckups were really Cheney’s fuckups. He wants to rewrite history to blame Jr. for a lack of will, but idealogues always blame their failures on someone else’s lack of will.

  30. 30
    kth says:

    Easy for Cheney to be the big John Wayne ignorer of public sentiment. He’s never been elected to jack shit except representative from the most right-wing state in the Union.

  31. 31
    NonyNony says:

    Bwahahahahahaha!

    This could be quite awesome.

    Not because I expect Cheney to spill the beans on all of the evil crap that was going on in the White House – he won’t, except perhaps by accident as he brags about things that aren’t illegal but would turn the stomachs of anyone who has a soul that Satan doesn’t have a lien on.

    No. But it COULD be awesome because this could be the start of a giant pissing match between Bush and Cheney. Cheney releases a book detailing how Bush was a wimp. Bush will NOT BE ABLE TO BACK DOWN FROM THAT. He can’t. It is not within any scrap of his body to sit there and take it when someone calls him names.

    So Bush will have to right a book to “set the record straight”. And when he does that, Cheney will have to correct him. And in all of this stuff is going to come out that makes people go “What?” and have to look closer at their records.

    Keep talking boys – the more you talk the more chances there are that we might actually find out what really happened over the last 8 years.

  32. 32
    Napoleon says:

    @georgia pig:

    GP said: “. . . he is an incompetent idealogue (remember those Gulf War I stories about his “genius” plan to drop airborne into western Iraq).”

    What you said and some other things in this thread remind me of this classic Josh Marshall peice in the Washington Monthly in 2003 which basically says that the guys accomplisments prove he is a world class f-up.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.c.....shall.html

  33. 33
    Scott says:

    Cheney himself has said, without explanation, that “the statute of limitations has expired” on many of his secrets.

    There’s no statute of limitations on war crimes, motherfucker.

    Also, I’m kinda expecting this one to be chock-full o’ wingnut. I think Dick was one of the ones who was so big on never admitting any mistakes — hence the pushback on torture after he left office. I think he’ll double- and triple-down on the crazy. I think he’ll confess proudly to everything, ’cause if he doesn’t, someone will think he’s ashamed of all that criminality, and he sure as shit doesn’t want anyone to think he’s not a faultless overlord…

  34. 34
    srv says:

    Where is Cheney going have his Presidential Library? Guantanamo?

  35. 35
    slippytoad says:

    I simply couldn’t read anything Cheney writes. The whole time, my internal monologue would be “liar. Liar. Liar. Liar. Liar. Liar. Go to hell, you fucking liar. Liar. Liar. Liar. Liar.”

  36. 36
    WereBear says:

    Yes, it’s really bizarre that while I was growing up and studying history, I shuddered for the suffering millions who suffered under dictatorships.

    Little did I know that I would get to experience it myself!

  37. 37
    JGabriel says:

    @srv:

    Where is Cheney going have his Presidential Library?

    Hell. They’re specifically building a new, tenth, circle to house it.

    .

  38. 38
    JGabriel says:

    @WereBear:

    Little did I know that I would get to experience it myself!

    You didn’t. You came very close, but no cigar. True dictators don’t leave office at the end of their terms.

    .

  39. 39
    Zifnab says:

    Hurray for revisionist history! How much you want to bet we’ll hear how everything that went wrong after ’04 was against Cheney’s advice?

  40. 40
    WereBear says:

    @JGabriel:

    Yes, you’re right, and I am grateful.

    Of course I’m glad we didn’t go full “Idi Amin.”

    But that’s not due to the quality of our dictators. That is due to the resilience of our system, which is still being tested.

  41. 41
    Zifnab says:

    Hell, I’m willing to bet there’s an entire chapter entitled “Things would have been better if we hadn’t ditched Rumsfeld.”

  42. 42
    Ivan says:

    Darth Cheney’s writing a book!

    Does that mean he gets to go on the Daily Show?

  43. 43
    JGabriel says:

    Zifnab @ 41:

    Hell, I’m willing to bet there’s an entire chapter entitled “Things would have been better if we hadn’t ditched Rumsfeld.”


    The bunker at 4 A.M.
    is silent. Come back, Rummy, and speak to him.

  44. 44
    Fern says:

    What amazes me is that he openly says that he can talk now because the statute of limitations has expired on some things – effectively admitting that illegal acts were committed.

  45. 45
    Ash Can says:

    I recall a few months ago when Obama and/or Eric Holder declared that the current admin wasn’t interested in pursuing investigations into the previous admin “at this time.” I remember how incensed we all were and how some of us, me included, grasped at straws sought some comfort in that “at this time” seeming-qualifier. Could it possibly be that these guys 1) knew that Cheney was going to write a book, 2) believed himself to be blameless and/or above the law? Add to that the conversation between Bush and Obama in the limo on Inauguration Day about Bush’s disagreement with Cheney about pardoning Scooter Libby.

    And then, I hadn’t thought about this until NonyNony mentioned it above: “Bush will NOT BE ABLE TO BACK DOWN FROM THAT.” I bet NN is absolutely, four-square correct.

    Is it possible, even in the slightest, that someone in the new admin, at some point, said something to the effect of, “We don’t have to waste time and effort and political capital going after these guys. They’ll do all the legwork for us if we give them a little time. They can’t help themselves. In fact, why don’t we let them know we’re not going after them? It may encourage them to say more.”

    To be honest, I’m not quite starry-eyed enough to truly believe that the Obama-fu is this strong. But holy freaking crap if it were. And at the very least, maybe Eric Holder is opening his WaPo this morning and thinking, “Merry Christmas to me.” In any event, I hope both Cheney and Bush, if not other members of their clusterfuck, are stricken with an acute and severe case of diarrhea of the mouth (or, in this case, memoir) aggravated by pissing-contest-itis, and all Holder and his closest colleagues at the DoJ (as opposed to the remaining Regency U. scholars) need to do is to subscribe to the Book-of-the-Month Club and let the evidence roll in.

  46. 46
    Michael says:

    I think he’ll double- and triple-down on the crazy. I think he’ll confess proudly to everything, ‘cause if he doesn’t, someone will think he’s ashamed of all that criminality, and he sure as shit doesn’t want anyone to think he’s not a faultless overlord…

    The great unspoken thing here is that when you surround yourself with wingnut “yes men” lawyers who believe in all the same stuff you do, then you start speaking a language all your own, with justifications for criminality that make everybody else go “what the fuck?”

    In Cheney’s doom bunker, every day was like posting on a wingnut website, with everybody coming up with new and more exciting ways to triple down on the Big “C” (“C” as in “recklessly crazy”) Conservatism*spit*. As 2002 and 2003 ran on, the goal abandoned the realm of any notion of competent governance, and instead was to do as much as anybody could to “piss them goldurned evil libruls off”, even if it was counterproductive. That was deemed the highest positive, and they felt that any resulting negative effects could be spun.

    This is why you see the Teabaggots speaking in vague Constimatooshinal generalities that make no sense – they’re speaking a language all their own, having listened to years of “government is the problem”, and hearing that every moderate proposal is part of a “marxist/soc!alist/leftist to destroy the bestest parts of White ‘Murka so them mulim/atheist terr’ists can win and give all yore money to Wall Street and coastal elites.”

    The message has gotten, shall we say, a tad scrambled because everybody was an enemy from 2002 on through summer 2006. The middle finally understood the deception while the nutcases continued to get their messages from Free Republic, Drudge, Fox, Dobbs, Jabba and Beck, and now the crazy is really at a fever pitch.

  47. 47
    catclub says:

    How to make Cheney’s brain explode:

    Obama pardons Scooter Libby.

    Libby (no longer bound by 5th amendment self incrimination)
    testifies against Bush and Cheney.

  48. 48
    WereBear says:

    @catclub:

    Dayum! That’s a thing of beauty.

    Though I believe Libby, now disbarred, is subsisting on Wingnut Welfare.

    That would have a chilling effect.

  49. 49
    JGabriel says:

    WereBear:

    … I believe Libby, now disbarred, is subsisting on Wingnut Welfare. That would have a chilling effect.

    Wouldn’t matter. Libby would still have to testify and either tell the truth or commit perjury. He wouldn’t be allowed to take the fifth.

    I, too, like the way CatClub thinks.

    .

  50. 50
    Corner Stone says:

    @Ash Can: You just throwing this out there for giggles or do you really feel this could actually be the case?
    IMO, Holder et al are scared to death every time Cheney opens his mouth. The absolute last thing they want is any of these idiots saying something they can’t back away from slowly. Look at all the leaks we’re seeing about Holder investigating those who went “beyond” a memo. All the drip-drip-drip we’ve seen in just the last year has pushed them to this point, and they’re doing everything in their power to contain and limit the scope of any possible investigation.
    There is no way they want a pissing contest between Bush and Cheney out in the open.

  51. 51
    thomas says:

    this is just a teaser. Remember St Ronnie’s 11th commandment: ‘never speak ill of another rethug’.
    also rmember the rethug silent commandment: ‘it’s all about the Benjamins’. this will sell books for a week or two, until everyone finds out they were suckered.

  52. 52
    Demo Woman says:

    The odds are greater that we will get a health care plan with a public option, than Cheney releasing a tell all book calling Bush a wimp.
    Liz wants to run for office and the last thing she wants are the Bushies against her.

  53. 53
    Corner Stone says:

    @El Cid:

    I think Cheney’s right. Had the White House and Republican Party 2002 – 2006 been led by much more disciplined, far sighted authoritarians, we would likely have been mired in their post-Constitutional hell for maybe a generation, until collapse or whatever.

    But don’t you think that’s where we are?
    I make the argument that the Bush admin was extremely disciplined, and instead of being a launching pad for wingnuts they were in fact the culmination of 30+ years of a wingnut campaign. Their policies weren’t the bedrock they expected others to build on, they were the payoff of everything others had already established and been working toward.
    Just look at the shattered remnants of greater wingnuttia. These zombies are still protecting the flanks of their betters but they’re so dense and whipped into a frenzy they’ll never, ever realize it.
    Trillions upon trillions have been transfered to less than 1% of the population, 50 million Americans are uninsured, Cali is broken and dismantling their state welfare and societal aid (and they are just the canary as other large states will be following suit before long), wages have been effectively falling for more than a decade, the Constitution is in tatters with no one with any interest in enforcing or protecting it, banks own our Congress, and the media is desperately hoping a teenage white girl will go missing somewhere.
    I could go on, but…

  54. 54
    David Hunt says:

    @catclub:

    I see two problems with the “pardon Libby” strategy.

    First, it’s entirely possible that Libby would refuse to testify and accept whatever consequences there are for that. Contempt of court, I expect. Or he could just lie. He could even take the entire legal bullet, himself and say he acted alone.

    Second, pardoning Libby is an atrocious act in and of itself. Doing it to get him on the stand is worse as it’s twisting the U.S. legal system into a pretzel to achieve your political goals. That’s one of the things that we wanted to stop by voting the Bushies out of Washington.

  55. 55
    thomas says:

    JGab @ 12
    you hit it on the head. Little Bushie Boy wouldn’t pardon Libby because if he had the 5th Amendment disappears. Little Bushie Boy was covering his own a$$, and by way of doing so also covers ‘the dick’s’ a$$. And ‘the dick’ is too stoopid to know

  56. 56
    Ash Can says:

    @Corner Stone: Just for giggles, obviously, but on the other hand I see no reason Holder et al. should be “scared to death” of Cheney’s information, nor have I seen any evidence that they are. I believe that if they’re scared to death of anything, it’s blowing open a political hornet’s nest for themselves if they were to do any investigating. A feckless approach maybe, but at least it makes a modicum of sense.

    I’d bet my nonexistent paycheck on the likelihood that Holder et al. want to avoid investigating on the basis of optics alone, specifically that the memory of Gingrich and his company of assholes going after Clinton is still too fresh and has poisoned the well for investigations into the executive branch. However, if it were essentially forced upon them by a tsunami of public opinion generated by a mountain of outrageous evidence, well then…

  57. 57
    Palooza says:

    @R-Jud: What is chilling is that our firewall between complete Cheney fascism was George Bush. While things definitely crossed lines, I give grudging credit to Bush if he was able to prevent things from being much worse (which is where it seems Cheney wanted to go). On another note, doesn’t Cheney (selecting himself as VP) and commanding so much power look less like a conspiracy theory and more like a coup of sorts. Guarantee that the powers that be thought they could, and wanted to, use Bush as PURE figurehead while they held the levers of power. Maybe that did happen to a degree, but perhaps it could have been worse….

  58. 58
    stickler says:

    Jgabriel:

    It’s possible that – among other reasons he stopped following Cheney’s lead so slavishly – Bush simply started getting better legal advice from Fred Fielding and Mike Mukasey after Gonzales and Miers were gone.

    Lead pipe cinch. Bush is incurious, lazy, and arrogant. He read the memos Miers gave him and acted on them. And things kept getting shittier. When Poppy’s fixers showed up, he changed course.

    I don’t know if these guys are really clueless enough to get into a public pissing match (I really doubt Bush is). But Cheney has got to be suffering mental deterioration from the bypass surgeries. He was a risktaker back in the ’70s, too, but since 2001 close acquaintances have remarked that he’s not the man they used to know. He could do anything at this point, including wandering off the Omerta ranch just for spite. Or maybe he’ll shoot a man in Reno, just to watch him die.

    Could be some schadenfreudaliscious days coming.

  59. 59
    Corner Stone says:

    @Ash Can: I think we’re in agreement here, just with different emphasii on why the outcome is what it is.

  60. 60
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @catclub: Yum yum. That’s a tasty scenario.

    I, for one, cannot WAIT for these guys to tear each other down. Pass the popcorn and the chocolates because we’re gonna be here awhile.

  61. 61
    Alien-radio says:

    This looks like the bit there the Cheyneys and the Bushs go to war.

    Cheney needs to save the ideology, provide proof that conseravativism was failed by someone who didn’t have the will to see it though.

    Pappy Bush needs to save junior. that trumps ideology.

    The CIA wants payback for Cheney’s attacks and meddling.

    W was a monster in all the ways he could have been, he was the decider, but he’s got to do the decidering according to the big rule which is that in america the decider gets 8 years and that’s it. proper presidents retire. like his dad.

    he didn’t see himself as a dictator (probably becaused being priveleged life removed the ability to see that perspective) even if those around him did, so any of cheney’s martial law plans or whatever never flew, and an election actually happened.

    Not pardoning scooter? he gave very few pardons at all really, was that authoritarian, let the system do as it will decidering? or was he getting advised by pappy not to pardon scooter, because he may need him to get payback on Cheney?

    Bush was a sadistic idiot, but he doesn’t seem to have been intentionally evil. I’m guessing that put enough difference between him and Cheney to cause cracks to form in the mutual bailout society.

    There’s still shit unravelling out there, someone’s going to take the fall for Bush/Cheney, and increasingly it looks like Cheney. A Bush/CIA alliance against him would finish him, he really doesn’t want to start this war.

    My question is in these sorts of court knife battles, where it’s dynastic honour at stake what is the point at which the fight is called off?

    In policy battles there’s some kabuki then everything magically sorts itself out, in grudgematches people get assigned to shitty committees out of sight of people that matter.

    Normally arisitos don’t let the peasants see them knocked down, it’s tabboo.

    Is this the kind of battle that has to go all the way? Would Cheney get Jail Time? the Hague?

  62. 62
    gbear says:

    @Michael:

    Teabaggots

    Not cool. Not cool at all. Quit using it.

  63. 63
    JayDownSouthinDixie says:

    This is the knife fight between Stromboli and Pinocchio we’ve all been waiting for – the puppet master vs. the marionette. The thug vs. the punk. There should be no sympathy of either of these miscreants – let the blood-letting begin.

  64. 64
    Mike G says:

    The implication was that Bush had gone soft on him, or rather Bush had hardened against Cheney’s advice. He’d showed an independence that Cheney didn’t see coming.

    What an arrogant prick. As if he’s addressing an underling who isn’t performing up to scratch. Cheney really thought he was the shadow president pulling the strings of the well-connected fratboy dumbass front man.

    Once again, a big fuck you to the 59 million dumbfucks who voted for this criminal garbage.

  65. 65
    thomas says:

    Alien R @ 61

    “Bush was a sadistic idiot, but he doesn’t seem to have been intentionally evil. ”

    Little Bushie is not intentionally evil because he’s a sociopath and evil is just his nature.

    “There’s still shit unravelling out there, someone’s going to take the fall for Bush/Cheney, and increasingly it looks like Cheney. A Bush/CIA alliance against him would finish him, he really doesn’t want to start this war.
    My question is in these sorts of court knife battles, where it’s dynastic honour at stake what is the point at which the fight is called off?”

    Cheney doesn’t have the Prescot and Poppy dynasty to portect his a$$ and now he may (I’ll believe it when I see it) be picking the wrong fight. I’d like to see them all go down but I’ll take what I can get.
    Sorry about the failure to block properly but I’m a bit of a Luddite and don’t know all the innertubes rules.

  66. 66
    catclub says:

    David Hunt@54

    I never said it was a GOOD idea.

    I am also pretty certain it will never happen.

  67. 67
    barkleyg says:

    How about if Cheney’s latest rantings are the prelude to a run for President in 2012.

    The Repugs LOVED King George until the humiliation of the 2006 mid terms. Cheney is saying that when the going was good, he was the Real Puppet Master. However, saying King George stopped listening to him with total adulation, Cheney is specifically blaming Georgie Boy for the rapid fall of Republican identification.

    Cheney is setting up the theory of :
    A: Cheney is a TRUE Conservative, and Bush WAS NOT a real
    Conservative.

    B: Bush was in his GLORY days when I pulled the strings. When he went
    out on his own, Bush was a failure. I was the “WINNER”

    Cheney is so full of it that when he speaks, IT comes out of his mouth instead of the rear exit that IT leaves most moral human beings!

  68. 68
    Alien-radio says:

    @thomas:

    The fight is not between W and Cheney, it’s between H.W. and Cheney, Cheney fucked everything up for jeb, and shat on H.W’s legacy.

    This is a fight between the aristocracy, and and the middleclass ideologues.

    H.W. Is quite willing to allow ideology to slide so that the proper people remain in their place,

    Cheney, doesn’t share his background but sees power as primal when tied to ideology (that’s what he learned under nixon)

    this is not resolvable without blood being spilled. H.W. needs to tell him he was being uppity, by suggesting that power was about doing anything other than keeping the ship steady and making lots of money.

  69. 69
    Polish the Guillotines says:

    @NonyNony: This. It’s gonna be popcorn and soda time for sure. I only hope this one comes with 3-D glasses.

  70. 70
    Polish the Guillotines says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I make the argument that the Bush admin was extremely disciplined, and instead of being a launching pad for wingnuts they were in fact the culmination of 30+ years of a wingnut campaign. Their policies weren’t the bedrock they expected others to build on, they were the payoff of everything others had already established and been working toward.

    I think you’ve got this one 100% spot-on.

    Bush was the consummation of the GOP’s decades of foreplay with the Religious Right and unreconstructed southerners. The proof of this is in the map. The remaining GOP strongholds are almost exclusively in the southern Bible-Belt states and the “Mormon Corridor” in the mountain West.

    These are the Birthers and Deathers.

  71. 71
    PanAmerican says:

    The late, great Steve Gilliard pointed out that Cheney was just the help and when the time came the Bush clan would toss him under the bus. I figure it’ll be a Ken Lay style chest clencher.

  72. 72
    Jon says:

    And we’ve been given the ultimate reason to damn Dick Cheney to the pits of hell……..he made George W. Bush look sympathetic. Ugh.

  73. 73
    Stan Wright says:

    The ‘innocent’ Scooter Libby was convicted because he took the rap for his boss, Dick Cheney. If Cheney is upset at this injustice, nothing at all prevents him from coming to Scooter’s rescue. All he’d need to do is confess and renounce the testimony he provided to Pat Fitzgerald.

  74. 74

    […] no reason to wait for the publication day to enjoy it. Here’s Anne Laurie at Balloon Juice: Apparently omerta has its limits. I know a lot of us DFHs feared that the horrors of the Cheney Regency would never receive a public […]

  75. 75
    Maureen says:

    is’nt this just another way for the ‘right’ republicans to distance themselves further from Bush II , regroup and be ready to sink Obama in ’12…if not before?

  76. 76
    Buckeye Dreams says:

    He needs to write the book because he believes that we all should be worshiping him for saving us from the “terrorists”. i. e. Anyone who challenges his decisions.
    If we just understood……….
    It was obvious who was in charge as soon as Cheney chose himself as the most qualified to be VP!

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