It's gotten to the point where it's actually boring to talk about Dick Cheney in a way that makes Darth Vader, Lord Voldemort and Sauron look good in comparison. The dude is clearly a wingnut, and similarly uninterested in public opinion of him, or - as it turns out - the rule of law.
The Washington Post has published two of a four-part series about VP Cheney that are, in short, terrifying. Part One, entitled, "A Different Understanding With The President" has this gem:
Cheney is not, by nearly every inside account, the shadow president of popular lore. Bush has set his own course, not always in directions Cheney preferred. The president seized the helm when his No. 2 steered toward trouble, as Bush did, in time, on military commissions. Their one-on-one relationship is opaque, a vital unknown in assessing Cheney's impact on events. The two men speak of it seldom, if ever, with others. But officials who see them together often, not all of them admirers of the vice president, detect a strong sense of mutual confidence that Cheney is serving Bush's aims.
Waxing or waning, Cheney holds his purchase on an unrivaled portfolio across the executive branch. Bush works most naturally, close observers said, at the level of broad objectives, broadly declared. Cheney, they said, inhabits an operational world in which means are matched with ends and some of the most important choices are made. When particulars rise to presidential notice, Cheney often steers the preparation of options and sits with Bush, in side-by-side wing chairs, as he is briefed.
He does know that he is NOT the President, right? Fear that Bush just goes along with whatever Cheney wants seem to be well-founded fears at that.
Part Two, published today and called "Pushing The Enveloe on Presidential Power," is just as terrifying.
What's awful about this, of course, is that in his grab for power and insistence on doing things his way, Dick Cheney has ignored the fact that he has been WRONG about just about everything.
His latest insistence is that the Vice President, who has a tie-breaking vote in the Senate, is neither part of the Executive Branch nor the Legislative Branch. Or, possibly, that it's part of both branches and somehow therefore allowed to skirt the regulation of either? I'm not sure - it's such a dumb argument that it reeks of desperation.
But as Patton Oswalt has said, this administration gets out of so much almost certain trouble that they are essentially the Bo and Luke Duke of politics. So, I don't expect much to happen to them before they leave office.
On the other hand...I wonder how Republicans would react if a few Democratic candidates suggested they'd like to center some power in an unsupervised cone of silence? (I fear that some of them actually would like this, but that's not the point.) I know that folks like George W. Bush are trained to never think or admit to failure, but it's unlikely that other GOP operatives have their heads in the sand quite that much. Perhaps it's not too much to ask that Cheney might have to start acting like a Vice President soon, and not the de facto President?