18 November 2005


Somehow I had swallowed the conventional wisdom that though President Bush is an incompetent executive, Dick Cheney is a smart and capable man, if dedicated to very different principles from my own.

Ever-wary Digby seems to have known better, and argues vigorously that Cheney is actually an idiot, supporting this rant with numerous good links, most the best of which is an old article from Joshua Michah Marshall.

Cheney's White House energy task force produced an all-drilling-and-no-conservation plan that failed not just on policy grounds but as a political matter as well, saddling the administration with a year-long public relations headache
Cheney's security task force did nothing for four months, lurching into action only after terrorists actually attacked America on September 11.
Last March, he went on a tour of Middle Eastern capitals to line up America's allies for our war against Saddam. He returned a week later with the Arabs lining up behind Saddam and against us --- a major embarrassment for the White House.
Remember those corporate scandals that came close to crippling Bush? .... The president was scheduled to deliver a big speech on Wall Street in early July .... The president took Cheney's advice .... The day after the president's speech, the Dow shed 282 points, the biggest single-day drop since the post-terrorist tailspin of Sept. 20. Within days the president was backpedaling and supporting what Cheney had said he shouldn't.
Over time, people in the White House have certainly had to deal with enough examples of Cheney's poor judgment. It's fallen to the White House's political arm, led by the poll-conscious Karl Rove, to rein in or overrule him. Yet the vice president has apparently lost little stature within the White House.
Well, if John Dean is right, or other rumours are true, we may not have Dick Cheney to kick around much longer after all.

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