Cheney in a Box
By Mike Whitney
Clearing House" -- - It was the worst outcome imaginable.
They lost the House and the Senate in one night with one
savage blow. Even the Confederate flag at Senator
“Macakaw’s” house was flying at half-mast. Suddenly the
Reich that was “built to last a thousand years” had been
reduced to small blocks of dusty-rubble extending from sea
to shining sea. At the very epicenter of the twisted-iron
and smoldering wreckage; was George W. Bush, President
Hologram, the celluloid executive whose smirking puss had
appeared daily on every American TV and in every American
newspaper spreading the “good news” of domestic repression
and nonstop war. Now, here he was, once again, convening a
news conference, dazed and ashen, propped up amid the
scattered debris of a midterm massacre; his party left in
In a moment worthy of Shakespeare, the Fraudster-in-chief
had been scuttled by his own party; knifed in the back by
his own friends and family who knew that it was finally time
to extract the drunken driver from behind the wheel of a
The Democrats didn’t win anything; that’s all hogwash. Bush
was buried beneath an avalanche of bad news which was timed
to begin with the release of Bob Woodward’s book “State of
Denial”, followed by the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE),
Lancet’s Iraqi casualty report, the Mark Foley page fiasco,
and a barrage of ethics-scandals, corruption investigations,
and intensified coverage of the war. It was a
carefully-coordinated coup intended to install “adults”
(like Robert Gates) in positions of power, change the policy
in Iraq, and remove Rumsfeld and Cheney from office.
One down; one to go.
The “vanilla” Democrats had nothing to do with Tuesday’s
results. It was a “planned demolition” from the get-go.
Robert Dreyfuss said it best in a recent article when he
opined that Bush was handled in the same way “a family
confronts an alcoholic. You bring everyone in, and you say,
‘Look, my friend, it’s time to change.’” (And then you
remove the bad influences)
Elite powerbrokers and Republican Party kingpins extended
their hoary grip all the way into the Oval Office and took
the country back from the teenagers. But the boulder is
still only half way up the hill. After all, what are their
plans for Cheney?
Cheney wisely decided to go hunting when he discovered that
friend Rumsfeld was being led to the gallows. Cheney’s no
fool. He knew that if he hung around, he’d be blamed as the
co-conspirator of the Iraqi debacle and the subsequent
destruction of the Republican Party.
So he did what Cheney always does; he skedaddled. He
suddenly discovered that he “had more important things to
do”; just like Vietnam.
He said he was going hunting, but that’s rubbish. He wanted
to be as far from the political fallout as humanly possible,
so he vamoosed. There’s nothing more to it than that.
Besides, there’ve been no reports of “downed lawyers full of
birdshot” this week in Wyoming so we know that Cheney’s
firearms are still safely tucked-away in the family vault.
Right now, Cheney is probably huddled somewhere with his
national security team, rubbing his sweaty-hands together,
figuring out how he can get back in the game and keep his
fetid plan moving forward.
Cheney is smart; real smart. Smart like a cobra. He’s not
going down without a fight and he doesn’t give a damn if he
takes the whole country with him.
This is all about Cheney now; Dick Cheney, political
survivor and skilled bureaucratic infighter. If anyone
thinks that he’s going to sit around waiting for the
Democrats to start sniffing around the Republican
corruption-cesspool; they’re crazy.
He knows what’s going on. He knows that Bush Senior, and
Brzezinski, and Baker, and the rest of the “old order”
Republicans have muscled in and are taking over. He knows he
won’t be able to bomb Iran, kill another 650,000 Iraqis, or
declare martial law at home. And, he also knows that Conyers
and the rest of them will be nosing-around the Halliburton
“no bid” contracts; going through every sordid detail with a
fine-tooth comb, and dredging up new scandals on a daily
He grasps all of that. He understands the political climate
and he knows that he only has two choices left; offense or
Either he steps down or he collects his wits, gets his team
together; Addington, Abrams, Chertoff, Gonzales etc; all the
guys who are “one step ahead of the hangman”; and slaps
together one “last-ditch” effort to establish
absolute-dictatorial power that will put him forever beyond
the reach of the law or of any future accountability for his
It’s a tough task. Bush is teetering and he’s probably left
the Cheney-Rumsfeld orbit already. Robert Gates’ job is to
influence Bush, to win him over with reason and, thus, move
the country away from the brink of disaster. Cheney has been
removed from the policy-making apparatus and he knows it.
So, what’ll he do next?
What will Cheney do now that he’s been backed into a corner
and his power is oozing away like the blood from a sucking
Will he quietly retire and disappear into the political
vapor or “lock-n-load” and go down with both guns blazing?
Here’s a clue: Cheney is “dead-ender”. He won’t go