I finally have no excuse to not continue my two parter on the Veep. Something else came up, but luckily, it’s directly related to the subject.
Dick Cheney. The man, except not really. George Bush is really the man, but it would seem that the Vice President has had an incredibly large amount of say over big portions of what seems to be mostly domestic policy. If the Washington Post article is to be believed, then Cheney has sneaky ways of getting his agenda pushed through the White House without his name ever attached to it.
So, how much power do I think he has. I’m going to be forward, and say I haven’t studied this outside of what I’ve heard and read, all of which can be very biased. I’ll admit that. However, what I think is that the Vice President has a great amount of say in the White House. The President is a man who can’t decide everything on his own, so he needs advice. This President in particular seems to have a very small circle of advisors. Having been in a lot of places during his career – Congress, the DoD, and the private sector – Cheney has a lot of experience under his belt. President Bush was Governor of Texas, one position for which I hear doesn’t actually have an incredible amount of power. So, he needed help.
Enter Dick Cheney. A man who’s been around the block a few times in Washington. A man who clearly wishes to push an agenda. Any man who needs advice on what to do is likely to listen to someone like Cheney, and listen a lot. From what the WP article claims, the President seems to have listened a lot, and more than that, shared his policy making powers with Cheney. Anybody who’s studied American history knows that sometimes a person does more than their position requires of them (the Chief of Staff is another one of these). Especially after the attacks on 9/11, Bush will need to have had someone to focus on some domestic policies issues while he conducted two wars. Who better than Cheney (well, there is the Department Secretaries, but they need direction). He allows Cheney to focus on a few key areas. Though, I think Cheney has probably laid at least a finger in just about everything this administration has pushed for these last 6 1/2 years.
So, my point? Some Vice Presidents sit back and enjoy the title, and other get their hands dirty. Cheney would appear to be the latter type. He seems to know what he wants, and does what he must to try and make it a reality. However, you think he’d be proud of what he’s done, and want to flaunt. Instead, he’s tried to keep a lot of it secret, including making sure all the bad stuff doesn’t hurt him and the President. Enter Scooter Libby, who just got his 10 month sentence commuted by the President (probably on the recommendation of Cheney). There’s probably no doubt that Libby is involved, but is he the fall guy? It would seem that the administration makes use of these people (Michael Brown, anyone?) to great effect.
Have one guy who takes a lot of the blame, and keeps it far away enough from the President and VP. Then you can praise them later, and never have it effect you, because you’re out of office (or close enough to). Do I think Libby is a fall guy? Sort of. He definitely lied, but either agreed to or was put as the fall guy, even though nobody really thought he did anything wrong. I’m also certain the VP had a hand in this as well (Libby was his Chief of Staff, how could he not?). Yet, due to the way the VP works, we’ll probably never know.
So, to end this series, I believe that the Vice President is a hands-on type VP. However, his methods are questionable, since he’s too secretive. A government official should not be so secretive, because it makes them look shady. We’ve had secretive before, and we know how that went. If I could advise Cheney, I’d tell him to open up. But, Cheney will do as Cheney does, and we’ll see how history sees him (and what the voters say next year). Cheney will be secretive if he wants, and there’s probably little Congress can do about that. For those who really don’t like him, think about it. Only a year and a half more.
Beginning tomorrow, I’ll be doing the first entry in a series I started last year. Yes! It’s Independence Week 2007! That means positive articles every day for seven days. That includes a very special article focusing on the past, present, and future (highly optimistic for all of three) of the U.S. on July 4th. I’ll be making a few cosmetic changes to the site tonight, bringing out some very patriotic colors. Unlike last year, I intend to see it through every day (pre-writing an article if I feel like I’ll lapse). It should be a very good week! It’s Independence Week here at Dymersion, so stay tuned!