Republican Cheney Fatigue

Brian Zick

Tom Raum for AP reports: It seems Cheney fatigue is settling in some Republican circles. Republican strategist Rich Galen, who worked for both Bush and Bush's father, said he is finding less interest or enthusiasm for Cheney. "Republicans have, in essence, moved on and focused on who to get behind in 2008," Galen said. (…) Things have not gone well of late for the vice president. Courts have ruled against efforts he championed to broaden presidential authority and accord special treatment to suspected terrorists. Cheney's position on Iran and North Korea has been tempered partly part by Bush, who recently authorized tentative diplomatic overtures to both countries. Bush also bowed to mounting bipartisan pressure and agreed to put the National Security Agency's warrantless domestic surveillance program under the auspices of a special court. In addition, the White House confirmed it is considering closing the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Cheney long has said the facility is needed. On top of that, the Supreme Court has reversed its own April decision and agreed to hear challenges by Guantanamo detainees in their fall term. Is anyone listening to Cheney any more? The vice president shuffled alone and in silence out of a luncheon of Republican senators last week amid defections on Iraq by GOP senators and as the administration's immigration overhaul went down to defeat. (…) Cheney has seen his influence wane with rank-and-file Republicans and even conservatives, once his most ardent supporters. They are uneasy about Cheney's signing onto Bush's attempt to liberalize immigration law; spread democracy in the Middle East, which they deride as "nation building"; the amassing of record budget deficits; and even Cheney's support for certain gay rights (a daughter, Mary, is openly lesbian). "We don't feel we're invested in Cheney, because he hasn't — in any way we're aware of — carried any of our water in these 6 1/2 years," conservative activist Richard Viguerie said.

Brandon Johnson
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