WaPo on Cheney Part 3: How The Puppet Master Pulls the Puppet’s Strings

Brian Zick

Focusing on domestic policy in this third part of the series, Jo Becker and Barton Gellman detail how the "The Decider" is in reality "The Rubber Stamper" for decisions Cheney has made. A couple of exceptions are cited to prove the rule.There are a number of noteworthy revelations in the article. Cheny preferred Jim Jeffords leaving the Republican Party to scaling back GOP tax cuts; in Cheney's mind it was much better that tax money should go to rich folks rather than the special-education needs which Jeffords championed. Cheney also stabbed his pal Alan Greenspan in the back, to maintain the big tax cuts which Greenspan believed would result in increased deficits that would lead to higher long-term interest rates, and the elimination of any economic short-term benefit from the cuts.One of the most interesting stories told is that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, his top deputy, Paul McNulty; and FBI Director Robert Mueller all threatened to resign if they were forced to relinquish evidence seized by the FBI in the raid on the congressional office of Democrat William Jefferson, when the House Republicans ("a number of their own members under investigation for other matters") demanded the seized files be returned. Cheney brokered a deal, rubber-stamped by Bush, whereby Jefferson was eventually indicted, yet "nearly half of the files remain off-limits, tied up in legal disputes."The bottom line is that Bush is The Rubber Stamp President, who merely approves the decisions Dick Cheney has made for him, because Bush is unwilling and disinterested in (and likely incapable of) doing any serious thinking for himself. Pretty much a relationship exacly like Mortimer Snerd and Edger Bergen.

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