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28 October 2007

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Leila

If Cheney does not like our present form of government, doesn't this make him a traitor and an enemy of the state equivalent to a radical communist? Should he not then be on some sort of watch list?

I had to swear to defend, uphold and protect the US Constitution in order to get a job teaching Freshman English at our local community college. Didn't CHeney take a similar oath sometime, somewhere? Don't we have evidence that he has broken that oath?

I mean, if a Communist or anarchist or jihadi Muslim bent on destroying America should get in trouble with our authorities, why shouldn't Dick Cheney?

Sorry for the high-school quality thinking, but that's the gut-level question that comes to me on reading all this.

Next year in the Hague!

JohnS

I think they never knew Dick Cheney, who is a poker player and played them with his "Sphinx-like calm" [Greenspan] and that chocolate syrup, serpent-in-the-garden enchanter's voice.** [look up etymology of enchant]. I think he sat back inaccessible/unavailable and each made up (then became invested in) his own version of Cheney based on their own projections.

I think that rjj may be on to something here. Dick Cheney as Chance the Gardner...perfect!

pbrownlee

The most dangerous members of our species are wimpering wimps trying to be tough guys.

Martin K

sir, I linked you up with intel dump, hope its ok.

Mo MoDo

John S.,
Chance the Gardener was a simple fool. Bush may fit that role, but Cheney is the mad Jack D. Ripper from Dr. Strangelove muttering about plots and conspiracies.

William R. Cumming

Cheney is not yet consigned to the history books. Yet it may be a decade before we learn the logic and rationale he used to dominate the second and third Bush eras. The Republicans, as have the Democrats, resorted to an oral tradition of governing so that their logic and rationale will not be available to the ages or qualified historians. The enforcement of the Presidential Records Act should be a priority in the next 15 months and we probably need a Vice-Presidential Records Act to be enacted. I first knew of Cheney when he was Executive Director of the Cost-of-Living Council during the Nixon Wage-Price-Rent freeze and foll-owing phases. Rumsfeld was Chairman of the Council. In meetings, Cheney was both polite and asked excellent questions. But he never disclosed his thoughts. That is the question--to think or not to think! Perhaps we will find out eventually what he was thinking but he is certainly remarkable for leaving few footprints and operating behind the scenes. But he has certainly filled that VP role of distracting the press and public from the President's own activities. To that extent he has been a brilliant operative and choice for President Bush. No one else could have filled that role better.

Ingolf

Interesting article from a psychotherapist who suggests the framework used to better understand criminal thinking and its consequences can be usefully employed in analysing Amercia's current dysfunction.

Two quotes that may tempt you to read further:

"An overview of our understandings of Criminal Thinking is helpful in drawing important distinctions between healthy, ethically coherent traditions of American patriotism and the antisocial pathologies of our New Nationalism, to which the statements of our senators shamelessly pander. While applying concepts derived from individual psychology to social phenomena is tricky, the contrast between the antisocial nature of much of our current political discourse and the heritage of traditional American patriotism shows that this analytic framework is as predictive of grave consequences to societies as it is for individuals."

and

"Our New Nationalism demands an unstinting endorsement of American omnipotence by public figures. Interestingly, the more evidence we get of the limits of American power, the more stridently our ability to control obscure behaviors by people in remote corners of the world must be proclaimed. This is as good an example as one can find of a maladaptive and pathological belief-system operating in denial of reason and possibility. Its link to bad decisions is obvious.

http://www.amconmag.com/2007/2007_10_22/article1.html


meletius

William Cumming, what we are slowing learning is that it is Cheney who was behind all the serial lawbreaking of this administration, not Bush. And that Cheney is the one pushing the "militarization" of the "war on terra".

Of course Bush must "approve" these decisions, but that appears to be largely a formality. What we did is elect someone as "Vice President" who is essentially carrying out the functions of the executive.

Cheney's office has been the one advocating and justifying the renditions, the coercive interrogations, the detainee policies, the warrantless wiretappping, the absurd, imperial "CinC", all in violation of existing law.

I would've thought that the Records Act covered the Office of the VP---whether it's being complied with is another matter. Perhaps we'll find out what happened later, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Historians are going to have to make a lot of educated guesses in interpreting the motives and rationales of Bushco.

And I agree Cheney's certainly not consigned to the history books yet---he has an enormous amount of damage yet to wreak, and no one is reining him in, certainly not our Weimar Congress.

rjj

What is the rationale behind cornering the market on some commodity or accumulating obscene amounts of wealth?

Who needed to explain Bill Clinton's recreational activities in terms of his philosophy of marriage?

Is it too reductive [lazy] to assume the Chancellor has a case of political priapism - that he is motivated by an appetite for power? Some people are; we were warned about them by the folks who created our system.

"This [vice] sticks deeper, grows with more pernicious root than summer-seeming lust."

Malcolm and Macduff have a lovely chat about kingly virtues and disordered natures in act IV Scene III of Macbeth.

I prefer Shakespeare to shrinks on these matters; Shakespeare knew what he was writing about. [The above lines actually only refer to common garden variety avarice which can take many forms.]


yogi-one

"After long contemplation I have regretfully come to the conclusion that he just does not like our present form of government."

You know, Pat, the problem I have with so many conservatives who figured it out sometime in 2006 or 7 is this:

You are all students of history. You are all far more familiar than the majority of people what our system of government is, how it is structured, and why it was set up they way it was. You are familiar with the history of warfare and political power struggles throughout all of Western history, from Greece to the present day.

You are patriots; you have served your country. The history is thus not an abstraction for you. You have tasted the mud and clay as well as gazed at the stars.

And yet, so many of you have recently "discovered" after long, hard analysis, the nature of Cheney and the neocons.

I have to say it: what a crock of bull. Where the hell were you people in the mid nineties and even before when we were trying to tell you this was coming?

I didn't need a single master's degree, let alone a PhD to see this nasty trainwreck plowing down the wrong side of the tracks.

Maybe I have underestimated the power of the mind to simply not see what it doesn't want to see.

Because it was certainly not a case of not being informed.

PeterE

A couple of weeks ago I visited an exhibition in Berlin, "The topography of terror". The exhibition included a detailed chronology of the Nazi program to intimidate the German opposition in 19032-35, mainly through intimidation, disinformation, arrests without judicial review, and dark mutterings about "enemies of the state." Cheney and his cohorts seem to have adopted, in effect (not intention), a very watered down version of that program. Unfortunately, the opposition and the press seem to be more timorous than the German opposition in the 30s.

PeterE

A couple of weeks ago I visited an exhibition in Berlin, "The topography of terror". The exhibition included a detailed chronology of the Nazi program to intimidate the German opposition in 19032-35, mainly through intimidation, disinformation, arrests without judicial review, and dark mutterings about "enemies of the state." Cheney and his cohorts seem to have adopted, in effect (not intention), a very watered down version of that program. Unfortunately, the opposition and the press seem to be more timorous than the German opposition in the 30s.

Clifford Kiracofe

Aside from Cheney and the Decider, it looks as though the Brit Prime Minister is also taking his Neocon lessons, according to the London Times today. The "poodle" got pretty good at it so why not Brown, too. One wonders whether the average Brit finds this rather curious.

"From The Sunday TimesNovember 4, 2007

The Victorian values heroine getting Gordon swooning
PROFILE: Gertrude Himmelfarb
Deep in the hinterland of Gordon Brown’s intellect is a protected zone dedicated to a woman who has been dubbed the queen bee of American neoconservatives. It is Gertrude Himmelfarb’s books that he packs for his holiday reading, her quotations that embellish his speeches. The prime minister has now taken the final step of recording his adoration in print.

Himmelfarb is an 85-year-old historian and former Trotskyite who acts as the mother superior of America’s moral majority. Her advocacy of Victorian values to remedy the western world’s “grievous moral disorder” has struck a chord on both sides of the Atlantic ever since the era of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan.

These days, George W Bush pays court to Himmelfarb with invitations to impart the lessons of history at White House soirées, while Brown has agreed to pen the introduction to her next book..."

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article2801116.ece

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