"I really came to the conclusion that there was a threat to our system, to our way of life, and it was coming from those I thought were my people," - Vic Gold, former friend of the Cheneys, co-author with Lynn Cheney, Republican insider, seeing what has happened to conservatism under Bush and Rove and Cheney. Money quote:
"For all the Rove-built facade of his being a 'strong' chief executive, George W. Bush has been, by comparison to even hapless Jimmy Carter, the weakest, most out of touch president in modern times," Gold writes. "Think Dan Quayle in cowboy boots."
Gold is even more withering in his observations of Cheney. "A vice president in control is bad enough. Worse yet is a vice president out of control."
For Gold, Cheney brings to mind the adage of Swiss writer Madame de Stael, who wrote, "Men do not change, they unmask themselves." Cheney has a deep streak of paranoia and megalomania, Gold suggests -- but he says he did not see it at first.
"He was hiding who he really was," Gold says. "He was waiting for an opportunity."