Spoiling for a Bush-Cheney Fight

The former vice-president plans to slam Bush in his memoir, and pundits are oddly eager.

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Dick Cheney, the most powerful American vice-president in history, thinks his considered opinion was ignored under Bush's second term. His upcoming memoir, as reported by Barton Gellman in this morning's Washington Post, purports to detail the inconveniences he believed he suffered. These include:

  • Bush bowed to hostile public opinion
  • Bush "moved away" from him on waterboarding, secret CIA prisons, and domestic surveillance
  • Bush ignored the possibility of "regime change" in North Korea and Iran
  • Bush fired Rumsfeld and left Scooter Libby out to dry

Are these legitimate complaints for a vice-president, a position whose power and prestige were famously compared to a "bucket of warm piss?" Commentators tend to treat Cheney as his own category. Since he came out to do battle with Obama earlier this year, left-leaning pundits no longer need to hammer home the ex-VP's unsavoriness, instead adopting the tone of eager spectators.

Here's how pundits are receiving news of the Cheney tell-all:

  • Now We'll Get the Full Scoop, says Annie Laurie at Balloon Juice. "I know a lot of us DFHs feared that the horrors of the Cheney Regency would never receive a public airing, if only for fear of the War Crimes Tribunal, but perhaps vanity will achieve what mere human decency and the rule of law never could I look forward to further revelations with interest, and popcorn."
  • Proof of Cheney's Hubris, says Alex Massie at the Spectator (UK). "It's almost as if the Vice-President was horrified to discover that the President had ideas of his own."
  • All He Cares About is Libby, says BooMan of Booman Tribune. " His loyal soldier was left on the battlefield without the right to a law license he could use to enrich himself in his post-government years...Strange what Cheney chooses to feel guilty about. Isn't it?"
  • Bush Is Starting to Look Good, says The Cajun Boy at Gawker. "Cheney's post-presidency attacks on him are enough to make even the most dedicated Bush-hater feel sorry for him, even if only just a bit."
  • Whatever Happened to Cheney's Loyalty? says James Joyner at Outside the Beltway. "Unless one resigns in protest, one owes a certainly loyalty to those whom one serves."

One very prescient pundit, Chris Edelson, deserves credit forĀ  asking earlier this week, "Why is all quiet on the Cheney front?"

It was just a few months ago that the media was transfixed by Dick Cheney's new-found nose for the spotlight... What explains Cheney's silence?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.