Mike Whitney: Realists dump the neocons


Richard Moore



Cheney in a Box
By Mike Whitney

11/10/06 "Information Clearing House" -- - It was the worst outcome imaginable.

They lost the House and the Senate in one night with one savage blow. 
Even the Confederate flag at Senator "Macakaw's" house was flying at 
half-mast. Suddenly the Reich that was "built to last a thousand 
years" had been reduced to small blocks of dusty-rubble extending 
from sea to shining sea. At the very epicenter of the twisted-iron 
and smoldering wreckage; was George W. Bush, President Hologram, the 
celluloid executive whose smirking puss had appeared daily on every 
American TV and in every American newspaper spreading the "good news" 
of domestic repression and nonstop war. Now, here he was, once again, 
convening a news conference, dazed and ashen, propped up amid the 
scattered debris of a midterm massacre; his party left in utter ruins.


In a moment worthy of Shakespeare, the Fraudster-in-chief had been 
scuttled by his own party; knifed in the back by his own friends and 
family who knew that it was finally time to extract the drunken 
driver from behind the wheel of a Mack Truck.

The Democrats didn't win anything; that's all hogwash. Bush was 
buried beneath an avalanche of bad news which was timed to begin with 
the release of Bob Woodward's book "State of Denial", followed by the 
National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), Lancet's Iraqi casualty report, 
the Mark Foley page fiasco, and a barrage of ethics-scandals, 
corruption investigations, and intensified coverage of the war. It 
was a carefully-coordinated coup intended to install "adults" (like 
Robert Gates) in positions of power, change the policy in Iraq, and 
remove Rumsfeld and Cheney from office.

One down; one to go.

The "vanilla" Democrats had nothing to do with Tuesday's results. It 
was a "planned demolition" from the get-go.

Robert Dreyfuss said it best in a recent article when he opined that 
Bush was handled in the same way "a family confronts an alcoholic. 
You bring everyone in, and you say, 'Look, my friend, it's time to 
change.'" (And then you remove the bad influences)

Elite powerbrokers and Republican Party kingpins extended their hoary 
grip all the way into the Oval Office and took the country back from 
the teenagers. But the boulder is still only half way up the hill. 
After all, what are their plans for Cheney?

Cheney wisely decided to go hunting when he discovered that friend 
Rumsfeld was being led to the gallows. Cheney's no fool. He knew that 
if he hung around, he'd be blamed as the co-conspirator of the Iraqi 
debacle and the subsequent destruction of the Republican Party.

So he did what Cheney always does; he skedaddled. He suddenly 
discovered that he "had more important things to do"; just like 

He said he was going hunting, but that's rubbish. He wanted to be as 
far from the political fallout as humanly possible, so he vamoosed. 
There's nothing more to it than that. Besides, there've been no 
reports of "downed lawyers full of birdshot" this week in Wyoming so 
we know that Cheney's firearms are still safely tucked-away in the 
family vault.

Right now, Cheney is probably huddled somewhere with his national 
security team, rubbing his sweaty-hands together, figuring out how he 
can get back in the game and keep his fetid plan moving forward.

Cheney is smart; real smart. Smart like a cobra. He's not going down 
without a fight and he doesn't give a damn if he takes the whole 
country with him.

This is all about Cheney now; Dick Cheney, political survivor and 
skilled bureaucratic infighter. If anyone thinks that he's going to 
sit around waiting for the Democrats to start sniffing around the 
Republican corruption-cesspool; they're crazy.

He knows what's going on. He knows that Bush Senior, and Brzezinski, 
and Baker, and the rest of the "old order" Republicans have muscled 
in and are taking over. He knows he won't be able to bomb Iran, kill 
another 650,000 Iraqis, or declare martial law at home. And, he also 
knows that Conyers and the rest of them will be nosing-around the 
Halliburton "no bid" contracts; going through every sordid detail 
with a fine-tooth comb, and dredging up new scandals on a daily basis.

He grasps all of that. He understands the political climate and he 
knows that he only has two choices left; offense or defense?

Either he steps down or he collects his wits, gets his team together; 
Addington, Abrams, Chertoff, Gonzales etc; all the guys who are "one 
step ahead of the hangman"; and slaps together one "last-ditch" 
effort to establish absolute-dictatorial power that will put him 
forever beyond the reach of the law or of any future accountability 
for his war crimes.

It's a tough task. Bush is teetering and he's probably left the 
Cheney-Rumsfeld orbit already. Robert Gates' job is to influence 
Bush, to win him over with reason and, thus, move the country away 
from the brink of disaster. Cheney has been removed from the 
policy-making apparatus and he knows it.

So, what'll he do next?

What will Cheney do now that he's been backed into a corner and his 
power is oozing away like the blood from a sucking chest-wound?

Will he quietly retire and disappear into the political vapor or 
"lock-n-load" and go down with both guns blazing?

Here's a clue: Cheney is "dead-ender". He won't go peacefully.


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