Thursday, September 2


This is an article every voter should read. John Nichols, author of "Dick: The Man Who Is President," is interviewed by BuzzFlash:

It should also be noted that Cheney was not just good for Halliburton. As Secretary of Defense, he laid the groundwork for privatizing vast areas of the military. That was a terrible move, as it dramatically increased the number of private-sector firms that recognize that it is in their interest for this country to be constantly at war. We now have the most muscular pro-war lobby in the history of the country; they are not just pushing for a particular war, they are for war in general. Halliburton is just the worst example of a far greater crisis.

The whole Dick Cheney/Halliburton connection serves as a reminder of just how right Dwight Eisenhower was when he warned about the dangers of a growing military-industrial complex. Every pathology he feared has come to pass.
Most of what troubles America about the Bush administration -- the arrogance, the intellectual emptiness, the secrecy, the constant spin, the refusal to acknowledge mistakes -- is a reflection of Cheney. As former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill noted, the administration works the way it does because Cheney wants it that way. That's the important thing to recognize in this election year: Even voters who, for whatever reason, find that they like Bush should recognize that Bush is not charting the course of this administration. That's Cheney's job. [emphasis mine]
Cheney is not a deep thinker. He likes easy answers. And there is nothing easier than parroting the right-wing line on every issue. At Yale, Cheney became obsessed with a Cold War vision of the world. He has never evolved. Cheney simply sees different enemies. (Notably, the professor who taught Cheney's favorite course now says that his former student is dangerously misguided about the world.) On the domestic front, Cheney buys into every failed fantasy that the right has ever conjured up -- from supply-side economics, to tort reform and the drug war. When it comes to ideology, there is nothing creative about the guy at all. As a result, while other conservatives may deviate from the script (think Jack Kemp or John McCain), Cheney is always "on message." And he is always telling George W. Bush to stay there, as well. The one exception -- Cheney's uncomfortable attempts to advocate for some tolerance with regards to gays and lesbians -- is unavoidable because to take a different stance would force him to distance himself from his daughter. Conservatives recognize that, and forgive him.

That's appropriate because, on the fundamental issues that are of concern to conservatives, Cheney has been a 100 percenter. Newt Gingrich has noted that Cheney's record in the House was more conservative than his own. Surveys have suggested that Cheney's closest ideological soul mate was North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms, although Helms softened on some issues as he got older. Cheney has remained a consistent hard liner. That's why he gets such thunderous applause from Republican convention delegates. They love the guy because he tosses out the raw meat - especially when he is attacking John Kerry.
Is Dick Cheney the epitome of a person who pursues power for the sake of holding power?

Absolutely. That is the essence of his being.


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