Kuttner: Report on the Real Power
Robert Kuttner wrote in the Boston Globe that it's time for the press to stop putting all their focus on "the decider" and to start looking at who's really running the government.
Cheney is in a class [of Vice Presidents] by himself. The administration's grand strategy and its implementation are the work of Cheney-- sometimes Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, sometimes Cheney and political director Karl Rove.
Cheney has planted aides in major Cabinet departments, often over the objection of a Cabinet secretary, to make sure his policies are carried out. He sits in on the Senate Republican caucus, to stamp out any rebellions. Cheney loyalists from the Office of the Vice President dominate interagency planning meetings.
The Iraq war is the work of Cheney and Rumsfeld. The capture of the career civil service is pure Cheney. The disciplining of Congress is the work of Cheney and Rove. The turning over of energy policy to the oil companies is Cheney. The extreme secrecy is Cheney and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
As Kuttner says, if Cheney was smoked out and people understood who was making the decisions, things would be less unaccountable. At a 20 percent approval rating, Cheney just would not be allowed to do what he is doing.
Hey, press. It's time to do your job and look at what's actually happening with our government.