John Dean on Cheney's Genius
John Dean uses the recent news about Cheney to comment on what is the Constitutionally derived authority granted to the Vice President. And not surprisingly, the office doesn't have much power at all except what is given by the current President. Under this President, much of the power granted to the President has been given away to the Vice President. Nevertheless, our President prides himself that he is the Decider.
It has long been apparent that Cheney's genius is that he lets George W. Bush get out of bed every morning actually believing he is the President. In fact, his presidency is run by the President of the Senate, for Cheney is its true center of gravity. That fact has become more apparent with every passing year of this presidency, and anyone who thinks otherwise has truly "misunderestimated" our nominal president and his vice president.
Eric Hoffer explained in The True Believer why someone like Bush would be so easily swayed by a puppet master like Cheney. Hoffer ties the impulse to credulity to the desire of the frustrated individual to escape himself.
There is apparently some connection between dissatisfaction with oneself and a proneness to credulity. The urge to escape our real self is also an urge to escape the rational and the obvious....The rule seems to be that those who find no difficulty in deceiving themselves are easily deceived by others. They are easily persuaded and led. (Section 59)
Bush's gullibility and lack of insight into himself along with the obvious need to see himself as the ultimate leader (better than dad) allows him to be easily played. So who was it that dropped the little thought into Bush's mind that he was called upon by God to lead the world in the war of Good vs Evil? Yes, as Paradox notes, the establishment is finally realizing how crazy this administration is, but if they had bothered to read Josh Marshall's piece from January 2003, they would have realized why the combination of Cheney and Bush was so bad and spared us these last four years of Bush-Cheney megalomania.