Cheney’s memoir: Coming down on Bush

Dick Cheney's memoir of his years in the Bush administration will apparently target the former President for "going soft" in his second term.

So much for “the most secretive vice president of modern times,” said Robert Cornwell in the London Independent. Dick Cheney is working on a memoir of his time in the Bush administration, The Washington Post reported last week, and Cheney’s targets include President Bush himself—whom Cheney accuses of “going soft.” It’s a startling charge, said Barton Gellman in The Washington Post, because if there is one thing Cheney reveres more than secrecy, it is loyalty. But aides to Cheney say the former vice president simply cannot stay quiet about what he considers the “moral weakness” of the administration’s second term. In suspending the use of torture, seeking congressional approval for domestic surveillance, and refusing to pardon Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Bush, in Cheney’s view, made “concessions to public sentiment” that revealed the president as just “an ordinary politician.”

Clearly, the basic precepts of democracy still elude this man, said William McKenzie in The Dallas Morning News. For eight long years, the brooding Cheney behaved as if the vice presidency were a fourth branch of government, accountable to no one. Now in retirement, he can’t figure out why Bush allowed himself to be swayed by public opinion, seemingly unaware that in a democracy “our governors derive their consent from the governed.” Cheney also can’t seem to grasp, said Jason Zengerle in, that Bush may have stopped taking his advice because it was lousy. From the disastrous war in Iraq to the sullying of America’s image around the globe, Cheney and his neocon cabal “made such a hash of things” during the first Bush term that the president had little choice but to tune them out.

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