josh marshall: cheney sux0rz
Joshua Marshall of Talking Points Memo has a blistering deconstruction of Vice President Dick Cheney's alleged competence in The Washington Monthly.
Last March, [Cheney] went on a tour of Middle Eastern capitals to line up America's allies for our war against Saddam. He returned a week later with the Arabs lining up behind Saddam and against us--a major embarrassment for the White House. Much of the success of the administration's Iraq policy came only after it abandoned the strategy of unilateral action against Saddam, the strategy Cheney championed, to one of supporting a U.N. inspections regime--a necessary and successful course correction that Cheney resisted and almost halted. Indeed, broadly speaking, the evolution of White House Iraq policy might be described fairly as a slow process of overruling Dick Cheney.
Much of the reason Cheney so often calls things wrong--even on those business issues that would seem his area of expertise--can be traced to the culture in which he's spent most of his professional life. Despite his CEO credentials and government experience, Dick Cheney has been surprisingly insulated from the political and financial marketplace.
...Cheney is conservative, of course, but beneath his conservatism is something more important: a mindset rooted in his peculiar corporate-Washington-insider class. It is a world of men--very few women--who have been at the apex of both business and government, and who feel that they are unique in their mastery of both. Consequently, they have an extreme assurance in their own judgment about what is best for the country and how to achieve it. They see themselves as men of action. But their style of action is shaped by the government bureaucracies and cartel-like industries in which they have operated. In these institutions, a handful of top officials make the plans, and then the plans are carried out. Ba-da-bing. Ba-da-boom.
(continued in the next post)