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Posted by on Oct 30, 2006 in At TMV | 6 comments

Will Dick Cheney Be The Stumbling Block After The Elections?

If The Democrats Win There Is Likely To Be A Change In Iraq Policy, Right?



Not necessarily, writes Steve Clemmons. He predicts that even if the Democrats take one or more houses of Congress and even if the bipartisan commission on Iraq headed by the first President Bush’s Secretary of State James Baker suggests substantive policy changes it ain’t necessarily gonna happen due to one key factor: Vice President C-H-E-N-E-Y:



But Bush will not go quietly — and more importantly — the allies for a better direction in foreign policy who actually do exist in hidden corners of the Bush administration are dominated by Cheney’s followers throughout the national security bureaucracy.



I think that the Baker-Hamilton report, which will be issued in January 2007, will call for a new, expansive commitment to regional deal-making to solve many of the unresolved problems in the Middle East and to try and create a new equilibrium of interests in the region.



I think George Bush will find the report compelling — and I think he will order his team to try and “operationalize” as much of the Baker-Hamilton report as possible.



But it won’t happen. It will be undermined in the weeds, in the nuts and bolts details, consensus will be derailed, themes reversed after Cheney convinces Bush that parts of the report are politically naive and dangerous to American and Israeli interests. I think it will be slowly torn apart by a thousand cuts in the policy development and implementation process in the Executive Branch.

He believes “the next two years are going to be politically bloody and difficult ones for the nation and the world.” His key point: Cheney and his faction are deeply embedded in key policy areas and need to be weeded out or purged before there can be changes. And he’s probably correct. Cheney put ideological allies throughout the governnment and cabinet (one is Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld).



If the GOP loses one or more houses, then perhaps more thoughtful Republicans who are not part of the Bush faction presently controlling the party and government elite can begin to reassert their influence on government, policy — and their own party.



But, as Clemmons suggests, no change is going to come easy.

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Copyright 2006 The Moderate Voice
  • vwcat

    Excellent article. Very thought provoking.
    I do agree that Cheney is the one putting the wrench in the spokes of any proposeal on any policy.
    He lets Jr. have some policy of his own but, for the most part it’s mostly Cheney. He used Jr. as his front man while he is really President.
    Cheney is a very dangerous zealot. I do believe for all of Rummy’s stupidity he has at time toned down some of Cheney’s thinking. He’s the only one who can somewhat calm him down = sometimes.
    And it’s widely known about his spies in every department in the administration. It was said in How Bush Rules, that Bolton, a major Cheney operative, reasserted the 16 words after they were taken out. He is one of the henchmen.
    Anyway, Cheney is the one that is very very dangerous and I thought this article was great.

  • vwcat: that book sounds very interesting.

    Anyway: I don’t think that Cheney is as ‘powerful’ as some people seem to think. As I am starting to see it, it’s not so much that Cheney pushes Bush to the side, it’s just that Bush doesn’t want to be occupied with ‘details’. He seems to have more this ‘I am confident that they can do what they have to do and know what they have to know’-attitude. Now and then a little peptalk and that’s about it. Cheney is, as a result, using the room Bush gives him, but I don’t think that there is something like a quiet deal as you seem to be suggesting: it’s just management style.

  • Pyst

    This all hinges on wether Cheney survives the probe into the Jack Abramoff visits to his office. 🙂

    Or the possability of the Energy commision papers being forced into the daylight by congressional Democrats. 🙂

    Or…geez this could go on for a loooooong time LOL.

  • grognard

    If the Baker report puts Cheney in his place he won‘t go peacefully, he views himself as co president. The Republicans and Democrats wanting change will be up against a formidable opponent who has the confidence of the president , and no doubt will get [mutual] support from Rumsfeld who is in the same boat. This could put a real strain in the Republican party, esp. if the election is a disaster.

  • Rambie

    Besides the articles here at TMV, I love to read The Washington Note. I thing Mr Clemmons is very thoughtful and not just another partisan hack. He makes it clear he’s not a fan of the Bush administration, but he’s not shrill.

  • DBL

    If you want to change the Government’s foreign and military policy, you will have to elect a Democrat in 2008. Changing the Congress or the Senate will have little to no effect prior to President Bush’s end of term in January 2009. Sorry, that’s how it works.

    I suppose if the Democrats gained control of the House and Senate they could try to cut off funding for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but I doubt seriously that the Dems will have enough votes to override Presidential vetoes. So we’ll see a lot of speechifying and cauterwauling from the Hill, but it won’t have much effect on policy.

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