CHENEY IS BUSH. As part of a good recent article about the many atrocities of Dick Cheney, Hendrik Hetrzberg tells an amusing anecdote:

Cheney, Gellman and Becker report, drew up and vetted a list of five appellate judges from which Bush drew his Supreme Court appointments. After naming John Roberts to the Court and then to the Chief Justice’s chair, the President, for once, rebelled: without getting permission from down the hall, he nominated his old retainer Harriet Miers for the second opening. (“Didn’t have the nerve to tell me himself,” Cheney muttered to an associate, according to the Post.) But when Cheney’s right-wing allies upended Miers, Bush obediently went back to Cheney’s list and picked Samuel Alito. The result is a Court majority that, last Thursday, ruled that conscious racial integration is the moral equivalent of conscious racial segregation.

The Miers nomination really was remarkable; even when trying to show independence Bush is so incompetent and so dedicated to ludicrously unqualified cronies that it didn't matter. This story also reminds us, however, that virtually every bad thing that Cheney has done is 100% the responsibility of Bush as well. The Vice President has virtually no formal authority within the administration, and in any power struggle the President is determined to win the President will win. Cheney has enormous influence and power because Bush has given it to him, and either supports what Cheney is doing or doesn't care enough to stop him.

--Scott Lemieux

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