Andrew Sullivan wrote an excellent piece in the Sunday Times yesterday. He examined Dick Cheney's high public profile of late. Seeing so much of the former VP is surprising. After all Cheney was the consumate eminence grise, so grise in fact to have been invisible in all but the innermost Washington power suites. Sullivan concludes that his energetic public profile just now stems from fear, fear that he is going to be judged badly by the political elite, the American people, history or perhaps even a judge and jury. Rock on.
I remember a very enjoyable lunch I had back in early 2001 with Peter Jay , amongst many other things, the former British ambassador to Washington. It was just after the Bush inaugration. Peter has infinitely more knowledge of US politics than I will ever have. More to the point he has had real experience -- he remains a friend of Jimmy Carter. However I discussed the incoming Bush administration with him as well as I could. I proffered my observation that Bush seemed so incapable that surely it was Cheney that would run the show. PJ disagreed. He said that people always argued this if they didn't like the President. The VP wasn't a powerful post in any real sense.
I haven't asked Peter if he still thinks that. I will. I don't blame him at all nor claim any prescience. I don't think anyone could have predicted the arrogance coupled with incompetence of the Bush regime. It simply broke all the rules of past behaviour. One of the manifestations was a VP running his own "dark side" administration. We are only learning about it now and I guess there's a lot more to come out.