MORE CHENEY….Part 2 of the Washington Post’s series about Dick Cheney is up, and today’s segment is all about Cheney’s obsession with expanding the president’s authority to abuse prisoners. It turns out that even John Yoo (!) and John Ashcroft seem to think he went a wee bit overboard on this. However, it also turns out that pretty much nobody in the Bush administration was actually willing to seriously confront Cheney over any of it.
You should read the whole thing, of course. Really, though, the key observation is this one:
“The irony with the Cheney crowd pushing the envelope on presidential power is that the president has now ended up with lesser powers than he would have had if they had made less extravagant, monarchical claims,” said Bruce Fein, an associate deputy attorney general under President Ronald Reagan.
As today’s piece shows, the pushback from both the courts and Congress against Cheney’s hardline stands has already been substantial — and I suspect it’s only going to get stronger as time goes by. Cheney’s goal was to give the president more power, but in the end his monomania blinded him to the fact that he was accomplishing just the opposite. Much like his response to the war on terror, in fact. But the whole country is paying the price for that.