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For 8 years in the 2000s we all joked that Dick Cheney was the real President of the United States and that George W. Bush was a mere puppet president. I still remember Bush coming out and reading speeches from cards to the press in his early months as President, which gave us a glimpse of how unprepared he was to be President. I even remember hearing the "President Cheney" joke in early 2001, months before the September 11th attacks. Many of us assumed that Dubya was likely just a mouth piece, but I don't think anyone in the general public realized just how deep Cheney's authority in the White House was. This documentary shows the world very clearly that Dick Cheney was indeed the real man "in charge" of basically everything that happened during the Bush Presidency. Or shall we say, the Cheney Presidency. George W. Bush only seemed to have a technical authority over Cheney, but Cheney was the one in charge. Cheney was running the show during 9/11 and Cheney was the one who pushed for the Iraq War. Bush Jr. was just a figurehead, a bumbling tragic fool who was way in over his head.
Never in United States history has there been a Vice President who wielded so much power and influence. Never in American history has there been a Vice President who pushed around his President the way Cheney did to Bush. It's humiliating to see how much control Vice President Cheney had over President George W. Bush, who probably was a good guy who unfortunately was manipulated by much more nefarious forces like Cheney and his neo-cons. President Bush 43 often hated how former President Jimmy Carter would openly criticize his policies. I have often thought there many similarities b/w Bush 43 and Carter, despite one being a Republican and one a Democrat. Both men seem smaller then the Office of the Presidency, the difference is that Bush 43 had cockiness to him that masked his ineptitude and ignorance, while Carter had a sharp mind but lacked an ability to make firm decisions.
I'll admit it was interesting seeing Cheney's early life and back-story, it gave the man a more human face. Like many politicians Cheney excelled at most things he attempted in life. He was a successful jock in high school, class president and his girlfriend was one of the more popular girls around. He was accepted into Yale where suddenly he turned into a beer guzzling slacker and eventually dropped out. Now Cheney's transformation from early 20s Yale dropout slacker to mid 30s White House Chief of Staff is nothing short of extraordinary and unprecedented. It is certainly something to be admired and should serve as an inspiration to everyone of all walks of life and ages. As a person he is an unquestioned success, but as a man of political office he is the face of power unchecked. Those that are in the pro-Cheney camp will likely love this video b/c the interviewer generally lobs softballs at Cheney and Cheney answers with his usual robotic monotone voice with no follow up or counter point offered. Imagine if a Democratic ticket had a figure head President while the Vice President was the real person in charge, calling all the shots and ordering the President around. The outcry from the right would be never ending, and Republicans would be hysterical with claims that a tyrannical liberal federal government is running the country into the ground.
History will likely go easy on George W. Bush, he can be written off as too dumb to know any better, but Dick Cheney will always be viewed as the murderous crook he is. Let us always remember that back in 2000 America elected an emperor who brought his own brand of terror to the world while pulling the strings on Dubya all the way. Cheney is hawkish and unapologetic for the Iraq invasion or the enhanced interrogation techniques used under what was basically his administration, which will likely please those who view his actions as a loyal patriot instead of a certified nutball.
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