Compromise, Cheney Style
Reading this thing about the Tanks of Lackawanna, something has become clear to me that wasn't before: the excesses of the Bush administration, the war, the torture, the wiretapping, were the result of compromises between the sociopathic Cheney faction and the merely dull and incompetent remainder of the administration, including the president.
"Ok, Dick, now don't get crazy. We can't send tanks into New York. Can you meet us halfway here? How about we just send tanks into Bagdad? Would that be good enough?"
It's possible that Cheney did this on purpose, but I suspect he just went for it in all circumstances and got away with as much as he could. The president and his closest advisors, being boobs, thought they were being tough by denying Cheney his most outrageous proposals and only giving him "half a loaf."
I think when the history is written, the most astonishing thing is that the Vice President of the United States, a man who chose himself for the job as second in command to a childlike fool installed by his father's Supreme Court appointees, managed to get away with all he got away with. Perhaps even more astonishing is, as dday points out, the fact that president's apologists are now trying to sell him as some kind of brave constitutional guardian for stopping Cheney from doing worse that what he did. Leadership, Republican style.
I think this proves that our vaunted system may have a few little holes in it, don't you?