Rove and Cheney square off in locked cage match.
by Eternal Hope, Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 07:25:41 PM EST
The most recent of the articles is an article suggesting that Cheney will retire after the mid-term elections. This, after a couple of articles suggested that Cheney, based on "anonymous sources" was taken out of the loop on Bush's foreign policy decisions. We know that Karl Rove is a master of whisper campaigns. I suggest that he is planning to save his own skin. We know that Bush and Rove had a rift after Plamegate broke out. I suggest that they have patched up their differences the best they could and are now working together to tag team Cheney.
For Rove, his loyalties lie not with Cheney, but with Bush. Bush was the man who gave Rove a second chance after he had been fired by Bush's father. Furthermore, Rove's focus is totally on the PR and spin aspects of the Bush administration; as such, he has near absolute power in the White House. When the ship is sinking, it is not surprising that Rove would turn on Cheney due to the fact that Cheney is now politically radioactive.
Furthermore, the Constitution provides for the simultaneous removal from office of both the President and Vice President. If the Democrats get elected and somehow generate a 2/3's majority in the Senate with Republicans anxious to save their own hides in advance of the 2008 election, and they also took control of the House, then Nancy Pelsoi would become the 44th President of the United States, as the House Speaker is the 3rd person in line to succeed the President and the Vice President.
This is a risk that the Bush administration cannot afford to take. Therefore, they are engaging in a whisper campaign against Cheney in order to isolate him and force him to step aside. As for who might replace him, I suggest that given the increasing access that Condolezza Rice has to the President, I suggest that Bush may be grooming Rice to take Cheney's place.
We know that Rove's goal is to build a permanent Republican majority. Therefore, throwing Cheney to the wolves would accomplish that by putting Rice in position to take over the White House should Bush be impeached and removed from office. This would give Rice time to charm the socks off of people and take advantage of the incumbency of the White House.
We also know that Rove and McCain do not get along, given the nasty and racist whisper campaign that Rove engaged in against McCain in the 2000 primary. I suggest that McCain has never forgiven Rove for that; people remarked that McCain was visibly uncomfortable around Bush and Rove during the 2004 election campaign. Elevating Rice to Vice President or President would not only scuttle any Democratic hopes of Pelsoi taking over as the 44th President, it would also cut the feet out from under John McCain and what could be his last attempt to take the White House; he would be 72 in 2008. It would also scuttle Giuliani's candidacy; he has fallen out of favor with the Bush administration after his crony Bernard Kerik's nomination failed.
Bush is also throwing other former neocons to the wolves as well. Bush is also plotting to get rid of Rumsfeld after the war ends either when Bush proclaims victory and goes home or our own troops force us out of Iraq by refusing to reenlist in droves. Bush has already cut Rumsfeld's access to him, instead, relying on Rice and other sources outside the Pentagon for his briefing. And Bush has given Rumsfeld the Kiss of Death - he told him he was doing a "heck of a job" at one of the few public appearances the two men had together within the past year. That means it is only a matter of time before Rumsfeld leaves as well.
Bush is also throwing Elliot Abrams to the wolves as well - he has
completely shut him and the rest of the National Security Council out of the White House:
The ascent of Mr. Burns has come at the expense of the National Security Council, officials said. They said Deputy National Security Advisor Elliot Abrams has lost virtually all of his influence over U.S. policy. Mr. Abrams, who has been linked to the Bush family, has been an ardent supporter of Middle East democracy and Israel. He has urged an aggressive U.S. policy against Iran.
The neocons are rapidly losing influence at the White House, as Bush is blaming them for the failure of the Iraq War. This is evidenced by the rise of Nicholas Burns - an Arabist and an internationalist; Burns opposes regime change in Iran and Syria and has succeeded in getting Bush to distance himself from Israel as well. From the same link as above:
As a result, Mr. Burns, formally No. 3 in the State Department, has become the de facto director of U.S. foreign policy. Officials said his access to the president has sharply increased over the last four months and Mr. Burns has become a leading adviser to Mr. Bush on Europe and the Middle East.
Mr. Burns was U.S. ambassador to Greece, as well as to NATO in Belgium. He helped end the virtual U.S. boycott of France in 2004. The undersecretary also persuaded the president to adopt the European Union's policy of dialogue with Iran to end its uranium enrichment program.
"The United States and Europe are natural allies--not identical twins," Mr. Burns told the European Institute last month. "You're more statist--we're more free market. You think of the EU first--we think NATO. We're convinced that the U.S. can win the World Cup--you probably think England or the Czech Republic or Spain will win."
Still, Mr. Burns' agenda is said to sharply differ from that of Mr. Bush's first term. Officials said Mr. Burns has managed to sideline the president's policy to introduce democracy and reform in the Middle East. The undersecretary persuaded Mr. Bush to waive human rights sanctions on a range of Arab and Islamic countries, including Indonesia, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.
"Condi has very little interest in the Middle East and regards her meetings with some leaders in the area with disdain," an official said. "In contrast, Burns relishes his contacts with Arab leaders."
Mr. Burns has also encouraged Mr. Bush to increase pressure on Israel in an effort to win Arab support for U.S. policy in the Middle East. Officials said the undersecretary has also helped reduce the president's ardor to enact regime change in Iran and Syria.
Unlike the neocons who once dominated the Bush foreign policy, Burns is totally in the mold of Bush's father. This suggests that Bush I is undermining the Bush II presidency and trying to control the presidency from behind the scenes. We know, from Brent Scowcroft's piece, that there is a major rift between Bush and his father over the Iraq War. We know that Bush I is furious over the massive loss of respect other countries have for this country. We also know that Bush I is deeply hurt because of the fact that he considered himself first and foremost a statesman.
This suggests that Bush I is undermining the White House through blackmail - Bush I is one of the few people who knows the whole secret of Bush II's sordid past and could be totally willing to spill the beans in some way if Bush II does not comply with father's orders. It could involve some kind of whisper campaign - the same kind that Rove is so good at orchestrating. And Bush II and Rove are extremely paranoid about any details about Bush II's past leaking out - witness their vicious attacks against CBS when the TANG story broke out. I suggest that Bush I is blackmailing his son to put his people in charge of foreign policy - or else.
This theory would explain why Bush I was so tolerant of his son's failures and worked to cover up for them - it is a form of power that he could use. After he left office, his son could easily run for President with his father's resources and win. Bush I would hold all the real power because he knows about his son's moral failures more than anybody. Anytime Bush II were to fail, Bush I could blackmail him by demanding that he appoint his people to positions of power and give them access. And I suggest Bush II is the same way with his daughters - they can play around as much as they want, and then use their family's resources to gain elective office - and fall under the Bush blackmail trap. It is a vicious power structure designed to perpetuate power and get around the Constitutional prohibition against more than two terms.