The New York Times has one of those insider gossip reports on tensions between the staffs of the president (The Big Smirk) and vice-president (Dead-Eye Dickhead.)

 Those tensions always exist between staffs, and a situation like this one–with Dead-Eye’s negligent shooting and serious wounding of a 78 year old man under still unknown circumstances at a little picnic at a “birds in a barrel” hunting emporium–always brings it out.

But this is the supposed vice-president, who has no constitutional duties other than presiding over the Senate (which he hardly ever performs) and staying in touch in case the president dies. His staff should be about as powerful as the First Lady’s.

Of course that’s not the case in this White House. Amidst all the grumbling and rumbing in the piece about how Smirk’s staff would have been more forthcoming sooner, there’s the money paragraph:

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Several White House officials said no one among the White House staff, including the chief of staff, Andrew H. Card Jr., felt empowered to dictate how news of the accident would be handled.

The Smirk’s Chief can’t impinge on the power of the v.p.’s staff. That pretty much says it all.

Not that Cheney being the real prez should be a surprising surmise—he’s the guy who worked for Nixon and Reagan with Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz and and all the architects of the current bloody policy to create booty for their corporate fellow trough feeders. And nobody much believes the Smirk can do much more than walk and clear brush at the same time.

But now the evidence is quite clear. Substitute the name Dan Quayle in this story (not Dan the Quail, who apparently got away from Cheney’s shotgun blast) and the dimensions of the difference become clearer.

So if it wasn’t before, now it’s pretty obvious to everyone who really runs the White House. And that must drive the Smirk’s staff nuts, as well as turning them even redder, this time with embarassment.

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