I am going to go out on a limb here, just as I did last year when predicting that Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist would have to be carried out of the Court before he'd let illness force his retirement. On the heels of The Birdshot Incident, I hear the clock starting to tick loudly for Vice President Dick Cheney. The PR, political and ethical fallout over this mess is mounting, and it will be impossible for Dead-Eye Dick to overcome. The office of the vice president has become a joke, and Cheney is no longer able to efficiently perform his duties with any legitimacy. There's a dark cloud hanging over the Dwight
D. Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
To be sure, President Bush must be downright livid at the way the veep handled the post-shooting damage control process. In fact, it was no process at all. No damage control. Just lots of mystery shrouded in secrecy and with a layer of the all-too-familiar Cheney arrogance thrown in for good measure. The veep has made the prez look like a fool who cannot control his renegade subordinate. And we all know that Bush likes things his way.
Cheney's been on the hot seat for a long while now. He's taken heat over his obsessive pre-9/11 war mongering which led to the Iraq invasion. He's been taking heat over his purported role in the CIA leak case. More recently, he's at the center of new allegations by ex-aide Scooter Libby over his directive to leak classified data about Iraq's WMD to counter the negative press spawned by Joe Wilson's NY Times Op-ed which disproved the Busheviks' weapons claims. The Birdshot Incident will be the last straw, mark my words.
I'm not sure how long it will take Rove & Co. to concoct the perfect out, but Cheney will soon be replaced with someone who will not just divert the heat away from Bush over this matter, but who, more importantly to the GOP as a whole, will also help set the stage for the 2008 presidential election. Can you say Rudy Giuliani?