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(DV) Whitney: Barbara Bush and the Wretched Mr. Cheney







Barbara Bush and the Wretched Mr. Cheney
by Mike Whitney
December 5, 2005

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One of the few bright spots in an otherwise bleak news week was an oddball account of Barbara Bush going ballistic over the way her boy-George has been abused by other members of the administration.


Apparently, Lady McBush got it into her steely blue helmet head that Dick Cheney and Co. have “undermined” the commander-in-chief and are responsible for his plummeting popularity. According to Steve Clemons of The Washington Note the First Mother is on the warpath and may “call on Nancy Reagan to get a refresher lesson on how she took on and kicked out then Chief-of-Staff Donald Regan.”

“Cut-throat Nancy?”

Normally, this type of “he said, she said” story is only moderately interesting, but the prospect of Nurse Ratchet unloading on Dick Cheney is bound to put a jolt in anyone’s pacer.

Is this the “last throes” of the sneering V.P.?

The Texas matriarch has plenty of reason to be irritated, too. Sure, she doesn’t waste her “beautiful mind” on the wretched minutia of Washington chitchat, but, don’t kid yourself, she knows what’s going on. She’s seen Cheney and his spectral twin Donald Strangelove, dressing up junior in flannel shirts or navy flight jackets and packing him off him to pitch the war to the wary public.

She’s read the shocking reports from Colin Powell’s ex-chief of staff, Lawrence Wilkerson, claiming that Bush was kept out of the policymaking loop prior to the invasion of Iraq.

She knows her boy has been duped, manipulated, and dragged through the Washington mud by some real pros. 

And, “O my Gawd,” she had to endure that mortifying episode where the Cessna breached White House airspace and the whole capital was evacuated, but VP Cheney never even told cycling George that we were under attack.

That’s the kind of prickly humiliation that stings for months.

Ouch….rip off the Band-Aid!

Now, according to The Washington Note, Bar’s in a spitting rage that would melt the pearls off the neck of a blue-blooded matron, and Torture-Dick is in her crosshairs.

Ah-ha, maybe justice isn’t dead in America?

In fact, Clemons is saying, “Watch out for a lot to change right after the State of the Union speech.”

Is it possible; could Mommy Dearest actually take junior aside and work up a Shakespearean plan for dumping the dumpy veep?

It’s possible.

Barbara’s always been the grittiest street fighter in the famiglia Bush, an imperious Wagnerian she-wolf with enough verve and venom to take down a dozen Cheneys.

When Christmas roles around, Barbara will huddle with her Manchurian progeny and tidy up the details for giving Uncle Dickie the “heave ho.” That will give Bush the chance to pluck Jim Baker from retirement and put a new face on the administration.

I can just hear the thunderous applause bursting from the op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal and the “paper of record” as they praise the Dear Leader and the dazzling coup that salvaged his nose-diving presidency.

With the albatross – Cheney -- gone, Bush will have plenty of opportunity to hang the leper’s rattle on Halliburton’s snappish geezer, blaming the whole Iraqi nightmare on his former VP.


We shouldn’t “misunderestimate” our simple monarch. He may be an incurious malingerer with the attention span of a spaniel, but he has the instincts of a Mafia Don. After Bar gets a hold of him, he’ll see that the only way he can pull himself out of the political ash heap is to toss Cheney overboard and start fresh.

Cheney’s days are a numbered. He might as well clean out his desk and move on back to his bell tower.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state, and can be reached at:

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