Thursday, June 28, 2007

Dick Cheney 'is the devil'

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Shanna Flowers is The Roanoke Times' metro columnist.

Shanna Flowers

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A few bloggers have linked Dick Cheney to the Antichrist.

I'm not willing to say that, but he dang sure is the devil.

Not in a pitchfork-toting, red jumpsuit-wearing kinda way. But in the way Mama would occasionally use it.

"You woke up with the devil in you today."

Mean. Surly.

Dark.

My point being: What Cheney is doing to our democratic principles is just plain sinister.

The man clearly has a problem with the authority of the Constitution.

He thinks he's above it.

Take his response to the presidential order that requires the executive branch to preserve classified national security information.

Cheney has refused to comply with the order and give data to the National Archives, the keeper of the information. In doing so, Cheney is essentially telling the National Archives, in a sentiment once attributed to him, to [expletive] itself.

Cheney's people explained, presumably with a straight face, that his office is not "an entity within the executive branch."

Come again?

House Democrats, like all Americans should be, are outraged. The Dems are so outraged that they will discuss -- possibly as early as today -- a proposal to cut some of his office's funding.

Of course, Cheney's above-the-law claim comes as no surprise. He has skulked around the past six years as the Darth Vader of the Bush administration.

He and the boss man believe they can do whatever they please in the name of national security. Damn the Democrats' rhetorical torpedoes. Civil liberties and international protocol? That stuff's for wusses.

Cheney is ideologically hell-bent and scarily secretive. His latest stunt with the National Archives is par for this administration's dangerous course.

His actions often reek of hypocrisy. He closes Energy Task Force meetings, dares Congress to ask with whom he met, then claims he doesn't have to tell because he's in the executive branch.

This Tricky Dick makes the original look almost amateurish.

The Washington Post is running a series this week about the life, times and influence of Cheney.

Former vice president Dan Quayle shared a telling anecdote. Cheney had just been sworn in when Quayle visited him.

"I said, 'Dick, you know, you're going to be doing a lot of this international traveling, you're going to be doing all this political fundraising ... you'll be going to the funerals,' " Quayle told The Post earlier this year. "I mean, this is what vice presidents do.' "

Quayle said Cheney gave him that signature, cocked smile and replied, "I have a different understanding with the president."

Shanna Flowers' column appears on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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