Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Presidency of Dick Cheney

Dick Cheney"As Cheney sees it, public opinion is fickle, ill-informed, self-contradictory, emotional — nothing like his own conversation with himself and trusted aides. He speaks disdainfully of critics as 'elites,' but his own view of democracy is at the far elite extreme. Voters are entitled to choose a president every four years, he said at the National Press Club, but then they need to let him do his job. The transaction is like hiring a surgeon; pick a good one, and don’t try to tell him where to place the knife. This 'trustee' model of democracy is associated with Edmund Burke, the Old Whig philosopher in 18th century England. It is not the model that took root here when the Founders designed a plan of government that derived its authority from the people. If you take Cheney’s view, aggressive efforts at secrecy, for our own good, to prevent us from making the wrong choices or interfering with government’s important work, are a rational response." —Bart Gellman, author of a new biography of Vice-President Dick Cheney

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