The third part of the Washington Post expose on Cheney is out today. This one focuses on his role in domestic policy, particularly on his important role in pushing through the sickening tax cuts for the rich this administration championed. Here's an excerpt that gives a sense of how far the Cheney tentacles reach:
Cheney has changed history more than once, earning his reputation as the nation's most powerful vice president. His impact has been on public display in the arenas of foreign policy and homeland security, and in a long-running battle to broaden presidential authority. But he has also been the unseen hand behind some of the president's major domestic initiatives.
Scores of interviews with advisers to the president and vice president, as well as with other senior officials throughout the government, offer a backstage view of how the Bush White House operates. The president is "the decider," as Bush puts it, but the vice president often serves up his menu of choices.
Cheney led a group that winnowed the president's list of potential Supreme Court nominees. Cheney resolved a crisis in the space program after the Columbia shuttle disaster. Cheney fashioned a controversial truce between the legislative and executive branches -- and averted resignations at the top of the Justice Department and the FBI -- over the right of law enforcement authorities to investigate political corruption in Congress.
And it was Cheney who served as the guardian of conservative orthodoxy on budget and tax matters. He shaped and pushed through Bush's tax cuts, blunting the influence of Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, a longtime friend, and of Cabinet rivals he had played a principal role in selecting.
The story behind Cheney's influence on the tax cut agenda is fascinating. He convinced the president of the need for them, convinced Republican legislators of the need for an additional capital gains tax cut (which Bush initially opposed), and cast the deciding vote on the bill in the Senate. This guy is, like, freaking me out! Somebody save the country from this madman! Impeach!