Dick Cheney, more reviled than any American politician of recent memory, has been a dead man walking for years in the eyes of many historians.
He is worshiped only by right-wingers, the Fox News crowd and the other usual media hacks.
He has no hope of vindicating his own vice presidential legacy, which began with him ignoring warning signs of an impending attack on the homeland as George Bush's national security adviser because he was still fighting the Cold War, then lurched through eight years of executive excess, serial lying, obfuscation and occasional naps during Cabinet meetings, and ended his interregnum by being outted as the dungeon master of a vast secret apparatus that routinely tortured suspected terrorists, many of them innocents.* * * * *The news that Richard Bruce Cheney's 69-year-old heart may be in the last stages of congestive failure got me to wondering if a man whom foes and even friends alike fear might have a deathbed catharsis.
Since I have never read an account -- not one single account -- of a kinder, gentler out-of-the-limelight Cheney, I suppose that he will not, but that's between he and the Maker.
After all, Cheney always has been wound tight.
Power for Cheney always has been more personal than political.
Grudges for Cheney always have been something to be harbored indefinitely, whether the post-Watergate constraints placed on executive power or the revelation that one of his justifications for the Iraq war was a lie by the husband of a CIA operative.
Failure for Cheney always has been something deeply felt, and no failure has been greater than his not anticipating the 9/11 attacks.
Destruction of evidence for Cheney always has been preferable to public accountings.
And finally, Cheney always has put himself first and country and party second and third.