Yesterday David Broder wrote a column which one TPM Reader, more or less fairly, described as Broder’s expression of shock, shock at just what Dick Cheney has been up to over the last six-plus years. And this is a good opportunity to say that the Post’s ‘Angler’ series seems to be becoming the trigger for that transition moment where consensus establishment opinion goes from seeing the vice president as the powerful administration heavy with a sometimes creepy but largely comic penchant for secrecy to an altogether more nefarious force who has used his unprecedented power as vice president to advance an agenda of official secrecy, non-accountability, untrammeled executive power, legitmized torture and general degradation of the rule of law.
But this is far too easy. Because the simple fact is that we’ve known almost all of this for years.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not knocking the series, which is quite good. In journalism, details, the specifics are all. But the story in general has been out there for years, as well as a good number of the specifics, strewn over hundreds, probably thousands of newspaper and magazine articles, online and off.
In other words, when it comes to recognizing Cheney’s profoundly damaging effect on American constitutionalism as well as his guiding role in essentially all of the administration’s most disastrous policies, the train already left the station some time ago.