I Wonder What the Old Fox Means By This…


If you're a devotee of the popular theory that the Bush Administration is full of Machiavellian, and possibly Mephistophelian evil geniuses playing dumb while they make us dance on a string, if you believe every screwup and gaffe coming out of the White House is just another bold, lightning ju-jitsu-style maneuver to trap President Bush's opponents (and who doesn't believe that?), then you'll enjoy this detail from yesterday's flurry of Cheney resignation rumors. Not only are they onto us, they're onto us being onto them!

"It's certainly an interesting but I still think highly doubtful scenario," said a Bush insider. "And if that should happen," added the official, "there will undoubtedly be those who believe the whole thing was orchestrated—another brilliant Machiavellian move by the VP."

But then… doesn't this quote mean they want us to think it's not really a brilliant Machiavellian move? And then, wouldn't that mean it really is a brilliant Machiavellian move?

John DiIulio hails "the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis."

John J. Pitney Jr. reviews two books about Karl Rove, the evilest, geniusest evil genius of them all.

Bush/Satan 2004 bumper stickers still available.

Omen III: The Final Conflict, in which the always Machiavellian Sam Neill deftly got his career nadir out of the way early.

Realistic diagram of Dick Cheney's heart.

NEXT: Ron Paul: "They're determined to have martial law"

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  1. Love the comment on Condi in the USNews article: “But isn’t she pro-choice?”

    Because, ya know, a pro-choice Vice-President would be the downfall of this country.

  2. Compared with the Keystone Cop antics of the current batch of democrats, all one has to do is walk while chewing gum to be seen as Machiavellian.
    New “Master Plan” Rumor: Cheney’s last heart surgery involved the installation of a dead-man’s switch pacemaker/ transmitter. If he dies, the remaining US nuclear missle stock launches.

  3. Omen III: The Final Conflict, in which the always Machiavellian Sam Neill deftly got his career nadir out of the way early.

    Mr. President, I knew Damien Thorn, I worked with Damien Thorn, and you sir, are NO Damien Thorn.

  4. And they’re onto us being onto them being onto us being onto them.

    But the thing that sticks in my mind is Bush in the Presidential debates referring to the Internet in its plural form, which you don’t hear too often.

    So, I agree with Jacob Weisberg
    and John Tierney (Times Select only)
    when they write that they don’t buy the liberal Bush-playa haters hype on Plamegate.

    Outing a CIA analyst at Langley doesn’t seem like a big deal to me, even if it is technically illegal because of a Cold War-era law. For that matter, Joseph Wilson’s allegations published in the New York Times didn’t seem very consequential either.

    Salon just published a piece saying Wilson and Plame will be filing a civil suit against Bush – like Paula Jones and Clinton – so I bet Fitzgerald, hard ass that he is, will have no indictments and no comment, consequences be damned and liberals’ heads will explode. Heh.

  5. I suspect part of the conspiracy/speculation is due to the combined realizations of Republicans that 1) they’re goin’ out even farther on the limb for this President and 2) he has no heir apparent.

    The President’s murdered a lot of sacred cows, and they stood there with him and justified every one. Once he’s gone, they’re gonna have a hard time marketing themselves as budget hawks or free traders or tax cutters or as being generally competent.

    …With no heir apparent, the Republicans must wonder if he’s gonna leave ’em to twist in the wind.

  6. Sacred cows make the best burgers.

  7. George Carlin once stated that most people fall into one of three categories: “stupid,” “full of shit,” or “fucking nuts.”

    Is it possible for someone to be all three? Carlin’s vote was for Dan Quayle, but that was way back in 1990.

  8. The neo-cons have hatched a Simpson’s version of an Invasion of the Body Snatcher’s scheme being orchestrated by Mr. Burns (Rove) and now being implemented by Homer (Bush). It’s impossible to know where the evil genius ends and the incompetent buffoonery begins and it’s intentional. And it started before 2000.

    That stain on Lewinsky’s dress? Not sperm; spores. The Democrats run a war hero and lose the Presidency to a Republican version of Belushi from Animal House? Harriet Miers is being opposed by the Republican core? Something’s just not right here.


  9. Inconceivable!

  10. No genius at work- just a conspiracy. A conspiracy that uses fear mongering, lies, religion, and a host of other tools to do what? Make the rich richer.

  11. “Make the rich richer”

    Workers of the World Unite!

  12. Look, I’m as pissed off about this “conservative” administration as the next guy who feebly clings to the notion that “conservative” means “at least kind of vaguely aligned with some libertarian principles.” I was as dismayed as anyone by Bush’s recent one-two-three jab — the gazillion-dollar Katrina relief, the kneejerk betrayal of Bill Bennett, the Miers nomination.

    But this whole Plame brouhaha is ridiculous, idiotic and overblown, and becomes more of each with every day. It’s now a massive, labyrinthine circus about something utterly inconsequential. Jesus Christ, the way people were parsing Judith Miller’s column this week, it was as if the cure for cancer were tucked amid her words and awaiting deciphering.

    The shit everyone now accepts as a given is mindboggling. People proceed as if the Joseph Wilson piece — a 15-inch weekend op-ed by some bureaucrat they’d never heard of — was considered some incendiary, blockbuster development at the time. They take as a given the idea that the reason for Plame’s “outing” was “revenge” or “discrediting.” Nearly the entire body of commentary on this thing is built on premises that a few people guessed up a couple of years ago, and that have somehow become embraced as unquestioned reality.

    I don’t care whom Fitzgerald indicts, if he indicts anyone. But whoever it is and whatever it’s for, I just hope it’s utterly unrelated to any of the speculation that long ago morphed into conventional wisdom about this topi… sorry… about “the Plame Affair.” I’d feel positively gleeful to watch the whole rhetorical house of cards fall apart and render useless two years’ worth of breathless bullshit from both sides.

  13. “Lightning ju-jitsu-style.” Now that’s TIVO-proof blogging. Nice!

  14. What, it was just a two-bit burglary gone wrong.
    What, it was just an arms shipment to Iran.
    What, it was just a blowjob.

  15. It appears that they will have their comeuppance in due course…

    Before Fitzgerald is done, we’ll see the warlords of Washington hauled before a court of the people. We’ll hear the whole sordid story of how a band of exiles, at least two foreign intelligence agencies, and a cabal of neoconservatives inside the Pentagon and the vice president’s office bamboozled Congress and the American people into going to war.


    This is yet aother example of what libertarians and conservatives have been telling for years. You can’t, and should not, trust government!

  16. Is it inconsequential? I don’t really know.


    The Importance of Plame

  17. Bah, nothing will come of this but several sacrificial lambs, a goat and possibly some virgin intern.

  18. Thanks for the link Deron. Very good read.

  19. well it’s just that cheney hasn’t turned into darth vader… yet.

  20. “TIVO-proof blogging”


  21. Some day someone is going to get a PHD examining the psychology of the Democratic obsession with Dick Cheney. If there is a more boring straightline guy in Washington than Dick Chaney, I am not sure who it would be. Of all the people to turn into Dr. Evil, Dick Chaney had to be the most rediculous candidate. If you wrote it in a novel, no one would believe you.

  22. Yeah, who could hate a guy that went on record with a vote against releasing Nelson Mandela?

  23. Yeah, who could hate a guy that went on record with a vote against releasing Nelson Mandela?

    …says the guy who was quick to chastise those who felt that Senator Kerry’s voting record was being used to unfairly malign the Presidential candidate.

  24. OOPS!

    Sorry, that should have read:

    “…says the guy who felt that Senator Kerry’s voting record was being used to unfairly malign the Presidential candidate.”

    (started my statement one way, then decided on another approach halfway through — damned English! :-))

  25. It shouldn’t have read either way, since I was never quick to make that argument, however spelled.

  26. Meaning, I think a legislator’s voting record is a perfectly fine basis on which to criticize him.

  27. That wasn’t “joe” who went apeshit at the accusation that Kerry “voted to increase taxes times”?

  28. And another re-write for me (my editors are getting testy):

    That wasn’t “joe” who went apeshit at the accusation that Kerry “voted to increase taxes [insert ginormous number here] times”?

  29. Oh, I see. You’re pretending not to know the difference between an accurate, and an inaccurate, description of someone’s record.

    OK, you got me. I’m such a partisan hypocrite, that I think it’s ok to make accurate statements about Republican’s voting record, while also thinking it’s wrong to make inaccurate statements about a Democrats’ voting record.

  30. “Lightning ju-jitsu” is an advertisement on the Reason web page. Thus, using the phrase in a Reason blog is akin to “Tivo-proofing” the page. This was not a criticism. I just wanted to point out someone got Mr. Cavanaugh’s reference.

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