THE BLOG
06/26/2007 04:26 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Is Dennis Kucinich (God Help Us) Right (Seriously, God Help Us)?

Making fun of Dennis Kucinich is about as much sport as getting into a slap fight with a no-armed man. For me the high point of his eccentricities will always be one that occurred while I was covering the 2004 NPR Democratic primary radio debate in Iowa. In the middle of a long-winded explanation on some such policy initiative DK whipped out a pie chart to underscore his point.

A pie chart.

Visual aids in a radio debate.

Anyway . . .

When Kucinich proffered up H Res 333 -- articles of impeachment against VP Dick Cheney -- that too could be easily passed off as at best nothing but an election year attention-grabber. Why go after the VP when the "buck stops" in the Oval Office?

Because Dennis Kucinich may very well be right (God help us). At least in terms of the target of his ire. In regard to the run up to the Iraq war, more often than not the buck never got to Bush. It ended up in Dick Cheney's metaphorical pocket.

Wasn't supposed to be like that. It was supposed to be, as it always is: a passive VP who shows up at the state funerals and military base openings that the president takes a pass on. But the Bush/Cheney relationship turned out to be a perfect storm of bad politics. It's what you get when mixing the ill-winds of an under-skilled president who's into short work days and long vacations, and an over ambitious politico scarred by Watergate. You're left with dead flesh that believes the Executive Branch was neutered by crafty Democrats.

That from the beginning of his tenure in the Constitutionally vapid Office of the Vice President (OVP) Cheney had designs on expanding the powers of the Executive Branch isn't news. Back in December of last year I wrote an article for Esquire regarding the Hainan Standoff and the instant division formed between Rice and Powell one side, and old cronies Rumsfeld and Cheney on the other. But when that incident ended in diplomatic success, Cheney was basically marginalized. Even through the opening stages of Operation Enduring Freedom when Rumsfeld and the Pentagon were caught clueless and George Tenent (a Clinton appointee) and the CIA took the lead, Cheney could do little to assert himself.

But, following the conclusion of the route of the Taliban, it became the Cheney/Rumsfeld show. The two men mounted a revival of their "Halloween massacre" with Scooter Libby as stage manager. The CIA was made subordinate to, rather than equal with the Pentagon. There were the multiple visits to Langley to "talk" with CIA analysts. There were the many TV news-talker appearances where Cheney pushed the "aluminum tubes" story. Powell's UN speech was apparently drafted by Libby.

All of this was either done with the compliance, or in the ignorance of the president. It's hard to say which of those is worse. No matter, it's clear who was driving the agenda.

So, why not go after Cheney?

Two reasons: One, believing Cheney is the root of all evil (and at this point only the Neo-Cons hunkered down in the bunker think the guy isn't) and proving he, as Kucinich asserts: "actively and systematically sought to deceive the citizens and the Congress" about the Iraqi threat and their connections with Al Qaeda, are two different things. In a finding issued in July of '04, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence found no evidence of coercion against CIA analysts by the OVP. Beyond that, Judy Miller, the NY Times and their lousy aluminum tubes reporting, along with -- despite denials otherwise while on his book tour -- Tenet have all muddied the waters as to who knew what when.

The second reason Cheney will not be dogged: the Democratic congress would have to take a stand. Fight a hard and potentially losing fight. And as I've written before, this bunch hasn't yet met a piece of binding legislation it was willing to get into the same room with.

Save for but a handful of elected supporters, Kucinich goes this one pretty much alone.

With circumstances begging greater scrutiny of the VP -- and as scrutiny approaches, the VP seems to be burning the midnight oil down at the shredder of Executive Privilege to further cloak his clandestine workings -- I do have to give Kucinich credit for at least having the meat to stand before his convictions. A trait seemingly lost on the majority in the majority.

Unfortunately for Kucinich, being right and closing the gap between righteousness and justice may not come to fruition in this case. And if the likes of Cheney manage to escape from his chicanes unscathed, if the People are deprived of their right to know the true facts of our stumble to war . . .

Well, God help us all.