Cheney Is Arrogance Personified

Arrogance, secrecy, imperiousness. These are the hallmarks of Dick Cheney's two-term tenure as vice president. Should we be surprised? Not at all, given how he secured the post in the first place. Remember? When asked by the Bush campaign in 2000 to "evaluate" possible running mates, he ended up choosing himself. I recall doing a double-take upon learning of that deft self-selection. Is that kosher? No matter, it was done. But this peccadillo-level self-dealing pales in comparison with the succession of self-enriching stunts Cheney has managed in the intervening seven years.

Only the most recent is last week's report by the Associated Press that White House lawyers have directed the Secret Service during the past year to "maintain the confidentiality of visitor logs, declaring them to be presidential records. The drive to keep secret the lists of visitors to the White House complex and Cheney's home, the administration says, is essential to ensuring the president and vice president receive candid advice to carry out their duties. The decision made the logs exempt from a law requiring their disclosure to whoever asks to see them."

Right. When now-imprisoned former "lobbyist" Jack Abramoff visits the White House, Bush and Cheney need criminal, er, "candid" advice. More specifically, Cheney was trying to hide the liturgical parade of conservative Christian leaders filing in and out of his official D.C.residence--that according to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which sued to make their names public.

But if we, the taxpayers, are subsidizing his elegant digs, don't we have a right to know who visits him there? Vice Prince Cheney thinks not.

By Bonnie Erbe