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Friend: Cheney says Washington is 'all BS,' full of 'suffering fools'

Michael Roston
Published: Friday January 19, 2007
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Vice President Cheney believes Washington is full of "suffering fools" and "all BS" that should be ignored, according to a friend quoted today in the Washington Post.

The Post's David Ignatius ponders how Vice President Dick Cheney manages to retain so much power in the White House in spite of the ruinous political consequences that his policy has had for the Bush presidency. One insight Ignatius offers is that Cheney is driven by a belief that politics in the nation's capital is "all BS" that he believes should be ignored.

In his column, Ignatius suggests that "Cheney has been the political equivalent of a black hole -- exerting a powerful but mostly invisible force on decisions. The Office of the Vice President has had a gravitational weight that sucked in other personalities and entire branches of the government without emitting light or heat that would explain the decision-making process."

With this analogy in mind, the Post columnist acknowledges that Cheney's influence in the White House has sometimes waned. But an important principle has held throughout his service in the Bush White House: his "urging [of] the president to ignore politics and maintain a tough course on Iraq."

According to an old Cheney friend, Ignatius writes, in the aftermath of Watergate the vice president maintained a frame of mind in which "he got tired of suffering fools."

"He thinks it's all BS," the friend quipped.

Cheney's disregard for Washington politics then "ripened when he made enough money as chief executive of Halliburton that he didn't have to care what people in Washington thought."

Ignatius warns that Cheney's way of thinking, if it is sustained, could result in a confrontation between the White House and Congress on Iraq and other issues.

The full column can be read at the Washington Post website.