Across the great divide, Part Two

The discussion of Angler, Bart Gellman’s book about the Cheney vice presidency, continues at TPMCafe Book Club. Today, I responded to posts by Spencer Ackerman and Jacob Heilbrunn.

Ackerman proposed a “grand unified theory of “Cheneyism” under which the driving force is the desire to expand executive power. Ackerman used this theory to attempt to explain the war in Iraq.

I countered here.

Heilbrunn compared the vice president to Mr. Sammler in Saul Below’s novel, arguing that Cheney should be understood as “a product of the late 1960s and early 1970s–someone who despises what he saw as the rise of the counterculture and set out to battle it.”

My disagreement is expressed here.

I argue that Gellman’s book undercuts the claims of both Ackerman and Heilbrunn (we’ll find out if he agrees), and I must say that my opinion of Angler has become a little more favorable now that I’m seeing some of the paths Bart didn’t take.

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