Republican Plan to Oust Dick Cheney

This is such a good idea that we should be pretty safe that Bush will never go for it. Washington social scene writer Sally Quinn suggests that Congressional Republicans might try to tell Dick Cheney it is time for him to go–similar to how Republicans, led by Barry Goldwater, got Nixon to step down. They could use the excuse tha tit was for health reasons, but most would realize it was because of Cheney’s fingerprints on the worst of the last six years. This would both allow Cheney to take the fall for what has gone wrong, and pick a new Vice President who could become front runner for 2008:

The idea is to install a vice president who could beat the Democratic nominee in 2008. It’s unlikely that any of the top three Republican candidates — former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Sen. John McCain of Arizona or former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — would want the job, for fear that association with Bush’s war would be the kiss of death.

Nor would any of them be that attractive to the president. Giuliani is too New York, too liberal. His reputation as a leader, forged on 9/11 and the days after, carries him only so far. McCain, who has always had a rocky relationship with the president, lost much of his support from moderate Democrats and independents (and from a fair amount of Republicans) when the Straight Talk Express started veering off course. And no matter what anyone says about how Romney’s religion doesn’t matter, being a Mormon is simply not acceptable to Bush’s base. Several right-wing evangelicals have told me they don’t see Mormons as “true Christians.”

That leaves Fred Thompson. Everybody loves Fred. He has the healing qualities of Gerald Ford and the movie-star appeal of Ronald Reagan. He is relatively moderate on social issues. He has a reputation as a peacemaker and a compromiser. And he has a good sense of humor.

He could be just the partner to bring out Bush’s better nature — or at least be a sensible voice of reason. I could easily imagine him telling the president, “For God’s sake, do not push that button!” — a command I have a hard time hearing Cheney give.

It could work. As Vice President, Fred Thompson would only have to play a role. After playing a President, being Vice President shouldn’t be any harder. As long as they can keep Bush from doing anything too stupid, they could coast until 2008 and blame the lack of anything getting done on the do-nothing Congress.

Hopefully George Bush will never go for this. After all, if he has been reluctant to see a change in underlings like Rumsfeld, it would be even tougher for him to agree to a change in the guy he takes his orders from.