Vice President Cheney has become the most marginalized figure in the Bush administration. Even among many Republican loyalists, he has lost his already fading influence.
Even before the verdict in the Scooter Libby trial, Cheney was losing any heft with GOP-ers in Congress. Don't expect him to be a star fundraiser for Republicans up for re-election next year.
About the only voices of support for Cheney come from predictable sourcesmouthpiece Mary Matalin, who was formerly on his payroll, and D.C. lawyer Victoria Toensing, who always comes up with unusual legalisms.
In Matalin's case, she is the ultimate political spinner who thinks readers and viewers are of limited intelligence. She is even more marginalized than her former boss; Toensing is merely talking to herself.
The juror in the Libby trial who suggested that Cheney's main man was taking one for the team was on to something. The trial supported the clear evidence that Cheney was bent on smearing anyone who opposed the administration's murky case for going to war.
Before he died, former President Gerald Ford revealed that two former key advisers, Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, were too eager to take the country into this conflict that is so costly in terms of death, serious injury, and national treasure.
If Libby's lawyers are able to appeal this case long enough, Bush may get an opportunity to pardon him. If that occurs, Democrats should pour it on. Condoning repeated lies to a grand jury by a top official in the White House should have consequences.
So the fellow who may be taking one for the team also has the chance to tell us where the blame belongsthe secretive, vindictive, and now sidelined Dick Cheney.