Dick Cheney, Working Class Radical
I enjoy collecting vignettes about how workers subvert the authority of management. I had not expected to find Richard Bruce Cheney to contribute to my collection, but according to Sy Hersh, he did.
Hersh, Seymour M. 2006. “The Next Act.” The New Yorker (27 November).
“A month before the November elections, Vice-President Dick Cheney was sitting in on a national-security discussion at the Executive Office Building. The talk took a political turn: what if the Democrats won both the Senate and the House? How would that affect policy toward Iran, which is believed to be on the verge of becoming a nuclear power? At that point, according to someone familiar with the discussion, Cheney began reminiscing about his job as a lineman, in the early nineteen-sixties, for a power company in Wyoming. Copper wire was expensive, and the linemen were instructed to return all unused pieces three feet or longer. No one wanted to deal with the paperwork that resulted, Cheney said, so he and his colleagues found a solution: putting “shorteners” on the wire — that is, cutting it into short pieces and tossing the leftovers at the end of the workday.”
What is ironic is that Cheney tells this story to continue his obsessive efforts to shore up the authority of the presidency with respect to international law, Congress, the courts, and mostly ordinary people.