I believe in the past, many progressives (including myself) have largely considered George Bush to be a not-to-bright buffoon who allowed himself to be pushed around by Dick Cheney and his neocon buddies. It now looks like I may have to adjust that opinion. Maybe he wasn't such a pushover after all.
It looks like he may have had the balls to stand up to Cheney after all. According to sources within the Cheney camp, Cheney tried repeatedly during the final weeks of the Bush administration to get Bush to give Scooter Libby a full pardon. Cheney is said to be furious that his repeated attempts were rebuffed by Bush.
I don't know if Cheney was just feeling sorry for Libby, or he was afraid he might be getting ready to tell the truth, which would put Cheney on the hot seat. I suspect it was the latter. But I am surprised that Bush didn't give Cheney what he wanted.
Of course, this doesn't let Bush off the hook for anything. In fact, now that we know he had the balls to stand up to Cheney, it actually makes him more personally responsible for the criminal actions of his administration. He's still a buffoon, but he's a buffoon who knew what he was doing. He was not tricked or bullied into anything.
No one need feel guilty about holding both Bush and Cheney responsible for their heinous actions.