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February 04, 2007

The imperial vice presidency

Dick Cheney is now claiming to be his own boss.
TPM Muckraker found an interesting entry in a governmental directory known as "The Plum Book." The guide is supposed to list all the jobs in the federal government, but Dick Cheney's office submitted this entry in lieu of a staff list:

The Vice Presidency is a unique office that is neither a part of the executive branch nor a part of the legislative branch, but is attached by the Constitution to the latter. The Vice Presidency performs functions in both the legislative branch (see article I, section 3 of the Constitution) and in the executive branch (see article II, and amendments XII and XXV, of the Constitution, and section 106 of title 3 of the United States Code).
In other words, Cheney just pulled a fourth branch of government out of his ass to explain why he doesn't have to say who works in the Office of the Vice President.

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Comments

Anyone who works in an executive branch federal office is familiar with the framed portraits of the current chief executive that are usually placed somewhere near the entryway of the facility or office. When a new president is elected a new portrait is sent. I knew we were in trouble when in 2001 we got a picture of the president AND the V.P.

After a couple years when some of the staff objected to having to look at Smirk & Sneer whenever they used the water fountain, the boss had a look at what agency rules actually said about displaying the pictures. The pictures have to be displayed but the rules don’t say where. They’re currently propped on a windowsill in a small conference room. We figured that hanging them up in the shitter where they belong might cause trouble.

This is a truly bizarre constitutional theory, in some ways worse than the torture and wiretappng nonsense. The VP's role has been well defined, both by the Constitution and by history, since the early 1800's. (The Constitution obviously predates this, but history shows some settling in behaviour.)

The Cheney power grab isn't surprising. He is illuminating Richard Nixon.

Side note: Cheney is cracking. His meltdown during the Wolf Blitzer interview was bizarre.

Cheney just pulled a fourth branch of government out of his ass

It's a big ass; there's plenty more where that came from.

>Smirk & Sneer

I have to say, though I should object more to practical things, the thing that's really bugged has been that faux-avuncular, chiding smirk the VP always uses, trying to convey the fatherly message that you really know better than to say that (insert criticism here), even if you're saying something that numerous generals agree with.

This view of the vice-presidency seems rather at odds with this Administration's other pet crackpot constitutional nostrum, the "unitary executive."

It's cute that Dick Cheney cites constitutional provisions without reading them.

>This view of the vice-presidency seems rather at odds with this Administration's other pet crackpot constitutional nostrum, the "unitary executive."

Oh I don't know--it could be considered quite in harmony with a "look out for #1" weltanschauung.

Weird. Is the plum book really the only place to find out who works for the V.P? The plum book being a who’s who of the executive branch, only the title/section of the US Code cited delineating numbers and salaries of people working for the OVP would seem to be germane. Are they hiding something important or is it just part of the regular Cheney secrecy obsession? (Which is plenty bad enough.)

Oh for the halcyon days of V.P. Cactus Jack “vice presidency isn’t worth a warm bucket of shit” Garner.

Y'all are forgetting: we're at (permanent) war now, and any restrictions on the executive branch risk sapping our nation's precious body fluids. Those namby-pamby framers clearly never envisioned the depth of Evil that we face, nor the perfectibility of human nature in a Republican administration.

That's it: Cheney is worried about our body fluids. -

Ripper:

You know when fluoridation first began?

Mandrake:

No. No, I don't, Jack. No.

Ripper:

Nineteen hundred and forty six. Nineteen fortysix, Mandrake. How does that coincide with your postwar commie conspiracy, huh? It's incredibly obvious, isn't it? A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual, and certainly without any choice. That's the way your hard core commie works.

Mandrake:

Jack... Jack, listen, tell me, ah... when did you first become, well, develop this theory.

Ripper:

Well, I ah, I I first became aware of it, Mandrake, during the physical act of love.

Mandrake:

sighs fearfully

Ripper:

Yes a profound sense of fatigue, a feeling of emptiness followed. Luckily I was able to interpret these feelings correctly: loss of essence.

Mandrake:

Yes...

Ripper:

I can assure you it has not recurred, Mandrake. Women... women sense my power, and they seek the life essence. I do not avoid women, Mandrake, but I do deny them my essence.

I don't have my Cato Pocket Constitution with me at the moment, but I believe the VP's official duties are to preside over the Senate and wait for the President to die.

That's it. (OK, OK, there are the 24th amendment contingencies, but don't bog me down when I'm being rhetorical.)

I heard Cheney referred to on NPR this AM as "Bush's Vice President." Actually, he's OUR Vice President. We elected him. (Don't bog me down.) Not Bush.

Bush can't fire him (that's the Senate's job, since weda People failed in '04). But he can sure kick him out of the West Wing, where he has no inherent right to be.

He can fulfill his Constitutional duties fine by playing pinocle with Wolf Blitzer.

"You're not allowed to take that many cards, sir."

"You're out of line, Wolf."

"Yes, sir. We all love your daughter, sir."

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