Is anyone going to ask the President whether the Vice President works for him?
Is anyone going to ask the President whether the Office of the Vice President is part of the executive?
Is anyone going to ask the President whether the Vice President is bound by the President's Executive Orders?
'Cause I'd like to know who exactly Cheney works for. Certainly not the people, but does his ostensible boss consider him to be beyond even his authority?
Late update: edited typo
Update By Cernig: Nico at Think Progress and Steve Benen at The Carpetbagger Report have all the details on todays parsing and sidestepping by deputy-snowjobber Dana Perino.
this speaks to just how radical a White House we’re dealing with here. Forget right and wrong, the Bush gang wants to debate the plain text of Article II.
It gets back to a point I raised a couple of weeks ago. When I worked at Americans United for Separation of Church and State, it was frustrating to debate rivals in the religious right, not because they held competing opinions, but because they accepted a different reality. I would note that the Constitution separates church from state. They’d say, “No, it doesn’t.” I’d say the Founding Fathers intentionally created a secular Constitution. They’d say, “No, they didn’t.”
The same thing here. The Constitution establishes the Vice Presidency in Article II, which, you guessed it, created the executive branch. But the White House, known for creating its own reality, refuses to acknowledge that which has never been controversial.
I particularly enjoyed Perino’s suggestion that the executive order for the executive branch included a “small provision.” In other words, the Bush gang might follow the “big” provisions, but those “small” ones are optional. Please.
Perino’s right, enforcing executive orders does fall under the president’s purview. But therein lies the point — Waxman is pointing out that this White House is ignoring its own rules, and it’s asking the appropriate federal agency to investigate. Cheney is responding by a) holding himself out as a fourth branch of government; and b) trying to eliminate that agency altogether.
Stick it in a time capsule, folks. Future generations won’t believe it.