Dick Cheney's Magical Shapeshifting Vice Presidency

|

The veep's office explains why it is not, in fact, subject to mandatory security inspections for offices within the executive branch:

A frequent critic of the Bush administration, [Rep. Henry] Waxman also asked Cheney how the vice president's office could claim, as it has in correspondence he cited in his letter, that it was not "an entity within the executive branch."

One Cheney staffer familiar with the matter said Thursday that the vice president has not complied with the order because his office has dual functions: It is part of the executive branch — the Bush administration — but also part of the legislative branch, given Cheney's position as president of the Senate.

As such, the vice president's office has no legal obligation to abide by the order because it only applies to the executive branch, said the Cheney staffer, who was not authorized to publicly discuss the inner workings of the office and requested anonymity.

Got that? The office is part of the legislative branch when the Information Security Office is performing  executive inspections, but–lo!–will shapeshift into executive branch mode come time to invoke executive privilege. 

Last year, I explored the link between Cheney's aversion to disclosure and his taxpayer-funded (man) hunting expeditions.

NEXT: Gillespie on Red Eye from a Couple of Nights Ago; and on C-SPAN in the future

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Maybe they might ought to read article 1, section 3 and article 2 section 1.

  2. Of the US Constitution.

  3. The even worse thing is that we’re going to end up with an “anybody but these assholes” for president (read: some “new liberal” government-lovin’ retard; from either side of the aisle by the way)

  4. Like GWB isn’t a government-lovin’ retard.

  5. Does this mean that the legislative branch has scary “inherent powers” too?

  6. They’re not even trying to win anymore, just run out the clock with appeals until the term is over.

    Did Alberto Gonzales come up with this theory?

  7. JsubD – point well taken.

    thoreau – thank you for scaring the hell out of me on a Friday.

  8. You can’t tell if Dick Cheney is the Vice President or the President of the Senate until you open his bunker … er, box.

    He has the potential to be both. Only in measuring him do we force him realize one those two potentials.

  9. You can’t tell if Dick Cheney is the Vice President or the President of the Senate until you open his bunker … er, box.

    So he’s a quantum Dick?

  10. I bet Urkobold would love this staffer on his team!

  11. When transmogrified into a legislator, his evil leer is on the left. Executive, it moves to the right. I am the only that has been paying attention?

  12. Heisenberg may have measured Dick here.

  13. Does he also subscribe to Stephen Colbert’s thesis that he (and the rest of DC) is not in the United States?

  14. does this mean I can cite to the Plum Book?

    is that a primary source or a secondary source, Mr Vice President President of the Senate?

  15. No defense of Cheney, here — but I love the irony of a Democrat arguing the fine points of the Constitution. Kind of like an atheist discussing the 10 Commandments with an agnostic.

    de stijl / Chucklehead — Clever reference to Quantum Mechanics.

  16. Stop, stop. You’re both right. He’s a floor wax *and* a dessert topping.

  17. He has the potential to be both. Only in measuring him do we force him realize one those two potentials.

    So he’s a quantum Dick?

    IAW Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, we can’t measure Dick without altering his properties. Perhaps we should measure him often. I figure any change would be an improvement.

  18. Tastes great!

    And look at that shine!

  19. Since Mr. Cheney is referred to as “Mr. Vice President” about 95 percent of the time, and “Mr. Senate President” only about five percent of the time, how about if we only ask him to cooperate with the investigation at a 95 percent level? Wouldn’t that be fair?

  20. …but I love the irony of a Democrat arguing the fine points of the Constitution. Kind of like an atheist discussing the 10 Commandments with an agnostic.

    There are two problems with your analogy. First, it suggests that Democrats are less familiar with, or quicker to disregard, the Constitution than Republicans, when the evidence suggests that they are rather equally matched.

    Second, I know of several atheists and agnostics who understand the finer points of the 10 commandments far better than most religious people.

  21. Ach, dis reminds me uv der gedanken Experiment of my gut Freund, Erwin Schr?dinger. Vun takes a vice president und places him into a box. Then vun Eintragf?den the box vit a shotgun. Does the wave Funktion collapse and Resultat in a tot vice Pr?sident or a tot Pr?sident of the Senate? Erwin died nicht knowing der answer.

  22. Is anyone else yearning for the days of Frito Pendejo as VP?

  23. Remember, Bush once said the Constitution is just a ‘Goddamn piece of paper.’ Bush and Cheney should be hung for treason.

  24. Man, I knew Shapechange was powerful, but thats really pushing it.

    Its definitely overpowered even for a 9th level spell.

  25. “There are two problems with your analogy….”

    Actually, there is nothing wrong with my analogy — its just an analogy; geez, don’t try to make it fit your notions of what I should be saying.
    I think the use of the terms atheist and agnostic were fairly neutral politically.

    I think there might have been a time prior to the so-called Patriot Act where Republicans were slightly more concerned about what the Constitution said and meant; I don’t think that’s true now.
    And not that it matters, I detest Waxman — but have no love for Cheney either.

  26. I don’t want to know what Cheney is doing
    but I would like to know what he’s done.

  27. Anybody whose job is created by Article II of the Constitution is in the Executive Branch. End of story. And anyone who listens to the crap coming out of the Veep’s office about its hybrid nature is a fool, who deserves whatever the Veep wants to unload upon him.

    The Veep being President of the Senate is one of those checks-and-balances we hear so much about: the executive branch checks and balances the legislative branch. That doesn’t mean that the executive branch employees who provide the checks and balances are PART of the legislative branch. On the other hand, with Mr. Cheney in the Veep’s office, it is hard to speak of “checks and balances” with a straight face.

  28. I’m amazed it took all the way to J.A. Merritt’s post to nail this. Although Les’s post about Republicans and Democrats is dead-on…

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.