June 27, 2007

The Veep Digs Deeper

Dick Cheney seems determined to do more damage to himself than the latest Washington Post profiles could ever do. While that series has revealed Cheney's influence, it hasn't even come close to demonstrating any wrongdoing on his part. Unfortunately, his latest response on the OVP's refusal to comply with an executive order on the handling of classified material will provide more material for Cheney's critics -- and for no obvious benefit.

At Heading Right, I review this latest argument for non-compliance and wonder why Cheney's bothering. Even while Ruth Marcus rightly calls this the $400 haircut of administration controversies, the benefits of refusing audits have never been explained by Cheney's office, which relies on a series of legal arguments rather than explain why they don't want to have the National Archives audit their performance in handling classified materials. Can it be yet another example of what happens when people forget the First Rule of Holes?


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Comments (16)

Posted by CJW | June 27, 2007 9:27 AM

I think mainly he's taking any opportunity he can to tweak the looney left since he only has a limited amount of time left in office even if he is allowed to have his fun in all of the remaining 18 months. He's not worried about getting re-elected. And just as is the case with Bush, he won't get any credit for doing things according to Hoyle.

I say let him have his fun. It's great entertainment that I thoroughly enjoy when the usual suspects get their ire raised.

Posted by FairWitness | June 27, 2007 10:03 AM

As this piece makes clear, the Vice President's decision not to participate in the EO requiring the handling of classified documents to the National Archives is much ado about nothing. The EO was written to discourage (& possibly uncover) leaking of classified information and to provide a method to audit the various federal agencies unlawfully leaking secret information. The EO was written to intimidate those entrenched bureaucrats constantly undermining their boss, the President, his Administration and their agenda. Obviously it doesn't apply to and wasn't intended to cover the Vice President, they leak against him, too. Cheney may well have had a hand in writing the Executive Order. The Vice President's office public responses demonstrate that Senators Kerry and Waxman, both liberal Democrats on the hunt for some Cheney dirt, are sticking their noses into anything and everything trying to find something they can use to "get Dick Cheney." This is VP Cheney defending himself from a vicious witch hunt being conducted by Democrats. Look who's behind it, Kerry & Waxman, the two biggest horse's petoots in the Senate. Typical. And disgusting.

Posted by unclesmrgol | June 27, 2007 10:19 AM

Chaney's tweak does indeed serve a purpose. Both the Senate and the House have established their own internal organizations for safeguarding classified materials, and the rules are considerably different both between those organizations and the executive branch. In fact, the self-created rules for the Senate and House with regard to safeguarding classified materials is far more lax than those rules governing the executive.

I would say that if Chaney's claim for exemption of oversight by the executive branch because of his position as President of the Senate is correct, it merely points out the limits of the executive branch's ability to oversee these materials when they are in the hands of the legislative branch.

A question in point: Does Senator Kerry subject himself to the same requirements to which he wishes to subject Chaney?

Posted by brooklyn | June 27, 2007 10:26 AM

Cheney is protecting the rights of the Executive.

It is simple and clear to see, nothing more...

It is so odd, when someone in the Bush Administration tries to work with some Democrats, people scream the sky is falling, when they refuse to comply, there is no reason for it.

Sincerely, as a broken record as I sound, the negative view stuck in the minds of the very best, some of the most popular is overt.

Seeing LGF, Ms. Malkin, etc., etc., these days, is like watching a daily Bush Bash.

And it isn't all to do with immigration, as some are angry about the fight in the GWOT, when the Bush Administration remains one of the few in Washington willing to continue the battle.

But so many are so jaded, they can only provide negative quips.

The credibility of the Conservative blogs continues to decline.

Sad to watch.

Posted by Monkei | June 27, 2007 10:34 AM

I can just imagine the chit-chat here on the captains blog would have been if Gore had practiced the same policies.

I can't think of a bigger group of hypocrites ... the same bunch of you who complained about the moderates who said no to the Frist nuclear option vote now should be thanking your lucky stars for not passing it ... be careful what you support now ... as in this VP and his practices, who knows who the next VP will be.

Posted by Bender | June 27, 2007 10:37 AM

relying on a series of legal arguments, i.e. upholding the Constitution

The Vice President is a constitutional officer, not merely an employee or appointee of the executive branch, and therefore the holder of that office is not subject to the mere whims of an executive order. Moreover, the VP is not wholly within the executive branch, but is also partially within the legislative branch as president of the Senate. Separation of powers prohibits the President from authority over officers of the Congress.

Legal arguments are important arguments -- far more important, and of greater "benefit," than political ones.

Posted by Captain Ed | June 27, 2007 10:42 AM

Well, if it's a Constitutional issue, why did Cheney comply with the EO for the first two years of his term in office? And are we arguing that Constitutional officers can completely reject oversight? Those seem to be very dangerous arguments.

Posted by Monkei | June 27, 2007 10:45 AM

Is that a serious question Captain, or are you just goshing us? Of course it is whatever benefits Dick at the time!

Posted by davejoch | June 27, 2007 10:53 AM

In your article you write "No one doubts that the President couldn’t amend the executive order to exempt the VP from compliance."

That should read, "No one doubts that the President could amend..." As it's written, it means that everyone agrees the President can't modify the order. Just a bit of clarity.

Posted by Del Dolemonte | June 27, 2007 3:52 PM

Monkei said:

"I can just imagine the chit-chat here on the captains blog would have been if Gore had practiced the same policies. "

LOL. Naw, all Al did was illegally use his White House office to solicit political donations.

"There is no controlling legal authority that says this was in violation of law."
-- Al Gore, seven times (in one form or another), White House news conference

Unfortunately for Al, Section 607 of Title 18 of the U.S. Criminal Code states very clearly there is to be no solicitation of campaign funds in federal government offices. Gore broke the law as written, as understood and as practiced. His defense? Apparently, that there are no cases testing the law. So there.

President Clinton, one week earlier, defending his 103 White House coffees: "We got strict advice about – legal advice about what the rules were and everyone involved knew what the rules were. . . . There was no solicitation at the White House."

And Clinton mouthpiece Mike McCurry on the same Clinton coffees: "There is a separate restriction that exists for the solicitation of funds for political activities, which cannot occur on these premises."

Posted by RAZ | June 27, 2007 6:34 PM

Don't you wish that the Democrats would defend freedom of speech with the same passion that they display regarding the right to privacy?

Posted by RAZ | June 27, 2007 6:34 PM

Don't you wish that the Democrats would defend freedom of speech with the same passion that they display regarding the right to privacy?

Posted by Carol Herman | June 27, 2007 7:08 PM

Leahy's subpeona needs a court to tell him "no." Usually, since judges, not congress critters sign subpeona's ... the court in question will be the Supreme-O's. And, they'll be dealing with separation of powers. Which is actually imbedded into our Constitution. So, it's not a hard call at all.

That Cheney is in the line of fire? He was supposed to be brought down, with Rove, by Fitzgerald.

Again, this crap will just keep the Supreme-O's busy.

The worst harm that could come to the veep? He's told to cooperate and give Leahy enough papers he can be buried in them.

It's hard to say how the public mood is going; BUT ... It seems obvious that the congress critters have seen their numbers plunge.

While it keeps the enemies "busy." IF this wasn't on the scene, things would be worse.

And, CHeney actually can talk. He just waiting for the opportunity. And, what we have now is the "build-up." In tension. STAGE CRAFT. A moronic approach by our old media, again, to follow this story.

I'm listening to Reagan's Diaries, on audio. And, just to go back in time; Reagan was facing Mondale in 1984's re-election bid for the President. Ah. After it was over. (After the press said Mondale was winning the debates). Reagan got 59% of the vote. And, 49-states. Shortly afterward, Tip O'Neill met with Reagan and said "HE NOTICED THE ELECTION RESULTS."

The Bonkeys are losing. And, what we see is their desperation. What makes things worse is that all they have is hillary. (Where Mrs. Edwards thinks Ann Coulter's name raises money for her husband ... You have no idea what hillary's name does to pretty average Americans; who are pretty disgusted with the GOP, for things like immigration.)

But when you're at the bottom of Teddy's Oldsmobile, what can you do? Sure. Teddy's fat enough to float to the top. While a lot of others are gonna go circling the drain.

I'm told Michelle Malkin put up an excellent spoof "ad" against Lindsey Graham. I just wish I knew how to fish this stuff out of U-Tube.

Cheney's just playing with the Bonkeys. It lets the clock run out. I'm sure it's Rovian madness. But it could work at keeping the wolves at bay. Sort'a like hanging garlic cloves around your neck. DC's pretty treacherous.

OH, the key? The VEEP is ELECTED. That's the spot that covers him;

Ya know? He can't be fired. And, Constitutional issues give lawyers work. Without work, they'd have nothing to sell.

Posted by Monkei | June 27, 2007 7:57 PM

Pineapple, was that an answer to my question about being careful for what you wish for or just your lame tit for tat comparison that holds no water at all? Next thing you will tell me is that all president's in their second term lose seats for their party during congressional elections!

Just for once Pineapple, get on record, is it ok now for the VPs of the future to run their office like Dick does? Can we now pass the up or down vote in the Senate, or is that all of a sudden something that is just not important anymore? huh?????

This country should be teaching civics in this country in the public schools and forget the bible classes.

Posted by Del Dolemonte | June 27, 2007 8:28 PM

Monkei said

"Just for once Pineapple, get on record, is it ok now for the VPs of the future to run their office like Dick does?"

ROTFLOL. You're the one who tried to change the subject of the thread by bringing Gore's name into it. Not me.

BTW I notice you don't deny that what Gore did was illegal. Say Hi to Carville and Begala for me...

Now, let's play Hardball (TM). Can you give us specific legal cites-from credible legal scholars-that prove your allegation that what Cheney is alleged to have done now is "worse" than what Gore was accused of doing between 1993 and 2001?

Posted by Monkei | June 28, 2007 11:14 AM

Pineapple ... tell you what, let's make this even more fair ... how about you just admitting what my basic statement was, you would have real issues when the next democratic VP acted in the way that this VP has acted. Instead you throw in the old basic GOP response ... instead of working to correct the crap that is going on you are much better at just taking on the "they are just as bad as we are excuse". Aside of blaming the MSM it's always the soup of the day!


Oh, and I didn't hear you thanking your lucky stars that the nuclear up or down vote was ever passed, instead you railed against the moderates who understood the word "future".

Priceless X2