Trickier Dick Today: From "You're Not the Boss of Me!" to "Respect Mah AuthoritEH!"
It's no wonder that, as the blood-boiling WaPo series this week has documented, "Vice" President Trickier Dick Cheney prefers always to work in the shadows, behind the scenes, under the radar, in stealth mode, from undisclosed locations. Because when you drag him out into the bright light he really is just a twisted little sitcom character.
Today we are told that the "I don't have to obey Executive orders because I'm not in the Executive branch" argument is..oops! "Moot" is the term the NYT quotes, in a story that stayed on the front page a remarkably short time (it went up last evening and has already vanished into the "Washington" section, rendering it translucent on its way to invisibility.) The word used to be "inoperative." This we will call the "You're Not The Boss of Me" argument.
And they didn't just make this up on the fly either. .
Turns out, the Times piece sez:
Officials in the West Wing privately expressed frustration with the fallout from the vice-presidential position — which Mr. Cheney’s representatives first publicly asserted last year in The Chicago Tribune— especially, they said, because it was an argument he did not have to make.
Emphasis added. The Chi Trib is not exactly an obscure little blog run by dirty fucking hippies. Why did nobody in Our Betters Media pick up on this little bit of constitution-subverting buffoonery? Good question. But to resume the NYT quote to its utterly absurd conclusion:
In an interview, a White House spokesman, Tony Fratto, said the executive order explicitly placed Mr. Cheney on equal footing with the president, who was the issuer and enforcer of the order, regardless of any other constitutional questions.
Speaking of the oversight office’s approaches to the vice president’s office, Mr. Fratto said, “It’s not appropriate for a subordinate office like that to investigate or require reporting from the enforcer of the executive order.”
Deference, deference, deference. Fallback and punt with the pure "Respect Mah AuthoritEH!" argument of a fourth-grade cartoon sitcom bully.
And what makes this one dumbfoundingly difficult to respond to is that the Executive Order in question ordered the Executive offices--explicitly including the Offices of the President and Vice President--to file the damn reports with the Archives as required by long standing policy.
As best I can figure out Trickier Dick is claiming that he doesn't have to follow an Executive order because he's an equal with the Executive. This is tripping into "Can God create a rock so big God can't lift it?" territory of sophomoric late-night beer sessions at theology school.
Cartman would be so proud. The rest of us, especially if we throw up our hands and say OMG this is too complicated for me to understand, should not be.
(Note: TPMtv has a nice little video wrapup on this. I still lay claim to "Trickier Dick" though until somebody shows me a prior citation.