Sunday, June 24, 2007
Cheney's fourth branch claims:
- The story has legs.
- The story is a good source of jokes.
- Most important of all, the story makes Bush look weak.
No only do you have the report earlier this year about Cheney's maneuvering around the White House to increase the chances of a military strike against Iran, but there was the spectacle of the White House supporting the OVP's noncompliance with classification oversight by saying on Friday that the president's order exempted the VP's (and P's) office even though "it didn't specifically say so". Talk about Cheney in the lead and Bush following!
Kevin Drum writes
... Cheney's chronic contempt for the rules everyone else has to follow and George Bush's inability to stand up to him ...
from that post:
If the Democrats really wanted to do something, they wouldn't frame it as overreach by Cheney.
Instead they would taunt Bush over his weakness. He really hates that and would be forced to act.
BONUS: You know that nonsense where Bush claims that the provision in the Constitution where the president is Commander in Chief means that he can do anything he wants while waging a war? That provision is there to make clear what entity controls the military. Not the Congress. Not the Vice President.
Only the President. "Scholars" like John Yoo who take the CiC provision and then invent grandiose claims such that the president can do whatever he wants by playing "battlefield" in the U.S. and other far-flung places, are doing nothing more than playing grade-school games with language.
UPDATE: Jim Henley has related thoughts
about CiC notions peddled by the White House.
Note that the Pres is NOT the "commander in chief of the United States." He's the "commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States." If you're not in the army or the navy, he's your president but he's NOT your "commander in chief."
The Commander-in-chief is a classic Freudian slip for the weak who want a single strong ruler to protect them.
The President works for the people. He is a servant of them and subservient to them.
Yeah, that's really smart. If we really did run the media as the Rush Limbaughs of the world claim, we would start inserting needling jokes about Cheney and Bush into all the late night television monologues, so that everywhere Bush goes, he's laughed at for being weak and easily dominated.
What happened to my first comment? It was there a minute ago. ie., when Bush was in need of a VP, Cheney was in charge of vetting one. We ended up with Cheney -- big surprise. Second comment -- can we get a question for Bush, the gaggle or some where, like -- Bush appears to be the second banana to Cheney and Addington (the real AG!), the evidence seems to support that. What do you think Bushy?
He's not only not my commander in chief, he. is. not. my. president.
As long as you've brought it up, do you recall any president making such a big deal about being a C-in-C? Clinton, the other Bush, Reagan, Carter, Nixon, et al. were all commanders-in-chief too, but you didn't see their administrations blathering about it all the time like this one, even when they were deploying troops.
- Molly, NYC
I would give a great deal to see the Boy Blunder lose it over this. And there's nothing wrong with making it multi-pronged. CREW's take on the legality of the statements doesn't detract from this at all.
There are so many delicious angles to this story it is almost sinful how much I'm enjoying it. Dick Cheney is a scary S.O.B., but he's scaring the Prez and the rest of the administration, not me! I'm old enough to remember Spiro Agnew, and let me tell you this joker is even more universally despised, left, right, and center!
I've been thinking this myself...that I can't believe certain aides in the White House are enjoying the "Wow Cheney pulls the White House's chain" theme.
I recall some story where Rove and Bush shared a good laugh about all the stories that Cheney was Bush's puppeteer because Cheney was always so deferencial in Bush's presence. I swear I remember reading that in some magazine article.
I suspect the egos in the White House (and not just Bush) will not be able to stand a theme where the Beltway crowd thinks Cheney and Addington have *beaten* them in every fight.
"That provision is there to make clear what entity controls the military"
Actually he (President)can only order the military about within a context approved by Congress. If he wanted to,he could lead troops in battle (can you imagine gwb commanding in the field)and that's really about all he can do.
Congress makes ALL of the rules for the military
From Article I Section 8:
(Article I describes Congress)
Clause 12: To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
Clause 13: To provide and maintain a Navy;
Clause 14: To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
Clause 15: To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
Clause 16: To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
Other than CIC the president has very little actual power over the military.
The 'unitary executive' gambit is the stupidest load of crap in our history and also the most threatening.
And John Yoo is teaching at Cal Berkley.
We are living in a nation that's gone mad.
What other president ever bragged about being a "war-president"?