Vice President Dick Cheney apparently likes to mess with people. I like to mess with people, too, but usually I make sure to be on the right side before I start with antics.
The first news story in yesterday's USA Today (the front page is typically filled with features that could run on any given day - a clever trick I use myself) found it's way onto page 2 with the headline "Lawmaker challenges Cheney on executive order."
Now usually I bypass political stories because I find them boring and depressing. This one is both boring and depressing but also holds that special something that makes it worthy of a blog subtitled "imbalance of intelligence."
Cheney is pretending to be a part of the legislative branch of government. That's cute, but c'mon seriously, you're really part of the executive branch. You know, the one with the guy whose ticket you ran on in 2000 and 2004. The President, George W. Bush who is the executive branch.
The confusion stems from Cheney's role of President of the Senate, which he feels makes him a member of the legislative branch. Ok, that's all very good and an important part of the Vice President's job, but really? The Vice President doesn't regularly attend Senate meetings and only votes in the event of a 50-50 tie. As you might imagine, that doesn't happen very often. Not like say, working with the White House which would be an every day type of thing.
The sad part of the story is that this is even a story. This debate might make a respectable high school essay, but the most widely circulated newspaper (sorry, Eli) in the country is making this the lead news story? Politicians and presumably important people are spending valuable time and money making this an event? Ugh.
So why does it matter?
The dispute stems from Cheney's refusal to file annual reports with an office of the National Archive detailing the number of documents his office either has classified or declassified.
Wow. This argument is about Cheney unwilling to count some paperwork. Not hand it over or declassify anything. Merely, this dispute comes about due to the Vice President's unwillingness to say how many of each he has.
Why should he have to file this report? Because President Bush made an executive order in 2003 requiring stats such as these be reported to the National Archives. Cheney's own ticket made it mandatory! It's not as if some meaningless law from the 1800s was being dredged up to cause trouble. In fact, Cheney has even submitted this same information two years prior. He just recently changed his mind on his standing.
Cheney's spokeswoman Lea Anne McBride:
"He can either deal with the serious issues facing our country or create more partisan politics."
Or we could avoid this whole debacle if he just counted the paperwork and not make it an issue. He made it one by playing dumb about civics!
A claim by Cheney's aides [said] that the vice president's office does not consider itself an entity within the executive branch that comes into the possession of classified information.'"
And here's why I can't read political articles. The vice president - the man who is one step away from becoming the most powerful person in the world - isn't a part of the executive branch and never comes into contact with any classified information. Wow. Wow. Wow.
Mrs. Depreo where are you now?
Photo from Encyclopedia Britannica