For the past six years, we have seen so many failures from this Federal government that one has to wonder if anyone is in charge. Steve Benen brings us the latest from Dana Perino who seems to have confirmed that no one is indeed in charge:
Q: What do you make of what congressman Waxman referred to as “absurd,” which was the Vice President’s contention that his office is not part of the executive branch?
PERINO: What I think, as I said, I think that is an interesting constitutional question that people can debate. What I think is absurd is
Q: Would you agree with his contention?
PERINO: What I think is absurd
Q: Hang on a second. Do you agree with his contention?
PERINO: What I think is absurd is Chairman Waxman asserting some sort of authority over the president in regarding [sic] an executive order, of which he is the sole enforcer.
Q: Would you agree with the contention that the office of the Vice President is not part of the executive branch?
PERINO: What I know – and I am not a lawyer and this is an interesting legal question that legal scholars can debate and I’m sure you’ll find plenty of them inside the Beltway – is that the Vice President has a unique role in our United States government. He is not only the Vice President of the United States, but in that role he is also the President of the Senate. I will go ahead, I will let that debate be held, but what I’m answering questions on, in regards to this morning, is Chairman Waxman’s accusations about this small provision and going back and reading the E.O. and realizing that the President did not intend to have the Vice President treated any differently than himself, and remembering that the executive order is enforced solely by the president of the United States. I think this is a little bit of a non-issue.
Steve reminds us of Article II of our Constitution. But let’s step back for a second. Cheney says the Vice President is not part of the Executive Branch. And Dana says: “the President did not intend to have the Vice President treated any differently than himself”. I guess this means President Bush is not part of the Executive Branch. This does explain a lot about the last six years!