Facing mountains of much-deserved ridicule over what we here at Swampland have come to think of as the Liger Principle, the Vice President has shifted his rationale for refusing to comply with rules regarding the handling and oversight of classified material:
In a letter to Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), Cheney Chief of Staff David S. Addington wrote that the order treats the vice president the same as the president and distinguishes them both from “agencies” subject to the oversight provisions of the executive order.
Adddington did not cite specific language in the executive order supporting this view, and a Cheney spokeswoman could not point to such language last night. But spokeswoman Lee Anne McBride said the intent of the order, as expressed by White House officials in recent days, was “not for the VP to be separated from the president on this reporting requirement.”
Inconsistent, you say? Not at all, my friends. Once again, Cheney is relying upon one of the great constitutional scholars of our time:
Kid on the Bus – What are you going to do today, Napoleon?
Napoleon Dynamite – Whatever I feel like I wanna do! Gosh!
Kudos to commenter Anon for seeing this one coming.
UPDATE: Over at CQ, Craig Crawford finds that ligers have even MORE skills and magic than we thought:
Cheney refused to include his office in the so-called “plum” book, a detailed listing of White House jobs and salaries produced every four years.
In the 2004 edition, the VP’s office is only mentioned in an appendix that explains the omission by asserting “the Vice Presidency is a unique office that is neither part of the executive branch, nor a part of the legislative branch.” Also, the Center for Public Integrity reported in 2005 that Cheney and his staff exempt themselves from travel disclosure rules followed by the rest of the administration.
Before Cheney writes his own Constitution for future holders of the office, Congress might want to step in and at least try to settle whether or not the vice president works for anybody at all.