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July 03, 2007

Comments

hilzoy, I know all of this was in relation to Bush's ludicrous act of yesterday, which even the illustrious WSJ lambasted (although primarily because Bush didn't pardon Libby).

However, the most relevant part of what you quoted form Mason is the following:

"Hence also sprung that unnecessary and dangerous officer the Vice-President, who for want of other employment is made president of the Senate, thereby dangerously blending the executive and legislative powers, besides always giving to some one of the States an unnecessary and unjust preeminence over the others."

Never has he appeared more prescient than now.

I dunno, john miller: Old George seems to had a clairvoyant flash with this bit about granting too much power to Cabinet officers:

"...for they may be induced to join in any dangerous or oppressive measures, to shelter themselves, and prevent an inquiry into their own misconduct in office."

Abu Gonzales, anyone??

And the list goes on....

Those early analysts of the Constitution were no dummies. Looking at what they wrote often makes the charge that they didn't forsee such and such a problem look kind of silly. Sometimes they forsaw, and just didn't know what to do about it in the context of everything else.

"Those early analysts of the Constitution were no dummies."

Unlike some of the current ones. All posters and commenters on this blog excepted.

The interesting thing is figuring out what would happen if Congress impeached Scooter Libby. Would that "cancel out" the pardon (requiring the sentence to be imposed) or would the order pose a problem there?

Let's not be hasty to blame Cheney's malevolent effect on the administration on the vice presidency itself. Cheney would have been just as bad if he had been chief of staff, defense secretary, or held some other vague position such as advisor to the President. It's not the Vice Presidency that got us into Iraq and authorized torture. It's the man who holds the position (among others).

Good point, Ron. It doesn't seem like the Vice-Presidency has turned out to be dangerous (though maybe unnecessary). I guess it was more dangerous under the original scheme, wherein the office was filled by whoever came in second in the presidential election. But these days, yeah, it's maybe even better that Cheney is occupying an office that gives him no real legal authority to do anything except preside over the Senate. (He should still be impeached though.)

Hilzoy, there you go again, quoting the founders. Bush doesn't have time to read! And anyway, there's the Unitary Executive Theory!

(Seriously, thanks for the quotations. Very helpful.)

Ron, you make a good point. Cheney is really the embodiment of the Peter Principle... as written by the Devil or something. Everything bad Cheney has done, and it's a long list, has been with Bush's implicit or explicit approval. Sad that Bush would seek to be POTUS when he evidently has so little interest in actually doing the job.

"The interesting thing is figuring out what would happen if Congress impeached Scooter Libby. Would that 'cancel out' the pardon (requiring the sentence to be imposed) or would the order pose a problem there?"

Since Lewis Libby is a private citizen, holding no governmental position, he can't be impeached.

Linear time, and all that.

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