Sunday, June 24, 2007

Special Branch

The surprises just keep coming. Now, after more than two centuries, we learn that the vice-president of the United States is not part of the Executive Branch as defined by the Constitution. Since the vice-president's sole responsibility is to preside over the Senate (which he rarely does) and to vote in the event of a tie (about once every three years), it is claimed that he is a member of the Legislative Branch. Nobody in the Legislative Branch seems to be taking this seriously, pointing out that the vice-president's salary and the expenses of his office are paid out of the Executive Branch budget. There is no precendent on the books because no one has ever made such a flabbergastingly absurd claim before, so the courts won't be much help.

What to do?

Congress should act at once to abolish this dangerously ambiguous office. If it's neither fish nor fowl, it's some weird hybrid that will only cause trouble later on. Let the succession pass from the president to the Speaker of the House.

My neighboring state of New Jersey has no lieutenant governor. And if a state ever needed a lieutenant governor, it's the Garden State, which uses up governors like paper gowns in a doctor's office. But no, they're comfortable working without a net, as long as they have a well-liked fellow named Codey who runs the state while the governor is off exploring his sexuality, or recovering in intensive care, or whatever they're always doing. If New Jersey can do it (and save millions of dollars out of the state budget every year), so can America.

Ignore the inevitable complaints from the political parties clinging to some nineteenth century notions about "balanced" tickets which clearly expired long ago. Think of the savings in medical costs alone. The incumbent, Richard Beelzebub Cheney, has made enough money from the Iraq war to buy a Third World village and try on the heart of each resident until he finds one that fits, yet we the taxpayers keep providing him with pacemakers and anti-coagulants to prevent his toxic carcass from dissolving into a heap of putrescence. Cut him loose and send him a bill.


Blogger M. Bouffant said...

Well said, well written, as usual. "Beelzebub." Great!

12:55 AM  

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