The Return of “Tricky Dick”

For those of you too young to remember, Richard Nixon has been the only president in the history of the United States to resign from that office. This action was precipitated by the revelations (known to many Americans by then) that Nixon had participated in the Watergate scandal and cover-up.

Even before he resigned, people had already coined the phrase, “Tricky Dick”, especially after the discovery of an 18-minute gap in a crucial White House tape recording at the time. And who can forget Nixon going on TV and self-righteously proclaiming to the American people that “I am not a crook!”, not long before he was forced to resign under impeachment.

Since the resignation in August 1974, no other member of the Executive branch of the U.S. Government has been named Dick, until now. And maybe not even now, if the new “Tricky Dick” has his way.

Everyone by now has heard that vice-president Dick Cheney has issued proclamations that he and his office are not part of the Executive branch of the U.S. Government, all evidence in the US Constitution to the contrary. Specifically, Article II, which defines the Executive Branch of the US Government states in section 1:

Article II, Section 1. The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:”

Now, I don’t intend to ignore the rest of the Constitution (as others in the Bush administration seem to do at will). Article I of the Constitution defines the Legislative branch of the US Government, and yes, Virgina, you guessed it: Article III defines the Judicial Branch.

But for now, let’s stick with Article I (Legislative). About halfway through section 3, there is a single-sentence paragraph, which states::

“The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.”

Anyone familiar with any parliamentary procedure such as Robert’s Rules, for instance, knows that the”president” or chairman of the parliamentary meeting is simply a moderator. And most of the time, the VP is absent anyway, showing up only to cast a tie-breaking vote on issues important to the executive branch. I certainly wouldn’t call this function legislative in nature, but merely ceremonial and occasionally tie-breaking.

No so for “Tricky Dick” Cheney, though. Little things such as historical precedent and the US Constitution are but minor inconveniences to be brushed aside. When it was discovered that Tricky Dick was ignoring a Bush Executive Order regarding the handling of classified information, he self-righteously proclaimed, “The office of the Vice-president is not an Executive Branch entity!!”

I can just imagine Tricky Dick’s lawyers huddled late into the night at the (Executive branch) White House (where Tricky has an office), disassembling and reassembling out-of-context pieces of the Constitution to create the whimsical argument that the vice-president is not really the second-in-command of the Executive Branch, but is really a Legislator. After all, that’s what lawyers do to win cases. But of course, in this case, these lawyers are being paid with YOUR taxpayer dollars. Think about that.

Now, only the most fanatical neocons bought this fabricated argument (along with their weekly dose of Tricky Dick’s Snake Oil). But when Congress threatened to cut of the vice-president’s office funding, the White House (where Tricky Dick has his office), backed it down, claiming that the “rationale has been the view of the vice-president’s lawyers, not Cheney himself”.

I guess the White House had no choice, because in 2001 they claimed that probing into Cheney’s energy task force meetings “would constitutionally interfere with the functioning of the executive branch”.

Okay. End of issue, right?  Nope. Try again.

Tricky Dick isn’t Tricky Dick for nothing, y’know. In a recent interview with Mark Knoller of CBS News, Tricky Dick again refused to admit he was a member of the Executive branch of the U.S. Government. When pressed by Knoller about being primarily a member of the Executive branch, Tricky Dick replied, “I suppose you could argue it either way. The fact is that I do work in both branches.” The interview can be heard here.

Tricky Dick also said that the vice-president is a “unique creature”.

I looked in the Constitution. I read every single word. I could not find “unique creature” anywhere.

It must be written in the Constitution in that ultra-secret, normally invisible “decoder ring” ink that also gives the executive branch unlimited power to violate federal law, torture prisoners, suspend habeas corpus indefinitely, spy on private U.S. citizens (and now confiscate private property and assets) without a warrant, and declare legitimate protesters as “unpatriotic” and “traitors”, simply because they disagree with the executive branch’s policies.

6 thoughts on “The Return of “Tricky Dick”

  1. Imagine, Tricky Dick’s battery on his defibrillator needed to be changed while he was “acting” President while GWB was under anesthesia!

  2. Hi Howie;

    No time now- flying out in less than 36/ but will get back later.
    I miss your 1-3pm time slot & arlenes’. Nothing out there except propaganda. Npr is a comfortable solution.

  3. No one in their right mind could possibly be surprised by the autocratic, arrogant, mega-maniacal banter from this administration. Why the bottom of a “Portosan” is cleaner than these nitwits and the foam that froths in the corner of their mouths as they attempt to dismantle the constitution. Thank goodness that this administration and the boot-licking sycophants in the media responsible for propping up this kangaroo government for nearly eight years has only 535 more days in their illegitimate terms. It can’t come soon enough!

  4. Anyone who doesn’t realize what Dick Cheney is up to doesn’t know Dick!!! steal a line from Jon Stuart.

    The Bush administration is a genuine collection of crooks, cronies, incompetents, war mongers and liars who are fulfilling George Mitchell’s remarks when he retired from the Senate as Majority Leader many years ago. He said it then and its proven true, “Republicans will tear down the house in order to rule over the ruins!”

    What is most sad is to see the complicity of so many others in this rape of America under the guise of “protectin’ yer freedoms” and “family values.

    Especially reprehensible are the local radio stations, WPRO and WHJJ.

    It’s sad to see RI talk radio reduced to a collection of right wing pro-Bush loudmouths. When he was on WHJJ, John DePetro repeatedly attacked those that were against this foolish war as those that “wanted us to forget 9/11”. For this and similar examples of ignorance and hatefulness he got a job in Boston from which he eventually got fired for repeatedly making anti-gay remarks. Never to worry, WPRO quickly snapped him up for more of the same here in Providence.

    Meanwhile the self absorbed Dan Yorke refers to anti war protesters as “losers” even though many, including myself, are vets and he has never served.

    HJJ is most perplexing of all since they have so few listeners that a pair of bullhorns on the roof would double their audience yet they persist in presenting this “reicht wing” crap. You would think this poverty of audience would cause them to at least look in a different direction especially since the number of right wing, pro Bush crackpots in this market is, fortunately, very small. Yet that station treats us to the laughable Helen Glover, who tells us that all opposition to the war is just politics and says “we are loosing the war because we are fighting it the way the Democrats want to fight it!” Just can’t bring herself to criticize Lord Bush and Company but what else can you expect from a woman who was picked because of her ability to eat live worms on Survivor?

    The point of all this is that there are many enablers of the power-drunk Bush administration but there must be a special place in hell for the broadcasters, owners, managers, program directors and sponsors of the lies and hate mongering that they allow and promote in the name of corporate profits.

    Vietnam Era Vet

    Seen it all before!!

  5. Pingback: We, the PEOPLE!! » Blog Archive » When Tricky Dickie Met al-Maliki…

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