Thursday, February 16, 2006

Joe Scarborough Reports Rumers that Republicans Concedering Tossing Cheney Overboard.


Last night on MSNBC's Scarborough Country, Joe Scarborough reported on rumors that Republicans are considering the removal of Vice-President Dick Cheney because he has "become too politically radioactive". Sporting a title bar baring the words “DUMP DICK?”,

Joe and his guests Steve Randell, Rep. Peter King, and P.R consultant Eric Dezenhall, were opining over the recent Cheney hunting incident, and the subsequent 18 hours that went by before the Sheriff interviewed anybody on the scene when Randell began to bring up the fact that Cheney was busted for DUI twice. Personally, I don’t see to much wrong with such youthful indiscretions but, as it was pointed out, coupled with the fact that he dropped out of Yale just prior to these arrests, and he never joined his running mate in swearing off the bottle (at least Bush says he swore it off), this story seems to grow more on what’s not being reported by the White House, than what is.

When we first heard about the shooting, we heard nothing about any drinking in the public statements offered by the Vice-President’s office. The first I heard about the possibility, at least on the MSM, was from Ron Reagan on MSNBC. Then slowly, we began to hearing conflicting reports for all over the place. First Armstrong said that there were only Dr. Peppers. Then we heard that there may have been “a beer or two” floating around during a lunch before the incident. Then we were told, by Cheney, that he had “a” beer at lunch. After that, Armstrong said that there may have been “a few beers in the picnic basket” but that she never saw anybody who was hunting partake. Then, and here’s the big one, Armstrong said that she didn’t see anybody drink any alcohol until after the incident, when Mr. Cheney "had a cocktail".

What ever happened, Cheney’s handling of the incident has brought into question his attitude regarding secrecy, the press, and possibly the law. Even his own Republican Party has chimed in on his mishandling of the shooting. “It would have been better if the vice president and/or his staff had come out last Saturday night or first thing Sunday morning and announced it,” “ It could have and should have been handled differently” said former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer. Marlin Fitzwater, who held the same position during the Bush 41 and Reagan administrations told Editor & Publisher that Cheney had “ignored his responsibility to the American people” by failing to disclose the accident. Even embattled commentator Robert Novak chimed in on Fox News saying, “It's news, and it reflects an attitude in this White House of holding back information, of being too clever by half and being secretive” (I guess it’s his way of apologizing for helping Cheney out Valerie Plame). But the toughest Republican point of view came from Wall Street Journal columnist, and Former Bush campaign advisor, Peggy Noonan. Full Article

“I suspect what they're thinking and not saying is, “If Dick Cheney weren't vice president, who'd be a good vice president?” They're thinking, “At some time down the road we may wind up thinking about a new plan”. And one night over drinks at a barbecue in McLean one top guy will turn to another top guy and say, "Under the never permeable and never porous Dome of Silence, tell me . . . wouldn't you like to replace Cheney?”

“Why would they be thinking about this? It's not the shooting incident itself, it's that Dick Cheney has been the administration's hate magnet for five years now. Halliburton, energy meetings, Libby, Plamegate. This was not all bad for the White House: Mr. Cheney took the heat that would otherwise have been turned solely on George Bush. So he had utility, and he's experienced and talented and organized, and Mr. Bush admires and respects him. But, at a certain point a hate magnet can draw so much hate you don't want to hold it in your hand anymore, you want to drop it, and pick up something else. Is this fair? Nah. But fair has nothing to do with it.”

During the development of this piece, I spoke to a few friends about how such an event could impact the Democrats hopes to impeach Bush. The original fear of impeaching Bush was, a Cheney presidency, at least an overt Cheney presidency. But with the prospect of the White House tossing him overboard, new questions arise. Who would be the next V.P.? If the Democrats could hold up the confirmation till after the mid-term elections, could we end up with a Democratic House Speaker move strait into the White House, not passing go, or collecting the preverbal $200? As it was pointed out to me by one of my e-buddies;

“Finally, after the death of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 and the resulting vice-presidential vacancy, Congress debated over what became the second constitutional amendment related to the structure of the vice-presidency. In 1967, the Twenty-fifth Amendment, addressing presidential vacancy and disability, became part of our Constitution. The absence of any provision for filling a vice-presidential vacancy had become intolerable in the nuclear age. Added impetus for the change came from a growing public concern at the time about the advanced ages of President pro tempore Carl Hayden, who was eighty, and House Speaker John W. McCormack, who was seventy-six. The amendment states that the president may appoint a vice president to fill a vacancy in that office, subject to approval by both houses of Congress. Before a decade had passed, the provision was used twice, first in 1973 when President Nixon appointed Gerald R. Ford to replace Spiro Agnew, who had resigned, and again in 1974, with the appointment of Nelson Rockefeller after Nixon himself resigned and Ford became president. The amendment also sets forth very specifically the steps that would permit the vice president to serve as acting president if a president becomes "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office." Each of these changes further reflected the increased importance of the office.” (Good lookin’ msb4c).

There is also a fear of the power Dick Cheney could retain even if he is ejected from the V.P. seat by his own party. But as far as I’m concerned, there is one big, fat plus to such an event. Dick Cheney would become a private citizen prior to the upcoming trial of his deposed chief of staff, I. Scooter Libby. If he is implicated in the leaking of Valerie Plame’s identity, he would no longer be able to hide behind his desk at the EEOB. No executive privilege and no more spending public funds to protect himself.

Keep your fingers crossed.

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