The Times – Don’ t underestimate that pitcher of warm spit<br/> US vice-presidents should be properly selected, by Gerard Baker

Dick Cheney’s in a spot of bother again. He hasn’t shot anyone this time. It’s not his wayward aim with a 28-gauge shotgun that’s in the news, but his deadly accuracy with a nine-point legal memo.

The US Vice-President has been refusing to comply with a fairly routine internal government supervisory process designed to determine how official information should be classified and declassified. His lawyers have said he will not submit documents to the National Archives on the ground that, since the US Constitution makes the Vice-President part of both the executive branch and, per his role as president of the Senate, the legislative branch of government, and since the two are supposed to be separate, he can’t really be part of either, and therefore can’t be subject to the usual legal obligations.

It is a splendid piece of legalistic legerdemain, the sort that makes lawyers want to hug themselves in self-appreciation and do victory laps around a bamboozled courtroom.


Blabbidy blabbidy bla…

All of which merely underlines that it is high time that America had a serious discussion about the way it chooses its vice-president.

The country is in the early stages of the longest presidential campaign in history. It will have cost, when a winner is eventually declared, upwards of a billion dollars and will have involved the direct participation of well over a hundred million people in repeated ballots.

ninme shops for a high-powered rifle and mapquests for a clock tower