Small favors

Well, this week our favorite Washington political operative, our Vice President Dick “Go F*ck Yourself” Cheney, did what seven years of liberal activism could not: he removed himself and his office from the executive branch of government. That he did so to assert privilege to flout oversight rules related to the handling of classified documents seems especially appropriate for our most secretive of politicians.

But turnabout is fair play, and the VP uncharacteristically left himself vulnerable. A courageous Democratic member of Congress obliged with one of the finer statements of the newly bipartisan reality of Washington life that I’ve seen since, well, 2000:

Washington, D.C. House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel
issued the following statement regarding his amendment to cut funding
for the Office of the Vice President from the bill that funds the
executive branch. The legislation — the Financial Services and General
Government Appropriations bill — will be considered on the floor of
the House of Representatives next week.

“The Vice President has a choice to make. If he believes his legal
case, his office has no business being funded as part of the executive
branch. However, if he demands executive branch funding he cannot
ignore executive branch rules. At the very least, the Vice President
should be consistent. This amendment will ensure that the Vice
President’s funding is consistent with his legal arguments. I have
worked closely with my colleagues on this amendment and will continue
to pursue this measure in the coming days.”

Heh. At any rate, if the VP’s office is no longer part of the executive branch, we should be thanking heaven for small favors.