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Kucinish vs. Cheney

Mark A. Goldman                                                                       Dated: 6/25/07


Dennis Kucinich has filed articles of impeachment against Vice President Cheney.  In an earlier commentary I called this a half-hearted attempt at defending our Constitution.  Here are my reasons for saying that:

  1. While the President is actively acting as President, the Vice President has only one job to do under the Constitution:  He is President of the Senate.  He does not need the President's permission to do the job he was elected to do and he doesn't need to follow the President's agenda when doing his job.  He doesn't work for the President unless the President asks him to do something in addition to his official duties and he accepts.  If he is asked to do a something outside the scope of his official duties or if he convinces the President to delegate him any additional authority whatsoever, he is acting as the President's agent.  All of his authority comes directly from the President.  It is the President who is responsible for what Cheney does or does not do and it is the President who has silently or not so silently stood behind Cheney and affirmed his behavior.  

    Do I have to say it again:  In any government activity that Cheney engages in, outside of his role as President of the Senate, he as acting as an agent of the President.

  2. The list of crimes for which the Vice President might legitimately be charged is a long one ( ) and it is negligent and irresponsible of Kucinich to leave those charges out of his impeachment articles, for by doing so, he limits his own prerogative to bring those issues before the American People in order to expose the crimes for which the President, the Vice President, and their co-conspirators are responsible.

  3. By not including the President in his articles, I assume Kucinich is afraid of the political fallout.   I see it as a missed opportunity and his unwillingness to press the case to its fullest degree is unfortunate at best.

Now let me say in his defense, that Kucinich has more courage than most of his colleagues, for at least he did something.  But this effort is doomed to fail for it is timid and doesn't open the space for the full disclosure of the much longer list of crimes for which this administration should be held accountable and in contempt.  I give Kucinich an "E" for effort.  I give the rest of the members of the House an "F" for failing to uphold their oath of office.  And I give the Senate an "F" for the same thing (no one in the Senate is asking members of the House for a more full, fair and complete list of articles).


I believe that in not filing articles against Bush, it would have been better for him not to have filed these articles at all, for it gives the impression that maybe Kucinich, and/or anyone else who signs on with him, do not also believe that Bush is a co-conspirator with Cheney.  Anyone who would believe that shouldn't be in public office. The implication is, indeed, an unfortunate footnote to the historical record.


I also believe that with a population of 300,000,000 citizens to choose from, we ought to be able to find One President, One Vice President, and 535 Congressmen who have enough courage, honor, and wisdom to keep their word, love their country, and defend the Constitution.  


Obviously, if you look at the job we've done in hiring people to run our government... we deserve an "F" too.