The Daily Whim

The Daily Whim

Sat. Jun 23, 2007

Those Who Want Power, and Those Corrupted By It

With a mere 500 or so days until the election, the pressure is on for those who might want to be the next President. RFK jumped into the 1968 race with barely 200 days left before the election, but today, such a run apparently requires three times as long. So a few more have come out onto the ledge to think about jumping. Before it’s “too late.”

New Jumper #1 is New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg: “The announcement by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York that he was leaving the Republican Party to become an independent was made after nearly two years in which his aides had laid the groundwork for a potential independent run for president.”

While the Wall Street Journal thinks Bloomberg ’08 [is] a Real Long Shot, the NY Daily News says Think Mike’s a total long shot? Think again. I have no real knowledge of or opinion about Bloomberg as a politician. But if someone is willing to drop $500 million of his own dough on a third party run that will scare the begeezus out of some Republicans and Democrats, as far as I’m concerned, I welcome this ironic echo of Perot.

As for New Jumper #2, well, we’ve seen this movie before. It’s a really bad one, too.

Ralph Nader says he is seriously considering running for president in 2008 because he foresees another Tweedledum-Tweedledee election that offers little real choice to voters.

Nader ponders run, calls Clinton ‘coward’

Yes, since it’s “another Tweedledum-Tweedledee election,” TweedleDoofus must jump in, too.

Then there’s Fred Thompson, who appears to be doing his best to remain a blank slate for conservatives who dream of the Second Coming of Reagan. And Newt Gingrich is leaning way forward praying for someone to bump into him so he can say, “OK, I’m in, no need to push.” Chuck Hagel’s name also comes up regularly. Al Gore keeps saying he’s not in this time, and I tend to believe him, but you never know.

Roughly two dozen candidates. It’s almost as if there’s an effort to really really make sure we get a good one this time. Because, well, you know … watch the news. You might say we have a living breathing template for “what we don’t want in the next president.” Both on the left and right.

And yet, there seems to be some discomfort with the choices, from “factions” on both sides of the aisle, but particularly on the Republican side. So we get this odd political version of American Idol where the number of contestants must grow to some as yet unknown critical mass, before it can then shrink down to two.

Will America vote for a woman? A black? A Massachusetts Mormon? A New York Jew? A cross-dressing pro-choice hero of the War on Terror?

And the fact that the answer to the questions in the above paragraph is at least, “maybe so,” well, that’s what America is about, isn’t it? So we (um, I) may whine about the number of candidates and the perverse length of this campaign, but I have to admit there is something slightly reassuring about those aspects. We’ll have to see how this game plays out. But there’s certainly a lot of pieces on the board.

On the other hand, meanwhile, back at the Big Ranch…

“The Oversight Committee has learned that over the objections of the National Archives, you exempted the Office of the Vice President from the presidential executive order that establishes a uniform, government-wide system for safeguarding classified national security information,” Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), the Committee’s chairman, wrote in a letter to Cheney. “Your decision to exempt your office from the President’s order is problematic because it could place national security secrets at risk. It is also hard to understand given the history of security breaches involving officials in your office.”

“Your position was that your office ‘does not believe it is included in the definition of ‘agency’ as set forth in the Order’ and ‘does not consider itself an ‘entity within the executive branch’ that comes into the possession of classified information,’” a National Archives official claims Cheney chief of staff David Addington wrote to him.

Cheney tells agency that Vice President’s office is not part of the executive branch

In addition, the NY Times reports “For four years, Vice President Dick Cheney has resisted routine oversight of his office’s handling of classified information, and when the office in charge of overseeing classification in the executive branch objected, the vice president’s office suggested that the oversight office be shut down.”

Basically, “We refuse to be subject to the requirements of the executive branch, and if you object, we’ll see about shutting down your office.” I’m reminded of the two signs you see on the back of dump trucks, one saying “Stay Back 150 Feet,” and the other saying “Not Responsible For Objects Coming From Road.” Total Catch 22 (by the way, the dump truck industry must have the best lobbyists in the business. Nice work, guys, especially combined with that “no back license plate required” bit).

How can anyone with an approval rating of 25% continue to be so obnoxiously arrogant? The logical reaction to someone so apparently averse to being subject to the requirements of the executive branch is to remove their imperious keister from said branch.

Like that’s going to happen. Logic. In DC. Go ahead, pull the other one.

But wait, there’s more! Atlanta’s normal Friday Traffic Hell got a Super Secret Cheney Enhancement:

Cops lined every overpass on the interstate, which was strange. And all entrances to Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park were blocked. We commuters were a bit ticked.

It was the guy on the radio. The vice president had made a surprise visit to a reunion of descendants of the 21st Ohio, who fought in the run-up to the Battle of Atlanta. No press, no photos, no word put out to anyone.

Not to us. Not to his troops on the ground.

“I find it a bit embarrassing that I didn’t know anything about it,” said Scott Johnson, chairman of the Cobb County Republican Party.

Then he called Sue Everhart, a Cobb resident and chairman of the state GOP. She didn’t know anything either.

“That made me feel better,” Johnson said.

That’s Cheney’s MO: whether you’re Congress, the National Archives, or the local GOP, he’s not telling you squat. You simply don’t have a need to know.

He’s our most appropriately named elective representative.


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