VP Duties, Biden v. Palin

This is a comment I made at Volokh. I’m saving it here, just in case Orin Kerr decides I’ve been too mean to poor old “nicestrategy”
nicestrategy (BTW, with tactics like yours you really should be using the name “badstrategy”)

About the VP question in the VP debate, neither candidate made much sense, but Biden’s answer was still way better than Palin’s:

Well, let’s consider what Biden said:

Vice President Cheney has probably been the most dangerous Vice President we’ve had in American history. He has the idea…he doesn’t realize that Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the Vice President of the United States. That’s the executive. He works in the executive branch. He should understand that. Everyone should understand that.

Article 1, in fact, defines the Legislative Branch. Since, as he said, it also defines essentially all the duties of the VP, Biden was entirely wrong in his attack on Cheney. Fail 1 for you.

As Jack M. has pointed out over at Ace’s place, the power of Presiding over the Senate can be quite useful. Fail 2 for you.

The tiebreaking vote isn’t considered a major power. No VP since the Reconstruction era has cast more than 10 votes in the Senate. (Senate.gov)

Which is to say, individual VPs have changed as many as 10 votes because of their vote in the Senate. How many Senators have cast more “deciding votes”?

The Senate President pro tempore provision clearly anticipates the absence of the VP from daily deliberations in the Senate chamber.

Which doesn’t mean that Palin couldn’t be over there, screwing with Reid on a regular basis. Fail 3.

Palin says:

“No, no. Of course, we know what a vice president does. And that’s not only to preside over the Senate and will take that position very seriously also. I’m thankful the Constitution would allow a bit more authority given to the vice president if that vice president so chose to exert it in working with the Senate and making sure that we are supportive of the president’s policies and making sure too that our president understands what our strengths are.”

No, you are not expected to take that position very seriously also. You might be expected to lobby and/or campaign for the McCain agenda, but the 55-58 Democrats in the Senate would reject a Democratic VP trying to read the Constitution to “allow a bit more authority given to the vice president if that vice president so chose to exert it in working with the Senate,”

Do you read this stuff before you write it? As you said, the VP does not often go over and Preside over the Senate. As she said, she can do that, regardless of what people have done in the past. Fail 4

Below you demonstrate the dishonesty so characteristic of Democrats:

Vice President Cheney has been the most dangerous vice president we’ve had probably in American history. The idea he doesn’t realize that Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States, that’s the Executive Branch. He works in the Executive Branch. He should understand that. Everyone should understand that.

No, Article I is the legislative branch. He probably meant to say Article II. That makes more sense, but it could be construed as if Biden didn’t realize the Vice President was mentioned in both Articles. (The Senate is mentioned in Article II’s “advice and consent” clause on Presidential appointments, but that doesn’t mean the Senate is also “in” the executive branch.)

So did Biden misspeak or did he really not know the text of the Constitution? Here’s where Biden’s resume makes him bulletproof in a way Palin’s doesn’t. Of course he misspoke.

As I said above: wrong. Because all of the VPs duties are defined in Article 1.

We have here yet another example of “credentials” vs. “reality.” The reality is that Biden is an idiot and a buffoon, and the only reason he’s getting a pass here is because he’s a Democrat. Biden’s argument is fundamentally incoherent. Your ignoring that is fundamentally dishonest.

Palin wins, Biden loses.

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