Last week, in trying to break the lock on who actually works in the OVP--which the Vice President refuses to reveal--the guys at Muckraker stumbled across this entry from a government directory known as the "Plum Book":
The Vice Presidency is a unique office that is neither a part of the executive branch nor a part of the legislative branch, but is attached by the Constitution to the latter. The Vice Presidency performs functions in both the legislative branch (see article I, section 3 of the Constitution) and in the executive branch (see article II, and amendments XII and XXV, of the Constitution, and section 106 of title 3 of the United States Code).
It appears that Cheney's office submitted this entry in lieu of a list of its employees, as federal agencies must do. It sounds like something Cheney's current chief of staff, David Addington, might have written. Cheney and Addington have been the among the most powerful proponents of the theory of a "unitary executive," but there are indications that they have also advanced, though less publicly, a theory of a constitutionally distinct and independent vice presidency.I think it's pretty apparent that there's more going on than just a couple of the Mayberry Machiavellis rigging the rules. The White House obviously has a whole gaggle of Federalist Society-type lawyers crafting their signing statements, a lot of greedy corporate donors, and the goofy right-wing noise machine busily propagandizing whatever crock the reactionaries in charge serve up. Oh, and until quite recently a totally docile American press. If there were actually some diabolical mastermind behind all of this, the White House (and by extension the Republican Congress) would have done something right in the last six years. Anything. Just one thing that might have prevented them from going down as one the most corrupt, incompetent and unpopular political machines in American history. Would that be so hard for a genius to accomplish?