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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A former Vice President condemns the current mire

In response to the Washington Post's series on the vice presidency of Dick Cheney, former Vice President Walter Mondale has written about the dishonor and secrecy in the current administration. Mr Mondale writes from his perspective as the first Vice President with real executive authority, but one who was much more the presidential aide and confidant than decider.
This all changed in 2001, and especially after Sept. 11, when Cheney set out to create a largely independent power center in the office of the vice president. His was an unprecedented attempt not only to shape administration policy but, alarmingly, to limit the policy options sent to the president.
Mondale is even less a fan of Cheney's treatment of Congress.
The corollary to Cheney's zealous embrace of secrecy is his near total aversion to the notion of accountability. I've never seen a former member of the House of Representatives demonstrate such contempt for Congress -- even when it was controlled by his own party. His insistence on invoking executive privilege to block virtually every congressional request for information has been stupefying -- it's almost as if he denies the legitimacy of an equal branch of government.
A lot can be said of this administration, but respect for separation of powers is not one of them.

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