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Here it is, Sarah Palin: A Job Description for Vice President

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There’s not really much to it. But since you don’t know what the Vice President does (see video, below) we’ll tell you. According to the U.S. Constitution, the Vice-President serves only two real functions. One is to become U.S. President in the event of the President’s death or resignation. The second VP duty is to act as President of the U.S. Senate — casting a tie-breaking vote in the event of a deadlock, and certifying the official vote count of the U.S. electoral college.

But, since your job description could soon find you living the proverbial ‘one heartbeat away from the presidency,’ you may also want to familiarize yourself with the President’s job description (printed, in entirety, at the bottom of this post). While the job description for U.S. President is a bit wordier than the job description for Vice President. the good news is that, technically, the Constitution does not disqualify you from applying for the job. 

The resumes of most, if not all, former Vice-Presidents over the past 50 years included a law degree and/or military service and/or enough experience in the U.S. Senate or Congress to capably perform these duties. Even Dan Quayle, with whom you’ve been unfairly compared, had a law degree and was twice-elected to both the U.S. Congress and Senate before being chosen for the VP slot. Still, Ms. Palin, you needn’t be intimidated. While there is no precedent in modern U.S. history for a person of your credentials serving as Vice President, it is theoretically possible for a third-grader to to perform the actual duties of Vice-President. Your lack of education and/or experience with constitutional law shouldn’t be much of an impediment to serving, so long as the President doesn’t die or resign. 

The Vice-Presidency according to Sarah Palin, July 31, 2008

Regarding constitutional law, there are many in this country — myself included — who felt a certain thrill this past May, when Sen. Obama announced that, during his first 100 days in office, “I would call my attorney general in and review every single executive order issued by George Bush and overturn those laws or executive decisions that I feel violate the constitution.” Being a Harvard law school graduate, and serving as the president of the Harvard Law Review, and teaching constitutional law for 12 years affords him the credentials to not only aspire to such a task, but to undertake it with some competency. Indeed, some would rightfully claim that the six years Obama served in the Illinois State Senate, followed by nearly 4 years in the U.S. Senate, only add these credentials. (see more on this topic in the comments section, below)

Since you claim to have not “really focused much on the war in Iraq,” Ms. Palin, it seems a safe bet that you’ve also not really “focused much” on the fact that, for the past 8 years, our forefathers have surely been roiling in their graves as they witnessed the spirit and the letter of U.S. constitutional law being shredded in the hands of the Bush Administration. Our forefathers were not alone in their roiling. There are many living, breathing Americans out here who mourn and anguish over the loss of integrity to the most fundamental and cherished foundations of our country — the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights — as laid by our forefathers.

Call me old-fashioned, but I like the idea of a President being well-versed in the U.S. Constitution and constitutional law. After all (and you may hear tale of this in the coming days) the oath of office for President of the United States includes the following words: “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Which is sort of tough to do, if you don’t know anything about it. Too, you’d be surprised at how often the U.S. Constitution comes up during the course of this business: appointing cabinet members, ambassadors and Supreme Court judges; meeting with leaders of foreign countries; making treaties; proposing new laws, and so on. 

There are some citizens in this country — including some of our most important historic figures — who devoted years of their lives to studying this great document that we call the U.S. Constitution. Barack Obama is one of those people. Perhaps, between mooseburgers, you could familiarize yourself with this document, beginning with the qualifications and job description for the President — a job for which you are uniquely unqualified — if nothing else, by simple virtue of the fact that you have the poor judgement to apply for a job whose description is as foreign to you as are the laws governing the 300+ million people you propose to lead. 

UPDATE (10/22/08): See updated VP job description here: Sarah’s Job Description for Vice-President, Part II (Checkpoint Chickie Rides Again)


by Mantis Katz, for the canarypapers


The U.S. Constitution: Article 2 – The Executive Branch

  Section 1.


No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:–”I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

  Section 2.

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

  Section 3.

 He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information on the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

  Section 4.

The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.



Dick Cheney: The Eight Most Dreaded Words in The English Language

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A film by Robert Greenwald: “Unconstitutional – The War on Our Civil Liberties”

Joe Biden said it best: “For every American who is trying to do the right thing, for all those people in government who are honoring their pledge to uphold the law and respect our Constitution, no longer will the eight most dreaded words in the English language be: ‘The vice president’s office is on the phone.'”

Truly, Biden’s words last night flew by so fast — and coming, as they did, seemingly out of nowhere — that we almost missed them. But these words were, perhaps, the most important words spoken at the convention last night. For those of us who have been paying attention — really paying attention to just what in the hell has happened to our country over the past 7 years — we know that Joe Biden hit the nail on the head: Dick Cheney.

It was Dick Cheney and his henchmen, David Addington and John Yoo, who orchestrated the assault on our Constitution and Bill of Rights; Dick Cheney who orchestrated the cooking of intelligence to go to war in Iraq. It was Dick Cheney who orchestrated the transfer of power in this country from the people’s voice to corporations, so that his corporate cronies could rake in billions upon billions of dollars in the U.S. wars for oil all over the world — from Afghanistan and Iraq, to the more recent war-by-proxy in Georgia (not to mention the other covert wars throughout the Caucuses, Latin America and all of Africa ). 

It was Dick Cheney and his henchmen who orchestrated a system of laws that would legalize torture, secret prisons, extraordinary rendition, illegal detention, the loss of habeas corpus for anyone deemed a terrorist suspect — up to, and including, American citizens, who have been relentlessly spied on over the past 7 years for evidence that they, themselves, might be deemed “rebellions” or “homegrown terrorists” or “terrorist sympathizers” or  “terrorist suspects” or “enemy combatants” for being so bold as to have an opinion on peace, on war, on animal rights, on human rights. 

And it was Dick Cheney and henchman, such as Karl Rove, who orchestrated the fearmongering to feed their “war on terror” — not to protect America from the bad guys, but to scare the hell out of us. It was Dick Cheney who groomed those fears, then exploited them to strong-arm our entire country into gladly surrendering our rights and our laws and, with them, the soul of our country, which has stained our integrity throughout the world. It is Dick Cheney who is a war criminal. It is Dick Cheney who is guilty of myriad impeachable offenses, yet is so powerful that not even the laws of the land dare touch him. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Make no mistake: When Joe Biden referred to “the eight most-dreaded words in the English language,” he wasn’t kidding.

Which makes it all the more important that we pay attention — really pay attention — in the coming months and years because there is nothing to stop the force that is Dick Cheney, save the overwhelming protest of the American people, all the way to Capitol Hill. And even that may not be enough. Remember these things, come election day, when the voting machines malfunction, and the ballots are all screwed up, and hundreds of thousands of people discover their names have been deleted from the lists of registered voters, and the lines at *certain* polls are 8 hours long. Remember this during the months after inauguration, as you discover that — despite all the campaign rhetoric and promises — our leaders on Capitol Hill still seem incapacitated to doing “the right thing.”

Ain’t no election gonna change the fact that some of the most powerful people in the world bow to the sound of those words, and will long continue to do so, even when the words have been reduced to only five: Dick Cheney’s on the phone.

CBC News Documentary: Dick Cheney: the Unauthorized Biography