Vice President Dick Cheney has been on the defensive in recent days as the fallout continues over his extraordinary claim that he and his office is not part of the executive branch. Cheney advanced this novel idea as a way of explaining his office's failure to comply with an executive order concerning the handling of secret government documents.
The television pundits—even the conservative ones—have jumped all over Cheney's claim, one of them calling it "silly." Commentator Pat Buchanan called it a "dumb explanation." Comedian Stephen Cobert, tongue firmly in cheek, referred to Cheney as the "fourth branch" of government.
Cheney's claim also tied the White House spokesperson in knots. Dana Perino repeatedly tried and failed to explain away the inconsistencies in the vice president's position. A typical Perino answer: "I don't know."
Meanwhile, the Washington Post has published a revealing series on the vice president that is none too flattering.
Oklahoma voters will recall that Cheney—perhaps the most unpopular national politician in office today—appeared in Tulsa recently on behalf of Sen. Jim Inhofe.