What political discourse comes down to these days isn’t just partisan talking points, obstructionism or any of the other political tricks the opposition uses to undermine President Obama’s agenda. It is, rather, a total lack of any rational basis for the arguments being made by politicians both in and out of office. Two former vice presidents distinguished themselves in this regard over the weekend. Others remain steadfast in their effort to shape policy by taking the low road of militant partisanship.
A remarkable feature of comments by former vice presidents Cheney and Dan Quayle was an assumption that they were actually making sense. There may be support for Cheney’s position that early mirandizing of terrorism suspects could inhibit the ability to attain valuable intelligence, but his retentive espousal of the Iraq invasion and “enhanced interrogation techniques” are not widely embraced by the American public or experts in the field. Quayle, that renowned constitutional scholar, asserted that the framers didn’t endorse majority votes and supported filibusters like today’s sixty-vote cloture rule thus negating the vice president’s power, as outlined in the Constitution, to break a Senate tie – – so much for opinion that confuses the Constitution with Senate rules and procedures.
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