Over at the Huffington Post Arianna Huffington is suggesting that Vice President Biden should consider resigning.
The basic fact is that Vice President Joe Biden is opposed to escalating our commitment in Afghanistan. He might have some good insight in holding that position. Our now Senior Senator, John Kerry, once asked: "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" Of course it is a nonsense question,♠ but it captures an idea.
I ask, how could you ask Aado Kommandant to die in an F-4C in the second half of 1966 for a cause that Senator Ted Kennedy and others would abandon in the mid-1970s, when they voted to not fund the Government of South Viet-nam when it was under conventional attack by North Viet-nam?
That brings us back to Afghanistan. I am very glad that the President is taking his time about this. If we are just in this for a few more years because the Democratic platform last year was that Iraq = bad = "W" and Afghanistan = good = Obama, then we are in it for the wrong reason. I don't care if you say the Democrats lied or were stupid. If there is no intention to follow through on Afghanistan, then let us spare everyone any more grief than is needed to withdraw our forces.
However, let us be VERY CLEAR here. The idea that we can then reach out and kill small groups of al Qaeda members via cruise missiles and stealth bomber attacks or Special Forces and do it with impunity is false. If we try that, al Qaeda will get back at us. That said, al Qaeda will be trying to get us anyway and going after them makes some sense. It is just that pulling out will not make us safe within our ocean moat. Remember, al Qaeda, and Iran, are already in this hemisphere.
But, the big problem with the blog post is the idea that Vice President Joe Biden is part of the President's Cabinet. He is NOT. It is like her mind reverted to her Greek upbringing and she conceptualized the US Federal Government in terms of Parliamentary Responsibility. In the American system there is not a collective responsibility, as one might find in a parliamentary system. Even if there was such collective responsibility in our system, the Vice President stands outside the President and his Cabinet, per the US Constitution.
Mr Biden is the President of the Senate and President in Waiting. As Law Professor Glenn Reynolds and others have suggested, the Vice President should work to not associate himself too closely with the policies of the President, so in case the US Congress elects to impeach and convict the President, the Vice President is not tainted by the same sins.
The idea that a Vice President would resign because he disagrees with the President is ludicrous. Would Ms Huffington have been advocating this 200 years ago, when the Vice President was from the other party? Little has changed since then. The change that has come has been to bring the Vice President further and further inside the tent and that has been a bad idea.
Regards — Cliff
♠ One of the reasons it is nonsense is because men don't die for the mistake of some Washington bureaucrat, but rather for his or her buddies. Unit integrity and esprit de corps is why men and women fight and kill and die.
10 months ago