Eliminate the VP slot?

>> Monday, October 6, 2008

Given the nature of the time of Cheney vp many people are hoping for a return to a more passive vp position. The shadow government works out about as well as the shadow banking industry and we all know how that is turning out. Matt Yglesias has his own proposal,

Gene Healy, surveying the wreckage of the Cheney years and the odd answers given at the VP debate to questions about the scope of the Veep’s powers, says: “Here’s hoping that Vice President Biden or Vice President Palin will spend less time making policy and more time attending funerals.”

Alternatively, let me once again bring up the simpler solution to the question of the VP’s weird, ambiguous status — abolish the office. The scheme set up in the constitution doesn’t make sense. The office was originally designed as a prize for the second-place finisher in what was envisioned as a multi-candidate presidential field without running mates. Once the two-party system emerged, the procedure immediately created serious problems that had to be rectified by Amendment XII to the Constitution, but though that amendment prevented potential disasters it didn’t rectify the fact that the basic conception of the office is bizarre given our actual political institutions. It would be simple for the line of succession in the event of presidential death to pass directly from the President to the various cabinet officers in some order. Yes, it would take a constitutional amendment to make the change. But unlike with other process reforms that I think the country could use, there’s no entrenched interest group with a stake in keeping the vice presidency alive — it’s just sloth. But if everyone agrees that nobody understands what the VP is supposed to do the solution is simple — get rid of the VP.

I have to disagree with this notion. The role of the VP is to be prepared to assume the presidency in case of need. They are voted on and ratified by the public. Everyone is aware that they are the back up and enough people signed off on that in order to give the person who assumes the role legitimacy. To simply hand the spot to a cabinet member as the first option is not going to have the same legitimacy. People wont be happy getting stuck with someone they had zero control over. They voted for dead person and they may not have if they had known who the back up was.

Palin is a perfect illustration as we know people are running from the thought of her as the president. We see the back up and we dont like it. Is it really better to have a simple vote on mccain v obama without knowing who takes over in the event of their death? i have to say no.

Handing the reigns of the country to unelected gerald ford gave us nixons pardon. That is still a bad idea. Ford suborned moral hazard and we have to deal with that hazard taking place under Bush.


O-le,O-le, O-le, O-le! O-le, O-le!

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