Vice Presidents’ Prerogative

Vice Presidens’ Prerogative

So what is all the uproar over Dick Cheney’s shooting accident? The press shows an appalling misunderstanding of vice presidential prerogative. Vice President Aaron Burr‘s major problem was a drop in popularity after killing Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson’s political opponent, in a gun duel in 1804, yet Burr held office from 1801 to 1805 under Jefferson. In 1859, potential Democratic presidential contender Dan Sickles killed Barton Key. “Key, you scoundrel. You have dishonored my home,” Sickles said, according to witnesses. “You must die.”

The fact is, a sitting vice president of the United States ought to be able to shoot anyone he wants. Would his detractors prefer a whimpy VP who allows himself to be sprayed with pellets by one of his lessers? Dick Cheney is a man of supreme quality, an increasingly rare specimen embodying the finest masculine virtues. Let him be the judge of whom shall be shot and of whom will survive.

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