Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Alan Keyes is Making Up Constitutional Provisions

One of America's leading batshit-insane opinion writers, Alan Keyes, is worried that Sarah Palin will be pulled in contrary directions if she becomes vice president:

Perhaps they [Palin's fans] have not given much thought to the yoke involved in accepting the office of vice president. At the very least, it implies a pledge of personal loyalty to the president with whom you serve, a pledge that means nothing if it does not extend to situations where you disagree with his decisions. What happens when President McCain joins forces with the pro-abortion Democrats to remove restrictions on research that involves destroying embryonic life? If Vice President Palin speaks out publicly in disagreement with the decision, she will violate her pledge of loyalty to the president. She will also risk introducing divisions into the executive branch that are inconsistent with the clear language of the Constitution. [emphases mine]
Notice in the bolded passages how the vice president's oath goes from an implied and personal one to an unqualified pledge of loyalty to, finally, in the space of four short and overheated sentences, the subject of clear constitutional language.

It would seem a dangerous business to wander too deeply into the murky thicket of what Alan Keyes considers either implied or clear, or upon what grounds, but the US Constitution leaves little doubt as to the nature of the vice president's oath. Article 6 requires that
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
Apparently the founders couldn't bring themselves to decide between oath and affirmation, so they just went with both, but in any case, the vice president is required to swear to support the Constitution, not the president nor the president's policies.

The only other mention of oaths (or affirmations) comes when Article 2 Section 1 sets forth the oath required of anyone assuming the presidency, and it applies whether the person swearing in began as vice president or as a semiliterate from Crawford having been installed to office via the Supreme Court:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
There again, there is nothing either explicitly or implicitly requiring the incoming president to continue, agree with, take note of, or otherwise concern herself with the outgoing president or the outgoing president's agenda.

I swear (or affirm) that Alan Keyes is interesting to read inasmuch as doing so affirms (or swears to) the value of anti-psychotic medications. May he dose properly.

Addendum: Ed Brayton observes assorted other aspects of Keyes' disconnect from reality.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Guys like Keyes serve an important purpose in politics; they provide perspective. When all the slimy ads have you wondering if the candidates are actually crazy, a few minutes listening to Keyes reminds you what it really is to be nuts.