JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ON THE OCCASION OF MIKE PENCE’S QUICKIE VISIT TO OTTAWA – A SUMMARY OF WHAT THE ACTUAL ROLE AND DUTIES OF AN AMERICAN VICE PRESIDENT ARE – BRIEF NOTE ON VENEZUELA AND CANADA’S DOING AMERICA’S DIRTY WORK   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN CBC NEWS

 

“Canadian ambassador’s Cuba comment triggered a diplomatic flap with Washington before Pence’s visit

“Canadian officials were anxious about hosting VP Pence with American steel and aluminum tariffs still in place”

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Response to a comment, saying “I’m still trying to figure out what Pence actually ‘does’”:

 

The vice presidency has long been a subject of criticism and even contempt inside the United States. The office was certainly one of a number of errors in judgment embedded into the Constitution.

John Adams, the first vice president, asked much the same question himself.

The truth, today, is that the vice president runs unpleasant errands for the sitting president, lending them a mysterious sense of top-level interest to tasks suitable for an aide or bellhop, and he “balances the ticket” (in terms of geographic regions or public attitudes of the day) for the election every four years.

His only genuine task under the Constitution is to break tie votes in the American Senate. Since each state has two Senators, tie votes happen, but not terribly often.

He has legal authority for doing virtually nothing.

Although if you want to see a great example of how power can be usurped by the ruthless, there is the example of Dick Cheney who served a president all astute observers realized was little more than a figurehead for dark forces behind the throne, including Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and the CIA.

It’s pretty much a ridiculous office, just as John Adams said it was.

But, of course, it is still sought after, as route to a possible future candidacy for president. But even there, historically it has not been very successful for the office’s holders. Still, politicians love celebrity, and who ever heard of Pence before?

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Response to a comment saying, “One of the clearest measures of the judgment of our brain trust in Ottawa. It’s disgraceful that Canada didn’t remain on the side of sanity with regards to Venezuela. We could have joined Mexico, Uruguay and others who clearly have a better understanding of the situation. Now we’re stuck in a no-win situation”:

 

We could have politely and firmly replied, when an American official made the original request for our support of an outrageous ad hoc construct like the Lima Group, that our analysis of the situation in Venezuela was that its government was fairly elected.

Which is precisely the case.

And I believe our active participation has only done genuine damage to our international reputation, not something to take lightly and certainly not part of the job of an elected government.

Posted June 5, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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