October 2, 2008

STEPHEN GREEN WILL BE drunkblogging the debate. Ann Althouse is liveblogging, and so is Jason Pye. Likewise Jeralyn Merritt at Talkleft. And they’re promising nonstop blogging at Hit & Run and The Corner. Also FishBowlDC. And Jules Crittenden.

UPDATE: More at The Sundries Shack, including a list of more livebloggers. And TigerHawk is livetired-blogging from Madrid

ANOTHER UPDATE: Biden keeps talking about deregulation. But wasn’t it Barney Frank, Charles Schumer, et al., who shielded Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from regulation?

MORE: The McCain folks email: “Biden said McCain voted ‘the exact same way’ as Obama to raise taxes on people making $42,000/year. That’s a lie. McCain didn’t vote on either bill.”

Stephen Green: “Biden has an easy command of the facts, even when his facts are BS. Given the pressure on Palin, that’s probably all he needs to do tonight for a draw or better.”

STILL MORE: I think that Biden’s doing fine, but Andrew Sullivan disagrees: “Biden is just dreadful. He speaks in Washingtonese. She just issues the soundbites and wrinkles her eyes and tells stories. And that works. The speed and chirpiness she delivers overwhelms one’s ability to even quite absorb what she’s saying. And it has put Biden off-stride. It’s Biden who seems over-crammed.”

I think Palin’s doing fine, especially once she got on her home-base topic of energy. But Biden seems fine, too – but what will Andrew say about this: “Senator Biden, do you support gay marriage?” “No.” They conclude their discussion of the topic by agreeing that Obama, Biden, and Palin all have the same position.

There’s a poll at Drudge and Sarah Palin’s winning in a runaway. Doesn’t seem that big a gap to me, but what do I know? I thought Carter beat Reagan . . . .

Hey, now the Drudge poll has vanished, but Ann Althouse has a screenshot, and a poll of her own.

Jim Treacher is live-blogging, too: “Ah! Obama is against gay marriage. So Biden’s previous answer was… unclear.”

Meanwhile, Joe Biden is wrong about the Vice President and the Constitution — the Vice President does have a legislative role, and the VP doesn’t just preside over the Senate in case of a tie. The VP only votes in case of a tie, but voting isn’t the same as presiding. Good grief.

Also, Joe, Article I of the Constitution deals with the legislative branch, not the executive. Again, good grief.

MORE STILL: Reader David Rensin emails: “He didn’t just call the citizens of Bosnia ‘Bosniacs’, did he?” Yeah, he did.

FINALLY: Still more on Joe Biden’s constitutional flubs.

Plus, Stephen Green emails: “Jim Dunnigan and Austin Bay use the word ‘Bosniaks’ in reference in Moslem Bosnians.” So give that one to Biden. Though if I thought he actually read Dunnigan and Bay I’d give him two points.

And, yes, the VP’s legislative duties are in Article I. But that cuts precisely against the point that Biden was trying to make. Here’s what Biden said: “Vice President Cheney has been the most dangerous vice president we’ve had probably in American history. The idea he doesn’t realize that Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States, that’s the Executive Branch. He works in the Executive Branch. He should understand that. Everyone should understand that. . . . The only authority the vice president has from the legislative standpoint is the vote, only when there is a tie vote. He has no authority relative to the Congress. The idea he’s part of the Legislative Branch is a bizarre notion invented by Cheney to aggrandize the power of a unitary executive and look where it has gotten us. It has been very dangerous.” This is wong on multiple levels at once. Article I — which deals with the legislative, not the Executive branch, says: “The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.” The Vice President presides over the Senate by right, whenever he/she wants to, regardless of whether there’s a tie vote.

What’s more, Vice Presidents, until Spiro Agnew, got their offices and budgets from the Senate, not the Executive Branch. The legislative character of that office is traditional — treating the VP as part of the Executive Branch, and a sort of junior co-President, is a recent and, to my mind, unwise innovation. That’s discussed at more length in this article from the Northwestern University Law Review.

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