The MSNBC noisemaker Chris Matthews recently blasted Sarah Palin for remarks she had made to children regarding the role of the Vice President in the Senate, suggesting that the veep could have a policy role. Matthews screamed at McCain spokeswoman Nancy Pfotenhauer that Sarah didn't understand the Constitution, that all the veep could do was to break ties in the Senate.
That is the only specifically enumerated duty of the veep in the Senate, besides presiding over it, but the role is not Constitutionally limited to only that. But still, Matthews is a dull blade.
Here it is, from Article I, section 3 of our Constitution:
The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.
It says that the veep shall not have a vote unless the Senate is otherwise tied, but it does not say that the veep will otherwise sit there and drool.The McCain camp shot back:
"Chris Matthews further elaborated on his understanding of the role of the Vice President, saying that 'it has nothing to do with policy making, nothing to do with Senate leadership on either side of the aisle. There is no policy role there whatever for the vice president. If you'd even watched 'John Adams' on television a few months ago, you would know that, going into the very beginning of our democracy.' We have little hope that MSNBC will take a more even handed approach in covering this race over these last few days, but it is outrageous that Chris Matthews would rely on an HBO mini-series as the basis for his condescending attacks on Governor Palin. If he wishes to pose as a Constitutional scholar, he should read the document. This campaign has sent a copy to his office."
But hey, Matthews watches TV. He insists that he watched an HBO documentary once, and maybe he's caught Bill Maher a few times. He's required to watched MSNBC's Counting Down with Keefums, and when he gets older, he'll graduate from Sesame Street to Electric Company.
(The Michael Calderone post I've linked contains the vid of Matthews's mental meandering.)