My favorite moment in tonight's debate came when Joe Biden told the truth about Dick Cheney:
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.
And the primary role of the vice president of the United States of America is to support the president of the United States of America, give that president his or her best judgment when sought, and as vice president, to preside over the Senate, only in a time when in fact there's a tie vote. The Constitution is explicit.
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.
As Barton Gellman and Jo Becker showed in their rather gentle prize-winning series in the Washington Post, what we've had for eight years is the Cheney-Bush administration. No surprise from a guy who picked himself to be "second-in-command." He forever changed Nance Garner's view that the vice presidency was worth no more than a "bucket of warm piss."