Split in the ticket?

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Aug 26, 2004

When was the last time that an American vice president voiced clear public disagreement with the president on an issue as important as a proposed constitutional amendment?

I may be wrong-- corrections welcome-- but I think it was 1832.

Here's what happened then: Vice President John C. Calhoun couldn't agree with President Andrew Jackson on the issue of state nullification. So he resigned. But even that didn't end the dispute between Jackson and Calhoun. The President sent warships to the ports of Calhoun's native South Carolina, to ensure enforcement of the tariff that Calhoun had opposed.

There will be no warships dispatched in this case. Still it's astonishing that VP Dick Cheney would voice public disagreement with President Bush on same-sex "marriage"-- just before the convention at which the President could, if he wanted, choose another running mate.

You can be very sure that Bush wouldn't tolerate a running-mate who disagreed with him on the war in Iraq. You've got to wonder how seriously he takes the question of marriage.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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  • Posted by: - Aug. 30, 2004 1:41 PM ET USA

    Yes, well, this is a gentleman's way of tipping his hat to the Commander in Chief that he no longer desires to be the vice president. President Bush needs to accomodate Mr. Cheney and take on a new running mate.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 28, 2004 11:51 AM ET USA

    My faith in the intelligence of my Catholic brothers is returning.Thanks for a factual observation of what is gooing on(spelling intentional) in the Bush camp.This is only the tip of the iceberg as far as dissagreements between Cheney and Bush are concerned.Stay tuned.Wycliffe

  • Posted by: - Aug. 28, 2004 9:41 AM ET USA

    Successful politicians in a post-Christian pagan society will never be driven by strong religious principles. The only argument of any substance against gay marriage isn't "the children need a mom and a dad" or "marriage has always been this way." The only argument of substance is that sodomy is a sin that cries out to God for vengeance. Its official acceptance will bring un told suffering upon the entire nation as God justly punishes us all. That is the reason to oppose "gay marriage."

  • Posted by: - Aug. 26, 2004 7:32 PM ET USA

    Cheney did not endorse smae sex marriage in his statement. He talked about freedom for everyone. I think there has been a misenterpretation of his remarks

  • Posted by: - Aug. 26, 2004 4:39 PM ET USA

    Bush likes the amendment idea because he believes that the full faith and credit clause of the constitution trumps the individual state’s right to legislate on marriage. Cheney doesn’t see it that way, so he supports the state-by-state solution. It’s a stretch to interpret that to mean that Cheney is in favor of so-called gay marriage. Besides, both Cheney and Bush know that the proposed amendment will never pass Congress, so it’s a safe way for Cheney to show his independence from Dubya.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 26, 2004 4:37 PM ET USA

    My spin on this is that the Republicans are testing public reaction to what Cheney said to formulate the "gay agenda." What he actually said was vague enough that they could get off the hook if conservatives come after him over this. Republicans are not yet sure how to deal with the gay issue. If they come out too strong against gays the media will excoriate them thus taking the attention away from Kerrys major issues with his vietnam experiences which is a major plus now for Bush in polls.

  • Posted by: miasarx - Aug. 26, 2004 3:48 PM ET USA

    It's amazing how someone can be thoughtful & bright about some issues and then absolutely clueless on others. Gay daughter or no gay daughter, is Cheney SO obtuse????

  • Posted by: - Aug. 26, 2004 1:05 PM ET USA

    All political considerations aside, Bush should replace Cheney with General Franks. Cheney's home State would go for Bush anyway with its mere 3 electoral votes !

  • Posted by: - Aug. 26, 2004 12:34 PM ET USA

    Well, we could always ask the bishops. Perhaps they can find loopholes (or is it ratholes?) to crawl away from taking responsibility for more than their dry cleaning.