Cheney’s nose continues to grow

If Cheney never met Edwards, he has an evil twin.
Or maybe Cheney is the evil twin.

I fearlessly predicted that Cheney wouldn’t do well in the post-debate fact-checking. That has turned out to be correct, and quickly.

Kos and some of his commenters have caught Cheney in a lie so pointless and so shameless as to defy belief.

In giving Edwards a hard time about being absent from the Senate, Cheney said:

I am the president of Senate, the presiding officer. I’m up in the Senate most Tuesdays when they’re in session. The first time I ever met you was when you walked on the stage tonight.

Pretty dramatic. But, as it turns out, false.

Not only did Cheney on at least one occasion break a 50-50 Senate tie with Edwards voting against him, he shared at least two ceremonial duties with Edwards: Liddy Dole’s swearing-in ceremony, where Cheney administered the oath and Edwards accompanied his new colleague, and a National Prayer Breakfast:

cheny edwards.bmp

It’s hard to believe that Cheney was deliberately fibbing, since it was certain to come out. Sounds more like sloppy staff work and a senior moment. Still, it’s pretty bad. (One of Kos’s commenters quotes Sen. Leahy to the effect that Cheney, unlike previous VPs, refuses to meet with Senators from the other party.)

Update: Matt Yglesias catches the RNC repeating Cheney’s false statement, hours after it had been debunked not just in the blogs but by AP and NBC, and after Cheney had apparently acknowledged to Sen. Edwards’s wife that he had misspoken.

And Nick Confessore points out how thin the “Senator Gone” quote is: it comes from a single editorial in a three-times-a-week newspaper, not in Edwards’s hometown. The paper in question, commenting on Cheney’s quotation, says “Well, not exactly.”

Update: One of Brad DeLong’s commenters provides the punchline, though without citing a source: he claims that, despite the claim about “most Tuesdays,” Cheney has actually presided over the Senate twice in four years. That’s a little hard to believe, since Cheney must have presided at the beginning of each term and when he cast a tie-breaking vote, which he did at least once. Still, it would be very funny if the number were fewer than, say, six.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com