From time to time I find the need to speak politics over here at The Nut.
This is one of those times...
In an effort to keep from having to legally divulge information about the working of his inner circle, Dick Cheney has made the argument that the office of Vice President and his advisers are not a part of the executive branch.
I can not recall a time when I have been more disappointed and disillusioned by a presidential administration. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I just saw an advanced screening of Michael Moore's 'SiCKO', I dunno.
For the last 6+ years we have seen the Bush administration conduct itself in a manner completely contemptuous of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
From the creation of secret and private military forces in Iraq that are free to act outside of any Geneva Conventions and not accountable to any Federal or International laws; from the outright intentional distortion and manipulation of CIA data to justify an invasion of a sovereign state; from allowing establishments of faith to oversee the distribution of federal monies to the needy; from the creation of the category of 'Enemy Combatants' in order to by-pass international war laws when detaining and interrogating them; from the deliberate leaking of classified information in order to discredit political opponents (Libby); from the firing of federal prosecutors for political reasons; from illegal wiretapping of American Citizens; from appointing long time family friends to top positions in dozens of federal institutions despite their lack of qualifications (Dan Brown - FEMA, Paul Wolfowitz - World Bank to name just two); and now to claim that the Vice Presidency is not a part of The Executive Branch?!
Of what branch of government would Dick Cheney think his office is a part? Certainly not The Judicial (though I'm sure he would be thrilled at the possibilities that would offer). Not The Legislative (although they have made every effort to influence and sway the real Legislative Branch over the years). That leaves his office to be a part of The Executive Branch.
Cheney must face the realization that the privileges which come with his position do not override his limitations. His position is not that of a dictator. He has to answer to other branches of the federal government when it is appropriate. His claim is tantamount to saying "As V.P. I do not have to answer to anybody." Or in more frank terms "I am above the law!"
While The Bush Administration claims to be acting in the best interest of our country with all of these decisions, it is apparent that both he and Cheney see the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Due Process, Writ of Habius Corpus, Separation of Church and State, and The System of Checks and Balances as not foundations that make our country great but as irksome obstacles to making our country a dictatorship whereupon the 'President' makes his own laws without interference from (or having to answer to) anyone else.
In the current situation anyone who aligns them self with the viewpoints of Bush and Cheney is in fact not a patriot. A patriot is loyal not to any given administration but to The Constitution itself. The current administration (or "my government" as Bush has recently referred to it) has routinely acted in complete counter accordance with the concepts listed above.
In the current situation, a patriot of The United States would support not simply an impeachment of The Bush Administration but a complete overthrow of it if necessary.
I am a patriot.
I love the principles on which this country was founded. Our forefather's were spectacular in their foresight that each branch of government must be limited in its powers. I appreciate that we as citizens are directed (one might even say ordered) to overthrow our government whenever we see one branch acting against the outlining of The Constitution and overstepping its given powers.
I would love to hear an argument made that all of these policies made or attempted by Bush and Cheney do actually fall in complete allignment with the Constitution.

ps (BTW, I do not associate myself with any party and fully supported the impeachment of Bill Clinton for lying to a Grand Jury)