The House has just passed a bill that would give Vice President Dick Cheney and his successors up to six months of Secret Service protection after leaving office. The secretary of Homeland Security could extend it if warranted.
That’s fine both on general principle and on the basis that Cheney was a controversial figure and intensely disliked in some quarters. Whether you approved his performance or not, he did his country a service and should not be put at risk for it once back in private life.
However, we would insert one caveat: The protection should be at considerably less than the imperial levels he has enjoyed while in office.
And that means no more motorcades.
The vice president’s motorcades are notorious in Washington for their size and disruption (documented in videos on YouTube) as major arteries like Massachusetts Avenue are blocked off so the vice president can roar between his home and office, a trip that a local television station calculated cost the Washington taxpayers $3,000 each way for his large police escort.
A two-car motorcade should do it. And if extra security is called for, the former vice president could always ride shotgun.