Sunday, October 12, 2014

Does President Obama Have Enough Power?...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA Purveyor of Truth

My previous post, "What Obama Needs Is More Power...?", was all about the gushing of Gwyneth Paltrow about how wonderful it would be to give the President the power to get all the things he wants to accomplish accomplished. For the rational thinkers amongst us this is precisely what they don't want.

Our desire to limit the power of the president and the executive branch of government is a sound and admirable pursuit. It's not personal, it has absolutely nothing to do with race or the heritage of a specific individual, nor is it ideologically driven. Rather it is about the desire the accumulation of power in the hands of one individual r branch of government. Checks and balances are every bit as important today as they were when our founders instituted a government based on checks and balances.

One of this sites regular visitors, Dervish Sanders , and resident progressive irritant left the comment below in response to my previous post. His comment while perhaps being as much off the mark as on nevertheless is deserving of further discussion and debate.

It isn't about "power", it's about others in Congress working with instead of against the president. Obama was elected TWICE, after all. But so far a lot of the Change the president promised has been obstructed.

How I would rephrase what she said...

I think it would be wonderful if the voters selected representatives willing to work with the president so that the Change we all (the majority that voted for Obama) wanted could be put into action... as opposed to yet more obstruction.

First, it is about power. One of the flaws of our current two party system is it creates the winner take all mentality that in fact feeds into the desire to concentrate power in the hands one or the other of the major party structures. Given our diverse population, combined with the reality there is a multitude of political thought at play, doesn't it makes sense for Americans to seat multiple parties in congress thus forcing the situation that requires a coalition to form a "ruling" government? It certainly would result in the people "being heard." But I digress.

As for the rephrasing. It is true the president won the popular vote and over 50 percent of the states in both 2008 and 2012. Yet in 2010 the people chose to elect a republican Congress and retain it in 2012. If in fact the people of the nation were desirous of implementing all of the President's policy desires why would they elect in majority to Congress representatives opposed to the Presidents policy initiatives? Is it because they realized the need of a conservative moderating force to balance the more progressive initiatives of the President they elected?

Further, is it really obstruction to vote in the manner the majority of your constituencies would have you vote? Certainly a conundrum when the national political atmosphere is as overheated as it is in America today? Our winner take all mentality of 2008, 2010, 2012,and likely 2016 precludes any possibility of arriving at that reasonable, measured, rational, and workable compromise that will in fact make for a stronger and better America. Hence my argument for a multi party government that would require a coalition to form a ruling government. It would require compromise and it would more accurately represent American interests IMNHO.

Those are my thoughts on Dervish Sanders comment. Feel free to leave yours.


  1. At first glance, we note the pros: a two party system tends to offer only an either/or choice; within
    the two parties, only a limited range of ideology is tolerated; the voter may be pro-second amendment, but liberal in other areas...his, or any other vote is thus truncated; the voter is forced to
    accept what he considers ugly with the good. Additionally, the two party system is amenable to big
    money; it is easier to influence and control the large group of your choice that to throw big dollars at
    some little single issue party. Further thought would no doubt provide more examples of the weakness of the two party system. On the other hand, the cons: a scattering of widely divided parties
    suggests single issue parties, uninterested in the overall good. The semi-anarchy of numerous parties necessitates the formation of alliances, sometimes creating strange bedfellows. Historically,
    many countries with multiple parties replace their government frequently. Small parties make it more difficult to produce national leaders, and sometimes a strongly regional in outlook. Our own history with third parties has not been a raging success: where did the Bull Moose folks go? or the aptly
    named Know Nothing party? Perhaps Robert Lafollette, George Wallace, John Anderson, Ralph
    Nader and Ross Perot could offer historical insight?

  2. Mr. Sanders said: "I think it would be wonderful if the voters selected representatives willing to work with the president so that the Change we all (the majority that voted for Obama) wanted could be put into action... as opposed to yet more obstruction."

    I would add, that from a rational, non-partisans, and objective view as possible, one can equally say

    "I think it would be wonderful if the voters selected a President willing to work with the Congress so that the change we all (the majority that voted for these legislators) wanted could be put into action... as opposed to yet more obstruction."


    Anyway, RN, pertaining to your final statement,would you want to see the US go fully into a European-style parliamentary system?

    By the way, what is your take on the idea of "party loyalty" and voting a straight ticket in November?

  3. Off topic... right now the NYG are getting clobbered by the Eagles. I am in a VERY cranky mood.

    1. Can't imagine the final score made you any happier....

  4. RN: doesn't it makes sense for Americans to seat multiple parties in congress thus forcing the situation that requires a coalition to form a "ruling" government?

    I would not say that is a bad idea, but it is not the form of government set up by our Constitution. Obstructionism (which you are advocating for) won't magically transform our system into a parliamentary one. As for electing a president willing to work with the Congress... [1] We already have one. Obama has proposed incorporating many Republican supported ideas into legislation. Republicans said no because that would be at odds with their goal of obstructing to make Obama look bad. [2] Selecting a new president isn't an option in the upcoming election and one can NOT equally say that. You'll have to wait until 2016.

  5. All I will say is think it through further Dervish.

  6. Personally I find the idea of the "individual mandate", which victimizes families by forcing them to cut money for food, college, vacations, etc in order to pay for a commercial product they may or may not need, to be a negative thing. I am glad most Republicans (including the rank and file) now oppose it, even though some Republican leaders in the past supported it.

    I wish more Democrats also would oppose the mandate (which Obama has crafted into a massive tax hike on the middle class) and trust middle class families to make their own budget decisions based on priorities which these families, not the government, know best.

    Mr. Dervish has a good point in his [2]. But it is not so absolute. To some degree,mid-term Congressional elections are always influenced by the policies of the sitting President, and as such are a referendum as to whether the electorate supports the President and/or his/her agenda more, or if they support it less.


    BTW, it is Columbus Day. Mr. Dervish has made comments about it before. Far be it for me to dictate the content of his blog(s), but if he did a post on this subject, I would visit his blog, and perhaps comment. And as per decorum, I would be a good guest and not leave "you suck" type messages on his blog. This is the type of behavior everyone should agree to.

  7. You are correct dmarks, "you suck", and other such messages really are not productive at all and serve only IMO to put the other person on the defensive thus making dialogue difficult if not impossible.

    I admit to having engaged in that kind of activity (behavior), as most of us who are honest likely have at times during their blogging experience. I always argued that it was only after I was attacked that I did so. But really, it doesn't matter because regardless of reason or circumstances t serves the same end.

    Unfortunately this behavior effects many in politics .as well.

    Good point dmarks, thanks for bringing it up.

  8. I think we need more civil behavior. On the other side, we have folks that get so angry that Octo and I have reached an accord (even to the point of posting specifically about it) and the nameless trolls who comment on countles blogs how awful it is that RN gets along with Shaw. Cut from the same cloth. It is time to move up from this.

  9. Who are these folks dmarks refers to who are saying "you suck" or are "so angry"? Frankly I doubt they exist. But if dmarks is promising to be more civil from now on that is a good thing. I'll agree with him on that. I'll believe it when I see it, however.

  10. dmarks can speak for himself DS but I read his comment as a positive. I think he is simply acknowledging there really are asshats on both sides of the political spectrum and that it is basically BS.

    On the other hand I sense a definite sarcasm and dislike on your part DS.

    1. I welcome an improvement in tone from anyone. We can move on from just about anything, can't we? Though I can't imagine being quick to forgive/forget concerning Radical Redneck, Steve.... all one, or two of him whichever it turns out to be.

    2. Also, I will mention the Columbus Day thing to Mr. Sanders again. Had you posted about this before, in past years?

  11. I don't usually post about things when I'm aware of someone else saying it -and saying it better than I could. If you are interested in a post that reveals the truth about Columbus Day I recommend this one. Although it is by a "radio canardo" that you dislike.


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