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why do we have a president?

 
 
OGIONIK
 
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2008 04:05 pm
whats the exact role of this? why dont we have a well informed council or something instead of a position that almost makes america seem like a dictatorship or a monarchy or something?

should we get rid of the presidency and instate a group of people?

say like 13 ? and stop seperating people into "dems" or "pubs"

its dumb. pure and simple. why isnt america trying to regroup? it seems like useless politics are killing america slowly, well not so slowly lately ;D

its speeding up a wee bit.
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Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2008 04:35 pm
Re: why do we have a president?
OGIONIK wrote:
whats the exact role of this? why dont we have a well informed council or something instead of a position that almost makes america seem like a dictatorship or a monarchy or something?


It has to do with inefficiency. A quorum of one is faster, if less fair/balanced.

As to the role, that is open to interpretation (for example I favor more limited presidential power than does Bush).

So the balance comes from branches of government, division of responsibility and such.

But having a head of state is a good idea, even if for symbolic reasons only.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2008 05:18 pm
Re: why do we have a president?
Robert Gentel wrote:
(for example I favor more limited presidential power than does Bush).


Me too.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2008 05:23 pm
Having a single chief magistrate is good for practical reasons, too. The absolute power of the executive is limited by the constitutional power of the Congress to create the executive departments, and the requirement that the President seek the advice and consent of the Senate when appointing officers of those departments.

In fact, the Virginia delegation was the only delegation to the constitutional convention which arrived with a plan. According to their plan, there would have been a plural executive, chosen by the legislative branch. The delegates very quickly rejected this portion of the plan. In the Continental Congress, the President of the Congress was the closest thing to a chief magistrate which the nation had. He was hamstrung by the power of congressional committees, who could keep him on as short a leash as they pleased. As he was chosen by the members of the Congress, he was beholden to them, and no end of intrigue accompanied the backroom negotiation for the position.

While the convention sat, the delegates looked to the front of the room each day and saw Washington sitting there, the President of the convention, by the choice of the delegates. No one there had any doubt that he would be the nation's first chief magistrate. Sadly, few of his successors have been able to meet his standards of personal probity and natural leadership. But the office was crafted with him in mind, and physically before the delegates each day. This is not to say that he created the office--he failed to get much that he wanted, such as a three-fourths vote to override an executive veto, and the power to create his own cabinet officers.

A lot of the questions you ask about the history of American governance, Ogionik, could be answered if you carefully read the declaration of independence and the constitution. I would recommend this page for an annotated hypertext version of the constitution. I would recommend the "Thomas" section of the Library of Congress web site for historical documents and in-depth information on the promulgation of the documents and their significance in American history. The Thomas section also contains archives of the history of Congressional legislation, so that if you were to become familiar with it, you could find out how the Congress works, how laws are made, and how we came to have the government we now have.
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Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2008 05:25 pm
Re: why do we have a president?
roger wrote:
Robert Gentel wrote:
(for example I favor more limited presidential power than does Bush).


Me too.


But just now on another thread you made me question that myself (when you, in one sentence, summed up line-item veto's benefits for me).

You made the great point that pork can't be vetoed without a line-item veto since pork will piggy back.

But the creative things Bush did to create a line-item veto are one of the things I'm talking about.

You made me think a good 10 minutes on that one when I read your post and am still not sure what my position on the line-item veto is going to be afterwards.

So I'm wondering where you lie on that specifically and if your opposition to the expansion of presidential powers by Bush is more about the other stuff he's done to stake out more presidential authority (there's a lot!).
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2008 05:43 pm
My issue here is what I think have been called signing statements, in which our president has signed bills, while making a statement of which parts he does not feel bound by. I am really surprised congress let him get away with that.

I did not realize it at the time, but the line item veto does come to the same thing, doesn't it? That is, in one case, I seem to support his picking and choosing the part of a budget he will accept, and in the other case, I oppose his picking and choosing the parts of other legislation he will adhere to.

Now, I'll have to do some further thinking.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2008 05:48 pm
The entire point of money bills originating exclusively from the House of Representatives is that the revenue derives more or less in proportion to the population, and that therefore the house with the proportional representation should have the power of the purse. I can think of few things more inimical to that principle than handing the President a line item veto power to exercise over the budget. I say, no way Jose.
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Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2008 05:58 pm
roger wrote:
My issue here is what I think have been called signing statements, in which our president has signed bills, while making a statement of which parts he does not feel bound by. I am really surprised congress let him get away with that.

I did not realize it at the time, but the line item veto does come to the same thing, doesn't it? That is, in one case, I seem to support his picking and choosing the part of a budget he will accept, and in the other case, I oppose his picking and choosing the parts of other legislation he will adhere to.

Now, I'll have to do some further thinking.


Yeah, to my mind he was effectively just creating a line-item veto power. I object to creating it when it doesn't exist without due process but am not sure about whether it's a good idea to legitimize it and I too am surprised that he has gotten away with it.
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Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2008 06:02 pm
Setanta wrote:
The entire point of money bills originating exclusively from the House of Representatives is that the revenue derives more or less in proportion to the population, and that therefore the house with the proportional representation should have the power of the purse. I can think of few things more inimical to that principle than handing the President a line item veto power to exercise over the budget. I say, no way Jose.


Those are the main reasons I don't want the president to have line-item power, but because of piggy backing I think there's too big of a loop-hole.

Thing is, I haven't thought of a good way to work it. I considered line-item at the House but that could be very complicated because of the inherent inefficiency of more people having a form of a veto. I am also thinking of enforced separation of bills (i.e. preventing piggy backing in the first place) but can't see that being codified well enough to work.

I need to think this one over.
0 Replies
 
hanno
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2008 07:21 pm
you're thinking maybe, one is like a monarch, and it gives them something to play king-of-the-hill and wreck the jernt over, but think of it in terms of inertia. After Clnton left a bunch of the crap he did went away. Turns out guns are alright, till tomorrow maybe, I dunno, and tax money as stimulus and back at it with Iraq. When Bush goes, we'll get us some stems cells and play the war like we wanna win it hopefully.

But a blob of people, with no one making the calls and taking the falls - theres a lot of non-constructive inertia, not to mention indecision.

Plus, I mean, you ever try to drive with someone else calling the moves? This is just an analogy I subscribe to, but as long as it can be overruled in due course, there's got to be one decisive hand on the wheel, and that one person at the helm puts a human, reachable face (Bush could've been a bit more reachable) on what would otherwise be a socialist-bureaucratic monster...
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2008 07:39 pm
I'll have to accept Setanta's line of reasoning. There will be times I don't like it, but that's the way it sometimes is.
0 Replies
 
 

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