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The power that we yield to the President

  1. Jan 9, 2006 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    As for the current debate over the power that the executive branch should enjoy, this is surely one of the great balancing acts in American politics. As we know, in principle, all three branches of government are equal - they share power. Of course the problem is, what do we consider to be equal?

    For those who feel the frustration of a Congress that is and will always be implicitly slow and incapable of decisive action, consider that the legislative branch is the people's representation. Corrupt, often inept, slow, fickle, these are the complications of a democracy. Dictators make trains run on time, but democracy is complicated.

    Don't be a wimp.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 9, 2006 #2

    Curious3141

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    Agreed. "It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it" - Joseph Joubert.
     
  4. Jan 9, 2006 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    One more thing. Many people seem to misuderstand the concept of command-in-chief. This is the title held as the commander of the military. This does not make the President a King or dictator. Many seem to think that Bush should enjoy the power that he would have if we existed in a perpetual state of martial law.
     
  5. Jan 9, 2006 #4
    I think that the problem here is that we are supposed to be able to trust the president to do what is right and incase that doesn't work out trust the other two branches to do something about it if the president gets out of line. In the case where it appears we can't trust either it would seem to me that the problem falls on those citizens voted these people into office or are not putting enough pressure on their elected representatives.
    While there should be a relatively clear cut off point for the president's authority it would seem to me that the larger issue here is the failure of our system to do what it is supposed to do.
     
  6. Jan 10, 2006 #5
    The premise of checks and balances as intended by the founding fathers can be debated in general. However, the problem of NSA spying is much more specific. This matter has already been debated in our history, which resulted in the formation of the FISA courts. I see no reason why our nation must rehash this issue, nor justification for the executive branch to circumvent this oversight system.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2006
  7. Jan 10, 2006 #6
    Modern constitutional theory is incredibly interesting. Let us consider the case when a country has just gone through a revolution, and in most revolutions the insurgency has a head figure. Once power has been won by these insurgents, if they choose to affect widescale reform of the government's balance of power (As they do tend to) they reach a crossroads.
    On the one hand, they have been led by an obviously strong leader and, in the eyes of his followers, he is trustworthy enough to fill the bill as a head of state, heading a strong (if not singularly) executative branch of government. This system of government has great strengths, the head of state can be decisive and does not have to deal with the nitpicking of a legislative branch, to name but two strengths.

    However, instantly one sees the flaw, no matter how brilliant the first leader is, one must think about the man that follows him, and the man after that and the man who 60 years down the line has the power. One cannot rely on each of these men to be strong, resolute and fair. It is not safe to put all of the power in any one branch of the government by it legislative, administrative or executive. Thus, as hinted at above each branch of gov't acts as a check and balance for the other two, to prevent the one being extreme. Yet, with this 'safer' govt, one must put up with a 'slower' government, where debate occurs and as a result things take longer and are moved towards the center of feeling in the 3 branches.

    The executive branch of the US gov't is strong in a number of ways, it includes within it's purview; the control of the army, the veto and a great deal of weight with the public to brush only a few of the key points. Yet each is withstrained by his cabinet, the houses, and the public.

    So, US yeilds little power to the president


    NB I only write about 3 branches so as to simplify the case and to relate it to the US
     
  8. Jan 11, 2006 #7

    SOS2008

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    This is the same with rule of law and due process. The legal process in our country can be very slow and therefore expensive. But we are willing to make this sacrifice as a democracy to insure that the innocent are protected. This is the same reason for FISA court oversight to the executive branch, and other safeguards that should be in place for agencies such as the FBI etc. Otherwise citizens would indeed find themselves facing abuses from Hitler-like SS henchmen.
     
  9. Jan 11, 2006 #8

    Ivan Seeking

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    A 143 page pdf and part four of a series of four. I didn't spot the other papers online for free.

    http://law.vanderbilt.edu/faculty/pubs/yoo-unitaryexecinmodernera.pdf
     
  10. Jan 12, 2006 #9
    New Presidential Powers a key Motivation for Invading Iraq?

    This just came to me the other day. Could the Bush White House's invasion of Iraq, and perpetual fixation of WAR on terrorism have been part of a broader White House agenda to assert new Presidential Powers?

    Many around the U.S and world speculated a key motivation for taking a war to Iraq for for oil. Yet others eluded to the idea of a religious war. The Bush Whitwe house now says we are there to establish Democracy in the Middle East. I always thought we'd have had a better chance of consincing the Saudis of that concept.

    But it is most interesting now that the Bush White House keeps asserting its right to new powers as a result of war-time status, that on its face, was actually not a war, but a military ACTION that ended when Bush landed on the aircraft carrier and the fighting insergents fled.

    Does this hold water?
     
  11. Jan 12, 2006 #10

    Ivan Seeking

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    I will say this, Bush argues for War Power without end since there is no clearly defined war that has an end. And as I pointed out in another thread, the Cold War was a much greater threat than terrorism, yet we managed to preserve the Constitution back then; though we had to impeach Nixon to do it. And you know that this was the great threat promised by the Republicans back then - the reds are coming, the reds are coming. This is why the people around Nixon felt compelled to win at any price, as do those in power now, many of whom were around Nixon.

    Note how they continue to perpetuate the following lie. Regarding the NSA spying, Bush always states that we have to spy on the terrorists; as if that were the issue. He never confronts the issue of judicial oversight, which IS the issue. To me this shows a clear intent to deceive, and it is of such significance that it amounts to treason in my book.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2006
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