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Will Bush Hand Over the Presidency Peaceably in 2009?

  1. Yes

    31 vote(s)
  2. No

    5 vote(s)
  3. Other

    4 vote(s)
  1. Feb 27, 2006 #1


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    Simple question, simple answers. We've had a lot of, what I consider, pontificating about the US becoming a "police state" lately (ehh, who am I kidding - people have been saying it for decades). I'd like to avoid the argument of what constitues a "police state" and are we actually moving in that direction for now and take the question all the way to it's logical end:

    Do you think Bush will hand over the Presidency peaceably in 2009 or will he make some effort to keep it? [if no, specify]
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 27, 2006 #2
    Barring any unforseeable events of great magnitude I would have to say that he will hand it over with out a hitch.
  4. Feb 27, 2006 #3
    I'll agree we're moving in the wrong direction, but he doesn't have that kind of hold yet. I wouldn't be surprised to see a push to eliminate presidential term limits sometime in the next decade or so. Its already clear the the government (both parties) are more interested in what serves them than what serves the people. Its only a matter of time.
  5. Feb 28, 2006 #4


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    It's hard to believe that any military/police agency out there would be so loyal to Bush as to break their oath to the Constitution and not depose him should he refuse to vacate his office at the appointed time. He'd be an idiot to even try it. ('Sure Bush, you and what army?')
  6. Feb 28, 2006 #5

    Pretty much. But the government already doesn't care about the constitution, its only a matter of time before the military/police agencies fall into line.
  7. Feb 28, 2006 #6
    My brother and I were talking about this exact thing the other day. He's a conspiracy buff, coupled with a christian believer in the apocolypse. If Bush tries it and succeeds, I know he will be convinced that the end is near. I on the other hand, as a veteran, am with Lyn on this one.
  8. Feb 28, 2006 #7


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    It's somewhat amazing and worrisome that such a question would even be considered. Has the situation in this country deteriorated so much?

    I voted yes - and I add - I hope that is the case, but we will not know until Jan 20, 2009.
  9. Feb 28, 2006 #8
    Bush will hand over presidency

    President Bush is not some kind of evil Tyrant, trying to establish permanent rule over the United States.
    He will hand over his Presidency willingly just as every other president in our countries history.
  10. Feb 28, 2006 #9


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    I fail to see the logic in arriving at this logical end.

    How is "the President handing over power in 2009" any indication that we are not moving towards a police state ?

    Does Roe v. Wade need to be overturned to confirm that we under a more conservative administration ?
  11. Feb 28, 2006 #10


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    Police state? Hmm: the "Garbage Gestapo" in Wash. or Ore.; the "Al Gore Water Closet Commandos" busting toilet tank smugglers at both borders --- naah --- "Keystone Kops" state, maybe.
  12. Feb 28, 2006 #11
    Just to make mention here, not every president has handed over the presidency willingly. There are a few rare exceptions. There was no violence involved or anything, but they did show some resistance.

    Apparently this is the reason why the Framers decided not to term limit the presidency originally. They were afraid that forcing a president to leave office via term limits could have generated the type of resistance that could have sprung into violent conflict in the early formative years of the Union.

    That being said, I really can't believe that there are even people out there debating this. Of course he's going to leave the presidency willingly. He may have done some bone head things in his presidency, but this is just far beyond the realms of imagination. Not even in the most fantastical dreams of the far-left or far-right could something like this ever happen.
  13. Feb 28, 2006 #12


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    I believe the OP is an extension of the debate before the 2004 election:



    Chicago Sun-Times
    USA Today
    Minneapolis Star-Tribune

    And so forth. This includes speculation of escalation into another world war:


    It is not so far fetched, especially with a less than scrupulous president and administration. :rolleyes: But I also agree with LYN that if it is done without support of the American people, it would require the support of the military, and this is not likely.

    So I voted "Other" since it depends on whether there is a crisis and/or popular support at the time.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2006
  14. Mar 1, 2006 #13


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    The logic is simply that the logical end of moving towad a police state is becoming a police state. I said I didn't want to argue over what that means exactly, in this thread and I meant it, but people generally consider Hitler's burning of the Reichstag and siezing of dictatorial power as the time when democracy finally died in Germany.

    Judging by some responses here, I probably should have included another possible answer - that he'd try some subterfuge (ie, repealing term limits, manufacturing a late-term crisis), but if he failed to get that through or a crisis failed to materialize, that he wouldn't try any further. That kinda, but not quite fits with the "no" response. Several comments, though....
    That's something I hear from time to time, but as a veteran, I don't accept that those in the military are somehow fundamentally different than everyone else. The police/military would not "fall into line".
    I don't think it has. In fact, such conspiracy theories are pretty common for a lot of presidencies (I linked the Clinton/Y2K conspiracy theory in another thread - people don't update their websites even 6 years after being wrong :uhh: ). So I don't think asking the question imlies anything about us moving in that direction.
  15. Mar 1, 2006 #14


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    Well the government DOESN'T folow the Constitution. The Constitution says that war may only be declared by Congress. Congress hasn't done tha since 1941. And how many wars have we been in since then?

    And don't talk to me about the War Powers Act! Where does the Constitution say the Legislative Branch can delegate its powers to the Executive Branch?

    The imperial presidency has been a problem for decades, but the Bush administration has taken it to a frightening new level. I don't see how you can deny that, Russ.
  16. Mar 1, 2006 #15
    Technically we've been at war with Iraq since the first gulf war. Did Congress not authorize that one?
  17. Mar 1, 2006 #16


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    They passed a resolution. A resolution has no legal force.
  18. Mar 1, 2006 #17


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    That is simply an area of the Constitution that is poorly worded/defined. It doesn't mean that it isn't being followed. Besides not defining the word "war", it also doesn't say what the point of "declaring war" is. Ie, if everyone already knows you are at war, why do you need to declare it?
    The War Powers Resolution isn't meant to give power to the Executive Branch, it is meant to clarify the vagaries in the Constitution alluded to above in order to reduce/cap the President's power. That is the stated purpose of the resolution.

    Your interpretation does not reflect the reality of why it was enacted.

    Not only that, but every President since it was enacted has considered it an unConstitutional reduction of his power. And given Congress's unwillingess to attempt to enforce it, I rather suspect they either agree or are too afraid that the USSC will agree to risk a challenge.
    Well, I didn't deny either in this thread, but since you asked.....

    If by "imperial Presidency", you mean that the Presidents of the past 50 years have been acting to increase their power, I would tend to agree that the statement is factually accurate, though disagree with the intended negative connotation of the label, and with considerable caveats due to the ups and downs caused by historical events. Ie, the powers Bush is exercising don't rise to the level of what Lincoln did in the Civil War and as far as expansion of government in general, they don't come close to what FDR did (though, yes, both are more than 50 years - why limit it to 50 years?).

    For the second part, that Bush has taken it to a higher level (than most in the past 50 years), I would also tend to agree that that is factually accurate, but again, disagree with the negative opinion-based word "frightening", partly for some of the same caveats as above and partly because of other caveats - like the real threat to our country that terrorism poses.

    Anyway, none of that has anything to do with what I was asking in the poll.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2006
  19. Mar 1, 2006 #18


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    And how can a mere resolution validly clarify the wording of the Constitution? The Constitution war clause is perfectly clear and everybody knew what war was back then. The problem today is that we have a huge standing army, something the framers deprecated and the scale of which they could never have imagined. The President doesn't have to approach Congress to raise an army, and Congress is just delighted for him to take the hard decisions off their hands. The President can just go ahead and commit forces in being, as Johnson did in 1965, and the War Powers thingy was intended to prevent future Presidents from doing that. But since it was only a resolution without legal force, it could never have curbed an ambitious President, and as we have seen with G.W. Bush, it didn't. His father, a long time Washington D.C. insider, was careful to preserve Congress's fig leaf, but that was entirely voluntary on his part.

    I repeat the Constitution is clear, and quibbling won't change its plain sense. And if you really - and not just for the sake of debating points - feel that it is in any way ambiguous, then the way to go is amendment, not to support the present shady evasions.

    The treat of terrorism really belongs in another thread, but I will merely state that I really am terrified by the measures the Bush administration has taken to evade and deny even the weak Judicial oversight that was in place when he took office. That frightens me a lot more than Osama bin Laden. The "only used against terrorists' is another fig leaf, and will be stripped away whenever some President wants to pursue some other "threat to democracy".
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2006
  20. Mar 1, 2006 #19
    Perhaps the Constitution does not explicitly state that the Congress cannot delegate its powers to the President, but that was, more or less, the Supreme Court's central holding in Clinton v. New York. The Court found in Clinton that congress could not delegate its veto authority to the President via the line item veto.

    Justice Breyer wrote a dissent in which he cited what he considers numerous examples of congressional delegation of powers. However Anthony Kennedy's concurring opinion refutes this idea as acceptable, saying that it would inevitably lead to the favoritism of certain group's rights over others.
  21. Mar 2, 2006 #20


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    It can't, legally - which is why there is a prevailing view that it is unconstitutional. That's what I said above - where we differed is that you said - incorrectly - that the WPR was an attempt to give more power to the President. You appear to hold the incorrect position that whenever a President commits forces anywhere, he needs a declaration of war. That has never been the practiced interpretation of the Constitution. Clearly, if that were true, then the President would not be CINC, as it says in the Constitution - Congress would be.
    That is untrue at face value: we fought an undeclared war with France from 1798-1800. So the problem has been around right from the beginning.
    And never did in the past either....
    Well, no - the WPR doesn't prevent the President from committing forces, it just puts a time limit on it pending Congressional approval. Congress understands that it doesn't have the power to prevent the President from exercising his power as CINC.
    Actually, while Bush II ignored the WPR, Congress did not - they passed an authorizing resolution without his request in order to avoid a fight about it.
    And I repeat - that is untrue at face value.
    True - but when Congress passed the WPR, it likely did that because it knew it would be unable to pass an amendment.
    Perhaps I should start another poll about the Patriot Act - I don't think it'll last beyond Bush's term. As I implied in a previous post, such extensions of power typically go away after the threat has passed.

    edit: more info on declared/undeclared wars in our past: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declaration_of_war_by_the_United_States

    The US has only declared war 11 times for 5 wars. And the Korean War was never even approved by Congress (in a WPR type resolution, as many earlier wars were).
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2006
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