Saturday, April 7, 2012

Mind Boggling Power

There are two things that politicians love. They love money and they love power. But if a politician had to choose between them, I have no doubt that the choice would be power. If you have power, money follows. If you are the President of The United States, you have, from the get-go, just about as much power as a person should ever want or need.

Think about it. You live in a fine mansion for free. Everything is done for you without your even asking. Even your shoes are always perfectly polished. Your favorite foods are always at hand. You and your family travel in the finest plane in the world to the finest destinations in the world and everyone is constantly protected by the finest, most highly trained group of professionals in the world. The mind boggles. At least mine does. Maybe I just boggle easily.

Many past presidents did push the envelope, taking a little bit more power than was immediately granted at their swearing in. They would occasionally appoint "tsars" to handle special areas that the president felt needed special consideration. Presidents are supposed to place high level appointments before the Senate for them to examine and give "advice and consent" for these appointments. Tsars circumvent this process as they are direct appointments. But in many cases they have more power and access than cabinet members.

Another really handy tool for presidents is the "Presidential Finding". The president can sign an order for something to be done and it will be done. The finding can even be granted a special classification of "Presidential Secret" which would give no one but the president or his appointee clearance to see what is contained in that particular finding. The president controls who has clearance for a finding and it applies only for that particular finding. These findings can do things which would normally have to go through Congress for passage.

All presidents in recent years have indulged themselves to some extent in expanding their power. None has even came close to the present administration. We will never know about the findings that have been issued, but certainly the appointment of tsars has been excessive. The tsars do by regulation what the Congress should be doing through law. Our elected Congress has been taken out of the loop and made superfluous. The worst part is that they continue to allow the president to usurp their authority. Could they stop it? Absolutely. Congress could defund anything that they did not approve. For all his power, the president still doesn't have the power of the checkbook. Do they take this action? No. They do not have the intestinal fortitude and patriotism to stand up and be counted.

Now the president is taking on the Supreme Court of the United States of America. That august body that has always been treated with respect and reverence by the body politic as a whole is now described as "a bunch of unelected people" and "judicial activists". I am sure that the president, as an undergraduate, took at least one course on political science. And I am also sure that as a law student he took "Constitutional Law". He knows, very well, the position and power of the Supreme Court.Thankfully the courts are fighting back. I doubt that even the presidents closest friends on the supreme court will succumb to his derogatory remarks.

If the high court should not protect their domain, we have lost a government of three equal branches. We will no longer have a president we will have a king. If we end up with a king, what is the point of having an election. Maybe that is the point. Think about it. 

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