The Presidency Needs to Change

2010 October 14
by drdog09

Make no mistake, the Presidency will still be the Chief Executive of the Federal Estate regardless. The problem however is that its role was perverted by the Cold War and the necessary adjustments needed have not occurred more for political reasons than any other. —

But it is possible to win the inside game and lose the outside game. In their darkest moments, White House aides wonder aloud whether it is even possible for a modern president to succeed, no matter how many bills he signs. Everything seems to conspire against the idea: an implacable opposition with little if any real interest in collaboration, a news media saturated with triviality and conflict, a culture that demands solutions yesterday, a societal cynicism that holds leadership in low regard. Some White House aides who were ready to carve a new spot on Mount Rushmore for their boss two years ago privately concede now that he cannot be another Abraham Lincoln after all. In this environment, they have increasingly concluded, it may be that every modern president is going to be, at best, average.


What many fail to observe is that for every Washington or Lincoln there is also some momentous event(s) that are occurring that these individuals arise to and conquer. No great event, no occurrence of greatness. A classic example is Eisenhower. His administration is by historical accounts listed as one of the dullest on record. Eisenhower is not remembered for his presidency but for his term as Supreme Allied Commander in one of the most critical periods of the 20th Century.

Eisenhower even warned about the rise of the military-industrial complex as a great maw that could devour the country. His lamentations on the matter is probably the reason that it has not happened. Instead a political-economic complex has developed that Eisenhower failed to observe. Regardless a combination of factors over the past 50 years have created a situation where the Presidency is ‘always on’. It was viewed as a necessity during the Cold War period as the only authorized component of the government to act in military matters. But that has bled over into other affairs far removed from military confrontation, a man on the moon.

The Apollo landing on the moon was the technical triumph of the ages for mankind and it should not be diminished. But at its heart the entire space race was a political event acting as a surrogate for the dominance of two political concepts one over the other. Initiated by a President, funded by a compliant Congress and made whole by ex-Germans. But as a example it encapsulates fully what is currently wrong with the Presidential modus operandi.

Up until the turn of the 19th century if you wanted to find great oratory or magnificent conflict you turned to the pages in the Congressional record or the personal letters of Jackson, Madison or Lewis & Clark for example. Except for the Jackson presidency the Chief Executive was dull. Green shades and sleeve protectors dull. Its role essentially to manage and enforce the laws initiated by the Congress. Congress was, if you wanted action, where you went. Fact if one were to transport the gaggle of the MSM they would within a very short period gravitate to the Congressional galleries rather than wait for a White House briefing. (Not withstanding that presidents then did not have White House correspondents.)

In its current incarnation the Presidency even perverts the actions of Congress in two ways. The first as a scapegoat mechanism. Look at the current election cycle. The Democrats are currently downplaying what? Their role in creating ObamaCare or Obama? You read the press and its 9:1 that the Democrats are running away from Obama not the policy decision that created it. Congress on the whole KNOWS it can create and pass bad bills because the omnipotence of the Executive branch will take the brunt of the blame for the outcome whether they want it or not.

The second is in the political realm itself. The lexicon speaks of it — ‘down stream election’, ‘coattails’, etc. Since the postwar period the concept has evolved that the Presidency affects everything downstream of it. The most telling being that the party in the White House will generally lose seats in the Congress. Now generally that has been the case. But that does not prove the cause an effect. There are a whole stream of that not being the case starting with FDR going back almost to Washington.

So what can be done? Plenty if we wish it. But one should not expect that the Executive Branch will just willfully give it up. First of all they can’t. The Executive is mandated to carry out the tasks assigned it. The second is, sadly for many in the Oval Office, they favor the breadth of power it carries. But a few steps seem to be in order —

  • Recognize that the Cold War period is truly over. Dr. Strangelove can be put to rest. Strategic nuclear defense will persist for quite some time. But the average American is more likely to die at the hands of someone holding an AK-47 than a nuclear trigger.
  • Know that the Speaker of the House is and should be the most powerful individual in Washington. They set the legislative agenda and consequently the purse strings to which the Executive should adhere. In order to reduce the role of the Executive to its fundamental purpose the Speaker will be required to marshal votes that will eliminate existing programs and consolidate others.
  • Remove the scapegoat. Partly by reducing programs. Partly by insisting that the Congress be more transparent. Partly by the voting public insisting on these items.
  • Other programs that might be necessary be removed from the Executive and remanded to the States along with the requisite taxation. An example would be the Dept of Transportation. The States have been for quite some time responsible for infrastructure in their individual districts. There is no reason consider that the States cannot operate concurrently at a national level as they do with the Universal Commercial Code.
  • Other functions just be handed back to the People. ObamaCare is a prime example. ATF another.

The Presidency in its all encompassing form had a purpose in the postwar period. But it has outlived that usefulness. Its time for a realignment. To do otherwise is to continue to grow the Executive beyond its present form till it can no longer function.

For some additional background consider this article.

* The reader is solely responsible for the condition of their stomach if they decide to read that 8 pages of trash.

42 Responses leave one →
  1. 2010 October 14 11:25 am
    MI Conservative permalink

    Good Post —

    I just think that there are possibilities for a president to succeed. It’s amazing that Bush and Clinton were elected twice with all the mistakes they made.

    But, Bush treated his opponents with respect which Obama cannot do.
    Bush listened to other viewpoints and could disagree and still talk to people and get along, Obama holds grudges.
    Bush still has respect for the office by not attacking Obama, ex-president Obama will dig at anyone who is president after he is out of office.

    Presidential leadership is what is lacking at this White House.

    Leaders listen, leaders respect others, leaders are flexible, leaders admit mistakes, leaders are humble, not arrogant. Why is Obama failing in so many Americans minds?

  2. 2010 October 14 11:40 am

  3. 2010 October 14 11:40 am
    justrand permalink

    even Clinton wasn’t in your face arrogant like Obama…and never stated a goal of “Fundamentally Transforming” America!

    p.s.: good post drdog!!

  4. 2010 October 14 11:55 am
    mulletover permalink

    Comment #2

    Pigford II = taxpayer ripoff = open door for massive fraud.

    Same as Pigford I.

  5. 2010 October 14 12:05 pm
    JustMary permalink

    #2 How many farmers struggle right here in the USA? How many Americans could that same amount of money help? How many jobs could that money create or save?

  6. 2010 October 14 12:52 pm
    TLS permalink

    Speaking of the need for change, this is via Newsmax on Justice Alito. He makes some great points from about half way through to the end including:

    Justice Alito’s speech was entitled “Let Judges Be Judges” and he used the occasion to warn that the nation’s most prestigious law schools are now dominated by “judicial theorists” who oppose judges applying the laws and the Constitution as written.

    “It’s critical for alternative voices to be heard in the law schools,” the justice said during the question-answer period. “The Federalist Society does a fantastic job of providing an alternative voice in law schools,” Alito said, referring to the 20,000-strong conservative legal society that believes the judiciary should “say what the law is, not what it should be.”

    “Asked whether a judge should apply the law as written or do what the judge thinks is fair and just, two thirds of those polled said ‘apply the law as written,’” Alito noted. Judges “have no warrant to pursue a reform agenda that is not grounded in the Constitution, and they should not aim to be theorists or crowd-pleasers,” he added. “Let judges be judges, for if they are not our legal system as we know it will fade away.”

  7. 2010 October 14 12:53 pm



    Good lord, Elizabeth Hasselback has some booming pair of legs!

  8. 2010 October 14 1:02 pm

    What a great day this is turning out to be!


  9. 2010 October 14 1:11 pm
    justrand permalink

    Eph, I’m not a big fan of O’Reilly these days, but he did GREAT in that clip…and the audience was with HIM…which is why the two morons walked off. And good on Barbara Walters (for once) for calling them out on it.

  10. 2010 October 14 1:20 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    Eph, Judge Vinson knew he had a gun to his head —

    “In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.”

    I would suggest that without a basis not to, a rational judge would recognize that to say no would probably trip wire the clause. If the Reps are smart they would start influencing the court to overturn ObamaCare. It solves a great deal of political wrangling for them were it to be overturned.

  11. 2010 October 14 1:22 pm
    drdog09 permalink


    I could envision Walters going off stage at a break and telling those two idiots ‘Your asses better be on the couch or you’re gone.’ Seeing as she is producer of the show and all.

  12. 2010 October 14 1:26 pm

    #2 – Hey why not bring up reparations too! BTW Did the fking indians (aka native americans) get their billions from the dept of the interior yet?

  13. 2010 October 14 1:29 pm

    “BTW Did the fking indians (aka native americans) get their billions from the dept of the interior yet?”

    mmmmmmmmmmmm sort of.

    they got the American Indian Gaming act passed in 1986. Close enough

  14. 2010 October 14 1:46 pm

    13 – No I mean the back money they are legitimately owed. Norton fuked it up getting them paid under Bush and Barry has since fucked it up trying to snow them (he was even talking about it as the ft. hood base shooting in TX was happening). They are owed like 1.25 billion from the feds for land use\lease or something sort of similar if I understand right.

  15. 2010 October 14 2:25 pm
    theghostofreason permalink

    Whoopi has not done a good movie since Predator.

  16. 2010 October 14 2:32 pm

    15. LOL!

  17. 2010 October 14 2:38 pm
    justrand permalink

    theghostofreason …best LOL of the day for me!! (I always felt her not being nominated for an Oscar for the role was pure RACISM!!!)

  18. 2010 October 14 2:46 pm
    JBoz permalink

  19. 2010 October 14 5:00 pm
    mulletover permalink


    Dat iz one ugly sucka.

  20. 2010 October 14 5:01 pm
    justrand permalink

    Drudge broke the story today of Michelle Obama campaiging INSIDE a polling place.

    The White House’s reaction was effectively: Let them eat cake!

    Michelle, you see, is above the law…as are the rest of our Democrat Masters

  21. 2010 October 14 5:19 pm
    JustMary permalink

    We should be spreading the word about the special voting day November 3rd just for Obama supporters in light of the Mrs doing her electioneering.

  22. 2010 October 14 5:54 pm
    JustMary permalink

  23. 2010 October 14 6:03 pm
    mulletover permalink

    Off topic….

    for those of you who use a shotgun for home defense —

  24. 2010 October 14 6:05 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    Way OT,

    For your Halloween pleasure. How about some Cat Bowling?

    Its harder than it looks! The speed varies from frame to frame.


  25. 2010 October 14 6:19 pm
    drdog09 permalink


    The load I have on the butt belt of the shotgun is slug-buck-slug x 2. So I suspect I could pretty much penetrate any wall in the home on the first shot. House only being 30×40 that is. But it very good advise.

  26. 2010 October 14 6:24 pm

    The best all around shotgun load for serious social work is the #1 buck. Most of the energy stays in the body. most of the swats use this.

  27. 2010 October 14 6:37 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    How does #1 buck do against 7/8″ Grade 2 ply? That’s what the flooring is on the upper floor. Wife won’t let me try it in the house, bummer.

  28. 2010 October 14 6:49 pm

    If you really need it, you won’t care about collateral damage.

  29. 2010 October 14 6:52 pm

    For you farm boys out there who have driven manure spreaders.

  30. 2010 October 14 7:03 pm
    mulletover permalink

    #1 buck is a good load. I tend to go up the scale for more pellets. Not that I have practiced in the home, but if I’m shooting around in a dark room, I want to be sure I hit something besides the Rembrants.

    The 7.5 field load in this article is a bunch of hooey. Cheney shot this lawyer buddy full in the face with birdshot, and the guy laughed it off.

  31. 2010 October 14 7:12 pm
    drdog09 permalink


    Looking at the pattern against the first ‘wall’ the barrel had to be no more than 2-3′ away. Its only 2-3″ across at the most. At that distance a rock salt load would punch thru.

    If I have to be shooting in the dark, I won’t worried about the pictures. My wife hates the velvet glow in the dark ‘Dogs playing Poker’ that hangs in the foyer. 🙂

  32. 2010 October 14 7:16 pm
    justrand permalink

    the shotgun lesson was very interesting. my takeaway is that if I can get the dirtbags to stand in a file I can nail 3 of them with one shot and save $$. and here I thought I wouldn’t learn anything today! 🙂

  33. 2010 October 14 7:19 pm

    In all shotshell loads, number 1 buckshot produces more potentially effective wound trauma than either #00 or #000 buck. In addition, number 1 buck is less likely to over-penetrate and exit an attacker’s body

    bang bang

  34. 2010 October 14 7:21 pm

    I will take my old M1 gun and nail them far away before they get to the perimeter.

  35. 2010 October 14 7:32 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    Hmm. Federal Buck is what I have on the butt belt. That was an interesting read IP.

  36. 2010 October 14 7:37 pm
    Deckard permalink

    I’d L-O-V-E to get my hands on one of the Mossberg 500 series – but I don’t want my purchase to be traced. Ugh. I’m looking to purchase quite soon BTW. Suggestions are most welcomed.

    “The View”story has gone viral on the Net. Most responses I’ve read agree that Blowhard (aka Behar) and Whoops-i want the show to be renamed “Our View”.

    As far as the OP and the Cold War being over – I don’t think so. Putin is ex-KGB and STILL pulls the strings even though Medvedyev is in power. Once a KGB, always a KGB – please refer to the situation in Georgia in 2008. I don’t trust either one of them.

    That awful piece on Fox about Obama demanding Re-thugs work with him should they gain power – he needs to put down the mirror, stop listening to Helen Reddy’s “I am Woman”, and have his diaper changed. Perhaps that’s why he’s cranky.

  37. 2010 October 14 7:39 pm
    mulletover permalink

    Yes. Enjoyed the read. Sent it to my son-in-law in Atlanta who’s already had one break-in. Fortunately, they weren’t home, and a neighbor witnessed it, video-taped them, got the license number, and called the police.

    They were apprehended about an hour later.

  38. 2010 October 14 7:45 pm
    drdog09 permalink


    I don’t trust the Russian Oligarchy any more than the old Soviets. But we have gotten past the point of who has the fastest trigger. So long as we maintain a credible level of capability its not an issue. The Russians might be blotto at times but they are rational players when it comes to this type of gamesmanship. I would be more freaked out about Iran or Al Qaeda getting a nuke — they are willing to use it ‘for the cause’ and gamesmanship is not on their playing card.

  39. 2010 October 14 7:51 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    Do yourself a favor, go look at DbD its a hoot —

  40. 2010 October 14 7:53 pm
    mulletover permalink

    DBD – LOL!

  41. 2010 October 14 8:28 pm
    JustMary permalink


  42. 2010 October 15 3:51 am

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