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The Imperial Presidency

Discussion in 'The OT' started by Cholly, Jul 19, 2006.

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  1. Cholly

    Cholly Old Guys Rule! DBSTalk Club

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    Events over the past several years have led me to believe that President Bush acts more like a monarch than a president. By this, I mean he gives the appearance of catering to a few selected groups (members of th aristocracy -- big oil, the very rich, the religious right) rather than to the electorate as a whole. One can cite a similar situation during FDR's term(s) of office. Although a lot of good came out of FDR's 3 plus terms in office, the impression of "imperial presidency" during that period was enough to bring about the limitation of presidential term of office.

    At the risk of being labled as a tree hugging wacko liberal, I cite these somewhat oversimplified examples that are sure to give rise to argument:

    * He chose to go to war in Iraq, disregarding the advice of his father, who had been in office during Saddam's invasion of Kuwait, and had backed off from an all-out war. (I think there are very few people who would disagree with the idea of "taking out" Saddam, but the amount of destruction that occurred in the all-out assault has resulted in worse conditions in Iraq than existed while Saddam was in power, and has caused great harm to the U.S. reputation in the international community).

    * His promised veto of the bill on stem cell research shows that he is listening to the preachings of the religious right rather than the will of the people. (I certainly don't advocate the harvesting of embryos from pregnant women, but there are many other sources of embryonic tissue that would be available.)

    * He ignores laws when he chooses, such as the NSA wiretaps. (he has incurred the wrath of the legislative branch for this and numerous other acts)

    * He has consistently worked to emasculate environmental laws, siding with big oil and the "big three" automakers (oops-- they aren't the big three any more).


    Do the dem's have someone better to offer as a presidential candidate? Probably not. They are in such disarray that Sen. Clinton may well wind up being their candidate in the next election -- a huge mistake, given her personna. She may be respected as a good senator for New York, but her image will be a huge detriment to the party. They need to find a poitical moderate.
    On the other hand, if the Republican party chooses a candidate viewed as being from the extreme right, they could also have a problem.

    OK, folks: fire away!
     
  2. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    My suggestion, Chucky boy: get used to it -- we are in charge now! :dance07:

    ;)
     
  3. LtMunst

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    Squandering the perfect opportunity to take out Saddam and bring order to the region when we truly had overwhelming superiority and significant support from the Arab league.



    I'll bet all those people discovered in mass graves would disagree.
     
  4. Halfsek

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    Cholly, you even admit that the examples are oversimplied. And you expect to make a case that the twice legally elected president, with 2 other branches of government there to balance him out is acting as a monarch?

    You're going to have to do better than giving oversimplified examples.

    For example, Bush didn't "choose" to go to war and personally send the troops. He not only got authorization from Congress, but continual funding of the war effort.

    What was the bill on stem cell research? Again, way over simplified. Was it a bill legalizing it? Making it illegal? Making stem cell farms? As far as I know, stem cell research, under Bush, is legal.

    You leave out too much.
     
  5. Danny R

    Danny R Goblin the Pug DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Looks like bush used his very first veto on this.

    What was the bill on stem cell research?

    As far as I know, stem cell research, under Bush, is legal.

    Its legal, but severely limited because federal funding isn't allowed (except for a few select lines, most of which are now almost worthless). Thus only corporations will be allowed to do such research using their own funds, and have no compulsions to share their results with others (thus severely limiting the knowlege obtained)
     
  6. Halfsek

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    I know what the bill was. I was just trying to get across that his example of "His promised veto of the bill on stem cell research..." was very vague and not a good example of what he was trying to get across.

    His point is that Bush is acting as a Monarch. One veto (Bush's first ever) on one bill, expecially when described in a very minimal way is a bad example of that charge.
     
  7. John W

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    Certainly he would have wanted to roll some of these back, but, it is all but impossible.I am an environmental manager and nothing is any easier now than its ever been.
     
  8. durl

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    Imperial? Oh, that never fails to make me laugh...

    Just for the record (thanks to Miriam-Webster):

    -Imperial - of, relating to, befitting, or suggestive of an empire or an emperor.
    -Empire - a major political unit having a territory of great extent or a number of territories or peoples under a single sovereign authority;

    Are there any countries that are currently under the authority of the US?

    Iraq - Iraq and the US were operating under a cease-fire after the Gulf War. No formal end to hostilities had been signed. Saddam failed to live up to the cease-fire when he kicked out UN inspectors. That alone was reason enough to go back in. Why did W's father advise against it? Who knows? Maybe he knew that the public wouldn't understand the dynamics and be against it regardless of evidence. Bush the Sr knew from experience that world leaders are wishy-washy about such things. He could get a coalition to get Saddam out of Kuwait, but not their approval to remove the dictator who uses WMDs and invades his neighbors.

    Stem Cell Research - There's been (to my knowledge) no major medical breakthroughs using embryonic stem cells. There has been, however, breakthroughs using adult stem cells. I remember reading a column by a handicapped man (permanently in a wheelchair) who said that politicians are cruel to hold out hope to those they claim might benefit from embryonic stem cell research. They want the votes, but they can't promise cures.

    Ignores laws - NSA? Select members of Congress were notified and had no problem when it was discussed. Bill Clinton, in 1994, argued that the president has inherent authority to order searches without a warrant for foreign intelligent purposes. Where was the outcry then?

    Environmental laws - Are there any stats on how many people are dying from environmental damage today as opposed to 7-8 years ago?

    I think we've reached a new era in American politics. Up until 2000, every bad thing that happened, every hurricane, earthquake, financial scandal, was Reagan's fault. From now on, it appears that everything will be Bush's fault.
     
  9. Danny R

    Danny R Goblin the Pug DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Stem Cell Research - There's been (to my knowledge) no major medical breakthroughs using embryonic stem cells. There has been, however, breakthroughs using adult stem cells.

    Thats reaching a bit...

    Adult stem cells have been studied for some 40 odd years (and during that time, only Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) from bone marrow have ever been used in therapy).

    Embryonic stem cells were first isolated and studied just 8 years ago and yet during that time have proven far more versatile. Every new advance in adult cells since then has come as a direct response to studying the embronic cells. Ban the later, and you will severely stiffle the progress of adult stem cell research.
     
  10. Cholly

    Cholly Old Guys Rule! DBSTalk Club

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    Lessee now - Imperial Presidency uses the first definition you cite.

    Saddam -- no question that he was a tyrant and practiced genocide. That predates both Bush administrations and Clinton's. The point I was trying to make is that the attacks were made based on unconfirmed intelligence (the CIA warned of this), and presented to the Congress as fact. In the process of "liberating Iraq", Iraq's infrastructure was destroyed, and we alienated countries both in Europe and the Middle East. Saddam was not the only tyrant guilty of genocide during the last twenty years. One need only need look to Africa to see many examples of genocide -- Ethiopia, the Sudan, Libya, to name a few.

    Environmental laws -- you might check some of the web sites of environmentalist groups for more information.

    Ignores laws, fails to notify Congress -- yup -- The head of the Senate select committee (a Republican) has stated that. Clinton may have argued for searches, but the current administration goes far beyond that.

    Stem Cell research: The veto today was clearly for religious reasons.

    Your statment about "Reagan's fault, Bush's fault" is just plain silly and untrue.

    I initiated this thread to stimulate comments from both sides of the political aisle. I fully anticipated the rebuttals that have been posted. Of course the points I brought up are oversimplified. They've all been debated to death here in other threads by people of all political persuasions.
     
  11. Halfsek

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    So what's the difference? You see the Iraq war with your point of view, others see it another way. You're taking it one step further by claiming that Bush is doing it all by himself. That is simply not the case.

    Again, you oversimplified Iraq. You completely left out many important factors leading up to the war.
    You claim that Bush wanted it and Bush did it. It's not that easy.

    Of course environmentalists are going to be mad with Bush for easing some restrictions. But will you admit that some of them might have been too tight to begin with?

    So what if the stem cell decision was based on religion? He never claimed to be non religious. And if that really were as bad as you suggest, he'd push to ban fetal stem cell research all together. But he's not.

    You're using the same old Blame Bush argument but from a different direction.

    I'm sorry, but for someone to actually believe that he's weilding some sort of dictatorial power is just plain silly. Bush is unable to do anything like you've suggested without the support of Congress.
     
  12. Bogy

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    Enjoy it while it lasts. It won't last much longer. Then the adults will have to start cleaning up the mess again. :nono:
     
  13. Cholly

    Cholly Old Guys Rule! DBSTalk Club

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    Halfsek: I do not blame Bush alone for the transgressions of his administration. I blame the Executive branch as a whole.

    Obviously, you didn't read any of the stories that have come out over the past few years about the topics I mentioned very briefly in my initial post.

    Additional funding for stem cell research was passed by Congress, vetoed by Pres. Bush despite the urging of scientists, celebrities (including your governor) and most members of Congress. The attempt to override the veto failed in the House due to the vote of conservative republicans eager to satisfy the "religious right" and curry their votes in the fall elections. Interestingly, the Congress passed a law specifically prohibiting the "harvesting" of embryos. Why, then, did the president veto the funding bill?

    Regarding the NSA wiretapping flalp: the administration conveniently failed to inform the Senate Intelligence committee about what was going on.

    Re: the environment: The administration has stonewalled attempts to strengthen air pollution standards and is being sued by 12 states, including your home state of California. (Air pollution kills people, or weren't you aware of that?) The administration has okayed the clear cutting of forests and has opened the Alaskan wildlife refuge to big oil.d If you have never been to Alaska, you have no clue as to how fragile the ecosystem is there. And just what restrictions do you think may have been too tight?

    Re: Iraq. The Congress never issued a declaration of war against Iraq, to my recall. Of course, there are many points of view, but it should be obvious by now to everyone that the administration did not and does not understand the mindset of the people in the Middle East. Throughout recorded history, the area of Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Palestine, etc. has been one of continuing conflict between various religious and ethnic groups. Genocide has been practiced in the region for hundreds, even thousands of years. These people have fouled their own nests, and don't look too kindly on our attempts to bring western democracy to the region.
     
  14. Capmeister

    Capmeister Large Hairless ApeCutting Edge: ECHELON '08

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    Charlie, it's silly rhetoric. Only if Bush took steps to replace the constitutional checks and balances on his power would he be attempting such a presidency as you ascribe to him. He's certainly being an ACTIVE president, but you'll note that when the Surpreme Court said that he can't have the military tribunals he wanted, he neither had them killed, nor removed them from office, nor changed their authority. His administration said "okay, they said the law of the land was this way, we'll work within that framework."

    Now, you can make the case that Bush is an activist and strong President, but so was Kennedy, so was Johnson, both Democrats. And heck, I remember Clinton issuing executive orders about every day, don't you?

    Making a case that he's usurping the authority of the other branches of government in his actions? Sorry, I don't see it.
     
  15. Halfsek

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    Cholly, you're just giving examples of policies which you don't agree with. Totally fair and understandable. There are policies of Bush I don't agree with. But that's what you get. You're never going to get a president who does 100% of the stuff you want.

    The debate in this thread isn't whether or not his environmental policies are good or bad, it's whether or not he's acting with power beyond what is given to him as president. He hasn't.
     
  16. Bogy

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    No, I don't. As you don't remember things I do from that time, I don't remember this. Please provide proof.
     
  17. Capmeister

    Capmeister Large Hairless ApeCutting Edge: ECHELON '08

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    Here, from the NYT:

     
  18. Bogy

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    Once a day? Once a week?
    You have not offered proof that President Clinton issued executive orders every day. It appears you made a wild and unsubstantiated claim, possibly even a lie. This is what you often accuse me off. HMMMM. :lol: If I were you I guess I would have to threaten to block you. :lol:
     
  19. Capmeister

    Capmeister Large Hairless ApeCutting Edge: ECHELON '08

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    I didn't say every day. I said "about every day" and it wasn't supposed to be a specific number but a way of saying "a lot." It's called informal speech. And toward the end of his presidency it may have been almost every day. His AVERAGE was about one a week. If there were weeks he did not do any... you do the math.

    But, if you'd like to just nit pick stuff like this, that's cool. I'll just not accept delivery. Have a nice day. :)
     
  20. Capmeister

    Capmeister Large Hairless ApeCutting Edge: ECHELON '08

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