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Forget the President, Think Congress

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posted on Jul, 22 2008 @ 04:43 PM
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As we debate the issues, tear each other's candidates to shred, and insult each other, one should ask him or herself, How much power does the President really have? If we elect this person as President, what guarantees do we have that this person will be able to resolve some of our problems? The answer may surprise many of us.

Maybe we should be more focused on who we elect to Congress. After all, Congress is the one who passes the legislation that impacts our lives the most. Maybe we should require all Congressmen and Senators to sign a legal contract with their represented states stating what issues they intend to fix.

Point is no matter how good you think your candidate is, Congress has the upper hand. They are the ones who pass the legislation and ultimately decide the fate of the President.

The question is How do we get Congress to address and pass meaningful legislation?

Issues like the national debt, social security, Medicare, jobs going overseas, etc. These issues are controversial but need to be confronted.



U.S. president has less power than candidates might lead you to think
By Steven Thomma | McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — As a member of Congress for years, Leon Panetta often heard complaints about gasoline prices. He'd look up Pennsylvania Avenue toward the White House and think that the president should do something about it.

All that power to be applied — domestically, diplomatically. "Surely the president has the ability to do something," he thought.

Then Panetta went to the White House himself, first as the director of the Office of Management and Budget, then as the chief of staff to President Clinton. He found that there wasn't much a president could do to bring down the cost of gasoline. The office wasn't that powerful.


source




posted on Jul, 22 2008 @ 05:31 PM
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You are quite right, but ATS members are more interesting in pointing fingers than an actual discussion - as is most of the population. The reason why people put so much into executive branch politics is because its much easier to point the finger at 1 person than it is to every single person in the congress and the senate. Even though the President has little direct power over 99% of the things people whine about, they will still do it because hes (or she!) is an easy target.

The real power of the U.S. government is first in the Congress and Senate, then the Supreme Court, and lastly the President. But as you can see on ATS, people rabidly and frantically pile on one another to gleefully bash Bush (as they will the next President), but no one bothers examining that most of the things they bring out their Bush bashing sticks for are the fault of the Congress.

Silly me, I keep forgetting we must not let facts get in the way of bashing on ATS...

[edit on 22-7-2008 by ALightinDarkness]



posted on Jul, 22 2008 @ 05:38 PM
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Good thread. I was reading something today about Jimmy Carter, the most hated president in recent history. He wanted to beef up the military, being a Navy man himself and caught slack from his own party, specifically Ted Kennedy. Ted basically submarined Carter.



posted on Jul, 22 2008 @ 05:41 PM
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I see your logic. But if I may take it a step further.

No matter who you elect, to whatever position of power. It is inevitable that sooner or later the bureaucracy that develops around these systems of power become corrupt. People have a way of learning the system and knowing how to avoid being caught. Add to that that people in positions of power have a way of being immune to prosecution.

Individuals who are motivated to seek these positions are exactly the type of personalities that you do not want to hold these positions. They are almost always self serving.


In today's world I see no reason why it is, that. The people can not vote on exactly the same things that congress votes on. The only difference is that. The people would not be serving their self interest's and would therefore be immune to corruption.

Just take a look at some of the things that government passes. And you are left thinking to yourself, why would they do that?
If you take that power away from the few and give it to the many. The people get exactly what they want.
You couldn't do this in the past. There was never a viable means to accomplish this. However with the advent of the internet there is no reason that I can think of not to

We now have the capability to allow the majority of the population to vote instantly via the internet. Some will argue that this is not a secure way to vote. I completely disagree. If you can do your banking online why shouldn't you be able to vote online?

[edit on 22-7-2008 by foremanator]



posted on Jul, 23 2008 @ 12:16 AM
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reply to post by jam321
 


Excellent points in this thread. I never realized about the Jimmy Carter Ted Kennedy connection.

As it relates to congress though, I think it's very difficult for congress to get anything done with a president who has used the veto power astronomically more than any president ever.

Then, you now have a primarily Democratic congress, and a lame duck president, who continues to use veto power.

I agree though Congress is the real power, but even it is checked by the "inaction" of the executive.



posted on Jul, 23 2008 @ 03:04 AM
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Originally posted by Quazga
As it relates to congress though, I think it's very difficult for congress to get anything done with a president who has used the veto power astronomically more than any president ever.


This is simply not the case and is wrong. George Bush has vetoed less bills than any President in recent history. You have to go all the way back to Warren Harding in the 1920s to find a president who has vetoed less. Note that this includes both regular vetoes and pocket vetoes.

Much as I dislike to use wikipedia, this is a well sources table showing you that:
en.wikipedia.org...

The same has been confirmed by the peer reviewed literature, which I can't post due to copyright.



posted on Jul, 23 2008 @ 12:22 PM
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Originally posted by ALightinDarkness

Originally posted by Quazga
As it relates to congress though, I think it's very difficult for congress to get anything done with a president who has used the veto power astronomically more than any president ever.


This is simply not the case and is wrong. George Bush has vetoed less bills than any President in recent history. You have to go all the way back to Warren Harding in the 1920s to find a president who has vetoed less. Note that this includes both regular vetoes and pocket vetoes.

Much as I dislike to use wikipedia, this is a well sources table showing you that:
en.wikipedia.org...

The same has been confirmed by the peer reviewed literature, which I can't post due to copyright.


Hey thanks for the link. And actually you are also a bit wrong. He hasn't vetoed less by a far margin. The link you posted shows that he has vetoed 11 but others vetoed less and others vetoed more.


I'm sorry for mispeaking, and now I'm trying to remember what it was he has used more than any other president, and it maybe it was claiming executive privilege.

Not sure.. .but thanks for the link!



posted on Jul, 23 2008 @ 12:25 PM
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I said Bush has not vetoed less than any other President since Harding. This is true, and this is what the chart shows. In recent history, he has vetoed very little compared to any other President.

Bush's claiming of executive privilege has no impact on the importance of the Congress, which was the point of the OP.



posted on Jul, 23 2008 @ 09:07 PM
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I appreciate everybody contributing quality comments to this post. I really feel this is an important issue we need to fix in order to move the United States in a positive direction. Just seems that Congress can no longer relate to the struggles the average American is going through. While we are debating on who will be our next President, let's also keep in mind that ultimately his success will depend on Congress. A Congress who for the most part only cares for its own party platform and a Congress that seeks to humiliate each others party at every given opportunity.





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