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USA Presidential Power? Greatly Over Exaggerated!

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posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 08:04 PM
I see a lot of discussion of issues, but everone seems to forget or ignore that the USA President is mainly just a figurehead.

Let's review the Presidents powers:


#1. Can veto legislation, but Congress can override that veto, and often does.

#2. Can suggest legislation. So can anyone.

#3. Can nominate government officials, including Supreme Court justices, but Congress needs to approve any nomination. Once approved by congress, the President CANNOT dismiss these officials.

#4. Can pardon criminals. (Important to criminals, maybe.)

#5. Can convene or dismiss sessions of Congress. When did that happen last?

#6. As Commander in Chief, can TEMPORARILY mobilize the military in times of crises, but Congress must approve any permanent mobilization, or major changes.


NOTHING MAJOR happens in this country without Congressional approval.

The main power of the president is that he (or she) is a figurehead for the government. They get to talk to reporters, and meet with other heads of state. They can get appointments with Senators and Representatives and Governors, and hold dinner parties for important people.

This is the reason that we see a lot of personal attacks: who do you want as the figurehead of the USA? What kind of person? Who is most attractive?

Am I missing something? If so, please let me know….

posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 08:22 PM
So -- just to conclude -- I am really sick of hearing how Obama is going to raise taxes, or Mccain is going to continue the war.

The President does not have the power to do either one of those things.

Congress will do what it is going to do, regardless of who we elect President.

Who is your district's Congressman? Can you name your two Senators? Because, these are the people who are going to make those decisions.

Even if you know them, can you detail any part of their voting records?

posted on Sep, 18 2008 @ 12:35 AM
Just one more comment, and then I will give this a rest.

If the President doesn't have any power, why are the presidential elections so hotly debated, here at ATS and other places? Why should we care?

It must be because:

#1. It is a great sporting event.

#2. It gives us the illusion we are in control, when actually we are not.

#3. It is a massive ego trip for those directly involved.

#4. It takes our attention away from what is happening in Congress.

In particular, item #1 is a powerful force here in the USA. We are reluctant to stop backing our team even when it is on a losing streak, and will find all sorts of reasons to defend every aspect of our team. Rationality not required.

These candidates are celebrities, no different from American Idol, and with just about the same potential for actually affecting our lives for better or worse.

Now I'm finished.

posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 08:53 PM
Thank you for your post earlier. I do agree that it is a popularity contest as you said. I also like your sporting event comment. I would say that the dem/rep rivalry could be compared to the ones seen on the football sidelines

I would like to add, however, that it is a lot different than American Idol - my phone vote for the next Idol will never be diluted by the electoral college.

posted on Nov, 8 2008 @ 11:01 AM
A post-election footnote to this thread. Now that Obama has been elected, we should be able to finally evaluate the truth of what I said here:

Regarding the President as a figurehead, please see the following ATS thread, and link to some incredible pictures of our new President:

I have a prediction: the only major thing that will change, following Obama's election, will be the general attitude of the American people, and the self-image that we hold for ourselves, and the way that other countries see us. That will improve.

Otherwise, we won't see any change. The President simply doesn't have that power.

The good news: self-image is very, very important!

posted on Nov, 8 2008 @ 11:33 AM
I would say that you covered it all.... The presidential campaigns and the conventions are just replays of the pep rallies I remember, that occurred every Friday morning in junior high school, before the big game that night. You get a star and flag from me.

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