Thought Experiment: Congress for the White House?

 

white-congIf you were given the choice, would you accept winning the White House in 2016 at the cost of losing both houses of Congress? For the sake of argument, assume the numbers for Congress would mirror what they are right now.

Please give a “yes” or a “no” as the first word of your answer, followed by as much explanation as you see fit. If you’re 51% in favor of the proposition and 49% against, that’s a “yes.” Explain, if you wish, after your answer.

Note: this is not about the interaction between different slots on the ticket or any of that. Never mind about a proposed mechanism — there isn’t one.

There are 46 comments.

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  1. 1967mustangman Member
    1967mustangman
    @1967mustangman

    The Presidency.

    But I say that with a GIANT caveat that it be someone competent, someone that is an actual leader, a Marco Rubio type perhaps.  We are entering and era where we must have a strong leader in charge of America.  Look what Reagan (am I allowed to say his name?) got done with a democratic congress.  We need someone to lead our country, stand up to the Putins of the world, and show that America is back.

    • #1
  2. Brian McMenomy Member
    Brian McMenomy
    @BrianMcMenomy

    Yes.  The President runs foreign policy and the entire regulatory state.  Only the President could actually bring those entities under control.  The world is coming apart at the seams, our allies don’t trust us and our adversaries don’t respect us.  Another 4 years of “leading from behind” increases the chance of a catastrophe (directly involving us).

    You can’t govern from Capitol Hill, as has been made abundantly clear from the last few years.  In the modern American state, the levers of real power are at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.

    • #2
  3. Eustace C. Scrubb Member
    Eustace C. Scrubb
    @EustaceCScrubb

    But if we’re going with fantasy, perhaps I’d choose the Supreme Court over either.

    • #3
  4. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    Assuming no change in the character and behaviour of the congressional Republicans as a whole – assuming they continue to be cowardly, conflict-avoidant and weak- yes. With the caveat that the Republican president in question had better be named “Rubio”, “Cruz”, “Jindal”, “Fiorino”, “Carson” or …well my other two options have already dropped out. Drat.

    • #4
  5. BrentB67 Member
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Congress. A disciplined majority with the courage of the power of the purse.

    • #5
  6. Leigh Member
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    The presidency, depending on who that president is. The simple fact is that office has more power.

    • #6
  7. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    BrentB67:Congress. A disciplined majority with the courage of the power of the purse.

    And if wishes were horses. I would prefer this, too, but frankly, with  majority  of Rs c who are currently in Congress this is too much to reasonably hope for. Solution: change the kind of Rs who are in congress AND take the White House.

    • #7
  8. ctlaw Coolidge
    ctlaw
    @ctlaw

    Yes.

    If only to prevent more leftist court appointments.

    • #8
  9. BrentB67 Member
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Hartmann von Aue:

    BrentB67:Congress. A disciplined majority with the courage of the power of the purse.

    And if wishes were horses. I would prefer this, too, but frankly, with majority of Rs c who are currently in Congress this is too much to reasonably hope for. Solution: change the kind of Rs who are in congress AND take the White House.

    Love the sentiment and I am happy to be your wingman, but I think with an electorate that put Obama in office twice and $19T+ national debt time is not on our side.

    • #9
  10. BrentB67 Member
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Hartmann von Aue:Assuming no change in the character and behaviour of the congressional Republicans as a whole – assuming they continue to be cowardly, conflict-avoidant and weak- yes. With the caveat that the Republican president in question had better be named “Rubio”, “Cruz”, “Jindal”, “Fiorino”, “Carson” or …well my other two options have already dropped out. Drat.

    Interesting dichotomy you present. Is Rubio not emblematic of the character and behavior of Congressional republicans as a whole?

    • #10
  11. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    BrentB67:

    Hartmann von Aue:Assuming no change in the character and behaviour of the congressional Republicans as a whole – assuming they continue to be cowardly, conflict-avoidant and weak- yes. With the caveat that the Republican president in question had better be named “Rubio”, “Cruz”, “Jindal”, “Fiorino”, “Carson” or …well my other two options have already dropped out. Drat.

    Interesting dichotomy you present. Is Rubio not emblematic of the character and behavior of Congressional republicans as a whole?

    Well, no. I was also angry that he let himself get rolled by Chuck Shumer, but I think his other virtues outweight the gravity of that mistake. And would anyone else in the Republican Congressional Delegation have done better?  Cruz would have fought harder for sure but I am not sure even he would have been able to achieve a better result in that fight.

    • #11
  12. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    BrentB67:

    Hartmann von Aue:

    BrentB67:Congress. A disciplined majority with the courage of the power of the purse.

    And if wishes were horses. I would prefer this, too, but frankly, with majority of Rs c who are currently in Congress this is too much to reasonably hope for. Solution: change the kind of Rs who are in congress AND take the White House.

    Love the sentiment and I am happy to be your wingman, but I think with an electorate that put Obama in office twice and $19T+ national debt time is not on our side.

    Many thanks and I quite appreciate you presence here, too. But let’s also not be too quick to assume that the electorate that put Barry who is to be Eternally Reviled into The White House will turn out for….Joe Biden?!  Nor that those who foolishly stayed at home when Romney was the R nominee will repeat  that mistake. I am hoping at least half of them will have learned from their folly. Obama’s sure given them plenty of teachable moments. Oh, and, correct me if I am wrong, but wasn’t BHO’s margin of victory narrower than Bush’s in his second term?

    • #12
  13. John Penfold Member
    John Penfold
    @IWalton

    Presidency.  Then A special prosecutor for every district that turned Democrat, there had to be fraud.

    • #13
  14. BrentB67 Member
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Hartmann von Aue:

    BrentB67:

    Hartmann von Aue:Assuming no change in the character and behaviour of the congressional Republicans as a whole – assuming they continue to be cowardly, conflict-avoidant and weak- yes. With the caveat that the Republican president in question had better be named “Rubio”, “Cruz”, “Jindal”, “Fiorino”, “Carson” or …well my other two options have already dropped out. Drat.

    Interesting dichotomy you present. Is Rubio not emblematic of the character and behavior of Congressional republicans as a whole?

    Well, no. I was also angry that he let himself get rolled by Chuck Shumer, but I think his other virtues outweight the gravity of that mistake. And would anyone else in the Republican have done better? Cruz would have fought harder for sure but I am not sure even he would have been able to achieve a better result in that fight.

    I think if you look at his recent budget proposals you may think differently. As near as I can tell there is no discernible difference between Rubio and Jeb! beyond, youth, charisma, and telegenics all of which count. On matters of policy I think they are similar.

    • #14
  15. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.
    @tommeyer

    Yes.

    As Mike Hubbard pointed out last week, when the White House and Congress go to war, the White House has the advantage. Frankly, I think the balance of power is too heavily in favor of the presidency at the moment, but that’s both 1) how things are and 2) likely the way things naturally tilt.

    Obviously it matters who’s in charge, but that cuts both ways.

    • #15
  16. Rick B. Member
    Rick B.
    @

    Since we are asking about the real world, I would say the Presidency.  The power of the President has increased over time; mostly at the cost of Congress.  Thankfully, in the actual real world, we are unlikely to loose both houses of Congress in this election.

    • #16
  17. Jamie Lockett Member
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    Yes.

    The president controls foreign policy and the administrative state. Couple that with the ability to use the bully pulpit to sway opinion and it’s hard to choose otherwise.

    • #17
  18. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Yes, but I want both. White House controls foreign policy and we need a major correction there.

    • #18
  19. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    President – anything is possible but it starts at the head – even liberal states like Massachusetts elect Republican governors – the world leaders meet with the president and his representatives. The public hears the president’s voice. It’s not a dictatorship – he or she will have to be strong, but a great communicator – but ultimately understand the Constitution, and live by it.

    • #19
  20. Beergeek Member
    Beergeek
    @Beergeek

    No.

    We already had a preview of the consequences from the 2006 election. While that election was not a presidential race, it led to them taking over the White House in 2008 and with their majority cram through: the stimulus, Obamacare, etc. A Dem majority in Congress would embolden them again.  They also wouldn’t hesitate to try and reel in the expansion of power by the Executive branch.

    • #20
  21. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    Yes

    We have had Congress for two and half of Congress for four years, to less than zero avail.

    At least the President can pick judges, make foreign policy and veto bills.  Not that the last Republican had any skill in these arts.

    • #21
  22. Matty Van Member
    Matty Van
    @MattyVan

    No.

    That was my first reaction, being attracted to that romantic vision of govt operating Constitutionally. But then I read what Brian said, about the Pres having direct control over foreign policy and the massive shadow govt which is the bureaucratic state. So I change my vote to…

    Yes.

    But then I read what Brent said about 17 trillion and time not being on our side. Back to…

    No

    But then Ctlaw reminds us about court appointments. Back to… Yes?

    Nah. I’ll stick with No, assuming it’s Brent’s “disciplined majority with the courage of the power of the purse.”

    EDIT: Darn it. Front Seat Cat and Doc Robert have me back on the fence.

    • #22
  23. Austin Murrey Member
    Austin Murrey
    @AustinMurrey

    Do we keep Mitch McConnell as Senate Majority Leader?

    If so, yes.

    • #23
  24. Wineguy13 Thatcher
    Wineguy13
    @Wineguy13

    Yes.  Fifty years ago, no.  However the executive branch has arrogated so much power, and a lazy Congress has ceded so much more, the Presidency is the plum.

    • #24
  25. Fricosis Guy Listener
    Fricosis Guy
    @FricosisGuy

    Yes. The right president can start the work of dismantling the administrative state. He or she can also stop much mischief with the veto pen.

    • #25
  26. Z in MT Member
    Z in MT
    @ZinMT

    I’m with Matty Van.

    • #26
  27. Z in MT Member
    Z in MT
    @ZinMT

    BDB, *Ricochet member poll hack*

    Post two comments first thing and ask members to like the comment of their choice.

    • #27
  28. Dean Murphy Member
    Dean Murphy
    @DeanMurphy

    Yes.

    The precedent of the Presidential fiat has been shattered.  I sincerely doubt that cat can be put back in the bag.

    • #28
  29. Casey Member
    Casey
    @Casey

    Yes.

    A President controls an entire branch.

    • #29
  30. Bigfoot Coolidge
    Bigfoot
    @Bigfoot

    No.

    We are in such serious trouble we must have both.

    • #30

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