Tag: Imperial Presidency

Hot Winds from Washington, the Press, the Imperial Presidency, and You

 

I’d like to speak to you today about how you are contributing to the fall of the republic. Yes, I do mean you. Oh, I don’t think that it’s intentional on your part. I’m certain you mean well and would like to see our republic strong and healthy for years to come. But, I’ve been watching you, and actions speak louder than words. Quite frankly, your words are also much too loud and supporting the demolition of the republic, but your actions are even worse. You act as if you have forgotten what it is to be a free and sovereign citizen of a republic.

In a republic, the sovereignty rests with the citizens. They are the deciders. They elect people to represent them in governments at various levels, but these representatives are merely citizens hired to do the business of their constituents. They are not elevated above their fellow citizens, they are selected and paid to serve, like you might hire a maid or a gardener or a plumber. Monarchy means the rule of one, and in a monarchy, the sovereignty rests in the monarch. A monarchy does not have citizens, the monarch has subjects. So, why are so many of you free and sovereign citizens acting as if you were subjects of a monarch?

Obamandias: “My Billion Dollar Temple Is Insufficiently Grandiose.”

 

$1.5 billion Dollars that could have fed hungry children or paid for scholarships for underprivileged teens will be spent to build a massive monument to America’s 44th president. However, God-Emperor Obama complains that the designs he has seen don’t nearly do justice to his awesomeness:

“He said it was too unflashy,” ArchDaily quoted Tsien as saying. “He looked at what we did and he said, ‘I said you could be sort of quiet, but I think you’re a little too quiet.'”

A Thought Experiment: Inspired by Sen. Rubio

 

shutterstock_314009114Senator Marco Rubio is back in the news thanks to his decision to seek reelection for his Florida senate seat. From the beginning of this election cycle, I was ambivalent toward him as a presidential prospect and the ambivalence remains to this day. Simply put, Rubio’s talents qualify him well for some parts of the presidency, but poorly for others. From the start, I’ve felt that he would make the perfect head of state. An eloquent public speaker, clear eyed about America’s role in the world and with the bi-partisan instincts needed to function as a truly national figure, the Florida senator would be uniquely well suited as the face of the American Republic. And as much as conservatives shun this kind of thinking, Rubio’s ethnicity and family history would add a certain symbolic value.

Symbolism, however, is the key and therein lies the problem. Due to the Founders’ inability to predict the rise of the imperial presidency, we are left with a unitary executive that combines the functions of a head of state and head of government. To the former office, Rubio would excel; to the latter, his thin resume and proclivity to “work across the aisle” — as well as his somewhat shaky conservatism on domestic issues — would be far less well-suited. Our country is greatly polarized and precious few of our problems will be solved without a nasty partisan fight, the kind that would pose a major obstacle to any would-be unifying figure attempting to represent America abroad with a united voice. For the job of head of government, the present moment requires not just a true conservative, but also a leader who does not mind being hated, perhaps even one capable of reveling in his own unpopularity. A certain Texas senator — ironically, of similar ethnic heritage — comes to mind.

Given that the current situation is nearly impossible to contemplate, let’s turn to a hypothetical. Suppose that the modern presidency were not the noxious combination of chief executive and deified celebrity that we see today. Suppose further that it were possible to separate the necessary task of symbolic leadership from the even more necessary task of, you know, actual leadership. Whom would you support for president, if we still had a choice? More importantly, whom would you support for prime minister?

A Trump Compromise

 
emperor-trump

The republic is dead. Long live the empire.

No matter who wins in November, the next President of the United States will be a self-absorbed multi-millionaire who doesn’t see the Constitution as binding on his or her power, who doesn’t believe in the rule of law, and who is willing to use racial and class grievances to get elected. As such, I had been planning to leave the presidential line of my ballot blank, as I could not fathom voting for either of the two realistic candidates. I’ve felt like Claudius stammering, “B- b- but I want a republic!” as others debate which candidate will make the better emperor.

Is Obama’s Quest for Trade Promotion Authority One More Example of Executive Overreach?

 

Some conservatives may worry that supporting President Obama’s bid for trade promotion authority undermines their criticism of his abuses of the Constitution’s executive power, an angle that was highlighted in a Washington Post story by David Nakamura earlier this week. We needn’t fret about these claimed contradictions, however — they are product of intellectually lazy or sloppy journalists who don’t understand the Constitution’s separation of powers in the first place.

The most important difference between trade promotion authority — informally known as “fast-track” among the trade cognoscenti — and Obama’s unilateral orders on immigration, drugs, healthcare, welfare (take your pick) is that Congress has authorized the former. With trade authority, Congress delegates authority to the President to negotiate the best deal possible with our foreign partners, but he has no opportunity to put the agreement into effect himself. Congress still has an up-or-down vote on the trade deal.