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pudge's Journal: Listen to the American People 9

Journal by pudge

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said today she hopes President Bush will "listen to the American people" by signing the bill to withdraw troops.

Except the American people elected Bush, while we were at war with Iraq, to continue to give him the veto and the role of Commander in Chief.

Senator Barbara Boxer said, "He acts as if he is a one-man show when it comes to Iraq. And, Mr. President, the American people said no to that this past election. And yet it continues, as if there's no Congress, there's been no election, there's been no change of heart by the American people, when, in fact, there's been an enormous change of heart by the American people."

Not as far as our government is concerned, no, there has been no change of heart. There is not a jot of hard evidence of this. We did not have a referendum on the war, even if you choose to want to frame it that way. People voted against (or chose not to vote for) Republicans for many reasons, not all of them related to the war.

But even if you don't believe that (not sure why you wouldn't, but whatever), it doesn't change the fact that the American people elected Bush as President, and explicitly gave him the authority to be President, with the intent that he would, for four years, do what he thought was best without swaying in the wind of public opinion as Congress does.

That's the major point of having a President, of having him serve for four years, and of having his election dependent primarily on electors instead of individual voters: to keep him insulated from changes of popular opinion. And the people elected him to fulfill that role.

In a very real sense, "listening to the American people" requires -- for the President -- to not "listen to the American people," but to do what he thinks is best. Congress operates under different rules; it is right and proper for them to usually do what their constituents want, especially in the House. But the President most definitely should not follow suit (and, frankly, neither should the Senate).

We, the people, elected Bush. It is not right, proper, or just to demand he follow our changing whims. It is right, proper, and just for him to veto a bill that he believes takes away his proper authority and judgment as Commander in Chief, if he believes it is the wrong thing to do.

You can think Bush is wrong. And you can elect someone else to replace him in 2008. Complaining that he is not "listening to the American people" is utter nonsense.

None of what I am saying here says that Bush is right to veto the bill, or that Congress is wrong to pass a bill demanding withdrawal. This isn't about the particulars, this is about separation of powers and the Constitutional requirements of office. I do think Bush is right to veto the bill, but I am not making that case here.

This discussion was created by pudge (3605) for no Foes, but now has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Listen to the American People

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  • by supasam (658359)
    You're an idiot. When you say "the american people" in reference to the jack asses who voted for the ass in chief, you should say instead "the _stupider_ half of america, plus those votes that were bought with cold hard cash." Yes, stupider is not a word. Stupid.
    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

      You're an idiot.

      You're foed!

      When you say "the american people" in reference to the jack asses who voted for the ass in chief, you should say instead "the _stupider_ half of america, plus those votes that were bought with cold hard cash." Yes, stupider is not a word. Stupid.

      I would ask you to back up your claim of a bought votes, but you won't have a place to post your nonsensical drivel, since you can't post in my journal as of ... now.

      Posts with personal attacks, that are entirely off-topic, and that are hostile to democracy are not welcome in this journal.

  • You can't deny that there's been a general change in opinion of the war in the last few years.

    Indeed, George Bush has the power of Veto, and indeed, he has every right to exercise that with the power given to him by the voters. The fact is, he will be forced to do it. It will show everyone that he still supports a policy that isn't working.

    It would be different if there were some positive things happening in Iraq. It's just that there aren't. The current tactic isn't working, and people want to see
    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

      You can't deny that there's been a general change in opinion of the war in the last few years.

      Maybe. I just don't care, in this context. It has no significant relevance.

      Indeed, George Bush has the power of Veto, and indeed, he has every right to exercise that with the power given to him by the voters. The fact is, he will be forced to do it. It will show everyone that he still supports a policy that isn't working.

      You have no idea whether the policy is working. Indeed, it's actually false to say it isn't working, because by design the policy will take months to work. It is nonsense to talk about "if the Bush Plan had worked" because it has not yet been fully implemented yet: it's only partway done.

      The President is SUPPOSED to take advisement from the government and people at large ...

      Where do you get that idea? What are they teaching in schools these days?

      We do not live in a democracy. We live in a republic. The primary

      • by ces (119879)

        Hamilton makes it clear: the Executive is to act according to what he thinks is best, not to what the people or legislature tell him to do.

        Well to a point. It certainly is advisable for a President to consider the council of other members of the Executive branch as well as members of Congress and the American public at large.

        To some extent the Legislature can indeed tell the Executive what to do by passing laws, also via the budget process. Now they may have to override a veto to do it, but do it they can (at least within Constitutional limits).

        Assuming the current impasse isn't resolved (the President won't sign a bill with a withdraw deadli

        • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

          Hamilton makes it clear: the Executive is to act according to what he thinks is best, not to what the people or legislature tell him to do.

          Well to a point. It certainly is advisable for a President to consider the council of other members of the Executive branch as well as members of Congress and the American public at large.

          Yes, but that is not acting, that is considering. At the end of the day, he should act in accordance with what he personally thinks is best.

          To some extent the Legislature can indeed tell the Executive what to do by passing laws, also via the budget process. Now they may have to override a veto to do it, but do it they can (at least within Constitutional limits).

          But that's beside the point, which is how the President makes decisions within the bounds of his actual authority. Those authorities you mention here belong to the Congress.

          Assuming the current impasse isn't resolved (the President won't sign a bill with a withdraw deadline, Congress won't send him a funding bill without it), Congress will ultimately get what it wants since the money for continued operations in Iraq will run out eventually.

          Congress will pass a spending bill. The Democratic leaders have vowed they would not let the soldiers remain unfunded. This is all a show by the Democrats: they are passing a bill they know wo

      • by jdavidb (449077) *

        Calling the President a "King" for exercising his just Constitutional authority in a way entirely consistent with the intent of the framers doesn't make a lot of sense.

        Especially when congress authorized him to do what he was doing in the first place, and can't muster the will to either pass a meaningful bill bringing it to an end or the votes to override a veto.

  • This article on OpinionJournal.con, "The Case for the Strong Executive," [opinionjournal.com] was an interesting read after seeing this journal entry. A choice quote:

    A strong executive is requisite to oppose majority faction produced by temporary delusions in the people. For the Federalist, a strong executive must exercise his strength especially against the people, not showing them "servile pliancy."

    My favorite (near the end) quote, which also fits in nicely with all the illegal immigration nonsense going on:

    As to the cont

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