Sunday, September 18, 2011

"Co-Equal" Branches of Government? Not in ObozoLand!

Billiam found a gem here.

In the eighteenth century, language was everything.  One misused word could bring the speaker -- or the writer -- under intense scrutiny, subject him to public rebuke, and even bring him to face charges of slander or libel.  Whether it be a testament to our elevated morality or our effete education -- which I leave to the reader to determine -- we are much more forgiving of verbarian misuse today than the Americans and Britons were during the Revolution....

(Hmmmmmmm.  I'd be inclined to include the 'sound-bite' culture indirectly fostered by newspapers as another contributor; clear expression of a complex thought takes more than 10 seconds.)

....while President Bush's flagrant syntactical and phonated errors may be better remembered as blunders, his successor's language requires ...scrutiny[; his words] ...may lull the unwary into unquestioned obedience, or foment his opponents to stalk red herrings, the denotation of his speech reveals far more about his fundamental philosophies and intents.

...The president opened his speech in the Rose Garden by issuing demands to a separate branch of government.  "I'm sending this bill to Congress today," he said, "and they ought to pass it immediately."  If we accept that our president, unlike the kings and royal governors of colonial America, is or should be completely separate in his duties from the legislative branch, such language must become abhorrent to the constitutional ear....

Imagine the reverse; imagine that Congress told the president, "You ought to execute a law by our standard," or "You ought to maneuver troops in a manner consistent with our philosophy."  Such statements are equally dangerous to a republic, for they usurp the constitutional prerogative of one branch into another.

(Of course, that language has been used by countless Political-Hack Congress-slimes over the years; but none spoke for Congress qua Congress.)

...we learn in our political science and civics classes that the "Eight Presidential Roles" are Commander in Chief, Chief Executive, Chief of State, Chief Administrator, Chief Diplomat, Chief Citizen, Chief of Party, and Chief Legislator.  "Chief Administrator," "Chief Diplomat," and "Party Chief" are aconstitutional roles, but those of "Chief Citizen" (which requires a different discussion) and "Chief Legislator" are completely unconstitutional.
I confess that my 7th grade civics book (parchment and hand-calligraphed, like all those of my classmates) preceded the edition(s) to which the author refers.  But if his assertion is correct, then some book-authors and -publishers should be tarred and feathered, or placed in the stocks, just like we used to do.

But we need not look too far backwards to see the effects of muddled Constitutional 'thinking' on the part of Exec-branch officials.  Merely review (here) the cowardly Romney surrender-of-authority to a bunch of wacko Justices.


Anonymous said...

I have several political science textbooks from my college days (not too long ago) that refer to the President as the "Chief Legislator." That always struck me as odd and incorrect. Congress is the "Chief Legislator" in the United States.

Jim said...

This post and the article upon which it is based are inane. Presidents have presented legislation to Congress since the country began. Otherwise, what? The President is supposed to sit around until a bill comes to his desk?

And if a president sends a bill to Congress, are we supposed to be surprised that he suggests they "ought" to pass it?

"Imagine the reverse; imagine that Congress told the president, "You ought to execute a law by our standard,""

I believe that is the point of the Congress passing a law originating from one chamber or the other.

"You ought to execute a law by our standard". I guess Boehner never said anything about how the DMA should be executed, huh?

"You ought to maneuver troops in a manner consistent with our philosophy."

McCain, Graham, Lieberman and others have never suggested how the President execute military policy?

Article II, Section 3:

He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient."

The President has some authority over setting the legislative agenda including proposing law and suggesting that it be passed.

Silly article, silly post.

Dad29 said...

Ooooh. Got Jimmy's dander up.

Actually, he can propose, but it's generally done through proxies, such as a friendly leggie.

Relax, Jim. He's outta there in 18 months or so.

Jim said...

"He's outta there in 18 months or so."

You wish.

Yes, as I said, the President can propose.

You may want to reread your article. Then ask yourself, "Why did I waste my time citing this?"