President Jesus and The Rule of Law

Posted on 06. Sep, 2009 by in Uncategorized

Anyone who pays attention to and cares about government more often than every four years should have seen it coming – the inspiring oratory falling silent when faced with the blank drudgery of lawmaking, administration and debate. The strong individual personality overwhelmed by the faceless mass of rote political thought. The new darling of journalists betrayed by the success of his own story, the familiarity of his face.
Candidate Barack Obama understood that the executive is one branch of government and, as a legislator and as a law professor, had an excellent understanding of the roles played by the other two. His constituents seem far less attuned to the sensitivities of government. Their gripe is pretty simple: Obama was the candidate of change; now that he’s President, why haven’t things changed?
Is it because he’s not strong enough? Is it because Republicans are obstructionist? Is it because the broad Democratic tent has just as many petty factions as the frayed Republican one did?
No. All of those questions might lead to part of the answer, but the solution is simple as the gripe – change comes easiest through dictatorial power, and the one thing that our system of government does better than any other, certainly better than it addresses the needs of its citizens, is prevent power pooling in a single person.
Even Richard Cheney, a wildly powerful vice president, has spent most of his post-public life bitching about the fact that he and President Bush had too little executive power, which necessitated the whole ‘let’s just get the Attorney General to say it’s legal’ strategy for when they overstepped the bounds of propriety.
Despite what certain of his opponents say, Obama has proven himself to be anything but a dictator. His spectacular faith in the empty suits in Congressional suites probably has a great deal more to do with his falling poll numbers than his policies. Elected by a plurality desperate to pretend that the last eight years were a bad dream, he’s instead running the government as though it’s an actual thing, made of trillions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of people and responsible for the operation of a country that, as good old Jerry Maguire says, ‘sets the tone for the rest of the world.’ He’s treating it as something other than an extension of his superego.
Barack Obama promised change if he were elected. He didn’t say it would happen right away. To those frustrated that Obama hasn’t fixed the country yet – remember that old maxim, ‘all good things to those who wait.’

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