Thursday, April 7, 2011

I guess some people learned NOTHING in their government class in high school.

I was watching Fox News today...for the hell of it...and for once no one was yelling, so I was not subjected to a headache. They were discussing the threat of a government shutdown, and to my surprise, instead of blaming the Dems...they didn't know who to blame!! I was hooked for the next hour-and-a-half. Haha...

I read an article earlier that I can't find now, but it mentioned that 21 Senate Democrats wanted to pass a bill that would prevent Congress or the president from being paid in the event of a shutdown, their reasoning being that they wouldn't be working during a shutdown, and therefore shouldn't be paid for not working. So for those of you who are making villains out of the Dems right now...just stop it. Both sides are to blame, but both sides are trying to do that they think is best for the country. And it's hard for nearly 600 people to come to a consensus on ANYTHING.

I would now like to address every single person who is blaming the president for what is going on. I still vaguely remember my US Government lessons from high school. I took three semesters of it...long story, but a good example of why education should be standardized across the nation. (Srsly, someone explain to me how a year of Army JROTC doesn't fill the physical education requirement, but fills the technology requirement?! W. T. F.) Anywho, the one thing I walked away from was this: the president really can't do a whole lot of shit.

Anyone know why? It's all due to a system of checks and balances, to prevent any of the three branches of government (executive, legislative, judicial) from becoming more powerful than the other.

Let's define the role of an American president. He (or she, one of these days) is both the head of government and head of state. He is also our foreign minister and commander-in-chief. Oooh, sounds important and powerful, right?

As head of government, he is responsible for running the functions of state, managing the bureaucracy, and deciding how to enforce the law. Of course, if the Supreme Court isn't down with how he's enforcing laws, or with anything he does, they can always pull the "unconstitutional" card. Or Congress could just pass a law to put him in is place. Bam! Checks and balances baby. (Though we all know the idea of Congress simply passing a law like that is ludicrous.)

As foreign minister, the president is responsible for overseeing the state's ambassadors and determining foreign policy. Big whoop, the president only gets his choice of ambassador if the Senate approves, and if the Senate isn't on his side, he's shit out of luck. As for foreign know what, let's not go there. Moving on...

As commander-in-chief, the president is responsible for commanding the state's armed forces and determining military policy. But he can't officially declare war without the approval of Congress, and we've seen what happens when he tries to change military policy. We're two years into Obama's presidency, and we're only just on the threshold of the repeal of DADT, a major campaign promise, because he couldn't pull it off without a referendum that took fucking forever. Let's get it over with.

I'm gonna quote Wikipedia here for a second.
"Since the founding of the United States, the power of the president and the federal government have grown substantially, and each modern president, despite possessing no formal legislative powers beyond signing or vetoing Congressionally passed bills, is largely responsible for dictating the legislative agenda of his party and the foreign and domestic policy of the United States. The president is frequently described as the most powerful person in the world."
 Yeah, the President can veto the shit out of anything he doesn't like...but that veto can always be overturned by a 2/3 vote in both houses of Congress. Oh snap! As for dictating the legislative agenda...kinda hard to do if one or both chambers of Congress are all politically opposed to you. The next two years should be interesting.

Anyways, my point in all this is that President Obama is not single-handedly responsible for every obstacle or nation has faced since coming into office. No president ever has been. The fault lies with a much larger group. We could all blame Bush for the shenanigans that occurred during his tenure, but I sincerely doubt Hurricane Katrina was his fault, and if I ever meet any of those crazies who think 9/11 was planned by our government, I will personally lobotomize them.

You want someone to blame for the possibility of me and my fellow reservists and guardsmen working for free this weekend; of soldiers and airmen in the AOR being separated form their families and working 12-hr shifts, six days a week, with no immediate compensation; of military members who live paycheck to paycheck not being able to pay rent or mortgage or put food on the table? Blame the assholes who are either too far to the left or too far to the right to take their heads out of their asses long enough to actually SEE what all their squabbling is doing to us as a nation. Their words are full of sympathy and concern for their constituents; their actions are full of pettiness and partisanship.

(And could you all do me a huuuuuge favor, and stop watching Fox News and MSNBC, and stop listening to Keith Olbermann and Glenn Beck, and do the research yourself.)

(And dear Glenn Beck: FUCK YOU.)


Jill said...

i wish more people paid attention in high school. and i wish I had the patience to spell it out for all the ignorant jerks out there like you did. great post!!!!

Dread Pirate Davi said...

Thanks, Jill!