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Comment count is 19
zerdzer - 2013-04-18

as a student of political science, i'm glad there's some videos out there talking about how the president isn't as powerful as people think he is, and how congress loves to shit down the executive branch's throat.

you guys may be surprised how many people don't know this stuff.

gravelstudios - 2013-04-18

The kind of people who didn't pay attention in social studies class like to think the president is some kind of all powerful leader who can do whatever he wants. True, he is the most powerful person in the federal government, but that's only because his third of the power is all his, whereas the supreme court's power is divided 9 ways, and congress's power is divided among hundreds of people. And that's assuming each branch actually has a third of the power, which is debatable.

Old_Zircon - 2013-04-18

Surprised no. Disappointed continually.

Vicious - 2013-04-18

Whenever I think of executive power I think of that Mario Puzo novel where a fictional Kennedy sibling declares martial law and dissolves Congress to root out some kind of assassination conspiracy.

And then he gets assassinated anyway.

memedumpster - 2013-04-18

Was there a fictional Obama that assassinated American citizens behind Congress's back, and used the CIA as his personal army, also behind Congress's back?

Don't get me wrong, I don't deny that government is set up to share power this way, but when the president has a hundred IQ points over the entirety of a worthless, polarized Congress, the power is not shared that way.

mouser - 2013-04-18

Very informative. Great channel.

simon666 - 2013-04-18

Often videos of these type provide a good, general exposition of the stakes involved. But I'd like to see them, instead of going on to other subjects, continue the discussion in more detail.

Hopefully the internet will get over its current memifying trend.

chumbucket - 2013-04-18

It's easier to blame the president for everything.

Bort - 2013-04-18

That, and make noises about "I refuse to vote for the lesser of two evils". Okay, but that's how the greater of two evils manages to prosper, most recently in 2010 (which we'll still be paying for until 2020).

The formula is pretty simple, really:

1) The Republicans are broken and malicious, so job number one has to be stopping the Republicans (the greater of two evils).

2) After you've stopped the Republicans, you can turn your focus to the lesser of two evils.

In practical terms, this means work to primary better Democrats, and then vote like hell in the general election to make sure the Democrats get into office. You can also spend the time between election cycles holding the Democrats' feet to the fire, but if they can't hold office, you can guarantee your pet causes won't get acted on. Unless you're a Teabagger, that is.

memedumpster - 2013-04-18

What would you say to Democrats like Obama who have taken steps to NOT wipe out the Republican party, in spite of the fact that it directly injures this country not to?

Bort - 2013-04-18

Be more specific please.

Bort - 2013-04-18

That's not what I'd say to such Democrats, I mean I'm not sure what specifically you're referring to.

memedumpster - 2013-04-18

We can start with the two Republicans Obama nominated for the NLRB. After four years of him being completely silent while Republican governors oppressed unions and hacked apart labor rights, this comes off as giving Republicans more power, while weakening his own base.

chumbucket - 2013-04-18

Voting the "right" or "better of two evils" into Congress won't ever work because the country has a severe learning disability. It doesn't know how to vote.

Bort - 2013-04-18

Yeah, that smacks of him trying too hard to being bipartisan. But bear in mind that, in doing so, he also bumped the NLRB up to five members, in a controversial (and, last I heard, rejected by the courts) recess appointment that allowed the NLRB to continue to function at all. And that set the balance 3-2 in favor of Democrats. By the way, both Republicans are gone now; the NLRB currently consists of three Democrats.

As to what I would say to Obama, I would say "I appreciate that you kept the NLRB functioning and took some heat for it. Any chance you can just appoint Democrats next time?"

Bort - 2013-04-18

chumbucket: I'm more optimistic than most, because I still trace our current electoral woes to the Civil Rights Act and a Republican Party that wasn't afraid to claim bigots as their new core demographic. The Democrats lost a huge chunk of their support base, but demographics are finally replenishing their numbers.

It's not just about the sheer number of Democrats, but also the fact that we'll be able to be more selective about who gets sent to Washington.

memedumpster - 2013-04-18

He's a smart cookie, and I truly think he wants Republicans to fail, but I wish he'd find a way to manipulate Republicans without also manipulating the shit out of his own party with the same lack of respect. It seems like part of his strategy for baiting the Republicans is to make it look like he's about to get overthrown by his own base every other decision he makes, and I fucking hate that. He comes off more sinister / weaselfied than strong.

Congressional psychopaths (including some assfuck shitwads in our own party) shot down the gun bill, and I immediately thought "he'll make up for this by flooding the South with drones." If these manipulations do tank the GOP, what kind of busted, broken, divided, paranoid Democratic party is the next conservative party going to find, ripe for the picking? He's not just dismantling them, is what my reservations are, and he seems to justify it by the notion that they will collapse first, and we "win."

But he's smarter than me, by a lot I imagine, so I can't know what he's doing in the long term, because he is great at being politically unpredictable. Some days he's a moderate, some days a neocon, no day is boring!

Bort - 2013-04-19

Bear in mind Obama's background as a community organizer: he's used to dealing with obstinate shitheads (half of whom are racist), and continually attempt to engage shitheads rather than shut them out. I'm not saying it's the right strategy, only that his approach to the Republicans is less mysterious if you see it in those terms.

Bort - 2013-10-30

Followup on this NLRB business (as of 10/30/13): the NLRB is back up to five members (the previous two Republicans are gone), and a General Counsel has finally been appointed. If Obama weren't trying to keep the NLRB in business, this wouldn't be happening.

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