Sunday, March 25, 2012

Reality Check: Why, even if Romney is as bad as "they" say (and he isn't) you should still vote for him... or at least against Obama

There's a hell of a lot of folks out there sturming and dranging, with much rending of garments and gnashing of teeth etc... etc... that Romney is no better than Obama; and that we'd be better off with Obama being re-elected, but having the Republicans secure a stronger majority in the house, and a full majority in the senate (preferably veto proof) so there would be a divided government.

The idea here is that gridlock is better than a unified government led by a moderate who isn't dedicated to cutting government expenditures, and government interference in our lives.

These same folks frequently point to the gridlock of the Clinton years as a perfect example; because with a divided government, congress was far less able to screw the country up.

These people are dead wrong.

Oh yes, they're right, in that a divided government restrains congress (unless there are vetoproof majorities of course). Unfortunately it does almost nothing to restrain the powers, roles, influences, and general ability to screw the country up, of the executive branch.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of people really do not understand how our three branch system of government works. For example, they tend to think of the President as having a lot of domestic power and power over the economy, which is entirely false... at least directly. Most people don't understand that as an individual, the president has very little direct power over anything but foreign policy, and short term responses to emergencies.

However, the president (and very importantly his party), has a huge amount of indirect power over our lives, through judicial and administrative appointees, and the administration of the executive branch and the agencies thereof (DOJ, FBI, ATF, IRS, DOE, DOI etc...).

It's through these courts, and executive agencies, that we intersect with the federal government most in our lives by far. When you are interacting with the federal government, it is almost always going to be through an executive agency, or a court. Who runs these institutions, how they are run, and how they exercise executive powers, has a huge impact on our lives, and our nation.

Ironically, not only are the wailing gnashers dead wrong, but the very example they cite to support their contention, provides a fully sufficient argument to prove my thesis.

There are four EXTREMELY important reasons why Obama cannot be allowed to have a second term:

  1. Supreme court justices
  2. Other federal judges
  3. Executive branch appointees (heads of agencies, senior bureaucrats etc...)
  4. Executive orders, signing statements, administrative rule and procedures, and other executive instruments of regulation and policy

The president as an individual has very little direct power over domestic issues as I said; but these four elements give the president, and his party (the party tends to provide or at least strongly influence the candidates and final decisions for each of these posts, as well as for the interpretation of executive powers) ENORMOUS power to screw the country up.

Remember, lots of people said the exact same things they're saying now about Romney, about Bush the Elder back in '92 (and frequently they voted for Perot as a protest), and Bob Dole in '96 (Dole was a deliberate sacrificial lamb in that election anyway); and so we got 8 years of the Clinton adminstration reshaping the federal administrative and judicial regimes.

We are now, almost twenty years later, STILL dealing with the problems caused by Clinton appointees, and particularly with how the Clinton administration ran the DOD, ATF, FBI, and CIA.

We'll be cleaning out Obama appointees for years as it is; we can't afford to give him the chance to screw things up even more.

Honestly, the last ten lines of this post should be enough of a reason for any conservative or libertarian to vote Obama out...

  • DC v. Heller was decided 5-4
  • McDonald v. Chicago was decided 5-4
  • Supreme court justices are a lifetime appointment
  • Antonin Scalia is almost 76 and will be 80 years old by 2016
  • Anthony Kennedy is almost 76 and will be 80 years old by 2016
  • Stephen Breyer is almost 74 and will be 78 years old by 2016
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg is almost 79 and will be 83 years old by 2016
  • The mean life expectancy for men in the United States is 76 (for women it's 80)
  • All four of the negative votes for those two decisions above were from liberal justices
  • Obama has already appointed two horrifically bad liberal justices, both under 60