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Death and taxes

[ 19 ] April 3, 2011 |

I suspect James Madison et. al. would be appalled to discover that it would eventually become much harder for presidents to pursue even the most modest aspects of their preferred domestic policies than it would be for them to launch, with no congressional participation of any kind, unilateral wars against nations that hadn’t attacked America, and posed no threat to our security.

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  1. Chris says:

    Nuh-ahh! Cuz James Madison didn’t know about socialism!

  2. John Emerson says:

    I’m surprised that “the shores of Tripoli” haven’t become a meme yet.

  3. Malaclypse says:

    Why would you assume that someone who praises Ronald Reagan has a domestic agenda to help the poor?

  4. Interesting observation. I have been less critical of Obama than many liberals for the last two years in large part because I have been so aware of his “damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t” dilemma.

    I still suspect strongly that he is still biding his time a bit, waiting until after the elections (which, given the current GOP field, seem almost predestined to go Democratic) to push his inner FDR forward.

    We don’t have any business being in Libya, or in Ivory Coast, for that matter (though if the world ran on chocolate…) That said, it doesn’t surprise me a bit that we are involved. I suspect there are a lot of things going on behind the scenes that I’m sincerely grateful to not be privy to.

    • Holden Pattern says:

      Honestly, I think we should just trust our president in every decision he makes and should just support that, you know, and be faithful in what happens.

    • David Kaib says:

      I can’t wait until after the next election, when the “he has to wait until after the next election” excuse will no longer be available. Or is it the election after that one?

      Everyone knows how bursts of presidential leadership and legislative action come in the last 100 days.

    • The Lesser Of Two Evil Halloween Jacks says:

      (though if the world ran on chocolate…)

      You’re implying that it doesn’t?

    • Brad P. says:

      Interesting observation. I have been less critical of Obama than many liberals for the last two years in large part because I have been so aware of his “damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t” dilemma.

      That is actually all the more reason to hate him for his actions. If he was damned for doing the wrong thing, he has no excuse for not doing to right thing.

      • Malaclypse says:

        If he was damned for doing the wrong thing, he has no excuse for not doing to right thing.

        Exactly. If you are going to be called a socialist for being well to the right of Richard Nixon, then you might as well enact a few liberal policies, presuming you actually want to.

        • Brad P. says:

          presuming you actually want to

          And he sold out some things that would have been called “socialism” but would have been publicly popular for policies that are called “socialism” but are largely unpopular.

          If he really wanted to advance his cause, he would have pushed for a public option, which directly appealed to public problems and would have been easily defensible as it was already popular and included the word “option”.

          Instead we get a solution built around a “mandate” that is a windfall for health care institutions, organizations, administrators, lawyers, accountants, and providers, but a band-aid (pardon the pun) for the rest of us.

        • chris says:

          And can. Presidents can’t enact policies in a vacuum, and I think Madison might well be surprised to find that presidents are now routinely expected to *have* a domestic policy agenda other than “carry out the laws as Congress passed them”.

          Of course, how you view Obama depends a lot on whether you think he fought to get the most liberal health-care bill that could get through Congress, or fought to get the least liberal bill that could take the issue off the table and prevent single-payer, or didn’t really care what was in the bill as long as it actually passed, or something else. The actual content of the bill can’t answer those questions without a lot of counterfactual speculation about what could have happened.

          Having the bill go down in flames because Nelson and Lieberman thought it was too liberal for them wouldn’t have advanced his cause. He thought that threat was real (or seems to have thought so), so if you want to second-guess him, that looks like as good a place to start as any.

  5. “Obama’s Imperial War in Libya Subverts the Constitution.”

    As someone who has no real hard opinion on the merits of Libyan action but leans towards skepticism, dumb bullshit like this doesn’t actually do a lot to bolster the opposition.

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  7. Joe says:

    I wonder how he would feel about today’s Supreme Court ruling regarding tax credits for religious schools.

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