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  1. #1
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Default Why do YOU care about the presidency?

    I've been thinking for some time now that if there's one problem with how America at large approaches this country's political situation (and it's pretty hard to condense it all into one), it's that everyone considers the president the most important political entity. They not only pay far more attention to him than any other part of the government, they pretty consistently think he can do things he can't. When you put aside all of the irrelevant personal fluff people love to discuss so much, the second-most common kind of praise/condemnation I hear about the president is stuff the legislator did or can do. It seems like most voters are choosing between Obama and Romney at least in part on which laws they want the president to make. If only he could make laws.

    At this point, the electoral math and prevailing trends have me pretty convinced Obama is going to win. As a vehement hater of the Republican party, I should be excited, right? I'm not, because Republicans are projected to take control of the senate, and of course they won't be losing control of the House. In that case, it hardly matters to me who becomes the president. The best I can hope for with Obama is that he can veto a bunch of bad ideas, taking us no where until he's almost inevitably followed by a Republican president. Obama winning would be akin to having my area's team win the Super Bowl or the World Series; it would be a strictly symbolic victory.

    Never the less, Republicans and Democrats alike mostly seem fired up about the presidency. It's worth noting that only a very tiny sliver of them seem to consider that the president can appoint supreme court justices, so they probably don't think of that body of the government at all either. So what are they looking for? What do they care about? What exactly do they think Obama or Romney will do?

    I've followed the presidential election closely, but I honestly don't even know why. I guess it would somehow seem representative of our culture in either a positive or negative way based on who wins, but that seems like kind of a weak reason. It's more habit, again, like rooting for a sports team. Why does anyone else here care about the presidential race?
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  2. #2
    ... Tyrinth's Avatar
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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_order

    People both overestimate and underestimate what he can do. It really just depends on how you look at things. Obama has been having quite a lot of fun with these during his presidency, just as Bush did before him.

    I think the state of the presidency and the state of the senate/house are equally important, it just seems like electing the president is a change you have more control over since you can only vote for your own area's legislators and not those of the entire country.

    -Tyrinth, vehement hater of the Democratic party
    ...

  3. #3
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrinth View Post
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_order

    People both overestimate and underestimate what he can do. It really just depends on how you look at things. Obama has been having quite a lot of fun with these during his presidency, just as Bush did before him.

    I think the state of the presidency and the state of the senate/house are equally important, it just seems like electing the president is a change you have more control over since you can only vote for your own area's legislators and not those of the entire country.

    -Tyrinth, vehement hater of the Democratic party
    Those can be abused, but it does seem to me that they are rather dependent on how much congress and the court are willing to roll around under your authority.

    Anyhow, does the reason you consider the president important simply come down to executive orders?
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  4. #4
    ... Tyrinth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post

    Anyhow, does the reason you consider the president important simply come down to executive orders?
    Of course not. It just seemed like the one of the most pertinent examples of a frequently overlooked power of the president.

    Regardless of the truth of what power he has, he is looked at as the head of our country. He is the head of our armed forces, and the person our citizens and other countries look to when they need to know what our country is thinking or doing. He is the main counter-balance to the legislative branch (even though the judicial branch occasionally throws its hat into the ring).

    There are countless reasons why the presidential election is important, arguably more so than the senatorial elections. I just chose to list a few that came to mind more quickly.
    ...

  5. #5
    Doesn't Read Your Posts Haight's Avatar
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    Full disclosure: I didn't read your post. However, I did read the thread title.

    And in so doing, I have an answer. Because they choose Supreme Court nominees. And that's what ultimately matters in this country.
    "The only time I'm wrong is when I'm questioning myself."
    Haight

  6. #6
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Never the less, Republicans and Democrats alike mostly seem fired up about the presidency. It's worth noting that only a very tiny sliver of them seem to consider that the president can appoint supreme court justices, so they probably don't think of that body of the government at all either.
    Republicans are acutely aware of the president's power to appoint not only Supreme Court judges, but federal judges. Specifically, pro-lifers are aware of the importance of the Supreme Court as they see a conservative Supreme Court as being the only way Roe v Wade will ever be overturned.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  7. #7
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haight View Post
    Full disclosure: I didn't read your post. However, I did read the thread title.

    And in so doing, I have an answer. Because they choose Supreme Court nominees. And that's what ultimately matters in this country.
    That's my answer as well....I regard most other issues as largely transitory (though not without substantial short and medium term consequences).

  8. #8
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    1: The president is only one person and that is why it is so easy to blame the president, even though not all situations can be controlled. At that same time, he is only one person, if laws and bills can't be passed, you can blame the Legislative. So in that same notion, people know that the Legislative Branch is stacked against him

    2:
    Representative: Local
    Senate: State
    Presidency: National

    Unless you are a person who constantly look at the Senate and Representative races, chances are, the majority of people don't pay attention to them unless those said races are in their state. Even then, there are also groups of people who don't even know their own Senators and Representatives. I know my Senators, Representative, and etc. However, I am not as well informed about other Representatives (unless they are in a nearby district/popular) or Senators (same.)

    3: Executive Orders, because the Legislative Branch has been so immobile and only working on issues that aren't all that important. If the president sees fit, he can use it as an effort. Remember, even with the hundreds of filibusters and unwillingness to put a bill to a close, an E.O. can either pave the way for something to become law, or temporarily help people who need it.

    4: While the presidency may be symbolic, it is also the lenses in which other nations may/will look at us. I'd rather Obama win over Romney. Considering how Romney has conducted himself thus far. That is, even if there is a chance that the Senate is lost.

  9. #9
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    So we have the judicial appointments, which seems like a fairly viable reason. I still think much of the majority of voters don't actually consider that.

    Rail Tracer, a couple of the things you said seems almost self-referential. It's sort of like the president is important because people believe he is important.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  10. #10
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post

    It's sort of like the president is important because people believe he is important.
    I think the 'bully pulpit' depends on that.

    In the short to medium term, the Presidential veto gives him an advantage over congress, particularly in polarized times where th two parties are unlikely to join forces and override the veto. He also mostly controls foreign policy* and can initiate 'police actions' without congressional pre-approval.

    *If the most extreme judicial internationalist have their way, he (along with a majority of the Senate) could effectively amend the Constitution through international treaties....that's not reality at this point, but its something that has been talked about, and goes back to Supreme Court nominees.

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