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Guest Post: The Imperial Presidency

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

What we need is not a new president but a new presidency.

There are few practical limits on presidential power. This is a key dynamic in the failed presidencies of G.W. Bush and Barack Obama.

If you're not familiar with the term The Imperial Presidency, here is an introduction:


Through various means, Presidents subsequently acquired powers beyond the limits of the Constitution. The daily accountability of the President to the Congress, the courts, the press and the people has been replaced by an accountability of once each four years during an election. These changes have occurred slowly over the centuries so that that which appears normal differs greatly from what was the original state of America.

Historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. popularized the term with his book The Imperial Presidency (Kindle edition), originally issued in 1973 but updated in 2004 to include a discussion of the G.W. Bush presidency. Schlesinger summarized the "World War II and beyond" expansion of presidential powers thusly:


“The weight of messianic globalism was indeed proving too much for the American Constitution. If this policy were vital to American survival, then a way would have to be found to make it constitutional; perhaps the Constitution itself would have to be revised. In fact, the policy of indiscriminate global intervention, far from strengthening American security, seemed rather to weaken it by involving the United States in remote, costly and mysterious wars, fought in ways that shamed the nation before the world.

When the grandiose policy did not promote national security and could not succeed in its own terms, would it not be better to pursue policies that did not deform and disable the Constitution?"

In general, the Constitution grants the Executive Branch few outright powers. The president is given extraordinary powers in wartime as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, and he is given broad leeway to pursue foreign policy. Presidents have long "mixed and matched" the two, sending U.S. troops and Naval forces to intervene in other nations to suit U.S. policy objectives.

President Lincoln exceeded constitutionally granted powers during the Civil War but claimed the integrity of the nation was higher priority than obeying the Constitution.

The expansion of "war powers" to times when war had not been declared by Congress began in earnest with President Franklin Roosevelt, who invoked "emergency powers" before war was declared in December, 1941.

After World War II, presidents engaged the nation in full-blown wars in Korea and Vietnam without Congressional declarations of war. A "green light" of congressional approval for whatever actions the president deems necessary was put in place after the Watergate scandal. Events since then (such as the invasion of Iraq in 2003) have revealed how far an Imperial President could go with broadly granted war powers, "presidential immunity," "signing statements" (declaring which congressionally approved statutes he would ignore or refuse to enforce) and the increasingly popular "executive orders" which enable everything from imprisoning entire ethnic populations (E.O. 9066) to claiming extra-legal powers over the entire U.S. economy.

Presidents before G.W. Bush and Obama managed to perform their duties with a handful of Executive Orders--five per term seemed about average. President Bush issued 160 in his first term while President Obama has so far issued 139. Both of our most recent presidents also made heavy use of Executive privileges such as "signing statements" and other "work-arounds" to feeble limits on presidential powers: Obama’s Executive Orders (

Imperial Presidency 101 - Unitary Executive Theory and the Imperial Presidency

Candidates Agree: Imperial Presidency Is A-OK

The implicit claim by defenders of essentially unlimited presidential power is that these broad powers are needed to run the American Empire. No Establishment figure would dare openly state that the U.S. operates a military, diplomatic, financial and commercial Empire, but that is nonetheless the case being made to justify the Imperial Presidency: an Empire requires an Imperial President with broad powers to act not just in the domestic economy and society but anywhere in the world.

What we need is not a new president but a new presidency. Unfortunately neither candidate has expressed any interest in limiting the powers of the Imperial Presidency. If the history of the past two (failed) presidencies is any guide, Imperial powers will only expand as crises offer new opportunities for extra-legal power grabs.


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Tue, 11/06/2012 - 11:36 | 2951793 redpill
redpill's picture

Ming the Merciless 2016

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 11:53 | 2951853 CH1
CH1's picture

Can't we just stipulate that we live in a police state, and stop blowing all our time and energy on the details?

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:05 | 2951888 redpill
redpill's picture

On this election day, I think it's appropriate to take a step back and make a fair and optimistic evaluation of our only two (one) political parties.

On one hand, the Republicans are really fair.  They've never let the plight of the poor at home get in the way of fully funding the military industrial complex to ensure those living in the smouldering remnants of the foreign nations we obliterate have no chance of rising out of destitution as well.  Poverty at home, poverty abroad.  Fair AND consistent.

On the other hand, the Democrats are quite fair also.  Not only do they fully support the drone stikes and cruise missile attacks to kill babies abroad with reckless abandon, they always make sure no one stands in the way of killing babies at home too, to the point of, well, activitely promoting it.  Dead babies abroad, dead babies at home.  Fair AND consistent.

With these two models of fairness and consistency, it really is a hard decision.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:17 | 2951937 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Pleased to meet you... Hope you guess my name...

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:39 | 2952020 redpill
redpill's picture

In closing, don't "waste your vote" by voting for anyone except Team Poverty or Team DeadBaby. If you don't vote for one of them and thereby endorse their agenda then you "don't have the right to complain."

Long live the republic!

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:21 | 2951960 Canadian Dirtlump
Canadian Dirtlump's picture

I'll play the bearded galoot hawkman who screams DIEEEEEEEEEE!


With any luck we can get Queen to do the music (with a suitable replacmeent front man) on inauguration day.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 11:35 | 2951798 Bobbyrib
Bobbyrib's picture

Ming the Merciless

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 11:36 | 2951801 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

Mike Hunt for President 2016!

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 11:39 | 2951808 redpill
redpill's picture

Hunt/Head '16

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 11:42 | 2951827 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

I will promise to appoint a Secretary of Hotness in my cabinet.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 11:46 | 2951834 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

And there was a time in this country, a long time ago, when reading wasn't just for fags and neither was writing. People wrote books and movies, movies that had stories so you cared whose ass it was and why it was farting, and I believe that time can come again!

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 14:38 | 2952535 redpill
redpill's picture

Spalding you'll get nothing and like it!

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 11:44 | 2951831 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

For those who grew up in Michigan in the 80's... "Dick Headley for Jobs" may sound familiar. He didn't win.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 14:15 | 2952443 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

You bastard.

I had to DuckDuckGo that to see if it was true.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:21 | 2951959 zapdude
zapdude's picture

Yes, voted Gary Johnson this morning. 

Then voted NO!!! on flouridating our city water supply -- keep your industrial waste out of my drinking water!  If I wanted more flouride in my diet I would eat toothpaste - which has a poison label on it for ingesting more than a teaspoon!

Also voted against my Republicon Congressman who voted in favor of NDAA -- I picked the Libertarian candidate (whatshisname).

Sadly, we really are not given the choice of Liberty or Tyranny -- it's just Red Tyranny or Blue Tyranny.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:33 | 2952000 dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture

Fuck-wad Neo-Con Bill Kristol says we don't have an EMPIRE

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 13:52 | 2952362 viahj
viahj's picture

he's right, Israel has one

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 13:05 | 2952138 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Man, if only Gary Johnson COULD kamikaze something in and blow our current political process dead. 

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 11:38 | 2951807 Inthemix96
Inthemix96's picture

You can have nick "The Bollocks Missing" clegg.

We dont need him.  While we are on, you can also have dave "My Party Is A Bunch Of Pedophiles" cameron.  We dont need him either, good luck ........

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 11:40 | 2951815 evolutionx
evolutionx's picture

US Election Canceled


To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

In light of your failure in recent years to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 11:53 | 2951851 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

This is a blast from the past - - Government explained.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 11:40 | 2951818 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

Bush delivers

The Anchoress – Thank you, President Bush – UPDATED.

From Gateway Pundit:

President Bush Transformed Our Approach To Combating Terrorism After The 9/11 Attacks

President Bush: “As the years passed, most Americans were able to return to life much as it had been before 9/11. But I never did. Every morning, I received a briefing on the threats to our Nation. And I vowed to do everything in my power to keep us safe.”

** Consolidated 22 agencies and 180,000 employees under one agency, the Department of Homeland Security, to foster a comprehensive, coordinated approach to protecting our country.

** Provided our military with the tools, equipment, and resources to combat terrorism and other emerging threats and started moving American forces from Cold War garrisons in Europe and Asia so they can deploy more quickly to any region of the world.

** Established a unified, collaborative intelligence community, led by the DNI, to ensure information is shared among all intelligence and law enforcement professionals so they have the information they need to protect the American people.

** Combined the counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and intelligence elements of the FBI under the leadership of a senior FBI official.

** Advocated for and signed the Patriot Act, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act, and a modernization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

** Arrested and convicted more than two dozen terrorists and their supporters in America since 9/11. Froze the financial assets in the United States of hundreds of individuals and entities linked to terrorism.

** Disrupted terrorist plots and built a coalition of more than 90 nations to fight terrorism. Partnered with nations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Latin America on intelligence sharing and law enforcement coordination to break up terrorist networks and bring terrorists to justice.

** Removed the Taliban from power and brought freedom to the people of Afghanistan. Supported the creation of an Afghan government that is elected by its people, respects the rule of law, and guarantees women the right to vote. More than six million children, approximately two million of whom are girls, are now in Afghan schools, compared to fewer than one million in 2001.

** Freed Iraqis from the rule of Saddam Hussein, a dictator who murdered his own people, invaded his neighbors, and repeatedly defied United Nations resolutions. Supported the creation of a democratic Iraqi government that is operating under one of the most progressive constitutions in the Arab world, and helped train and equip more than half a million Iraqi Army and police forces.

** Successfully negotiated a Strategic Framework Agreement and a Security Agreement with Iraq, which will further strengthen the relationship between our nations, provide the United States with vital protections and authorities to continue our mission to help stabilize Iraq, and establish a path for U.S. forces to reduce their presence in Iraq and return home on success.

President Bush Strengthened Support for Dissidents and Democracy Activists And Helped Millions Of People Around The World Through A New Approach To Development

** President Bush: “When people live in freedom, they do not willingly choose leaders who pursue campaigns of terror. When people have hope in the future, they will not cede their lives to violence and extremism. So around the world, America is promoting human liberty, human rights, and human dignity.”

** Met with activists from more than 35 countries and helped unify democracy advocates and boost the international standing of the opposition in countries run by totalitarian and oppressive regimes.

** Supported life-saving treatment for more than 2.1 million people and care for more than 10 million people (including more than four million orphans and vulnerable children) around the world through the President’s Emergency Plan.

** Committed $1.2 billion in funding through the President’s Malaria Initiative over a five-year period, which is on track to help reduce malaria deaths by 50 percent in 15 targeted countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

President Bush’s Domestic Policy Achievements Built A More Hopeful America

** President Bush: “For eight years, we have also strived to expand opportunity and hope here at home.”

** Held public schools accountable, through the No Child Left Behind Act, for producing results for all students and required highly-qualified teachers in every classroom. Since No Child Left Behind took effect, test scores have risen, accountability has increased, and we have begun to close the achievement gap between white and minority students. Helped African-American and Hispanic students post all-time highs in several categories on national assessments.

** Provided more than 40 million Americans with better access to prescription drugs through the market-based Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit.

** Provided tax relief to every American who pays income taxes, which helped fuel six years of uninterrupted economic growth and 52 consecutive months of job growth. Reduced individual income tax rates, doubled the child tax credit, created a new 10 percent bracket rate, provided marriage penalty relief, eliminated income taxes for 13 million American taxpayers, and began a phase-out of the estate tax.

** Through the Faith-Based and Community Initiative, helped millions in need by expanding partnerships with nonprofits and leveling the playing field for faith-based and community organizations. These partnerships helped provide care for more than ten million people affected by HIV/AIDS, supported the recovery of more than 260,000 addicts, and matched mentors with more than 100,000 children of prisoners.

** Outlawed partial birth abortion, ensured that every infant born alive is protected [Scott: Unlike Obama], established consequences for violence toward unborn children, and took steps to protect the rights of health care providers to act according to their conscience. Provided government funding for stem cell research while refusing to sanction the destruction of human life.

** Increased total funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs more than 98 percent since 2001 and helped millions of veterans receive expedited and improved care.

** Instituted policies that helped reduce air pollution by 12 percent from 2001 to 2007 and adopted new policies that will produce even deeper reductions. Improved and protected the health of more than 27 million acres of Federal forest and grasslands and protected, restored, and improved more than three million acres of wetlands. Provided the highest recognition and protection to nearly 335,000 square miles as marine national monuments, the largest marine area in history.

** Appointed Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justice Samuel Alito, and more than one-third of all active Federal judges, who will not legislate from the bench.

** Addressed the weakness in the economy early in 2008 by leading the bipartisan passage of an economic growth package that boosted consumer spending and encouraged businesses to expand. Responded with bold action when the financial crisis intensified by leading the passage and implementation of a rescue plan that helped address the root of the financial crisis, protected the deposits of individuals and small businesses, and helped ensure credit would remain available to individuals and families. Had the President not acted, the toll would be far worse on hardworking American families.


And more:

His administration rid the world and a nation of Sadaam Hussein, a despot whose sordid, tortuous crimes against humanity are well documented.

He paved the way for democracy in Iraq and other countries. It is still too early to tell if democracy will stick in any of those places, but people who have never voted are voting and, among others, women have new found rights to education and liberation.

If we begin to expect that any chief executive of anything — be it a country or a Fortune 500 company — cannot make a mistake or two among the hundreds, perhaps, thousands of decisions they make, then our standards have reached the point of ridiculousness.

Looking at Lincoln and Churchill and how they were viewed both in and out of office indicates how difficult it is to pre-judge history’s final assessment of a leader.

Both men were criticized for making quick and sometimes impulsive decisions against the advice of advisers. At times both were pilloried for decisions regarding war.

Lincoln bore the brunt of criticism for war casualties. More soldiers died at the Civil War battle at Antietam in one day — more than 7,000 — than the number American soldiers who have been killed in the war in Iraq. That number is about 4,500, which is not to imply those deaths are inconsequential or without great heartaches to their families.

Lincoln was criticized, as Bush has been, for running afoul of the Constitution and civil liberties. He suspended the writ of habeas corpus, which allows imprisoned persons to challenge the legality of their arrests and there were over 10,000 “arbitrary arrests” while Lincoln was in office.

We know there has not been a foreign attack on our land since 9/11. Is it because of Bush’s policies?

If it is proven he kept our nation safe, we will begin to see him differently as leader.

And Iraqis killed:

Solely in terms of numbers: Roughly one million Iraqis died under Saddam’s reign, averaging 50,000 deaths a year.

Under the American ‘oppressors’ (Bush’s troops), only an average of 6800 deaths occured a year – and the rate decreases daily.

And may I remind you that under the Bill Clinton-era embargo, the United Nations reported that more than one million Iraqis had died from nine years of deprivation (more than 100,000 a year) – with 567,000 of them children under the age of five.

George W. Bush is a hero who has protected America from all terrorist attacks for 7 years, killed 23,000+ terrorists and brought REAL peace to Iraq.


Bush also actually stabilized the Middle East:

When President Bush took over the Oval Office, he found Washington’s Middle Eastern policy locked in an unsustainable position: double containment of Iraq and Iran, with Islamic radicalism in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere festering in the background. The situation in Iraq was unfinished and untenable. Neither the no-fly zones in the Kurdish north and the Shi’ite south of the country nor the UN-imposed sanctions could be upheld much longer. Large contingents of US troops were tied up in neighboring Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Washington found itself in a fix: Those troops could not stay forever, but withdrawing them would be tantamount to handing triumph to Saddam Hussein on a silver platter.

Double containment of Iraq and Iran was unsustainable, but had to be sustained all the same. For eight long years president Clinton had not known what to do about Iraq and had opted for the easiest way out: doing nothing. After 9/11 that was not an option. Bush had to act and make an attempt at bringing a modicum of stability to the world’s most unstable region.

EIGHT YEARS on, the US position in the Gulf looks much more manageable: Strenuous double containment of Iraq and Iran has given way to difficult but doable containment of Iran. Today, Iraq looks like the most promising country in the entire region.

The war, which tragically cost the lives of so many valorous US servicemen and women, put al-Qaida on the run. By bleeding the ranks of foreign terrorists from Morocco, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries, it took internal pressure off those very countries.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 11:46 | 2951835 Bay of Pigs
Bay of Pigs's picture

<sarc> right?

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:01 | 2951856 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

His /sarc key broke.

He must be using a physically made in the U.S. PC, Tablet, Smart Phone or Apple iGadget.



Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:01 | 2951876 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture


Im just providing an alternative view. And I believe Bush was a good president.

Bush's debt was about the same as Italy's.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:22 | 2951958 Bay of Pigs
Bay of Pigs's picture

What are you doing at ZH then? The Yahoo boards would be more your speed.


Tue, 11/06/2012 - 15:25 | 2952714 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Don't get me started dick wad, all the statists reading ZH is the real mystery.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 13:39 | 2952307 Vince Clortho
Vince Clortho's picture


You are buried deep in some foul, dark, mental underworld.

Get a shovel and keep digging up until you see daylight.

Good luck.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 11:48 | 2951837 TahoeBilly2012
TahoeBilly2012's picture

You are creepy dude.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 11:51 | 2951840 cdude
cdude's picture

@ Spitzer

I know you're not into the whole "brevity thing" but GMAFB. Maybe you should consider your own blog. You could always link to it. Just sayin'

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 11:56 | 2951861 fuu
fuu's picture

You make MDB look serious.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:08 | 2951899 malikai
malikai's picture

He's pretty good. A bit long winded, but good. MDB's slacking lately.. Maybe its time we had our own election here.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:01 | 2951877 marcusfenix
marcusfenix's picture

you know the comment section really isn't designed for posting novels, it's not very conducive to discussion. It's more of a make your point in your own words ( preferably less than 5000 of them) and then link to supporting documents if you so desire.

not trying to be snarky, just thought I would float that out there.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:11 | 2951910 the grateful un...
the grateful unemployed's picture

okay Laura, you made your point, now shut up

Wed, 11/07/2012 - 00:06 | 2954125 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

"It's just a phantasy, it's not the real thing!

Sometimes a phantasy, is all you need!"  -- Billy Joel

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 11:47 | 2951821 Mercury
Mercury's picture

There are no longer any practical limits to presidential power.

Remember when only congress could declare wars and make laws?


Can you imagine the country today actually going through the onerous process of amending the constitution?

Remember when everything under the sun wasn't just another flavor of "interstate commerce"?

A new federal agency here and a few presidential "acts" there and pretty soon little else matters.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 11:49 | 2951839 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

"There are no longer any practical limits to presidential power."

Only in it's duration.

I do not fear a second term under Obama.  It's his third term I worry about most.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 11:58 | 2951867 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

Whatever... This is like nixon's 12th term, or LBJ's 13th... I lose count. Circumstances will dictate who sheds the facade, not the person who holds the office.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 11:52 | 2951844 Manthong
Manthong's picture

We wouldn't be here if the 50 state's interests rather than special interests were represented in the Senate and the power of the executive and his agenda were checked according to the design in original Constitution. The beginning of the end was 1913 with the 17th Amendment and its sister acts of evil, the 16th Amendment (Income Tax) and the Federal Reserve (Bank) Act.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 11:58 | 2951869 Mercury
Mercury's picture

Pretty much. It's time to revert back to the original system where the states are strong and the federal government relatively weak (The national sovereign is called The United States of America not The United People of America for a reason).

The feds collect just enough taxes for things like a suitable military and that which (and only that which) can’t be better accomplished at the state (or more local level) and then they spend the rest of their time cutting ribbons and going to parties. If you want more redistribution of wealth, public nudity and free drugs you go live in one state, if you want minimal government with few obstacles to free enterprise you go live in another state. 50 choices is a lot of choices.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:01 | 2951880 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

I think you need to go whole hog. End the union completely.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:11 | 2951893 Mercury
Mercury's picture

No, the original set-up worked just fine (for those who were allowed to participate in it anyway). It is very adventageous for states to cede certain powers and authority to the federal government  - it's just that the list of those certain powers and authorities isn't nearly as long as we've been led to believe.

Special interests, 50 different interests or the interests of the 51% applied universally are not really workable at the 320 million person scale though.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:14 | 2951928 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

I think the question to ask is if the original setup created the path we are on. - I like this discussion. I think if we were to back things all of the way up, we were toast when the anti-federalists lost.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:23 | 2951969 Mercury
Mercury's picture

The Fourteenth Amendment, railroaded through congress in the wake of Lincoln’s assassination and Reconstruction,  was big turning point too.


Well, Doctor, what have we got? A republic or a monarchy? A republic…if you can keep it.

         -Ben Franklin leaving the Constitutional Convention, 1787 

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:31 | 2951995 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Don't let the Federal Government collect ANY tax, except tariffs on international trade.  The 50 states (with competing tax policies) could then give an allowance to the congress critters while competing amongst themselves to provide a desirable mix of taxes and services to attract and maintain people and jobs.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:47 | 2952039 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

is it even thinkable to reach this kind of goal without repealing the 17th first?


to the Imperial Presidency: IMHO it's not the Presidency that augmented it's powers in the 20th Century. It's Congress that allowed it.

Particularly the Senate failed to tap several presidents on their shoulders with the question: "did you ask us before starting this war?". I stopped counting in the 80's with 270 "interventions".

But to "fix" the Senate, you'd have to "fix" the 17th, too.

All roads point to the 17th, all roads point to 1913


In europe we had a looooong debate about this constitutional issue and we came with the current Council setup.

IMHO superior, but strangely and unexpectedly not easy to understand, hence the "unelected" rubbish meme from some media.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 13:52 | 2952359 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

In an ideal state, yes, but that ignores the current reality.  The individual state legislatures tend to be of, by, and for- the state political machines of the two parties.  The nominating process is controlled by the party machines and the corruption is at least as bad, if not worse than in the federal Senate.  Most voters in the US simply vote a party line at the state (and local) level, individual candidates can overcome the party identification impediment at the local level, but it is very rare at the state level.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 11:59 | 2951872 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

And from this, the most painless way out would be to dissolve the union.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:53 | 2952072 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

and the legions? and the fleets? call 'em back? in a few weeks? and what do you tell the returning warriors? and what do you think this would do to the trade balance? and the dollar? and the gas price at your local pump?

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 16:21 | 2952982 TPTB_r_TBTF
TPTB_r_TBTF's picture

> call 'em back?

No donT call them back. Just leave "Last Legions" all over the World.

> and what do you tell the returning warriors?

If any make it home, tell them: "you are assigned to FEMA Camp X."

No Union? then no "national" trade balance.

No Union? then no Fed! no Dollar! (however, one could still buy Treasuries from the Chinese)

The price at the pump wonT matter cause the pump wonT have any electricity.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 11:44 | 2951824 cdude
cdude's picture

Air Force One traverses the screen suspended by a barely visible monofilament line whilst cheesy sparks emanate from its engines........end scene. 

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 11:47 | 2951829 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

What we need now is self governance.....fuck the 537 + people who wish to rule our lives.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 11:43 | 2951830 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

The Emperor fiddled while Rome burned.

There goes history rhyming again.

Don't know if its a cliff coming,or an evolutionary dead end.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 13:03 | 2952128 Rapada
Rapada's picture

Negro fiddles while Romes burns.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 11:49 | 2951842 goodrich4bk
goodrich4bk's picture

What does the author consider a "successful" Presidency?   

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 11:58 | 2951859 nameless narrator
nameless narrator's picture

the first portion of this article is pure horse-shit, attempting to portray bush and team-O as

outlier's in use of executive orders. since (and excluding) FDR, the average for a 4 year term

is 160 EO's.  team-O is average.  the real outlier's were FDR with over 3000.  Trueman, JFK,

and Carter had more than average.   To be fair, the content of an EO is more important than

the numerical count.  For example, the EO to confiscate citizen's GOLD in EO 6102 in

(approx) 1933 was a whopper.   While other EO's don't really matter much (like appointment



I agree that we have an imperial presidency, since Lincoln actually, and FDR certainly.  

However, the author should produce better work than reciting a myth about EO's.


Tue, 11/06/2012 - 11:59 | 2951860 Burticus
Burticus's picture

The only hope for saving the republic is to repeal the 16th and 17th amendments and the (not really) Federal (with no) Reserve Act.

As long as there is a direct unapportioned tax, the Feds can tax the citizens of the states, then use those "federal FeRNs" to puppeteer the state legislatures, destroying our framers' vision of FEDERALISM (the balance of power between the states/masters and the general gubmint/servant).

To the extent that duties, imposts, tariffs and excise taxes (permitted by the Constitution) are not sufficient to cover the federal gubmint's expressly-delegated powers, additional taxes are apportioned to the states based on the enumeration in the census (per capita).  State legislatures then face the unpleasant task of taxing their citizens and (gasp) handing the FeRNs to the federal gubmint.  Now, all of a sudden, instead of clamoring for "federal money", the state legislatures will demand limited gubmint and direct the U.S. senators they elect to shut 'er down.

Under central banking, an un-elected, non-representative group of elites can steal/tax (create "money" out of thin air, robbing everyone by debasing their currency holdings) and spend/appropriate (hand out 16 trillion to their shareholder banks) with no Act of CONgress. By controlling the currency, this political oligarchy effectively controls the political, ecomonic & social systems through the imperial sock puppet, rendering 'murkins homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.

The OBAMNEY sock puppets will continue the evolution toward a central banking-enabled imperial presidency accelerated under BUSHBAMA.  Alternatively, vote to SHED the FED by voting for Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson or Constitution Party nominee Virgil Goode.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:26 | 2951974 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

How do you repeal the 16th Amendmant.

It never passed in the first place.Even if it had,it granted

no power to the Feds to levy an income tax.

SCOTUS has so held four seperate times.

Look it up.

Cog Dis is action.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:55 | 2952086 dexter_morgan
dexter_morgan's picture

that would be a good start at least

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 11:59 | 2951870 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

All Hail Caesar!

(AC/DC Official Video, opens in new window)

"He be the count of Monte Cristo

Could be a quake any day
Maybe somebody from Siam
Begin the era of a new rage
Keeps lickin' all the honey
Chewin' up the fat he rakes
Instead of sending to the lions
They cover him with praise

All hail Caesar, Hail, Hail!
All hail Caesar, Hail, Hail!"

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:53 | 2952074 dexter_morgan
dexter_morgan's picture

++ thanks for the AC/DC post!

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 11:59 | 2951873 crusty curmudgeon
crusty curmudgeon's picture

Anyone who is willing and able to be elected is unfit for the job.  This rules out all non-sociopaths.

That, in a nut shell, is the problem.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 11:59 | 2951874 patb
patb's picture

Rome moved froma  republic to a an imperial system when the Senate proved unable to legislate effectively,

or devolve power to the provinces and focus the imperial senate on key tasks.


As a result, Caesar grabbed more power, and became a King.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:01 | 2951878 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture


Nixon doesn't count?

Where do you think Cheney got his ideas on the role of the Executive Branch?

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:04 | 2951884 Winston Smith 2009
Winston Smith 2009's picture

Really.  To paraphrase Nixon, "If the president does it, it's not illegal."

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:10 | 2951904 roadhazard
roadhazard's picture

On my bucket list is to dance on Nixxon's grave.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:54 | 2952082 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

Mein Kampf?

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:03 | 2951882 Winston Smith 2009
Winston Smith 2009's picture

I agree with all of CHS's great stuff, but disagree with this:

"If the history of the past two (failed) presidencies is any guide"

They didn't "fail" at all, they both greatly expanded their imperial powers.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:06 | 2951890 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

I don't give a shit who wins, but I sure would like to see the Black Panther thugs get taken down a notch or two.


Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:07 | 2951896 roadhazard
roadhazard's picture

Voting will change everything, trust me.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:10 | 2951907 djsmps
djsmps's picture

It must be nice to be prez. CBS just released this little snippet that didn't air on 60 Minutes.;contentBody

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:16 | 2951930 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

"the failed presidencies of G.W. Bush"

Whoa.  A bit of a rush to judgment there, don't you think?  Sure 'W' made some mistakes, who hasn't?  But he has learned and in a 3rd term (Consti-what?), his wisdom would shine through.

All it would take is an executive order from Dick Cheney, and, BANG, we party like it's 2008.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:23 | 2951968 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Are you channeling MDB??

It's that or you are actually being serious which would explain quite a bit....

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:19 | 2951950 the grateful un...
the grateful unemployed's picture

the imperial presidency serves at the pleasure of the Congress, at least constitutionally (notice no caps on that word) Congress abdicated power, who are you going to blame, not sure, but Congress can get those powers back, the power to make war, power to print money, etc etc. somehow the American people got the idea that gridlock is bad, while most bills SHOULDN'T BE PASSED. and secondrly in that spirit of raising the image of Congress (at all time LOWS, why?? because they have no POWER, they ceded it all) secondly Congress needs a more Parliamentary design, with seats for other than the TWO PARTIES (really ONE) that we currently have. seats apportioned by the percentage of the vote each party gains. If you're fed up with the IMPERIAL PRESIDENCY, then the multicameral Congress is the thing for you. political diversity and choice is what the 21 century should be about, while we run a government for 19th century farmers.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:35 | 2952008 Duke Dog
Duke Dog's picture

Just got back from the local polling site. Felt good to cast a vote for every I or L on the ballot - didn't cast a vote in any contest with only Ds or Rs running. Have done the same thing since 1992, when I voted for Perot. One thing I did notice this time, a lot more than even 4 years ago, is the number of contests where at least a 3rd choice is showing up on the ballot for State and local positions. Unfortunately, we had somewhat of a chance 20 years ago, but that chance to do the right thing is long past. Best we can hope for now is the implosion occurs before there is nothing left to rebuild and enough people wake up and begin to elect non-psycopaths into positions of leadership to supervise the rebuilding.


Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:45 | 2952044 the grateful un...
the grateful unemployed's picture

agree with the spirit of the post, though you are delusional, the third party vote has disappeared. in the golden state there is no viable third party candidate except Roseanna Barr (who is running with Cindy Sheehan, who ran against Pelosi in her district, and camped outside Bush's Crawford ranch to protest the war in Iraq) and I think RB lives in Hawaii now.

the political status quo is a function of the mass media (Obama proseltyzes against the status quo, who the hell does he think he is?) but to paraphrase the situation a few years ago there was governors recall election in CA, and a debate among a panel of candidates (Arianna and Arnies got into it as I recall, not sure who won, really) but everyone agreed that the late Peter Camejo, of the Green Party won the debate, but the first words out of the moderaters lips were, "Yeah too bad he can't win.."


and so we have the extreme political repression of any banana republic, simply because our media masters say, "yeah but the guy who won the debate can't win.." (they even did it to Romney, like he was some kind of piker)


so i'm glad you spend your vote wisely, because voting for either of two parties is a waste. not that voting for someone matters, but voting against THEM, that's what matters.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 14:18 | 2952452 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

The "third party" thing doesn't seem like the best approach to me, because the balloting process is controlled by the 2 major parties, and the whole "first past the post" electoral system is intended to prevent parties from forming in the first place.

It might be interesting to see if people could be interested enough to write in a specific protest candidate, though.  If a concerted campaign for Pigasus or Sack of Flour was mounted and 2% of the voters wrote in the SAME NAME, it might send a message to the current overseers of the process.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 15:37 | 2952775 the grateful un...
the grateful unemployed's picture

i was really hoping that obama would get 'primaried', but in CA he went unopposed. you're right if the anti encumbent voters could find a single name to vote for in the primary that would send a message, but the system is rigged against that.

i also think we can buy back our candidates, if a large number of voters pledged a certain small amount to the candidates campaign IF THEY WOULD DO SOMETHING.

i was being hounded by my senator for money, i wrote to HER, yes i will give you $100, if you will vote for the impeachment of GWBush. now that doesn't mean much to her, but if 10000 of us got together it might amount to something. i also said in the spirit of the political carrot and stick game which they play AGAINST US that if the candidate fails to do what we want we'll give the money to their opponent. (in the primary)


Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:52 | 2952073 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture




"I am not afraid."

"Oh, you will be."

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 12:58 | 2952108 dexter_morgan
dexter_morgan's picture

So what time, Eastern time zone, will the first MSM outlet declare Obama the winner? 4pm, 6pm, 8pm ?

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 15:49 | 2952824 roadhazard
roadhazard's picture

I'll do it now, I ain't skeered. Butt it would be fun to have Romney as Prez because I would get to see the new winger 3D blinders.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 13:05 | 2952131 toomanyfakecons...
toomanyfakeconservatives's picture

"In general, the Constitution grants the Executive Branch few outright powers. The president is given extraordinary powers in wartime as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces..."


This article backs up what I've been saying. In a just world, every President since JFK would have either been impeached or rightfully arrested by his subordinates in the military for one reason or another. Since Congress won't do shit and WWIII and Civil War II are not sensible options, let's hope the good guys in the military pull the plug on this shitshow asap...

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 13:20 | 2952199 Fix It Again Timmy
Fix It Again Timmy's picture

Thoughts on executive orders and voting:


Tue, 11/06/2012 - 13:47 | 2952336 mberry8870
mberry8870's picture

Ya know Teddy Rosevelt had over 1,000 executive orders during his time in office.

Tue, 11/06/2012 - 14:13 | 2952442 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

No he didn't.

Wed, 11/07/2012 - 11:12 | 2955962 mberry8870
mberry8870's picture

Couldn't let your post stand. "Presidents Hayes and Garfiled issued none (executive orders). Arthur issued 3. Grover Clevland (first term) 6, Benjamin Harrison 4, Clevland (second term) 71, and Mckinley 51. TR issued 1006."

The information source: 33 Questions About American History You're Not Supposed to Ask.

Quote from TR (same source): "Under this interpretation of executive power, TR later reflected, "I did and caused to be done many things not previously done... I did not usurp power, but I did greatly broaden the use of executive power."

You stand corrected, you are welcome.



Tue, 11/06/2012 - 15:19 | 2952668 earleflorida
earleflorida's picture

How we got where we are [in this supreme mess?]:      [~1792~1824]      [~1828~1854]       [~1854~1890's],_Wisconsin      {Birthplace of the Republican Party [GOP]}

Conclusion:    America has been migrating/ gravitating towards a 'New? Political System',... whereas the 'Dem's & GOP' will eventually merge as one. With my own eyes, and  speaking for others... seeing that they've both come together at the center on all issues [various wedge issues will be forever, eg. Roe v. Wade, et.el] and thusly, is highly improbable too changing this 'centralizing trend' for the betterment of the country as a whole.

The current two-party system is now one, period! It's opaque, clandesdine, and dangerously acquiescent-- an evolutionary trope coalescing into a hermaphroditic singularity!

This is why the Libertarian Party and Ron Paul[R?] have been fighting feverishly to get a 3rd party on all state ballots so the signatures needed won't be a hindrance as a annual requirement... thus concentrating on educating the public of our constitutional rights, freedom, etc., etc.,... !!!

*America's Fourth Party?!    for the peopleand by the people, period!

thankyou C H-S as always

Ps. Tried not to go off [OT] subject, but?, all is relative, imho,  today.   :-))     


Tue, 11/06/2012 - 19:31 | 2953334 BlackholeDivestment
BlackholeDivestment's picture

...take a look at all the cities (like Vatican City in Rome) around the world with these stupid obelisks standing like the middle finger and consider this, the Washington Monument is the largest FU on Earth. Now consider what D.C. looks like. Oh hey!'s the new version of the ancient city of the dead. So now instead of the inaguration, which was the invocation of the (g)od from Sirius entering the host body of the new Pharaoh in Egypt, and oath of office defining a President from the Temple known as the Capitol, in front of the largest 666 Sirius Penis on the planet, you might want to consider the invocation of Lucifer, intended to rise in the willful new President host, that always takes place 13 blocks up from the cornerstone mapped out to the cornerstone of the White House and the Washinton Monument cornerstone and the Capitol/Temple cornerstone all tied to the Second of Sirius/4th of July seailng of the New Secular Order. Oh, and yes, 2012 to 2016 defines the length of time of the capstone ''Eye of Horus'' on the pyramid on the Federal Reserve Debt Note (g)od in whom the freaks trust. So yeah, if you are ignorant enough to cast a vote in agreement with this you sure as Hell are not sealed to anyone but what the system of the Antichrist has set in place in order to offer you this temptation. 

P.S. the way, the sealing of your agreement with the mark of the beast means your own judgment will not only fall upon you, but this time around it falls upon this entire 2112 generation. That is their plan. They mean for this President to seal the prophetic new world order peace with Israel and the nations, this 2012 to 2016 time period. The mark of debt is already in place and the armies are being set in motion and are now rising in the East, the waters of the Eupratese have been made bitter by this Sirius (g)od new world order plan and the restraint has been dried up which makes way for this. All that is needed is the Iran Israel event.

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