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Author Topic: Bernie Sanders says and does
scifibum
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Man, I wish Sanders would brand himself better.

I actually doubt he would be able to accomplish anything concrete - especially considering the opposition he would face in Congress; I suspect the way they've worked with Obama would appear congenial in comparison. He'd at least shift the middle somewhat, and maybe shape the debate for the next couple of presidents. I think Clinton is far more invested in the status quo.

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Fenring
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Sanders' platform is not about making the Congress do anything. He more or less says it's a mistake to even think of that as being the President's job. He says (correctly) that the Congress is supposed to respond to pressure from the people, not from the President. Sander says his job is to get the people of the country motivated enough to get their Congressmen to listen to them. And in truth that's the only way the Republic can function properly - if the Congress is the voice of the people, set against the Executive. The idea that the executive should somehow be beholden to the President's desires is more or less antithetical to the separation of powers as I understand it.
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AI Wessex
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quote:
Sander says his job is to get the people of the country motivated enough to get their Congressmen to listen to them.
That's not what the President does. The job description is to serve as chief executive of the federal government and to serve as commander in chief of the armed forces. Influencing public opinion is what politicians do, but the President doesn't hold a political office once elected. That's not a perfectly practical description, but it is closer to the mark than what you wrote.
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Fenring
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Read what I wrote again, Al. You made a reading error. All I said about the President's job is what it isn't. The only positive assertion I made is what Sanders believes his personal job should be. And yes, it is within the purview of President, in any case, to be a leader to the people. That can mean leading militarily, leading by example, or leading through rallying support.
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scifibum
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quote:
The idea that the [legislative branch] should somehow be beholden to the President's desires is more or less antithetical to the separation of powers as I understand it.
I substituted legislative where you wrote executive because I suspect that's what you meant...

Whose idea is that?

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velcro
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Al,

Bully Pulpit. It's how we got out of the last gilded age, so it could work again.

Also, Sanders has done significant work on Veteran's Affairs. source

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scifibum
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Bernie's speech transcript:

http://inthesetimes.com/article/18623/bernie_sanders_democratic_socialism_georgetown_speech

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AI Wessex
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quote:
Here's his list of committee assignments, from Wiki:
Not to quibble (but to quibble, anyway), and to remind you that I like Sanders and agree with many of his positions, how significantly has he influenced legislation coming out of those committees? Where has he made his mark? I'm pretty sure he's been effective as the Chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee, but I can't find much in the Congressional Record about his accomplishments.

His dedication and commitment to his principles are exemplary, but the question remains (in my mind, at least), can he lead?

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Fenring
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scifi, good catch, that was indeed a typo, thanks. To answer your question, there is a growing sense among Americans that it's the President's job to pick up the Congress' slack when they don't get things done, and to force down legislation. I also think people increasingly believe that a President's views are important because these will become policy. This is surely true in certain areas, but overall I don't think people recognize exactly what he President's job is.

My comment wasn't directly in particular at you, but was rather pertained to what I see as a contrast in how Sanders views what his Presidency might be like compared to other candidates who speak as if their job description is to change America all by themselves.

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philnotfil
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Bills introduced by Bernie Sanders:

govtrack.us

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AI Wessex
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Of those 359 bills he sponsored, the vast majority were "referred to committee" and died there. The ones (10) that were voted on by the full House or Senate are below. Most of those 359 bills were/are inconsequential. I appreciate you finding this source (which contradicts one I found the other day), but my point is not that he's a bad man or not even an exemplary one in many respects, but whether he is Presidential timber. As I mentioned, I think he would be an excellent closet advisor to Hillary, perhaps able to keep her honest and truthful, but IMO she would be the better President.

S.Res. 577 (113th): A resolution permitting the collection of clothing, toys, food, and housewares during the holiday season for charitable purposes in Senate buildings.

H.R. 5441 (113th): To amend the Federal charter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States to reflect the service of women in the Armed Forces of the United States.

S.Res. 307 (113th): A resolution permitting the collection of clothing, toys, food, and housewares during the holiday season for charitable purposes in Senate buildings.

S. 893 (113th): Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2013

S. 885 (113th): A bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 35 Park Street in Danville, Vermont, as the “Thaddeus Stevens Post Office”.

H.R. 5245 (109th): To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 1 Marble Street in Fair Haven, Vermont, as the “Matthew Lyon Post Office Building”.

Voted on but rejected: H.J.Res. 27 (109th): Withdrawing the approval of the United States from the Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization.

S.J.Res. 38 (104th): A joint resolution granting the consent of Congress to the Vermont-New Hampshire Interstate Public Water Supply Compact.

H.R. 1353 (102nd): Entitled the “Taconic Mountains Protection Act of 1991”.

S.J.Res. 58 (102nd): A joint resolution to designate March 4, 1991, as “Vermont Bicentennial Day”.

[ November 20, 2015, 10:43 AM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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TomDavidson
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To be fair, it's not like Hillary has any great legislative achievements of her own.
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AI Wessex
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That is fair, but her "resume" is more consequential. The rebuttal to that is that Obama's accomplishments *and* resume were thin, which is also true. The rebuttal to that is not to say that maybe Carson or Trump would make good or great Presidents. God, no.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
To be fair, it's not like Hillary has any great legislative achievements of her own.

You like Sanders, Tom? This would be a new thing under the sun, you and I agreeing on a candidate [Smile]
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Pete at Home
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My main objection to Carson is that the US presidency is a waste of his talent. He did more good as a doctor than anyone since Roosevelt has do e as a president.
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
That is fair, but her "resume" is more consequential. The rebuttal to that is that Obama's accomplishments *and* resume were thin, which is also true. The rebuttal to that is not to say that maybe Carson or Trump would make good or great Presidents. God, no.

Yeah, her resume is more consequential. But in what way? I think it disqualifies her, rather than qualifies her. Someone with no credentials is better than someone with negative credentials. But that's just, like, my opinion, man.
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velcro
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Al,

I hear what you are saying. What accomplishments are you looking for?

Also, take into account that the things he tries to accomplish will not likely be popular with rank and file Congresspeople. That is a big portion of his appeal.

The risk is that if he is elected but Congress stays the same, he won't accomplish anything. However, if Clinton is elected, and Congress stays the same, I don't think she would accomplish anything either. And she would aim much lower.

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Pete at Home
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More importantly, Trump is an '08 huckster. Not there to win but to take out his Patron's rivals.
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NobleHunter
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Cod above, Pete, I hope so.
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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
More importantly, Trump is an '08 huckster. Not there to win but to take out his Patron's rivals.

He seems to be having a great time riling up the base. I think the GOP finds it embarrassing that he gets roars of approval for things like "we have to bomb the **** out of ISIS, like fast and furious". So the idea that he's a spoiler has some appeal - he's not doing his party any favors.
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AI Wessex
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quote:
Originally posted by velcro:
Al,

I hear what you are saying. What accomplishments are you looking for?

Also, take into account that the things he tries to accomplish will not likely be popular with rank and file Congresspeople. That is a big portion of his appeal.

The risk is that if he is elected but Congress stays the same, he won't accomplish anything. However, if Clinton is elected, and Congress stays the same, I don't think she would accomplish anything either. And she would aim much lower.

I don't think anyone would mistake Sanders for someone they would pick to lead them into battle. Governing these days is nothing but a battle, if not fullscale war. He is not a fan of war but also not a fan of sacrificing his principles. His history in office is more like a nerdy gnat, principled but delivering speeches to empty chambers late at night in Congress and offering bills that get referred to committee when they see his name on them. I think Hillary would have ample opportunities to replay this if she were in office. What would Bernie do?

As to what Hillary might be able to accomplish, politics is the art of the possible. Her wavering and course changes reflect a recognition of that.

In this discussion I'm appearing to be partial to Hillary. I don't like her much, but I also subscribe to the notion that governing is the art of the possible. I'm willing to accept her given all of the impossible alternatives.

[ November 20, 2015, 01:53 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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Fenring
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Oof, we're really going the route of "Hillary may not be principled or consistent but she may be able to work the system in the regular way"? Talk about a race to the bottom. The point Sanders makes is that the 'regular way' involves corruption, lobbyists, partisan hackery, and deceit. If Sanders is less effective than Hillary at using these tools then give him the job, I don't want people whose credentials are being good at that stuff. If a decent person with a brain can't get anything done other than in these ways then the system should be demolished wholesale.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
More importantly, Trump is an '08 huckster. Not there to win but to take out his Patron's rivals.

He seems to be having a great time riling up the base. I think the GOP finds it embarrassing that he gets roars of approval for things like "we have to bomb the **** out of ISIS, like fast and furious". So the idea that he's a spoiler has some appeal - he's not doing his party any favors.
His party? When did he even become a Republican? He admitted outright that he entered the race at the Clinton's suggestion. He has donated millions to the Clinton's. This whole run is a multimillion donation to the Clinton campaign and Mark my words he will get favors for it. Maybe a casino in Mecca when ISIS takes it.
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Fenring
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I'll just throw in, re: art of the possible, that if there is such a thing as a candidate who will create absolute maximal resistance from Republicans in the Congress, it's Hillary. If you thought Obama got stonewalled...
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Pete at Home
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I don't think she's as much of an Islamist stooge as say Reagan, who gave weapons to Khomeini. But Carter was our last non Islamist president.
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scifibum
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While I think everyone has admitted Bill Clinton and Trump talked shortly before he entered the race, I don't think anyone has admitted that Trump decided to run because of that.

So maybe Bill manipulated him on purpose, but I'm having a harder time thinking that Trump doesn't believe his own crap. Maybe.

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Pete at Home
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Oh, I don't deny that Trump believes whatever he is saying at the moment he says it. But he cycles his core beliefs even faster than he cycles his women. Have you read Mother Night by Vonnegut?
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Pete at Home
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I note you don't question my prediction that there's going to be a return on Trump's investment should Hillary win
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scifibum
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Well, I didn't, but that doesn't mean I don't, if you know what I mean. It would be hard to tell new rigging from the old rigging, anyway.
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AI Wessex
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quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
Oof, we're really going the route of "Hillary may not be principled or consistent but she may be able to work the system in the regular way"? Talk about a race to the bottom. The point Sanders makes is that the 'regular way' involves corruption, lobbyists, partisan hackery, and deceit. If Sanders is less effective than Hillary at using these tools then give him the job, I don't want people whose credentials are being good at that stuff. If a decent person with a brain can't get anything done other than in these ways then the system should be demolished wholesale.

Listen, I may sound antiquated or even a little addled in saying this, but there needs to be a system and to be an effective President you need to make it work for you. Bernie would try to blow it up with grenades and rouse the troops with fireworks, but Hillary is a pedant who is a stooge of the system and potentially a master of it, as was her husband. You can lead by your lonesome but you can't govern that way.

A number of smart people think that if it weren't for the 25th Amendment Bill Clinton would be running for his 7th term about now. Nobody now can remember exactly what he stood for when he was President, but everyone remembers that a lot got done when he had to work with a GOP House and Senate for 6 of his 8 years in office, even though they shut down the government in abject opposition to him and impeached him. That's what made him a good President, not the height and depth of his principles.

[ November 20, 2015, 04:35 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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Fenring
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I guess it depends on what you mean by "effective President." If the Prez's job is to run the executive and be the commander in chief then there does not actually need to be much of a relationship between the President and the Congress at all, other than the veto. It's nice when Presidents want to further their party's goals and take that to the Congress, but based on the separation of powers outside of the crippling purview of the party system it's not supposed to be the President's job to 'get things done' in terms of legislation. Maybe that makes me sound antiquated, too. Yet for all that I think the primary problems in America can almost all be summed up by a combination of the party system and the election/lobby system.

That being said I don't think one can be both the stooge of the system and the master of it. At best one can be a player within it, and can gain more traction there by selling out the people. No thanks.

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velcro
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Interesting (if overly pro-Sanders) piece.

Al, this part might interest you. After beating the Democratic incumbent to be Mayor of Burlington -
quote:
"Bernie Sanders ran the city in a coalition with the Republicans," Sanders ally John Franco says. "You know, I tell that to people from out of state and they think I'm crazy."

Sanders worked during his first year without key staff to run the city.

"We had to do two city budgets with volunteers sitting around a kitchen table in a rented apartment," Franco says.

Those budgets got the attention of Republicans, who could appreciate the discipline Sanders brought to the city budget.

"Bernie's fiscal management and updating of city management and government had real attraction to the Republicans," Franco says. "The Democrats wouldn't deal with us at all. They were just so mad that we had beaten Gordon Paquette they wouldn't speak to us."

In Burlington, Sanders also learned the value of well-plowed streets and filling potholes. Businessman Pat Robins says Sanders brought a staff of professionals to City Hall.

"And they did a great job in fixing the city's finances, which were pretty shoddy at the time, quite frankly," Robins adds.

He's friends with Sen. Inhofe (Very R)
quote:

He also happens to pal around with people on both sides of the aisle. Inhofe will go as far as to say that he considers Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), a potential presidential candidate too liberal to call himself a Democrat, his “best friend” in the Senate.

“On a personal level, I like him,” Sanders said in a statement provided by his spokesman. Even Boxer said she kind of views them as siblings who just happen to see the world completely differently.

Not many grenades and fireworks as far as I can tell.
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AI Wessex
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Sorry, I don't feel enlightened. Burlington (aka The People's Republic of Burlington) is a very small city in a small but very liberal state (try asking Carson to point to it on a map [Wink] ). Bernie probably knew half of the residents of Burlington by name, and it was and always will be a liberal college town. Else, why would they elect a socialist to be their Mayor 4 times? Why would the state re-elect a socialist to be its Senator if they didn't <heart> his politics?

Being the best friend of someone who votes against principles you hold dear at every turn is the sign of a really, really nice guy, but not of much else.

[ November 20, 2015, 05:06 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:


Being the best friend of someone who votes against principles you hold dear at every turn is the sign of a really, really nice guy, but not of much else.

It's a sign of electability. I don't think the Fox hate machine is capable of machine turning Bernie into the bugbear of the hour. And as an Sam opponent I respect him as the only presidential pro Sam candidate that was honest about his position rather than testing the people as idiots who needed to be duped for their own good.
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
Sorry, I don't feel enlightened. Burlington (aka The People's Republic of Burlington) is a very small city in a small but very liberal state (try asking Carson to point to it on a map [Wink] ). Bernie probably knew half of the residents of Burlington by name, and it was and always will be a liberal college town. Else, why would they elect a socialist to be their Mayor 4 times? Why would the state re-elect a socialist to be its Senator if they didn't <heart> his politics?

Being the best friend of someone who votes against principles you hold dear at every turn is the sign of a really, really nice guy, but not of much else.

Al, I'm getting the distinct impression that you're actually not that interested in trying to see Bernie's strength. It seems more like an episode of Columbo where Peter Falk goes in claiming ignorance but knows exactly where he's going with the conversation.

That's cool and all, not everyone has to like Bernie. But mocking Burlington, VT, of all places, and italicizing the word "socialist" doesn't make your inquiry sound like it's in very good faith.

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Pete at Home
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I'll take an open socialist any day over a crypto fascist or cryptosocialist oligarch.
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AI Wessex
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quote:
That's cool and all, not everyone has to like Bernie. But mocking Burlington, VT, of all places, and italicizing the word "socialist" doesn't make your inquiry sound like it's in very good faith.
Here's an opportunity for you to try harder. I've been pretty clear that I don't find Sanders to have been largely effective as a legislator, so I don't think he'll suddenly become effective as President. I italicized socialist to emphasize that he is coming from out of left field (pun realized after the fact) into a general election having had a career standing apart from the mainstream of political thought. I'm not knocking Burlington, btw. I happen to live in what locals called The Free Republic of Ann Arbor when I moved here. I used to have a t-shirt with that on it and wore it proudly. That didn't make Ann Arbor mainstream, nor does the proud repeated selection of a self-proclaimed socialist make Vermont or Burlington an intellectual center of free and responsible thought. Don't be so sensitive.
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Fenring
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So let me get this straight:

-You ask about Bernie's record in apparent interest at his qualifications.
-You scoff at the things people mention in response to your question, and don't accept whatever positions Bernie has held as being valid in terms of "leadership".
-You point out that Burlington has very few people, is merely a college town, and is not a center of free or of responsible thought. You also call Bernie's elections there as "proud repeated selection" which cannot be reasonably interpreted in any way other than that their pride in electing a "self-proclaimed socialist" makes them look foolish.

I'm not sure I was being sensitive, but I am pretty sure I was on the mark in calling out your inquiry about Bernie's qualifications as being disingenuous. You already know what you think about his state, the city where he was mayor, his record, and his position on the issues such that he calls himself a socialist. That's what I call a bad faith inquiry, and if I'm sensitive about something it's that, not your opinion on some political candidate.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
quote:
Sander says his job is to get the people of the country motivated enough to get their Congressmen to listen to them.
That's not what the President does. The job description is to serve as chief executive of the federal government and to serve as commander in chief of the armed forces. Influencing public opinion is what politicians do, but the President doesn't hold a political office once elected. That's not a perfectly practical description, but it is closer to the mark than what you wrote.
So a president must not *lead*, because the constitution does not explicitly assign that role? [Smile]
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AI Wessex
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Fenring, having failed to convince me is my fault? You're not telling me 2+2=4 and finding that I refuse to be persuaded. Do you think you are?

Pete, you're picking a nit.

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