There Is A Word For The Presidency’s Level Of Power

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Paul H. Yarbrough Freelance Writer
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It’s amazing (not incredible) the number of people who refer to the president-elect as having been elected as commander-in-chief (he hasn’t been so, unless congress takes some action, or we are immediately being invaded). Of course, every president in memory back to and including Kennedy have assumed the posture of such—like Banana Republics—so why not just get him a uniform with lots of ribbons and medals. Anyway, the media fawns on this appellation as if they know what it means. And he always looks so grand to some as he walks across the white house lawn toward “Marine One” and throws up that uncovered phony salute, having been saluted by his palace guard. There is a word for this: It starts with a “B” and ends with a “T.”

Also, they always state that the president will do this or that, as if he truly has the authority, while those idiots in congress timidly and heedlessly fawn or complain (depending on party affiliation) that the president must act in some particular way so that the true bipartisan nature of our great democracy is not compromised. There is a word for this: It starts with a “B” and ends with a “T.”

Every presidential election begins with splendid and imposing objectives by the newly elected president almost none of which can he perform (absent the infamous “phone and pen”) as an executive officer serving under Article 2 of the Constitution. But, as we have learned, he immediately begins with directives of choice (executive orders), then through the also infamous “bully pulpit” he has his bureaucrat lackeys scribble out some legislative proposal that usually curses at least a few points of the Constitution and if he has enough “support” in congress, it sails through and a couple of dozen (maybe 50 or 60) fountain pens are passed around and everybody (again depending on party affiliation) in the swamp cheers and has a martini for peace and truth and the American way (meanwhile they keep their fingers crossed that the nine lawyers across the street will agree on what is politically correct). There is a word for this: It starts with a “B” and ends with a “T.”

One of the authentic duties of the president is the appointment of cabinet members, of which there are enough people required to fill Fenway Park. Secretaries of Transportation, Housing, Commerce, Education, etc., ad nauseam. And, of course, these departments are filled with federal employees the likes of which have no more abilities than their bosses. None of these will ever transport, or educate, or house or engaged in commerce or on and on through the full sixteen cabinet positions; nor will any of the seven sub cabinet positions through their secretarial postings do anything that their label defines. But the president will, with the help and glory of the media, make the obligatory demonstrative announcement that John Doe will be our Secretary of Energy and he will make oil and wind and gas and sunlight available to all of us at “fair” prices, oh praise the Lord.

Or our Secretary of Homeland Security (a phrase borrowed from Adolph Hitler) will always be on the prowl for mean guys and in the famous words of George W. Bush: “Keep us safe.” Why don’t they call it the Department of Safety?  There is a word for this. By now I guess you know what it is. (Hint: the first four letters are “bull.”)

The last president who seemed to have some knowledge of the job of president was President Eisenhower. When the new president hears that cry to him as “commander-in -chief,” or if it simply a behind the scenes whisper in his ear for building our military, I hope he uses his his art of the deal expertise when dealing with the bankers at the Pentagon.  I hope he will be reminded that he isn’t routinely the commander-in-chief. And I hope he remembers what Eisenhower said about the Military-Industrial complex. There is a word for this if he doesn’t. It’s that same damn word.