What remains from the past? In the National archives, backing up POTUS, are the Constitution with the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. These original documents established a set of brilliantly conceived checks and balances among three co-equal branches of government. That system is working again, after being down for the past two presidential terms. America is no longer as deeply bound to its recent dark past.
What does the future hold? Solutions to America' biggest problems are out there waiting to be discovered. Does POTUS have all the answers? Absolutely not, but he believes in the system and trusts what will emerge. Did the EX VEEP's speech have any answers? Absolutely not, because he does not believe in the system. He believes his own dark demons. Now that the system is beginning to rebalance itself without him, his impulses keep him fearful and desperate for power.
What does Constitutional re balancing entail? POTUS gave some clues in his speech. He talked about the lack of foresight in the past administration. And he demonstrates foresight as he leads us into the future. For example, he acknowledged that he expects oversight by Congress and the courts as he picks his way through the Constitutional legal minefield of "prolonged detention" and "military tribunals with rules."
Because the courts were active, even during the dark days, balances were kept in certain instances as courts prohibited Bush administration power grabs. Our new POTUS is also willing to live by court decisions on constitutionality. However, the same cannot yet be said about Congress exerting its proper authority, though there are hints. The Senate's demand for a plan before opening the purse to close Guantanamo was a good first step at reestablishing its prerogatives, though the process has been awkward. What lies in the future for the questionable solutions to the detainee problem? POTUS has been preparing a plan that will be completed in January of next year. It is typical of his operating method.
POTUS' governing style is to state the problem and assign members of the administration to work to find solutions. He announces the outlines of a preliminary plan, letting Congress know what its part is and when he would like to have something to sign. He gets feedback and makes changes. Eventually he realizes it is again time to teach the nation about what the problem and solutions will entail. Working with Congress and signing legislation finally leads to publishing the plan's full details.
EX VEEP's governing style, in contrast was to feel there was a problem, state the solution to his minions in secret, omitting the planning and reporting to Congress. He did not need feedback because the rule was "my way or the highway." Eventually he would be found out, but refused to admit any mistakes. Rather than teach, he worked through maintaining a fear posture and bypassed or deceived Congress whenever possible. He did not need a public plan and did not feel bound by the rule of law. Governing behind closed doors in secret, his loss of power has now produced a starkly contrasting new set of behaviors. He is out front and everywhere -- defending, obfuscating, prevaricating, fear mongering, insulting and angry for the most part.
POTUS is also out front and everywhere -- asserting, explaining, being transparent, truth telling, reassuring, and showing respect to adversaries and a positive demeanor, generally speaking. His ideas will be accepted or not. POTUS feel himself bound by what Congress and the courts decide. He feels that the government must be backed by the Constitution. He is quite willing to take on the EX VEEP because the man is mired in the past. The ex Veep's dark past is just that -- deeply dark and disturbing. The worst of him is gone now because he is powerless, though not without influence. He will eventually sputter out of the limelight. America is looking to the future, and honoring its beginnings. It is no contest; POTUS will win. Our best times have already begun.
[Post date - May 22, 2009]
See also Behind the Links, for further info on this subject.
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