Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Diminished Presidency Now Dispensable

For what is the president responsible?

Taking at face value the disavowals of the current occupant of the oval office, the nominal head of the government’s executive branch knew nothing about, and bears no responsibility for:

·     The FBI (an arm of the Justice Department) having surreptitiously seized and trolled through journalists’ phone records;

·     The IRS (an arm of the Treasury Department) as well as other executive branch bureaucracies having targeted for audits and harassment individuals and groups opposed to his policies while favoring others supporting those policies; or

·    The failures of the State Department and all of the nation’s many intelligence agencies and the military (of which he supposedly  is commander-in-chief) to protect the nation’s threatened diplomats or to even attempt to rescue those diplomats when they are under attack.

So what, exactly, is it that the president does?

Well, we know that he talks. He does so incessantly.  But most of what he says is either misleading or meaningless.

He also appoints and spends a lot of time meeting with multitudes of subordinates, most of whom apparently are experts specializing in giving him the mushroom treatment – keeping him in the dark and covered with B.S.

Finally, there are two things that he does a lot and well – political campaigning and vacationing.  But neither of those things serve any national purpose.

As the government has grown the presidency hasn't kept pace with it.  On the contrary, it has shrunk.  It has become something like the oozlefinch that in the middle of the last century was the unofficial symbol of the Army’s antiaircraft artillery – a fictional and symbolic hairless and featherless bird that was said to fly backward in concentric circles of ever decreasing size until, ultimately, flying into and disappearing in its own anus.

The point is that the presidency, according to the admission of the office’s current occupant, no longer serves any purpose.  The office has become superfluous.

Dispensing with the office would enable the people to directly elect the secretary of state, the attorney general, the secretary of the treasury, the secretary of defense, etc. Nobody now is keeping track of what is being done in and by the various departments, so that task could and should be assigned directly to the Congress.

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