Questions for a Presidential candidate

If you are tired of the mudslinging, dredging up of “gotcha’s” and the other exercises that pass as political campaigns in America, strap on your vomit bag because this ain’t nothing yet. No matter which Democrat is selected to carry the party’s banner this fall, the attacks on “character”, “experience” and everything under the sun except what really matters will grow more intense and more ridiculous. Is this any way to select the person who will preside over the largest military and economy in the world? Hell no.

For those who have followed my scribbling on this site about the campaign, you know I originally picked Dennis Kucinich because he was right on the issues that matter. When he dropped out of the campaign (I refuse to call it a “race” for what I hope are obvious reasons) I resorted to WWJVF – “Who would Jesus vote for” as my test and joined those favoring Barrack Obama.

I have, however, been increasingly disappointed by the horrid way in which this campaign has gone. Sen. Clinton has made me wonder whether the right wing cabal against her husband and herself during his Presidency weren’t more correct than it appeared. Sen. Obama has not descended quite as far, but he is also not saying a whole lot about what I think really matters, so I am going to lay out what I think are the some real issues that receive scant attention.

1. Will you as President renounce and reject the doctrine of pre-emptive war? It is so fundamentally opposed to the very essence of our national history that to not completely reject this policy of the Bush administration will leave us permanently exposed to other misadventures and ultimately our extinction.

2. Will you as President renounce and reject the so-called “unitary executive” theory and its bastard child “signing statements.”? The genius of the Constitution was the creation of a tripartite system with each branch balancing the other. We are not at war. We do not want need nor can we suffer a dictator under the guise of a “commander in chief.”

3. Will you as President bring our budget back to balance by:
a. Reducing military spending by 30%, including a reduction in “foreign aid” that is really military spending, such as to Israel and Columbia.
b. vetoing any legislation containing earmarks
c. End all subsidies to oil companies and large agribusinesses
d. Increase taxes on those earning more than $200,000
e. Eliminate the Bush tax cuts except for middle earning Americans

4. Will you as President immediately renegotiate all trade agreements so that we stop exporting industry, push jobs offshore, allow companies to place earnings beyond our tax laws and fail to insist on fair labor practices offshore?

5. Eliminate “faith based” programs. Can you say “First Amendment?”

6. Veto any bill that addresses marriage, gay or straight.
7. Sponsor legislation that repeals the Supreme Court decision that corporations are “people.”

Oh there are more issues, and I am sure readers here will add their own. But this is a list that might take up just a few minutes over the next 5 months. Of course we will have to see if they can be wedged in between all that crap thrown at us by the candidates and the media. But maybe as much time as was devoted to misleading us about Rev. Wright? Please?

23 Responses to "Questions for a Presidential candidate"

  1. AustinRanter  April 5, 2008 at 11:43 am

    New President be willing to shutdown and no longer accept or sign off on legislation with “earmarks” slipped in to accommodate special interest of Congressional members.

    If a Congressional member wants appropriations for new highways for his or her district, then he or she must construct a stand-along piece of legislation and submit it to the appropriate committee just like all other bills.

  2. buckethead  April 4, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    buckethead

    Old curmudgeon, you are right. You need eyes in the back of your head,though. Also, Rove is still very Rovian.

  3. JudyB  April 4, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    It would be a dream come true to see ALL of the above presented to & answered by the candidates in a nationally televised question & answer session.

    I despise lies and abuse. Bush and his “People” started lying early in the 2000 primary race and has been lying, abusing his Presidential powers and the the constitution every since and have never had to face the music for doing so…There should be some punishment enacted before they leave office in order to scare hell out of any future president who even thinks about pulling the same crap.

    Bravo to Phil for the article and to: pollchecker, austin, and old curmudgeon for their great additions..thanks!

  4. SEAL  April 4, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    The president can initiate and support any or all of the obvious bills to make the necessary changes in the way our goverment conducts itself. But that would require our house and senate members to put in a 40 hour work week 50 times a year.

    Imagine the good things they could do if they would just show up for work

  5. Charlie Couser  April 4, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    * Term limits! Our Fore Fathers envisioned that those elected to federal office should ‘service’ their country for a specific period of time and not become entrenched in it. Career politicians are a cancer that eats away at the system. One six (6) year term for the senate and two (2) four (4) year terms for the house should do it. If they haven’t accomplished their goals by then, they ain’t gonna…

    * No lobbyists and no special interest legislation! Again, our Fore fathers envisioned a government ‘…of the people, by the people and for the people… .’ They did not mention a government ‘…of big business, by big business and for big business… .’

    Charlie Couser

  6. Stratocaster  April 5, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    No Presidential Pardons to put their cabel of thugs above the law.

  7. DejaVuAllOver  April 6, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    Good points, all. And how about THE BIGGIE:

    Q.) Are you, as President, going to continue to aid and abet the occupation, theft and destruction of Palestine for the sake of Old Testament prophecy and the Chosen People, or will you join every other country in standing up to racism and fundamentalist nationalism, for the sake of survival of the planet?

  8. ekaton  April 7, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    One six year term for the senate.
    One four year term for representatives.
    One two year term for president.
    The president is the least necessary to the republic as that position is one of law enforcement only. This includes signing bills into law (NO SIGNING STATEMENTS ALLOWED) or vetoing them only. Bush and previous presidents have usurped way too much power. And NO military action EVER unless WAR is DECLARED by a 2/3 majority CONGRESS, and thats BOTH houses, 2/3 in each.

    On more than one occasion Bush has stated as justification for his signing statements that purport to state which parts of a law he will enforce or ignore, that it is the president’s job to interpret the law. No one has ever called him on this. (Do I really need to tell you whose job it is to interpret the law?)

    –Kent Shaw

  9. SEAL  April 7, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    OK: Now: how are going to get those who make the law and have the power, to take it away from themselves?

  10. ekaton  April 8, 2008 at 12:49 am

    Where are the well regulated militias now that we need them?

    — Kent Shaw

  11. Dr.D  April 8, 2008 at 1:50 am

    I agree 100% about getting rid of signing statements,but what about executive orders? They should be outlawed too.And if we really want to return to our original system fashioned by the founding fathers,it would also be necessary to repeal the 17th amendment and return senatorial seats to the control of the respective state legislatures.Senators should be legally bound to represent their respective state legislatures,and not just redundant components like they are in our current’free agent’system.
    While we’re at it,repeal of the 16th amendment would be a real good idea too,since it flies in the face of the original constitution. Ed

  12. ekaton  April 8, 2008 at 9:31 am

    Dr. D,

    Yes, executive orders also. Would’ve mentioned that if I’d thought of it. And, I believe neither the 16th nor the 17th were properly ratified, so they don’t need to be repealed, we just need the government to stop illegally enforcing them.

    — Kent Shaw

  13. Flapsaddle  April 8, 2008 at 11:10 am

    Some of these will fly and some will explode while taxiing out of the hangar:

    1. When Congress grows a pair and stops handing the President a blank check for these “splendid little wars” without Congress exercising its duty. Blame Harry Truman for starting the trend.

    2. Congress needs a bigger pair. It needs to stop trying to usurp executive authority and reclaim the congressional authority usurped by executives over the last 60 years.

    3. It is the job of Congress job to control the budget, it is not the job of the President. Thank FDR for beginning the modern tradition of telling Congress what it must do.

    4. The Senate needs to reassert its authority on “advice and consent” to treaties, and Congress needs to reform tax laws that allow corporations to “off-shore” otherwise taxable returns.

    5. Absolutely, positively and immediately!

    6. The Feds have no more business in this than it has in controlling education.

    7. The power to restrict the class of cases that the USSC reviews is available to Congress; they need to use it.

    What many people seem to forget is that it was/is the so-called “progressive” element of the left-leaning that has over the last 70 years encouraged and approved the land-grab of the executive for authority.

    Most sincerely,

    T. J. Flapsaddle

  14. pollchecker  April 4, 2008 at 9:26 am

    great questions Phil! How do you know if they are telling the truth when they answer them? Body Language?

    I mean if all politicians are liars who will say whatever it takes to be elected, then wouldn’t they just give you the answers that they think you want to hear?

    Does it matter what we ask if they are only go to lie and then do as they please like George W did.

  15. old_curmudgeon  April 4, 2008 at 9:34 am

    8. Commit to beginning War Crimes trials for Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, Rice, Sanchez, Abizaid, Pace, Feith, Wolfowitz, et. al. I could go on… The only way the United States is going to regain it’s moral standing in the world view is to bring those responsible for the invasion of a sovereign nation to trial. If the trial is started and a real investigation of what happened is performed convictions are guaranteed to follow. The evidence is all there.

  16. AustinRanter  April 4, 2008 at 10:19 am

    * Campaign Finance Reform

    * Lobbyist/Special Interest Roles and Influence in Washington (34,000 Lobbyist now residing in D.C.)

  17. AustinRanter  April 4, 2008 at 10:37 am

    * In major elections (presidential / Congressional) 90 prior to election date candidates (nominees) must not only publicly publish personal and party platform issues that they support, but an outline on how they will implement solutions to address social issues that they claim to reform, erradicate, or introduce.

  18. AustinRanter  April 4, 2008 at 10:34 am

    * National Presidential Primary Day – All of nation votes on same day for both Republican and Democrat candidates for the nominations of the respective parties.

    * Do away with or reform state delegate system. Do away with Super-Delegate systems.

    * Do away with Caucus System. Caucuses don’t offer equal access to all voters to voice their political choices.

  19. AustinRanter  April 4, 2008 at 10:40 am

    * Presidential and Congressional candidates must publicly publish a complete personal resume of professional and educational background and the previous 3 years financial statement at the time they declare their candidacy.

  20. AustinRanter  April 4, 2008 at 10:46 am

    * Rovian Political Election Tactics – Punishable by law.

    * All political candidates must be pubicly and legally accountable for all claims made against another candidate during elections.

  21. Stratocaster  April 4, 2008 at 11:37 am

    Does a democracy need a president or would it be better off without one? In order for a democracy to work its president has to have very limited power. If the president has limited power how is it that Dubya managed to singlehandedly get more than 4000 Americans killed, bankrupt the country, and destroy my civil rights?

  22. pollchecker  April 4, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    I would like to point out that the United States of America is a Republic that uses a Democracy to elect its representatives.

    That said…..this does not invalidate your comments.

  23. calico_jack  April 4, 2008 at 11:44 am

    I disagree with a national primary day. It gives too great an advantage to the establishment candidates such as Hillary Clinton. Someone like Obama never could have had a chance if he would have had to campaign everywhere on one day. I think a good reform would be rotating regional primaries. Divide the country into regions (New england, Mid atlantic, Southeast, midwest, pacific coast, southwest) and have each region vote on a different day. Then every primary period the order is changed so each region gets to vote early once in awhile.

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