American Presidents are not helpless in the face of opposition from Congress.
A sitting President has the power to do many good things on his own authority.
- Enforce the laws against financial fraud.
- Enforce the anti-trust laws.
- Enforce current labor, environmental and consumer protection law.
- Refrain from signing trade agreements that hurt American workers and infringe on American national sovereignty.
- Start renegotiating existing trade treaties.
- Refrain from acts of war, including bombing, drone strikes and funding of foreign warlords, against countries on which Congress has not declared war.
- Classify only information that is vital to national security.
- Refrain from prosecuting whistle-blowers for exposing wrongdoing.
Simply carrying out the Constitutional duties of the President, and refraining from going beyond those duties, would be an improvement over what we have now.
While Congress has authority to refuse to approve executive appointments, the President has the power to fill vacancies through interim appointments.
Congress has the power of the purse. But a President can pressure Congress by appealing to the public. President Truman, who was not personally popular, won election in 1948 by attacking the obstructionism of the Republican “do-nothing 80th Congress.”
The prevailing “no we can’t” philosophy among Democrats and liberals is not based on fact or realism. It is a way to excuse and rationalize the failures of the Obama administration.