If the Next President is A Democrat...

How would you feel if the Patriot Act weren’t repealed in the first day or, at wors, week?

The Patriot Act is a complicated series of modifications to previous laws. I imagine some of which should remain permanent (I hear the act allowed more coordination between different agencies). But much of it is bullshit (“National Security Letters” to bypass the requirement of warrants).

Of course, it’s Congress that actually makes law, not the President. So I’ll be blaming Congress if they don’t do anything when they know they have a civil liberties friendly president who will sign their bill. I’ll only blame the President if he doesn’t even try to modify the law by speaking out publicly against it.

I’ll give the President and Congress about a six month grace period before I start getting pissed off.

Moved from IMHO to GD.

I’ve wondered throughout this administration, as more and more power was transferred and concentrated in the Executive, why the Republicans (both in Congress and in the general public) haven’t been more alarmed. It should be obvious that the POTUS is NOT going to be Republican forever. I can’t see how any of them (other than a very small proportion who are comfortable with an authoritarian leader in the White House, no matter the party) can possibly be sanguine about a Democratic President with the kind of powers and secrecy that the Bush Administration has made “normal” for the Executive branch.

Presidents can’t repeal an act of Congress, nor can they veto legislation signed by a previous president. Can you clarify your question?

I’m not convinced that it was obvious to them. Some very seriously spoke of a permanent majority.

I would have thought that the 2006 election would have shaken them from their delusion, in which case they ought to be scrambling to limit the Executive power back to where it was before January 2001.

I speak as a registered Independent who, nonetheless, couldn’t be paid to vote for a Republican associated with any branch of the current Republican party, national, state or local. I do not want even a Democratic president having the kind of power that the Bush Administration is claiming for itself. Ever.

It’s not the laws that are the problem, it’s the bone-headed way the laws are being executed that’s the problem. There’s not a single piece of legislation Congress can enact that’s so great it can’t be screwed up by a President if he’s foolish enough and there’s not a single piece of legislation Congress can enact that’s so stupid it can’t be overcome up by a President if he’s wise enough.

I agree. I believe a good many thought the GOP majority would last at least a generation. Given Bush’s approval ratings following 9/11, I think quite a few thought their hold on the White House would last at least as long.

Back to the subject, I believe a Democrat will be elected in 2008 and the Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress will increase. I would expect by the end of 2009 that the Patriot Act will be significantly rewritten with civil liberties in mind.

I also agree with Frank. Personally, I think that they believed they’d be able to turn America into a one party government indefinitely. Therefore, they didn’t worry about the consequences if the Democrats got into power, because they thought that would never happen. If the neocons weren’t such fools I wouldn’t be surprised if they could have pulled it off.

And when things started to go against them, that’s what turned around and bit them. The present Republican leadership appears stuffed with people incapable of admitting mistakes even to themselves. So they kept on acting as if they were going to be in charge forever no matter how unlikely the prospect of a permanent Republican majority got.

As far as the OP goes, I’d be unsurprised. I have zero respect for the Democrats, and expect nothing good from them. The only reason I vote for them is because they are less outright crazy than the Republicans.

No, it will just seem that way.

Well, fine. Then what if the Dems get into office and the president says nothing about wanting/working towards getting it dissolved?

I can’t speak for every Democrat, but I’ll write a letter to the White House expressing my disapproval and if he/she still doesn’t come around to the cause of righteousness, I’ll vote Green next election. What else can I do?

I voted Green in 2000. That sure helped a lot. :wink:

I would expect a Democratic President to reign in the Patriot act as fast as they could get Congress to change it. My biggest reservation about Rudy Giuliani is that he will not want to reign in the Patriot act. This makes me nervous.

If a democrat actually wins and they hold the majority in both houses, there would be no good excuse not to remove the more blatant abuses of civil liberties.

Now could a democratic candidate start separating themselves from the pack? The front runner is a very poor candidate.


I think it’s more likely that the act would be modified the next time it needs to be re-approved. I’m not sure when that is, and obviously it would also require a majority in Congress.

There might be some nominal changes, but I don’t think the executive branch will ever give up power that it’s been given.

In recent times, Democratic presidents have not committed serious crimes or abuses of power. Carter was not known as a criminal mastermind, and Clinton’s most serious “crime” was to lie about whether he had sex. Given this history, why exactly should the Republicans worry about a Democrat in the White House with extensive secrecy and powers? They know that no Democrat would do anything seriously harmful with those powers.

The shift of power from legislature to executive under this administration, jayjay, is nothing new, and is simply part of a trend since at the bare minimum the New Deal, or the Civil War (or I am sure people can trace it back further). Congress has surrendered many of its powers to the Executive, and in particulr to the Administrative State. Why have they done this? The charitable view might be that they realize technocrats are essential for the day to day running of the country. The less charitable view might be that they are lazy bastards who enjoy drawing the salary and perks, while realizing that reducing their own power, and ability to make potentially unpopular decisions, is the best way to ensure re-election. If law making takes up too much time, then there is less time to fund raise. And as long as they have a phone line to the agency to be able to add a little pressure for that special donor/constitutent, then everything works out fine.

But probably will for the next term at least. Republicans must be rubbing their hands in glee over the way the Democratic side is shaking up. I am not at all convinced that either Clinton or Obama is electable. Given the hair’s-breadth margin on which recent elections have been decided, I believe that there will definitely be a half-percent of disenchanted Republican swing voters, who while they would otherwise vote for the Democrat, will not this time around vote for Mrs. Slick Willie or a junior Senator from Illinois with a funny name.

Compared to the flavor of the month merry-go-round the Republicans have fielded? First, John McCain was the frontrunner, then Giuliani was the the one to beat, and now the Pubs are crossing their fingers that Fred Thompson will emerge as the new Reagan so they won’t have to hold their nose and vote for Mitt Romney. Hillary is a slam dunk against that lineup.

They might be if they liked any of their own nominees, but so far that isn’t the case.