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easy-sayWe’re starting another presidential election season, and the more things change the more they stay the same. Candidates on both sides of the aisle are talking about “what they’ll do when they’re president” as if they were telling the truth.

The truth is, it’s easy to talk about what you will do when you’re president because no sane person expects the victor to do what they say.

The facts are, without the consent of Congress (or their spineless acquiescence to illegal acts) the President can recommend, cajole, use his (or her) bully pulpit, or put pressure on Congress to pass legislation — but the President does not have the individual power to pass legislation nor can the President declare which laws Congress must pass.

The legislative arm of government passes laws and the executive arm enforces them. We expect laws to be enforced, and if wrong to be amended or repealed. What we don’t expect — and the Constitution doesn’t allow — is an executive branch decision as to which laws will be enforced and how far that enforcement will go.

That is, of course, until the current occupant of the White House arrived.

With the tacit approval of the legislative branch, President Obama has passed laws that are unconstitutional, (with a little help from his Republican, Democrat, and Supreme Court friends), lied about the deaths of four Americans, pressured the IRS (not known as ethical in their own right) to treat certain groups badly, and among other egregious things, he is currently blocking the indictment of Hillary Clinton (not really proven but consistent with his modus operandi and the facts that have been published to date).

Quick to indict David Petraeus and slow to indict Hillary Clinton: that’s not the rule of law, it’s politics.Presidential Front-Runners: It’s Easy to Talk

So how can candidates make promises when they know they can’t deliver without the help of Congress? The answer is actually simple. Nobody calls them on it. Supporters accept the candidate’s promises as proof of agreement with their philosophy, their competition uses those same promises to criticize, and no one knows what they’ll do if elected.


Not a very good one, but the best we can come up with. As it is still true that the best forecaster of future performance is past performance, we should judge candidates not on what they promise but on what they have actually done, the decisions they’ve made, how they live their life, and what they seem to believe in as indicated by what they do.

Applying this solution, we posit the following about the front-runner presidential candidates:

Donald Trump will do whatever he wants to do in order to get what he wants. If a law is in the way he’ll pay to get it changed or interpreted in his favor. (As a businessman he’s done this for decades.) In his private life he’s claimed to be pro-choice and pro-life, conservative, liberal, against and for Obamacare. He seems more like a chameleon than a presidential candidate when looked at from this point of view. His only real consistent characteristics are his big mouth and lack of impulse control. The only way we could vote for Donald Trump is if he ends up running against Hillary Clinton.

Ted Cruz seems conservative at first glance, but some votes and positions don’t quite line up with conservatism as pure as he claims to be. It may be pragmatism (“compromise on anything except principle”), but the explanations of some of his votes seem more political than pragmatic. Overall Ted is probably more conservative than all the others but his lack of comity may cause unnecessary friction if he’s president. Ted is our first choice, but he doesn’t come without problems.

Marco Rubio is no doubt the establishment choice de jure. Marco started out as a real favorite and his performance in Iowa added to his street cred, but he’s made too many “Gang of Eight” types of decisions to be our first choice. Financial mistakes like the credit card debacle don’t add to his cachet. Marco is attractive on the surface but probably needs some time to mature — unless he’s running against Hillary. Then he’s the best thing since sliced bread.

Bernie Sanders. Isn’t being a dedicated socialist enough to disqualify him from being America’s President?

Hillary Clinton. Really? Liar, cheat, thief, embezzler, violator of national security, unindicted co-conspirator with Obama on Benghazi. We’ll vote for anyone but Hillary and get the best of the deal no matter what. She will say anything to get what she wants, doesn’t care for law, truth, or anything but her and Slick Willie. She told her daughter that Benghazi was terrorism while she blamed it on a movie to the rest of us (did she violate national security yet again when she told Chelsea?). Our cat would make a better President!