Taking the “Bully” out of the “Bully Pulpit”

“You can’t govern by yelling.” This was said on NBC’s Meet the Press this Sunday by New York Times columnist David Brooks in regards to Donald Trump’s perceived un-electability. I believe he meant that you can’t just be a bully to be President.

David Brooks said this as if it was a concrete rule; a rule that was never communicated to our current president, Barack Obama. Obama only governs by yelling. Obama is a bully. Rather than work with the legislative branch, Obama just tells them to do their job. So what is the job of the legislative branch? According to Obama, their job is to pass the budget that Obama wants without concessions or compromises; and for them to stop their efforts to repeal Obamacare. According to our Founders, the job of legislative branch is to be most powerful branch of government and to serve as a check against the power of the presidency. Their job is not to be a rubber stamp for the agenda of the great and powerful O. The power of the executive branch has surpassed that of the legislative. Our nation is now governed by the agenda of one man which occasionally is interrupted by the oligarchy of nine. Congress is now playing third fiddle.

However, I do not blame Obama. This did not just happen over the past six and a half years; instead the process of the evolving power of presidency started long ago. There have been many presidents who have contributed to the expanding powers of the presidency; such as Jackson, FDR, and even Bush 43. The federal government has expanded at an exponential rate since FDR’s New Deal. Entitlement programs and federal enforcement agencies are gargantuan. The role of the legislative branch has not been able to keep pace and is in danger of being left behind.

As a result, you can govern by yelling if you’re the President of the United States. Yelling is easier than compromising with a branch of government that is too weak to stop you anyways. This is why I am not surprised with the success of Trump’s campaign. Until we ask for a candidate that will reduce the power of the presidency to save our democracy, bullies are all we deserve.

obama bully

-Jeff Farmer
Winchester, VA