Sunday, December 03, 2006

A Naif Speaks

For awhile now I will hear snippets of this and that concerning government, and I wonder if the rules still apply concerning the powers of Congress. My first thoughts on this came on the legislation concerning stem cell research. When Bush vetoed the bill, I heard that the attempt was dead.

But I had always heard in school that a vetoed bill can go back through the House of Representatives and the Senate and still be passed without the President's approval, provided two-thirds of the respective houses vote for it. Now, I imagine that this kind of majority is rare, and I did look at the stem cell numbers and it looks as though the House was well short of two-thirds, so that bill didn't have a chance to be passed in this particular Congress. But then I wondered, can't a bill be introduced concerning the war in Iraq, in which I hear absolutely nothing but negativity?

I'm not trustful of the media, so therefore, many of the things I hear go in one ear and out the other. But despite that, even if I ignored everything spouted by both sides of the argument, I lean towards not seeing any good having come out of the situation. There may very well be Iraqis who are glad that Saddam was taken out of power, but it can't be an overwhelming majority considering all the unrest that continues and it seems like to me, the layman in such matters, that Muqtada al-Sadr will eventually be the leader of that country regardless the amount of support the U.S. gives to the democratically elected government.

Since it seems as though the majority of American people want to get out of the war, and now the Congress is controlled by the Democrats, and Republicans are likely going to be distancing themselves from the Bush administration for the 2008 elections (and, at this point, common sense), my question is why don't they just pass the legislation? As Congress nears a new calendar year of bill consideration, I'm surprised I haven't heard of these sorts of bills floating in the wind ready to be introduced when they meet. Why is it that the American people are looking towards the Bush administration for exit strategies when they have no intention of leaving? Why is it all up to him? Is there some Commander-in-Chief powers I don't know about? Does he have carte-blanche for deciding American policy? The idea that there might be even one "yes" to the above questions quite frankly scares me.


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