Sunday, April 7, 2013
Two Presidents Are Better Than One
"Dysfunction has gotten to the point in Washington where a radical solution is needed," Orentlicher says. "Sometimes, 2 heads really are better than one."
Orentlicher appeared at Politics and Prose recently to outline the ideas contained in his new book Two Presidents Are Better Than One: The Case for a Bipartisan Executive Branch.
The author said his proposals are a combination of his 6 years as an Indiana legislator and his political research. "I always said I would be bipartisan. But it's very hard to remain above the partisan fray," Orlentlicher contended, a situation that he says is even more difficult in Washington. The reason, he maintains, is that the president and the executive branch of the government have become too powerful.
"There is now all this power to our president and when you give all that power to one person it causes problems.The party out of the White House spends most of its time saying 'let's get the White House' instead of focusing on the country's needs," Orentlicher said.
So what would Orentlicher's proposal look like? Candidates from any political party could run for president. The top 2 vote-getters would then share the office. Once in office, both presidents would have to sign any executive orders. Positional nominations and other presidential actions such as budget plans would also have to be agreed to.
"Any time there is a decision to be made, it would have to be a joint decision," the author said. "This would make sure to represent the views of more voters, not just half the voters."
Orentlicher says the Founding Fathers were worried about an imperial, king-like presidency. They thought the other 2 branches of government - the legislative and the judicial - could provide a power balance. But that isn't happening, Orentlicker contends. "These checks haven't worked. We have Congress saying here's the power, and the president saying 'thank you, and I'll take that too.' Foreign policy is all executive-driven."
But wouldn't the 2 presidents get involved in the same type of bickering that now bogs down government? "There would be no incentive for them not to agree. They wouldn't have any incentive for conflict," Orentlicher said.
In addition to promoting positive actions, the 2-president system could prevent wrong ones from being put in place, the author contended. "The Iraq War was a bad decision and I'm pretty sure he (George W. Bush) wouldn't have done that if he shared the office with Al Gore," Orentlicher said.
Tales, Tidbits, and Tips
Before he began his talk, Orlentlicher revealed that he might be pre-disposed to sharing because he shared a womb for the 1st 9 months of his life with his twin sister, who was in the book talk audience. So what did his sister think about her brother's presidential plan? "I love my brother," she said. But the plan? "I like to keep my options open," she said with a smile.
- ► 2014 (247)
- Free to Be You and Me
- Dining in DC: Juniper
- Talking to Terrorists
- Keep on Truckin': The Urban Street Food Story
- Shame on the NRA; Shame on Its Lobbyists
- The Brave New World of Drones
- Activism and Climate Change
- Dining in DC: Ted's Bulletin
- The War on Whistleblowers
- Powder Keg in Pyongyang
- The Sacred Language of Poetry
- Taking Down Terrorism
- Looking at Movement Milestones
- The Searchers: The Making of a Legend
- Marijuana and the Code of the West
- Bending Toward Justice
- The Girls of Atomic City
- The Secretary: A Journey with Hillary Clinton
- Two Presidents Are Better Than One
- Religion and the Supreme Court
- Who Are the Foes of Religious Freedom?
- Religious Freedom in America Today
- Dining in DC: Mandu
- Happy Birthday to DC's Own Marvin Gaye
- I Started a Joke
- ▼ April (25)
- ► 2012 (254)
When Kwame Alexander started Virginia Tech University majoring in bio-tech, he was all set to become a doctor. But 2 developments in his s...
It began in the 1940s in the Spanish town of Brunol, where a band of young men engaged in a brawl grabbed tomatoes from a vegetable stand ...
This painting captures some of the the horror of WWI For Lowell Fry, the society-shattering and world-altering impacts of World War I a...
Suppose it is a beautiful Spring (Summer, early Fall) day in D.C. For lunch, you want to dine al fresco (sidewalk seating, patio and r...
Welcome 2013. The beginning of a new year is always a great time for reflecting on the year that just concluded. So here we present some ...
Claude Nadir - DC educator We often think we know people, but many times we don't know them as well as we think we do. Case in point...
With Nam June Paik's massive Electronic Highway: Continental United States and Alaska and Hawaii installment piece flashing and blink...
Fake fictional heroes ... .. are no match for the real thing. From left, Weber, Wynberg, Mayer. In 2009, film director Quentin Tara...
Beach Boy Brian Wilson on piano with guitar virtuoso Jeff Beck (in white with white guitar) In the history of rock, there have been so...
Conflicts are part of human life. Some are relatively common, affecting most of us. But what if a conflict is more specific to exactly who...