I saw two good objections to my description of how I would govern the country after being elected President. (See prior post.) Allow me to address both objections.

Objection 1: Supreme Court justices shouldn't be picked to mirror the country's majority opinion. Their job is to decide what the Constitution intends.

Response: That's true in principle. But in reality, justices insert their own philosophical leanings into the gray areas, and the Supreme Court's job is entirely about the gray areas. I'd pick justices who lean the same way as the majority of the public, whatever that might be. That's the most stable system.

Objection 2:
How will you get Congress to actually do any of the things you are promising? It's one thing to promise spending cuts, tax increases, etc. But Congress has to pass them.

Response: For starters, an independent, one-term president with triangulated, middle-of-the-road proposals probably wouldn't get the knee-jerk 100% opposition on every issue that a Republican or Democrat would get.

But I'd also go all "Steve Jobs" on Congress's asses and redefine the game. (That was the secret of Jobs' Rasputin-like charisma: He upgraded the context of every discussion to the bigger picture.) The current mindset of government is about which party wins. I'd upgrade the context to focus on which elected individuals are earning their pay. And I'd attack incompetence in both parties with the same intensity. After I ruined the careers of a few members of Congress, the rest would fall in line and start making decisions based on where the data leads.

In our current system, a Democrat president might campaign for a member of his own party against a Republican incumbent. Voters see that as self-serving. As an independent president, I'd campaign against corrupt and incompetent representatives in a very public way and advise voters to pick someone more honest and capable from their own party. That's a context changer. It pushes "winning" to the sidelines and makes competence and objectivity the focus.

Third, I'd also give the major philosophical approaches of both parties full and public vetting (using the Judge Judy model) until the public forms a super majority on important points of fact. That process would make it clearer to voters which politicians oppose the facts. And it would give every major point of view a fair look.

Fourth, in some cases, the states could try out various conservative or liberal approaches and the country as a whole can evaluate which methods work before they are more broadly adopted.


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Nov 30, 2011
You're describing a lame duck term as President. Congress is inhabited by professional politicians who would crush you. You'd be Schwarzenegger without the money or charisma.
Nov 22, 2011
I'm too lazy to scroll up and see if this was addressed in this post or yesterday's, but I have a point for you consideration about the model of using states as a testing ground for broader national policy.

Education: questions arise of competency. If one state uses a different education system from another, how do you reconcile the two for the purpose of qualification? If a system is tested and found not to be superior, are the students educated under that system retrained? That last point, of course, will cause a perceived issue of 'fairness.'
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Nov 22, 2011
@Phantom II

The Sumerian king Urukagina of Lagash ca 2300 BC issued the earliest substantiated code of justice circa 2300. I know Veti beat me to it but just thought I should point out your knowledge of history is little better than your understanding of politics. Also, Aristotle famously differentiated between ordinary law and constitutional law, if you are going to carp on that point, in 350BC.

I think your view of the constitution is a little less starry eyed and a bit more realistic Veti.
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Nov 22, 2011
@veti, the Constitution hasn't failed. It has been undermined by the equivalency of money with power, something that the Supreme Court has been accelerating in recent decades. Concentrated wealth is now concentrated power. If you break that link (e.g., through public funding of political campaigns) a great deal of power will almost immediately return to the people, via the House of Representatives, as the founders intended.
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Nov 21, 2011
Objection to Objection One: It is *not* the job of the supreme court to interpret the constitution! No where does Article III give them the power of judicial review, they granted themselves this power via, ironically, their own interpretation of Article III. Wikipedia does a decent job of explaining Article III: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_Three_of_the_United_States_Constitution

Also, "Democrat president" is a noun modifying a noun; do you want to make William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White cry?

I wonder if an unforeseen consequence of your "attack incompetence in both parties with the same intensity" would be to unite the two major political parties against you? Maybe what we need is a real Steven Jobs (read: uncompromising a--hole) type of president to teach the parties how to cooperate again by acting as a lightening rod for their ire. I for one and sick of these one-sided impeachments. Republicans: impeach Clinton! Democrats: Hearings, schmearings, we're not voting to remove him. Democrats: impeach Bush! Republicans: Go f--- yourself. Republicans: impeach Obama! Democrats: Or what? Boehner will start crying?

Nov 21, 2011
So stop talking about it and actually do it. You have the money, charm, popularity to do it, and you have a nation that's sick of the losers who are running it at the moment. manganesesulfate in http://www.rqsulfates.com
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Nov 20, 2011
For your consideration: Jesse LaGreca and Sergeant Shamar Thomas for your veep or cabinet positions.

You have my vote!
Nov 19, 2011
I can only imagine what kind of comic strips we'll get from Scott once he's president.

Can't wait! ;)
Nov 19, 2011
Well done sir, but you're still not going to get elected. Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats will vote for you.
Nov 19, 2011
It would seem that you have 57 votes so far, as of this writing. Make sure you get your name on the Write In Ballot list, so you don't have to deal with the primary process. Yes, that's right, you need to fill out a form to qualify as a write in candidate, at least here in the state of confusion...
Nov 19, 2011
Celebrities and pseudo-celebrities making presidential bids is very cliche.
Nov 19, 2011
Here's an idea which could stimulate the economy:

Many artistic productions either break even or lose money. The idea here is that we should allow them to progressively write off their taxes on production until either A. The production breaks even, or B. all of their taxes are written off.

This could help because:

1. Film production could become a lot more economically viable, thus putting actors to work, and stimulating the economy.
2. Artists would be more capable of buying things such as Canvases or stage makeup, so that increases sales.
3. It would encourage creativity, which is always a good thing in a dysfunctional economy.
Nov 19, 2011
Here's some deficit killers:

1. Ban the use of the federal government's money to pay for abstinence-only sex ed programs. The Republicans can be tricked into supporting this until it's too late for them.
2. Make it illegal for the Federal or State governments to pay for the construction of stadiums. "Those are extraordinarily unprofitable."
3. Pull troops out of South Korea and Germany, not so much that we abandon them, but at least half the bases, and sell the now-vacant bases to other countries, such as the countries they're located in.
4. Cut all non-health-related school athletic programs. That's a couple billion which could be better spent.
Nov 19, 2011
Here's an idea for some legislation:

Place a special tax on advertisements for used-car dealerships. Make it around 200$ per individual ad aired. Those things are universally despised, so there won't be many objections. This could raise millions across the country and make you look good in the process.
Worst case scenario, there would be some free speech problems, but these could be dealt with by legitimately claiming that no-one wants to see or hear them.
Put this idea in Scott! It will increase revenue and make the world a more pleasant place to live.
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Nov 18, 2011
Oh yes, forgot to mention for anyone that doesn't already know this - why does direct democracy fail? Because as soon as the majority figures out they can vote themselves goodies from the public treasury, they do so, and collapse INEVITABLY results. That's why things are they way they are today - that's why we (and Europe!) are in so much trouble. That's why we need grownups in charge in Washington. Too bad we don't have any. And sorry, Scott, I love your work, dude, but a comic strip artist probably won't qualify as a grownup....
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Nov 18, 2011
1. Independent? You? Nonsense! You stated in your prior post that you would do whatever Bill Clinton told you to do, and that you would keep Hillary as SoS. That sounds pretty Democrat to me. (and also very much against your earlier claims that you're kinda sorta libertarian). Other statements of yours, such as your stand on the environment, same response.

2. Appoint Supreme Court justices on the basis of public opinion? Further nonsense! Why not just tell the public to vote for or against all the issues that the Supreme Court would see? Because that kind of direct democracy fails. That's why we have a republic, and that's why the judiciary is supposed to be independent and above all of that.
Nov 18, 2011
I know you're not really serious, but even so, I think you should look a little more deeply into two basic areas: first, how our system works, and second, the fact that people work in their own self-interest - including, and even more so, politicians. If you don't believe that, then Nancy Pelosi has some stock tips for you.

The whole point of our three-pronged system of government is to provide checks and balances, to keep one branch from running roughshod over another. You are talking like the role of the president is to tell the other branches what to do. That is not the case, and if you think that way, then you are looking to become our dictator rather than our president.

It all comes down to power. The founders knew that government always tends to grow in power, which leads to oppression. To try to slow that process they built a Constitution; as you know, we were the first country in the world to have a written constitution, and to say to our leaders that they were subservient to the law rather than the masters of it. Your desire to run roughshod over the people who would have to elect you means you think dictatorship works out better than a free republic. I disagree.

The Supreme Court is not there to determine what people are favoring today in terms of the political and social whims of the moment. They're there, or they're supposed to be, to keep reminding everyone in government that the Constitution, not the government, is the highest authority in the land. Take that away, and you might as well crumple up the Constitution and throw it in the trash can, and then realize that you've just submitted yourself to the whim of a power-mad group of tyrants in every aspect of your life. And those tyrants grow government to benefit their power and control, regardless of how much of our money they waste.

Government waste is rampant. The CBO has determined that just cutting duplicate government programs would save the country $210 billion per year. I think that's a lowball estimate. Here are some of the shocking statistics, as of 2009:

Number of youth drug abuse programs in the federal government: 70.
Number of job training programs: 160 ($20 billion/year)
Number of community economic development programs: 360 (The GAO says "Historically, there is but little coordination among the agencies, posing an unnecessary burden on urban communities seeking assistance." To which I would add, "There is a lot of wasted money in duplication there.")
Number of federal drug control agencies: 50
Number of water quality programs: 72 in eight different cabinet departments
Number of delinquent youth programs: 131 ($4 billion/year)
Number of international cultural and educational programs: 75 in 16 different agencies
Number of disability programs: 130 in 19 different agencies.

And those are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. If anyone would like to look at this subject in more detail, go to the library and get the book "National Suicide" by Martin L. Gross.

You seem to want to believe that if we just had enough control and power in the hands of our federal government, utopia would happen. Bull. The country is way too big for any group of people at the national level to figure out what localities need. That's the myth of central planning.

As Gary Wolfram of Hillsdale College explains,

"The other major problem that must be solved by any economic system is how to deal with the fact that information is so decentralized. There is no way for a central planner to know how many hot dogs 300 million Americans are going to want at every moment in time. A central planner cannot know the relative value of resources in the production of various goods and services. Market capitalism solves that problem through the price system. If there are too few hot dogs, the price of hot dogs will rise and more hot dogs will be produced. If too many hot dogs are produced, the price of hot dogs will fall and fewer will be produced."

Scott, you are never going to be president. But that doesn't mean that you can't have an impact. I just wish you were less a product of California's educational system and more of a pragmatist. The problem is not having too little government; the problem is having a too-big, too power-hungry and self-serving government. All it should take is seeing Nancy Pelosi's $15 million dollar profit on Visa stock through insider information (which is perfectly legal for members of Congress - you or I would go to jail for the same thing) while she proposes and votes on legislation to help Visa.

It's too late to kick the can down the road. Our country is in crisis, and that is no hyperbole. I just wish I could make you see that, even just a little.

[You might need to reread what I wrote if you think I prefer large government or would ignore the data. -- Scott]
Nov 18, 2011
I'd vote for you!
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Nov 18, 2011
"That process would make it clearer to voters which politicians oppose the facts"

But a rather large number of voters appear to oppose the facts too. There's a whole slew of articles and books running around right now pointing out how counter-productive the majority of Americans attitude to sex education is. E.g. "Not under my roof" by Amy Schalet. Yet many states continue with nonsensical "abstinence only" curricula (if they even permit sex-ed to be taught in schools at all).

Appealing to the populace with facts will only work for that segment of the people that believe your "facts" to be true.
Nov 18, 2011
You could run for Prime Minister of the U.K. too.
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