What Are You Looking For In A President?
is an amazing thing to me what we often look for in a President here in
America. In 2008 people bought into the lie of Barack Obama when he
claimed “more transparency”. Instead, we got more closed door sessions
and bills signed into law that we barely knew what was in them when they
were passed. He has claimed to have worked so hard and yet we have
seen him take in 100 rounds of golf and vacation at our expense.
In this election people are looking for someone with the ability to
turn the economy around, as if that is the President’s ability or job.
Mitt Romney is getting a lot of attention because of his experience at
Bain Capital. While that is all fine and dandy, this does not fit the
job description of the President of the United States.
I thought about what the job description actually is for the
President and do you know what I found out? According to the U.S.
Constitution, the President of the United States has a job description
of just 358 words, including his oath of office. Did you get that? We
aren’t talking 358 pages, just 358 words in his job description.
I want to lay them out before you here and the sections of the
Constitution that speak to this issue. In Article II, Section 2 we
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and
Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States,
when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require
the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the
executive Departments, upon any subject relating to the Duties of their
respective Offices, and he shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and
Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the
Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present
concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of
the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and
Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the
United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for,
and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest
the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the
President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may
happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which
shall expire at the End of their next Session.
Here is what he is to do:
- The president is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces of America.
- The president has power, with the advice and consent of the Senate (requires 2/3s of the Senate’s approval), to make Treaties.
- The president can appoint Ambassadors, public Ministers and Consuls,
Judges of hte Supreme Court and other Officers of the United States,
including cabinet members. He can also fill up any vacancies during the
recess of the Senate in granting Commissions which expire at the End of
the next Session.
- The president is also allowed to grant pardons for crimes other than impeachment.
- Finally and most importantly the president is to make sure that the
laws, which Congress passes, are executed and enforced as written. This
is because he is the head of the Executive Branch. This is summed up
in the oath that he takes in Section 1 as the chief law enforcement
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully
execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the
best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the
He does have one more thing that he must do and that is related to
how he deals with Congress. In Article II Section 3 the Constitution
He shall from time to time give to the Congress
Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their
Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient;
he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of
them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time
of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think
proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he
shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall
Commission all the Officers of the United States.
Notice in all of this, there is absolutely no mention of “executive
order.” This was purposeful as the Constitutional Convention wanted to
invest limited powers in the president. It wanted the powers
balanced between the three branches of government so that one was not
more powerful than the other, but that they could each keep the other in
While the colonists of America stood against King George, they did so
because George thought he was an absolute monarch rather than a
constitutional monarch. Even at the time of the writing of the Magna
Carta in 1215 it was understood that the British Sovereigns was
Charles I also found this out the hard way, when he wanted to bring
in foreign armies to attack his own people. He lost his head literally
over that as Oliver Cromwell stood up to him.
Sadly, we have seen on both sides of the aisle presidents that have
overstepped their job descriptions and wandered into areas they should
not. Let us keep this in mind this election season.
Remember that the president, as well as Congress, is not elected to
give into our every whim, but to uphold and defend the Constitution.
They are not our kings, but servants of the King of kings, Jesus Christ,
and representatives and public servants of the people. Sadly, many are
not asking the most relevant questions of the candidates before us and
that is: Will they actually perform that job description and then press
them to make sure they know what they can and cannot do.
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