Saturday, March 31, 2007

Major League POTUS – Home Turf

The discussion up to now has been a bit muddled, as many people fall back on old methods of general “who’s best/worst” labeling. I have tried to suggest an alternative method for evaluating the performance and capabilities of Presidents, emphasizing that each President has areas of relative strength and weakness. The next step in setting up the contests, is to evaluate each of the five areas of responsibility, relative to each other for the same President. That is, we already know the top and bottom for each, but now need to assign a place for the other three. Because my “season” will be starting soon, I am leaving that alone for now, but I wanted to mention it so it would be known.

After this is done, we can turn our attention to the terms of office. Since George Washington first took office in 1789, we can count 55 terms for our Presidents, giving us 55 sets of responsibility priorities. As with the Presidents, the five areas of concern are these:

[] Responsible Attention to Military Threats and Needs
[] Responsible Attention to the Economy
[] Responsible Attention to the Balance of Branch Authority
[] Responsible Attention to the U.S. Constitution
[] Responsible Attention to Advancing/Protecting American Interests

And as with each President, the emphasis varies of needs. For each term, there is a principle need, and the other four areas have lesser importance to the moment. During the Civil War, for example, the state of the economy was useful but not at all as important as the military aspect. On the other hand, the 1928-36 terms did not face an immediate military threat, but the economy was in great need. At other times the need has been for a President to expand his office to meet the needs which Congress and the Courts could not meet, and at still other times the context of the Constitution was primary in need. So today’s article opens the question of which category of responsibility was most and least important during each term. Bear in mind that I am talking about the 55 4-year terms, regardless of whether a President may have served for more than one term, or whether a four-year term may have seen more than on President (like Gerald Ford filling out the last part of the 1973-6 term).

The “season” starts on Monday, so all these preliminaries are moving towards resolution in comparison. Don’t ask me how long it took to work up the “schedule”.

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