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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

We need us a pushover

Wow. Grover Norquist certainly has a low opinion of the GOP presidential field:

All we have to do is replace Obama. ...  We are not auditioning for fearless leader. We don't need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget. ... We just need a president to sign this stuff. We don't need someone to think it up or design it. The leadership now for the modern conservative movement for the next 20 years will be coming out of the House and the Senate.

Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States. This is a change for Republicans: the House and Senate doing the work with the president signing bills. His job is to be captain of the team, to sign the legislation that has already been prepared.

Some of us could suffer a mild bout of cognitive dissonance if we thought about this too much. It's true that the power of the presidency has grown far beyond what was envisioned for the chief executive. It's also correct that a lot of the ills we suffer at the federal level, such as the unsustainable federal debt, orginated with Congress and will have to be corrected by Congress. But the thought of a truly weak president who will merely go along with congressional initiatives is a little unsettling. How safe will we be with such a milquetoast if push comes to shove on the international stage? And a strong leader could actually persuade Congress to act in more fiscally prudent fashion. That would require a leader with strong conservative principles, though, and, alas, Mr. Norquist is right about that -- the field is a little thin in that department.