He disallowed the inserting of an "imperial presidency" into our governmental mix, was decidedly strict about the limits to the application of power as it related to the Legislative and Judicial branches per the Constitution (which was still a very new and original document when he took office), was personally gratified by the honor of the office but secretly couldn't wait to get TF out of there as soon as he could, was circumspect about and was extremely wary of what the country decided was to be its role in the world, suspicious of "foreign entanglements" not only because imperialism seemed anathema to him but because he worried about the influence of foreign powers inside our halls of government, was against the formation of political parties, and acted in all ways and means within the limits of the constitution - no more and no less.
Presidents since him have either been at the mercy of political affiliations or were special agents of a narrow politic. For Lincoln, Nixon, Wilson, and both Roosevelts - well name any - the game seems to have been how much extra power can you gather in to this office. You can't just blame President Bush (2) for the accumulation of power into the Executive; it began to be accumulated from Adams (1) on, little by little; until you have what you have now - too much power resting in that branch. The idea of a three-branch government - the old "checks and balances" method - was constructed to insure that no one branch, no one party, no one strong personality, and no one current trend insinuated itself into the process to the point where that process was adulterated in any way. Well that's not what we have any more, and haven't had since his Presidency.
What we have now, after the accumulation of two centuries of fiddling with the original intent, isn't anywhere near what the founders designed, in my opinion. Bit original intent is another issue altogether. We're just using my view on the matter for this post.
If you have any doubt that the "original intent" of the Constitution has been slaughtered let's just use the example of the 4th Amendment.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.Three words that prove my point? Police Check Points. For seat belts, en masse sobriety checks (I was once in a group of over 100 cars directed off the highway into a parking lot on a Labor Day weekend wherein everyone was checked to see if they were drunk, without any probable cause). It has always been odd to me that the same people who are so all-fired angry about what they feel the 2nd Amendment means, and base their argument on the idea that we should "be true to the Constitution", nevertheless never seem to give a shit about the 4th.
Be that example as it may...
The point is the Presidency is not now composed of the particulars that it was originally intended to be composed of. And there is no one person or praty to blame. It's the people who are to blame. You and me. For letting it happen.
The other plain fact is that there isn't going to be one wit's worth of difference between a Romney administration and an Obama one. The drone attacks will continue. Obamacare will not be repealed for the simple fact that no President is going to want to be responsible for taking millions of people OFF the healthcare system. In fact a Romney Presidency will be marked by the amount of things he will explain to the Tea Party that they can't have. Either that - or suddenly tax increases, the rising of the debt ceiling, and the continued expansion of the national debt will be perfectly okay. Suddenly. Because a Republican is doing them.
If not, there will be such a hue and cry from the extremist reactionaries that have been trying to hijack America for the last three years and continue to be denied by the Republican establishment, that the GOP will be fatally fractured if not completely destroyed by 2015. Unless of course a President Romney enacts the programs of that terrorist annex and we increase the unemployment rolls by destroying thousands of jobs after the budget cuts they want take effect.
How many government employees currently working will be seeking unemployment insurance after a Tea Party sweep and why do we never seem to understand that cutting the government to the degree they seek after equals job killing legislation?
And where is George Washington in all of this?
He certainly isn't toting guns into the New Hampshire State House as Tea Party members are these days. He isn't carrying out unlawful drone strikes on civilians throughout the Muslim world these days. He isn't changing his position for the sake of political expediency or wearing magic underwear these days. And he certainly isn't spending millions of dollars completely lying about his opponents in order to get into office. That's the legacyt WE are passing down to our children and grandchildren. He's not.
He's probably sick of the whole thing too.
Whatever happens tomorrow the problem is bigger than one guy or another. It's bigger than party politics. It's more important than which one of a handful of insignificant internet blog posers will end up being right about this or that. The problem is this country is sick, sad and confused. And we have no one to blame but ourselves.
And George's got nothing to do with it.