I’m not sure that most people realize that a sitting president isn’t a temporary king. He can’t rule by edict. Your congressmen had to vote on that act first, even if the president got someone else to introduce it. And a different president will not be able to just wipe out with a stroke of the pen something that has already been signed into law. It has to be repealed, again, by legislators, or overturned by the court system. I think that regardless who gets into office, abortion on demand, whether funded or not by federal money, is going to continue to have to be chipped away at methodically. Hopefully, those who bring such cases have good constitutional attorneys who are adept at writing motions.
Things such as this should serve to convince people to see behind, beyond, and between the lines of the glittering campaign promises of either side. A candidate, whether incumbent or hopeful, is limited in what he can actually do once elected. For example, Ross Perot (remember him?) based his platform largely on a business model and said that the first thing he would do is to fire Congress. If he were elected, he couldn’t do that if he tried! Nope, the voters would have to review their own congressman’s record, and base their vote on that review. Honestly speaking, how many people actually know how their congressman voted on a particular bill?
The office of the presidency is so important that it tends to take center stage, and it’s easy to listen to sound bytes, and base one’s vote on what one hopes will be a grandstand play.
What a sitting president can do, however, is just about as scary as summarily overturning or pronouncing laws: He can deploy troops to a crisis zone without the authorization of Congress. A review of the last sixty or so years of American history will tell you that the conflicts, “police actions,” and “advisory actions” have all been initiated by the president who was in office at the time. The last declared war that involved the United States was World War II, when FDR declared war on the Japanese, and then Germany and Italy declared war on us. WW II was a long time ago, and we’ve been pretty much involved in some kind of hot spot or another since then, all without a declaration of war by Congress. No, he can’t declare war, but he can engage in some pretty warlike actions all by his own decision. He later has to convince Congress to finance the whole thing, but he can initiate action on his own (on the advice of his own hand-picked advisors, and hopefully those advisors are intelligent and moral people, not just hand-picked flunkeys.) And hopefully the sitting president has a clue as to how world affairs really work.
Before anyone starts flaming me for these caveats, I want to say this: I don’t like either candidate, and I’m considering registering my displeasure with the selection by writing in a candidate. The electoral college system would limit the efficacy of my vote anyways if I were to vote for the Republican candidate, since New York is already considered a Democrat state.