I both love and hate the political season. I hate the rhetoric but love the game. Leslie and I were watching the NC Governor's Debate tonight. The Repulican Mayor of Charlotte vs. the Democratic Lt. Governor. Their names? For the purposes of this blog, who really cares. However, here is a list of the top level topics of the night:
Offshore Drilling, Illegal Immigration, Taxes (of course), Education (of course), school vouchers, yada yada yada. In the end, what true power does a state Governor (or US President) really have? I offer that a Senate and House majority holds the real power. The one exception to this rule is veto power, but who's counting. The point is, the real power of a sitting Governor (or President) is in stopping bills from going... all... the... way.
So in essence, all the talk about, "what I will do" or "what my plan is", is a farce without the support of congress. The reality is that the true power of a Governor lies in the ability to take the offerings of others and stop them cold with the stroke of a pen. It is both the tragedy and the beauty of our system, of which there is no better in the world.
So while Leslie and I enjoyed the back and forth of the debate, and chose our candidate in the process, I was not so impressed with what either of them would do. I'm more interested in what either of them, as Governor, would not allow.
Post-note: North Carolina was the last state in the Union to give its governors veto power over legislation; this was not added to the state constitution until the mid-1980's.