The conceit among Republican presidential candidates, especially Tea Party favorites like Rick Perry, Herman Cain, and Michele Bachmann, is that they're "constitutional conservatives" -- men and women who strictly adhere to an originalist's understanding of our founding document. But that's just a self-serving mythology, and last night's debate helps to demonstrate why. The subject was the economy, and as in previous campaign events, the contenders competed to assure us that they'd be best at job creation, making it a top priority if elected president.
As envisioned by the Framers, however, the president wouldn't spend his time crafting economic policy, drawing up legislation, or championing 9-9-9 plans. Congress would do those things, while POTUS served as Commander-in-Chief, executed the nation's laws, sought the opinions of cabinet officials, made appointments, and provided Congress with information on the state of the union.