Beyond the Imperial Presidency
THE COLLAPSE OF FORTRESS BUSH: THE CRISIS OF AUTHORITY IN AMERICAN GOVERNMENT, New York University Press, 2008
19 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2008
This is the draft of the final chapter of The Collapse of Fortress Bush: The Crisis of Authority in American Government (New York University Press, 2008). It summarizes nine reasons for being skeptical about claims that the Bush administration has been successful in restoring what Arthur Schlesinger Jr. called the imperial presidency. This is not to dispute that the Bush administration sought to extend presidential power in some respects, or that it engaged in sometimes-pathological attempts to circumvent restraints on presidential power. But proponents of the imperial presidency school neglect the profound ways in which the country has changed since the presidency of Richard Nixon. A bundle of fundamental changes - economic, cultural, political, and institutional - now complicate the exercise of presidential authority. Indeed, some of the pathologies of the Bush administration - such as covert policies, distorted interpretations of the law, and militarization of policy responses - may be understood as ill-advised attempts to deal with the harsher realities of contemporary governance.
Keywords: Bush Administration, presidency, imperial presidency, neoliberalism, governance
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