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George W. Bush in Political Time: The Janus Presidency

Law and Social Inquiry, May 2009

43 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2008 Last revised: 15 Feb 2012

Gerard N. Magliocca

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Date Written: July 5, 2008

Abstract

This Essay explores the possibility that George W. Bush's political failure was the result of structural tensions created by the September 11, 2001 attacks that no president could have overcome. Drawing on the recent work of Stephen Skowronek and Keith Whittington, the paper observes that the Bush Administration was hopelessly split between its desire to maintain continuity with existing ideological commitments and the destabilizing thrust of its policies in the areas of foreign policy and domestic security. As a result, the transformative energy that propelled the invasion of Iraq and the reorganization of practices regarding the detention of enemy combatants and their interrogation probably spilled over into areas where the President had less freedom of action, most notably with his Social Security and comprehensive immigration reform proposals that ended up dividing his party.

Suggested Citation

Magliocca, Gerard N., George W. Bush in Political Time: The Janus Presidency (July 5, 2008). Law and Social Inquiry, May 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1155870

Gerard N. Magliocca (Contact Author)

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law ( email )

530 West New York Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
United States
317-278-4792 (Phone)

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