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The Presidency Chapter 6 Prepared by Teresa Nevárez, El Paso Community College © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

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Presentation on theme: "The Presidency Chapter 6 Prepared by Teresa Nevárez, El Paso Community College © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Presidency Chapter 6 Prepared by Teresa Nevárez, El Paso Community College © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

2 Federalist 70 (A. Hamilton)  Energy in the executive is a leading character in the definition of good government  Ingredients which constitute this energy: –Unity, duration, adequate provisions for its support, due dependence on the people, and due responsibility  A single executive is best adapted to deliberation, wisdom, and conciliation  Unity will be jeopardized with a plural executive –Danger of difference of opinion –Lessen the respectability –Weaken the authority –Split the community –Conceal faults and destroy responsibility –Security is unattainable

3 The Presidency: Focus of Leadership (C. Rossiter)  The presidency is a unique concentration of power and prestige  There is an extraordinary capacity of the presidency for strong, able, and popular leadership –Leader of the Executive Branch: 2.3 million Americans work in the national administration –Twin powers of appointment and removal –Supervises that laws are faithfully executed –Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy In time of war this power swells out of proportion –Leader in foreign affairs –Leader of Congress

4 The Presidency: Focus of Leadership (C. Rossiter) –Leader of his party –No. 1 political boss –Leader of public opinion –Spokesman for the real sentiment and purpose of the country –Chief of State: ceremonial head of the government –Leader of the free nations  The president can only lead us in the direction we are accustomed to travel  The presidency is our only truly national political institution

5 Presidential Power (R. Neustadt)  We like to rate our presidents from the moment they take office  In form, all presidents are leaders  Presidents face demands from 5 sources: –Executive officialdom –Congress –His partisans –From citizens –From abroad  Constituent relations are relations of dependence  No man or group shares his status in our government and politics

6 Presidential Power (R. Neustadt)  If ballot-splitting continues, it will soon be un-American for president and Congress to belong to the same party  It would be advantageous if the executive and legislative leadership were linked by party ties  We are a long way from party government  Bargaining, not discipline, still remains the key to congressional action on a president’s behalf  All presidents after George Washington were party chiefs  Theoretically, presidents should be able to use their role as party chief to bridge the constitutional gap created by the separation of powers

7 The Presidential Character (J.D. Barber)  When a citizen votes for a president, he makes a prediction  In the face of chaos, citizens usually vote their old allegiances  The presidency is an institution made a piece at a time  The president is a symbolic leader who draws people’s hopes and fears  The president is the best-recognized person in the country who gets the most attention  The White House is a place of public leadership

8 The Presidential Character (J.D. Barber)  Crucial differences in administrations: president’s character, his world view, and his style  The president’s personality is an important factor in understanding his behavior –Personality is patterned –It interacts with the power situation he faces –To best predict a president’s character, world view, and style, one must look at how they were put together  The degree and quality of a president’s involvement in an issue influences how he defines the issue itself  Style is the president’s habitual way of performing, his way of acting

9 The Presidential Character (J.D. Barber)  World view consists of political relevant beliefs, his way of seeing  Character is the way the president orients himself towards life  Self-esteem is his prime personal resource  Popular support is a large factor in a president’s performance  People look to a president for reassurance  Four Types of Presidential Character –Active-Positive: much activity and enjoyment of it, ex.: Jefferson –Active-Negative: intense effort and low emotional reward, ex.: J. Adams

10 The Presidential Character (J.D. Barber) –Passive-Positive: life is a search for affection as a reward for being agreeable and cooperative, ex.: Madison –Passive-Negative: they are in politics because they think they ought to be. The tendency is to withdraw and escape from uncertainty.  A president is a man with a memory in a system with a history

11 Leadership by Definition: Reflections on George W. Bush (S. Skowronek)  A president’s leadership posture is related to his personal character, governing style and the times  Bush wrote in his 2000 autobiography that he would never allow himself to be defined by others  Bush does not say much about himself  He is not known to be a profound thinker  Definition has become a central preoccupation for Bush  He understands leadership as the assertion and control of definitions  He believes that effectively asserted definitions can create their own reality

12 Leadership by Definition: Reflections on George W. Bush (S. Skowronek)  His posture is that of a man of set mind who knows what to do and leads by doing it  Definition did not make Bush a purist; it made him a stalwart

13 The Presidency and Political Parties (S.M. Milkis)  The relationship between the presidency and the American party system has been difficult  The Founders established a nonpartisan president –The president is nominated by a party, but is not elected by it  The modern presidency was crafted with the intention of reducing the influence of the party system on American politics  New Deal Party Politics –The New Deal questions the adequacy of traditional natural rights and limited government responsibility –It was a commitment to guarantee a decent level of economic well-being for American people

14 The Presidency and Political Parties (S.M. Milkis) –The new constitutional order would require a more centralized and administrative government –The presidency would be a national, executive-oriented system organized on the basis of public issues –The New Deal helped the president replace partisan politics with executive administration It extended the merit system  Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society –The New Deal established the presidency rather than the party as the locus of political responsibility –Johnson accelerated the effort to transcend partisan politics

15 The Presidency and Political Parties (S.M. Milkis)  Nixon and the Demise of the Modern Presidency –Executive authority was concentrated in the White House –Nixon viewed the party system as an obstacle to effective governance –The Watergate scandal strengthened opposition to the unilateral use of presidential power –He left the office in complete institutional isolation, which continued during the Ford and Carter years  Reagan and the Revitalization of Party Politics –The erosion of old-style partisan politics allowed a more national and issue-oriented party system to develop –The Republican Party in particular developed a formidable organizational apparatus

16 The Presidency and Political Parties (S.M. Milkis) –Reagan broke with the tradition of the modern presidency and identified closely with his party –A strong Republican Party provided Reagan with the support of a formidable institution –The Republican Party strengthened Reagan and Reagan’s popularity strengthened his party –Reagan frequently pursued programs with acts of administrative discretion that short-circuited the legislative process  Reagan and Bush –1988 election: Republican dominance in the White House while the Democrats increased in numbers almost everywhere else –The unprecedented partisan and electoral division characterized the era of divided power

17 The Presidency and Political Parties (S.M. Milkis)  Clinton and the Politics of Divided Democracy –In 1992, Democrats captured the presidency and preserved majorities in Congress –Clinton promised to restore consensus to American politics –Confrontation emerged when Clinton announced support for homosexuals in the military and reversed a Reagan executive order of forbidding abortion counseling at federally funded clinics –Clinton’s support for NAFTA went against the interests of labor unions –His ambitious healthcare program angered conservatives and when it failed, disillusioned liberals –In 1996, Clinton failed to endorse candidates from his party –Clinton became the first elected president since Andrew Johnson to be impeached

18 The Presidency and Political Parties (S.M. Milkis)  George W. Bush and the Ratification of the Modern Presidency –Bush and Gore took centrist, pragmatic positions –Both distanced themselves from their parties –The conclusion of the election failed to arouse popular passions –Bush’s “compassionate conservatism” embraced the Republican conservative values –In 2001, Republicans lost control of the Senate –Bush sought to attract people from different sectors: Faith-based initiatives (Christian conservative groups) Education reform (state governors) Medicare’s prescription drug program (retired persons) –Bush’s administration has been more attentive to party building than any other White House

19 The Presidency and Political Parties (S.M. Milkis)  His display of religiosity and moral language has energized Republican partisans  Since the 1970s the Republican Party has been developing what can be called “the first national party machine,” based on grassroots mobilization  The new party system is more amenable to presidential governance, but not completely subordinate to it

20 Ex Parte Milligan (1866) Background: After the terrorist acts of September 11, 2001, Bush sought wide prerogative and new statutory powers to deal with the war on terrorism. The presidential quest for emergency powers is always greatest in time of war. In 1861, President Lincoln secretly authorized the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in the vicinity of the military line in Maryland.

21 Ex Parte Milligan (1866)  Lambdin P. Milligan presented a petition to be discharged from an alleged unlawful imprisonment  In 1864, he was brought before a military commission at Indianapolis, tried, found guilty, and sentenced to be hanged  He insisted that the military commission had no jurisdiction to try him and that his right to a civilian trial had been ignored  The Court’s decision: –Every American citizen has a right to be tried and punished according to law –Laws and usage of war cannot be applied to citizens in states which have upheld the authority of the government

22 Ex Parte Milligan (1866) –Constitutional provisions were infringed when Milligan was tried by a court not ordained and established by Congress –Another guarantee of freedom was broken when he was denied a trial by jury –His trial and conviction by a military commission was illegal  Chief Justice’s dissent: –When the writ of habeas is suspended, the president may: Arrest as well as detain Punishment by military commissions, as well as arrests and detentions, in states where civil courts are open may be authorized by Congress

23 Presidential Powers in Times of Emergency (J.W. Dean)  At present, the president has opted to exercise only a few of his emergency powers  We do not know what shape this undeclared war on terrorism will take  American presidents posses awesome powers –Potentially this includes the power of a “constitutional dictatorship”  Democracy works best in times of peace  Americans want their president to do whatever is necessary to protect them  Governing by committees or legislative bodies never works in times of crisis

24 Presidential Powers in Times of Emergency (J.W. Dean)  The Constitution contains no express provisions for emergency or crisis  The Supreme Court made it clear in Ex Parte Milligan that the government has all the powers granted to it which are necessary to preserve its existence  The distinction between a constitutional dictator and a strong president is very thin or nonexistent  The temporary concentration of power in the executive is necessary for the preservation of the established system  Constitutional dictatorship is a dangerous thing that can remain after the crisis is abated  Each national crisis has left the nation a little less democratic


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