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by Gene Healy
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Politics & Government
  • Author:
    Gene Healy
  • ISBN:
    1933995157
  • ISBN13:
    978-1933995151
  • Genre:
  • Publisher:
    Cato Institute; 1st Edition edition (April 2, 2008)
  • Pages:
    264 pages
  • Subcategory:
    Politics & Government
  • Language:
  • FB2 format
    1135 kb
  • ePUB format
    1312 kb
  • DJVU format
    1935 kb
  • Rating:
    4.1
  • Votes:
    158
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Gene Healy does an excellent job of answering those question in The Cult of the Presidency: America's Dangerous .

Gene Healy does an excellent job of answering those question in The Cult of the Presidency: America's Dangerous Devotion to Executive Power, making it a book that anyone concerned with the direction of the American Republic should read. As Healy points out, the Presidency that we know today bears almost no resemblance to the institution that the Founding Fathers created when they drafted Article II of the Constitution. As Healy notes, it wasn't until the early 20th Century and the dawn of the Progressive Era that the idea of the President as something beyond what the Constitution said he was took forth.

Healy begins with the Constitution and revisits the intentions of the Founders through the Federalist papers

Healy begins with the Constitution and revisits the intentions of the Founders through the Federalist papers. The problem with all this power accruing to the presidency isn't just that it is merely unconstitutional, or manifestly dangerous in the abuses that have already occurred and continue to occur. There's no shortage: the freewheeling ability to call anyone a terrorist and make them disappear, tried only in secret by the military; drone assassinations without explicit congressional sanction, even of American citizens; widespread data collection, and it goes on and o.

He is the author of The Cult of the Presidency: America's Dangerous Devotion to Executive Power (2008) and False Idol: Barack Obama and the Continuing Cult of the Presidency (2012).

Home Browse Books Book details, The Cult of the Presidency: America's Dangerous. The Bipartisan Romance with the Imperial Presidency. Huckabee wasn't the only candidate to wax messianic about the president's role. The Cult of the Presidency: America's Dangerous Devotion to Executive Power. His fellow n 2008 also seemed to think they were applying for the job of national savior. Senator John McCain invoked Teddy Roosevelt as a role model, noting that TR liberally interpreted the constitutional authority of the office, and nourished the soul of a great nation.

In his provocative new book, The Cult of the Presidency, Gene Healy argues that the fault lies not in our leaders but in ourselves

In his provocative new book, The Cult of the Presidency, Gene Healy argues that the fault lies not in our leaders but in ourselves. Unless Americans change what we ask of the office-no longer demanding what we should not want and cannot have-we’ll get what, in a sense, we deserve.

Gene Healy has ably cast down the idols of the cult of the presidency. But it remains a limited devotion in a larger cult: that of government itself. That cult’s complications and crises loom even larger than the presidency. Gene Healy is a vice president at the Cato Institute.

Gene Healy does an excellent job of answering those question in The Cult of the Presidency: America's Dangerous Devotion to. .This book provides an important, comprehensive examination of the power of the presidency.

The Cult of the Presidency: America’s Dangerous Devotion to Executive Power by Gene Healy (Cato Institute, 2008); 356 pages. Just in time for the 2008 presidential campaign comes the book we need to get Americans to think sensibly about the office that the candidates are so furiously seeking. In The Cult of the Presidency, Cato Institute scholar Gene Healy looks at the powers of the presidency today in comparison with the office in the past and concludes that we are immeasurably worse off because the presidency has taken on powers never imagined by the nation’s Founders.

The Bush years have justifiably given rise to fears of a new Imperial Presidency. Yet despite the controversy surrounding the administration's expansive claims of executive power, both Left and Right agree on the boundless nature of presidential responsibility. The Imperial Presidency is the price we seem to be willingly and dangerously agreeable to pay the office the focus of our national hopes and dreams. Interweaving historical scholarship, legal analysis, and cultural commentary, The Cult of the Presidency argues that the Presidency needs to be reined in, its powers checked and supervised, and its wartime authority put back under the oversight of the Congress and the courts. Only then will we begin to return the Presidency to its proper constitutionally limited role.

saafari
It's really not a bad book, I had to do a long review on it for a college Political Science Course. I just want to start off by saying that his conclusion is really the only part that had me completely agreeing with his argument. I think he has a strong point but the evidence he provides he states as factual when in reality it is a commonly disputed argument (I am specifically referencing for this part his assertion of the Framer's intentions when writing the Constitution). Sometimes he contradicts his points and I think the book would be better off as a 25 page scholarly article. Though for under $10.00 hardcover it really isn't a terrible read. It sometimes feels like a random rant and often the author will interject useless information. But that is just my opinion, I haven't submitted my paper yet so for all I know I got an 'F' and I'm completely dumb :D
Brol
Over the past 30 years, America has seen Presidential scandals ranging from Watergate to Iran-Contra to Travel-gate, Whitewater, the Lewinsky scandal, and the Valerie Plame affair. We've learned the truth about some of the truly nefarious actions undertaken by some of most beloved Presidents of the 20th Century, including the iconic FDR, JFK, and LBJ. And, yet, despite all of that, Americans still have a reverential view of the President of the United States that borders on the way Englishmen feel about the Queen or Catholic's feel about the Pope.

How did that happen and what does it mean for America ?

Gene Healy does an excellent job of answering those question in The Cult of the Presidency: America's Dangerous Devotion to Executive Power, making it a book that anyone concerned with the direction of the American Republic should read.

As Healy points out, the Presidency that we know today bears almost no resemblance to the institution that the Founding Fathers created when they drafted Article II of the Constitution. In fact, to them, the President's main job could be summed up in ten words set forth in Section 3 of Article II --- "he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed." The President's other powers consisted of reporting the state of the union to Congress (a far less formal occasion than what we're used to every January), receiving Ambassadors, and acting as Commander in Chief should Congress declare war. That's it.

For roughly the first 100 years of the Republic, Healy notes, President's kept to the limited role that the Constitution gave them. There were exceptions, of course; most notably Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War but also such Presidents as James Polk who clearly manipulated the United States into an unnecessary war with Mexico simply to satisfy his ambitions for territorial expansion. For the most part, though, America's 19th Century Presidents held to the limited role that is set forth in Article II, which is probably why they aren't remembered very well by history.

As Healy notes, it wasn't until the early 20th Century and the dawn of the Progressive Era that the idea of the President as something beyond what the Constitution said he was took forth. Healy documents quite nicely the ways in which Presidents from Theodore Roosevelt to Woodrow Wilson to FDR went far beyond anything resembling Constitutional boundaries to achieve their goals, and how they were aided and abetted in that effort by a compliant Supreme Court and a Congress that lacked the courage to stand up for it's own Constitutional prerogatives. Then with the Cold War and the rise of National Security State, the powers of the Presidency became even more enhanced.

One of the best parts of the book, though, is when Healy attacks head-on the "unitary Executive" theory of Presidential power that was advanced by former DOJ official John Yoo in the wake of the September 11th attacks and the War on Terror. As Healy shows, there is no support for Yoo's argument that the Founders intended for the President to have powers akin to, or even greater than, those of the British Monarch that they had just spent seven years fighting a war to liberate themselves from. The dangers of Yoo's theories to American liberty and the separation of powers cannot be understated.

If the book has one weakness, it's in the final chapter where Healy addresses only in passing reforms that could be implemented to restrain the Cult Of the Presidency. I don't blame Healy for only giving this part of the book passing attention, though, because what this book really shows us is that no matter of written law can stop power from being aggregated in a single person if that's what the people want and, to a large extent, we've gotten the Presidency we deserve.
Oppebro
The book was well written. But it did not tell me anything I did not already know. We Americans have put our presidency in the same slop-bucket as rock stars. It is no wonder our elected officials are inept.

Many have said, in recent times, that Americans have little or no respect for the office of the president. I say, the ones who have in recent memory held that office have soiled it beyond repair.

Regan wouldn't take off his suit jacket while in the oval office for fear he would mar its majesty, while slick willy did unimaginable things with an intern under his desk.

Shame on them all and shame on the American people... we get what we deserve.
White gold
Although written during the G.W. Bush administration, this work has a frightening resonance today in light of both the disregard the Obama administration shows for the rights and power of congress, and Obama's own tendency to treat the presidency as a playground rather than a stewardship. It is imperative that the American people demand that the institutions of government return to their proper roles as defined by the Constitution before the precedents being set now render the majority of us mere serfs to an administrative state that cares little what we think of want.
ᴜɴɪᴄᴏʀɴ
Excellent book on the American search for a political messiah. If one wants a better understanding of the love/hate relationship Americans have with the office of President of the United States, I know of no better book.
Utchanat
Healy's book dissects the excellarating pace of the American executive branch of government's evolution into a banana republic-style wherein the pres rules by decree, and ignores any limits on its authority.The Whitehouse alone now decides what laws it will or wont enforce or obey, even going as far as the extra-judicial killing of American citizens. (Looking at you BHO). Enabled by an impotent congress, and shielded by a sycophantic media that promotes a cult of personality that squash all opposition todays presidents are essentially monarchs. Healy delivers the bad news in the best way possible.
catterpillar
I grew up, like so many others, thinking of the president as the most important leader in the world. While my views have changed, Healy's book has taguht me a great deal about how the office of the president has become so powerful. This book was not a page-turner, nor did I expect it to be one. But it is a valuable and informative read.