A New American Presidency

A New American Presidency - Anthony Podesta A New American...

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Anthony Podesta A New American Presidency The American presidency is a remarkable institution. The office of president has not changed substantially in the almost two hundred fifty years since its conception. That kind of stability is very rare in world governments, where so many leaders succumb to the lures of corruption and power. Though the character of the presidency has undoubtedly changed, the rules governing the office put down in the Constitution have remained very much unchanged. It is thanks to the Framers, who managed to point out just enough specifics without making it vulnerable to time, that we have such a steadfast and lasting institution as the presidency. Indeed it is amazing that after so much debate and rival plans during the Convention, the Framers succeeded in getting it ‘right’ on the first try. The same cannot be said for countless other governments who attempted the same. One might wonder at how America would have turned out if the Convention had gone a different course in their creation of the presidency. They could have come away with a presidency very similar to the one in the Articles. Most likely the Framers would simply reconvene when it became evident that another overhaul was needed. Or, on the opposite side of the spectrum, they could have mistakenly created an all-powerful executive, who wields godlike powers over the legislature and judiciary. This move may have had disastrous consequences, and this writer is glad it didn’t come to that. In the end, the Framers struck a perfect middle ground with a presidency that was “a new institution that would be suitably energetic but safely republican.” (Milkis 26) That aside is it not to say that the presidency doesn’t have its share of problems. Almost immediately after its revealing, the presidency came under attacks from every angle, concerning every detail of the office. This is to be expected when, at the time, every Tom, Dick and Harry had his ideas about the perfect government. Everything was either too radical or not radical enough. Many had their own ideas about what the office of president should embody. It is under this premise that I propose a reworking of Article II of the Constitution. Although it has stood up remarkably well to the times, as previously noted, the part concerning the presidency could do with some changes. Most
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of these changes are either ideas discarded by the convention, or unique solutions to outstanding problems. Had the Framers gone this suggested way it is hard to imagine the presidency resembling anything it does today. This reworking is more in hindsight, though, and geared to suit more modern times and more plebiscitary politics. We begin with one of the more hotly contested matters of the presidency during
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This note was uploaded on 04/23/2008 for the course POLISCI 302 taught by Professor Kirsch during the Spring '08 term at UMass (Amherst).

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A New American Presidency - Anthony Podesta A New American...

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