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Unformatted text preview: Here is evidence that issues in congress are compartmentalized and the election lens predetermines all votes by congress people Gabler, 10 (Neal - the author of Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination , 2/16/10, Boston Globe, “The presidency, condensed,” http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2010/02/16/the_presidenc y_condensed/ , JMP) NOW THAT President Obama has celebrated his one-year anniversary in office, we can step back and assess how successful his presidency was. That’s right: was. For all intents and purposes, by historical measures the Obama presidency is now over. That’s not because , as his detractors would have you believe, he has already blown it. It’s because every modern president essentially now gets one year in which to effect his domestic policies, after which he is counting his days like a convict scratching marks on the cell wall. It’s over. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. While the Founding Fathers feared executive prerogatives, the Constitution nevertheless entrusted the president with significant powers and responsibilities, and the presidency was intended to keep a firm hand on the tiller of the ship of state. Over the last 50 years, however, the cruise for that ship has become shorter and shorter. Theoretically, of course, a president has at least four years to effect policy with the chance at another four should he be reelected. In practice, no president since Franklin Roosevelt has had a full productive eight years, and Roosevelt only had them because there was the chance he would run for a third term. Once the 22nd amendment was passed limiting presidents to two terms, a president could talk about “mandates’’ and “political capital,’’ as George W. Bush did upon his reelection, but as soon as the votes were counted, the winner was a lame duck with little leverage over legislators who will outlast him. That left presidents with a first term in which to enact their initiatives. Indeed, most new presidents enter office with some good will. Most can also assume the upper hand over Congress, especially in this age of mass media, because the president is the one figure who bridges local interests into a national interest and because he is the primary protagonist of the country’s politics, not to mention that his election constitutes an endorsement of sorts for his legislative agenda. Thus we had FDR’s Hundred Days, LBJ’s Voting Rights Act and Medicare, Reagan’s massive tax cuts, Clinton’s economic policies, and George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind and even more massive tax cuts.and George W....
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- Spring '12
- President of the United States, United States Congress