Although public awareness of unilateral presidential directives has been growing over the last decade—sparked in part by Barack Obama's use of executive orders and presidential memoranda to reverse many of his predecessor's policies as well as by the number of unilateral directives George W. Bush promulgated for the "War on Terror"—Graham G. Dodds reminds us that not only has every single president issued executive orders, such orders have figured in many of the most significant episodes in American political history. In Take Up Your Pen, Dodds offers one of the first historical treatments of this executive prerogative and explores the source of this authority; how executive orders were legitimized, accepted, and routinized; and what impact presidential directives have had on our understanding of the presidency, American politics, and political development. By tracing the rise of a more activist central government—first advanced in the Progressive Era by Theodore Roosevelt—Dodds illustrates the growing use of these directives throughout a succession of presidencies. More important, Take Up Your Pen questions how unilateral presidential directives fit the conception of democracy and the needs of American citizens.
Conventional wisdom holds that 9/11 sounded the death knell for presidential accountability. In fact, the opposite is true. The novel powers that our post-9/11 commanders in chief assumed—endless detentions, military commissions, state secrets, broad surveillance, and more—are the culmination of a two-century expansion of presidential authority. But these new powers have been met with thousands of barely visible legal and political constraints—enforced by congressional committees, government lawyers, courts, and the media—that have transformed our unprecedentedly powerful presidency into one that is also unprecedentedly accountable.
These constraints are the key to understanding why Obama continued the Bush counterterrorism program, and in this light, the events of the last decade should be seen as a victory, not a failure, of American constitutional government. We have actually preserved the framers’ original idea of a balanced constitution, despite the vast increase in presidential power made necessary by this age of permanent emergency.
· Coverage of the final years of George W. Bush and the first three years of Barack Obama's presidency
· Extensive coverage of the Obama Administration's efforts to curb economic decline
· Updates on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the killing of Osama bin Laden, and on the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay
· Coverage of the Arab Spring protests and U.S. involvement in the military intervention in Libya
· Barack Obama's health care reform legislation
Over the course of eight years, Barack Obama has amassed an array of outstanding achievements. His administration saved the American economy from collapse, expanded health insurance to millions who previously could not afford it, negotiated an historic nuclear deal with Iran, helped craft a groundbreaking international climate accord, reined in Wall Street and crafted a new vision of racial progress. He has done all of this despite a left that frequently disdained him as a sellout, and a hysterical right that did everything possible to destroy his agenda even when they agreed with what he was doing.
Now, as the page turns to our next Commander in Chief, Jonathan Chait, acclaimed as one of the most incisive and meticulous political commentators in America, digs deep into Obama’s record on major policy fronts—economics, the environment, domestic reform, health care, race, foreign policy, and civil rights—to demonstrate why history will judge our forty-fourth president as among the greatest in history.
Audacity does not shy away from Obama’s failures, most notably in foreign policy. Yet Chait convincingly shows that President Obama has accomplished what candidate Obama said he would, despite overwhelming opposition—and that the hopes of those who voted for him have not been dashed despite the smokescreen of extremist propaganda and the limits of short-term perspective.
Proponents say this conception of the presidential office is faithful to the Constitution, facilitates the sort of energetic executive that Alexander Hamilton argued for, and enhances administrative efficacy and political accountability for governance. Critics say this arrangement is constitutionally inaccurate, is belied by historical practice and legal precedents, and is dangerously close to the monarchical power that provoked the American Revolution – and can be especially threatening in the era of Donald Trump.
This book examines how controversies about unitary executive power have played out from the founding era to the present day with a focus on recent presidents, it explores arguments both for and against the unitary executive theory, and it looks ahead to future implications for American politics.
Washington insiders operate by a proven credo: when a Peter Schweizer book drops, duck and brace for impact.
For over a decade, the work of five-time New York Times bestselling investigative reporter Peter Schweizer has sent shockwaves through the political universe.
Clinton Cash revealed the Clintons’ international money flow, exposed global corruption, and sparked an FBI investigation. Secret Empires exposed bipartisan corruption and launched congressional investigations. And Throw Them All Out and Extortion prompted passage of the STOCK Act. Indeed, Schweizer’s “follow the money” bombshell revelations have been featured on the front pages of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and regularly appear on national news programs, including 60 Minutes.
Now Schweizer and his team of seasoned investigators turn their focus to the nation’s top progressives—politicians who strive to acquire more government power to achieve their political ends.
Can they be trusted with more power?
In Profiles in Corruption, Schweizer offers a deep-dive investigation into the private finances, and secrets deals of some of America’s top political leaders. And, as usual, he doesn’t disappoint, with never-before-reported revelations that uncover corruption and abuse of power—all backed up by a mountain of corporate documents and legal filings from around the globe. Learn about how they are making sweetheart deals, generating side income, bending the law to their own benefits, using legislation to advance their own interests, and much more.
Profiles in Corruption contains tomorrow’s headlines.