Two Presidents Are Better Than One
The Case for a Bipartisan Executive Branch
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: NYU Press
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Title Page, Copyright Page
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This book is about the very high price the United States pays for its one-person presidency and how it can avoid those costs by adopting a islative power between a House and Senate and rest an undivided executive power in a single president, they paved the way for the development of the “imperial presidency.” Presidents have assumed ...
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Weary after eight years of George W. Bush and Republican leadership, Americans voted in a big way for change in 2008. A strong economy had been shattered by the Great Recession, and U.S. troops had suﬀered thousands of casualties in two wars that yielded imperceptible gains for national security. The public believed it could ...
2 A Two-Person, Bipartisan Executive
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If the United States adopted a two-person, bipartisan executive, how would the two presidents be nominated and elected, and how would they share presidential responsibilities and White House oﬃce space? Who would be in charge in the event of an emergency? This chapter answers these and other questions about the structure Under a two-person presidency, there would be a doubling in the ...
3 The Problem of the Imperial Presidency
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When the constitutional drafters considered the possibility of excessive power in one of the branches of the national government, they worried not about the executive branch but about the legislative branch. As James Madison wrote about the legislature in Federalist 48, “it is against the enterprising ambition of this department that the people ought to indulge all their jealousy and exhaust ...
4 The Problem of Partisan Conflict
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As discussed in chapter 3, the U.S. constitutional structure has not been able to cabin the power of the presidency. Although the framers worried about the balance of power between the executive and legislative branches, and designed a system to ensure an appropriate balance, they did not leave the United States with the intended balance. The decision to adopt a one-person presidency has ...
5 A Bipartisan Executive and Presidential Decision Making
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In chapters 3 and 4, I argued that a two-person, coalition presidency would compensate for the Constitution’s failure to cabin the power of the executive branch or contain partisan conflict in Washington. There is a third key argument for a presidential partnership — two heads are better than one. Experience with decision making in other settings demonstrates that we get better results when we have shared ...
6 Representation for the Public in Washington
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Many scholars have criticized the “winner-take-all” nature of presidential elections in the United States. Whether the most successful candidate secures 43 percent (Bill Clinton in 1992) or 61 percent (Lyn-don Johnson in 1964) of the popular vote, whoever receives a majority of votes in the Electoral College gains 100 percent of the executive ...
7 The Prospects for Adopting a Bipartisan Executive
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There are good reasons to doubt the possibility of the United States adopting a two-person presidency. In the more than 220 years since the ratification of the Bill of Rights in 1791, the United States has adopted only seventeen amendments to the Constitution. Moreover, the desire for a decisive leader who can act with dispatch not only was important to the framers of the Constitution but also ...
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The problems of the imperial presidency and partisan conflict have plagued national politics in the United States for decades, and despite persistent concerns about the problems, they only are get-Presidents from both sides of the political aisle press for an expansive executive authority, even when they come into oﬃce after criticizing their predecessors’ claims of presidential power, and they have ...
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About the Author
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David Orentlicher is Samuel R. Rosen Professor at the Indiana Uni-tutional law and a former state representative, Orentlicher also has taught at Princeton University and the University of Chicago Law School. He earned degrees in law and medicine at Harvard and spe-...
Page Count: 304
Publication Year: 2013