The Imperial Presidency,

POLISCI 102 USC Debate on Presidential Power Essay

POLISCI 102

University of Southern California

POLISCI

Question Description

 

Readings: Chapter 13 (GHSS) – The Presidency

View Debate: Presidential Powers

https://vimeo.com/62478903

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Introduction/Overview
The Founding Fathers did not want the President to become as powerful as a king; however, as the head of government and commander-in-chief of the most powerful nation in the world the President of the United States has grown to one of the most powerful positions in the world. In this debate, Falcon and Reece look at the issue of presidential power discussing whether or not the Presidency has become too powerful.

PRIMARY DEBATE QUESTION
Has the Presidency become too powerful?

FRAMING THE DEBATE
The Founding Fathers did not want the President to become as powerful as a king; however, as the head of government and commander-in-chief of the most powerful nation in the world the President of the United States has grown to one
of the most powerful positions in the world.

FALCON POSITION
The Presidency, while powerful, is still subject to checks and balances and governs in tandem with the legislative and judicial branches.

REECE POSITION
The Presidency has become much more powerful than the Framers intended.

DEFINITION–LAME DUCK
When an elected official loses a re-election bid or announces that they will not be seeking a new term they are often referred to as lame ducks. Many believe such candidates have ”clipped wings” and therefore are no longer as powerful as they once were.
KEY POINT
There are several sources of Presidential power. Some of these are
Constitutional other custom.

LISTEN FOR . . . .
Basic Powers of the President
Evidence and Examples
Implications for Future

DEFINITION–JOB APPROVAL RATINGS
The most consistently collected public opinion data collected with regard to the President. Job approval ratings are simple; they basically ask voters if they approve of the President’s handling of foreign affairs, domestic issues, etc.

DEFINITION–ARTICLE I
Article I of the Constitution outlines the powers of Congress.

DEFINITION–ARTICLE II
Article II outlines the power of the Executive Branch–President.

DEFINITION–SEPARATION OF POWERS
The Constitution separates the primary duties of government and assigns them to specific branches.

DEFINITION–CHECKS and BALANCES
This refers to the overlapping and interdependent nature of the branches of the national government.

DEFINITION–CHIEF DIPLOMAT
The president is the Head of State and recognized as the highest representative of the U.S. to the rest of the world. She has the power to appoint diplomats, arrange treaties, and executive agreements with other nations.

DEFINITION–ADVISE AND CONSENT
The Senate has the power to advise and either approve or disapprove of the President’s nominations for the courts, foreign service and administrative
positions.

DEFINITION–IMPERIAL PRESIDENT
In his work ”The Imperial Presidency,” Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., argues that the modern presidency has grown in power and appearance and more closely resembles royal courts of days gone by.

DEFINITION–WAR POWERS ACT OF 1973
The law was passed to require congressional approval if U.S. forces were to be deployed under hostile conditions for an extended period of time. It requires congressional consultation and establishes clear time frames for action and communication.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?
If the Founding Fathers were alive today, what do you think they would say about the President’s power. Would they argue it has become too powerful? Not powerful enough? Would they argue that there is an
appropriate balance of power in government?

CONCLUSION
The institution of the Presidency has been transformed under the influence of
history, the men who have held its reigns, and the varied demands placed upon them. Do you think the powers of President have grown too much?