Conservatives in Power: The Task of Governing

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Every four years the race for the presidency absorbs the nation's attention. But what does it take for a President to actually govern - especially to govern well? Terry Eastland, the noted political writer who studied the presidency up close during his service in President Reagan's administration, challenges the widely held view of the presidency as an office where canny personal skills take precedence over the knowledgeable and proper use of constitutional power. In this deeply informed, unconventional, and ...
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Overview

Every four years the race for the presidency absorbs the nation's attention. But what does it take for a President to actually govern - especially to govern well? Terry Eastland, the noted political writer who studied the presidency up close during his service in President Reagan's administration, challenges the widely held view of the presidency as an office where canny personal skills take precedence over the knowledgeable and proper use of constitutional power. In this deeply informed, unconventional, and persuasive interpretation of the nation's highest office, Eastland makes a timely case for the strong presidency, not one based on charisma or the "bully pulpit," but instead on the proper exercise of the constitutional expectations of the office, thus recovering and restating for our time the wisdom of the American founders - that "energy in the executive" is essential to good government. Eastland examines the presidency in its work with Congress, through the executive brand, and in the courts. Analyzing a wide variety of governing episodes from the Reagan and Bush years - tax reform, Iran-Contra, civil rights, Saddam Hussein, the infamous Bush "budget summit," the Supreme Court nominations of Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas - Eastland shows just what a strong presidency is, and what it is not. Focusing on the selective use of presidential rhetoric in seeking legislation, the responsibility a President has for pressing policies into the day-to-day administration of the government, and the jurisprudential legacy a President can build through well-considered judicial appointments, Eastland maintains that the strong presidency is possible only when the tools of governance are properly understood and energetically used. Eastland points the way for a new generation of politicians and government officials, arguing that the key to effective government - conservative or liberal - is understanding and carrying out the executive role in accordance with its constitut
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780029086810
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Publication date: 8/31/1992
  • Pages: 392

Table of Contents

Conservatives in Power and the Strong Presidency 1
1 The President and Congress
1 Speaking from the Bully Pulpit: The Rhetoric of Recommendation 24
2 Tax Reform: Reagan's Right Rhetoric 42
3 "No New Taxes": The "Processed" President 49
4 Vetoes and Signing Statements: The President at "Presentment" 64
5 Self-Defense, Please: The Independent Counsel Mess 79
6 Congress Against the President: Reagan, Nicaragua, and the Boland Amendments 96
7 The Policy Power of the Veto Power: Bush and the "Quota" Bill 106
8 The Powers of Persuasion: Bush and Congress v. Saddam Hussein 119
2 The President and the Executive Branch
9 Picking the Instruments of Execution: The President and Personnel 144
10 Changing the Status Quo: Rules, Reorganization, Coordination 154
11 Litigating the Agenda: Argument in the Courts 165
12 Policy Muddle: Reagan and Quotas 178
13 Strategic Leadership: Reagan, the Fallacy of "Cabinet Government," and the NSC 190
14 Executive Ethics: A Presidential Responsibility 199
15 Bad Behavior Rewarded: The Stockman Story 212
16 Non-Energy and Irresponsibility: Iran-Contra 220
3 The President and the Appointment of Judges
17 How (and How Not) to Select a Justice: Scalia, Ginsburg, and O'Connor 235
18 Confirmation Lessons: Bork, Souter, Thomas 245
19 A New Judge Every Eight Days: Selecting the Lower Judiciary 258
20 A Matter of Opinions: Jurisprudential Legacy 268
The Strong Presidency and Presidential Leadership 277
The Constitution of the United States of America 307
Notes 325
Selected Bibliography 378
Acknowledgments 383
Index 385
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