Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy

Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy

5.0 1
by Charlie Savage
     
 

ISBN-10: 0316118052

ISBN-13: 2900316118056

Pub. Date: 04/11/2008

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

In 1789, the Founding Fathers came up with a system of checks and balances to keep kingly powers out of the hands of American presidents. But in the 1970s and '80s, a faction of Republican loyalists, outraged by the fall of them imperial presidency after Watergate and the Vietnam War, abandoned conservatives' traditional suspicion of concentrated government power. …  See more details below

Overview

In 1789, the Founding Fathers came up with a system of checks and balances to keep kingly powers out of the hands of American presidents. But in the 1970s and '80s, a faction of Republican loyalists, outraged by the fall of them imperial presidency after Watergate and the Vietnam War, abandoned conservatives' traditional suspicion of concentrated government power. These men hatched a plot that would allow the White House to return to, or even surpass, the virtually unchecked powers that Richard Nixon had briefly tried to wield. Congress would be defanged, and the commander in chief would be able to assert a unilateral dominance both at home and abroad.

Today, this plot is coming to fruition. As Takeover reveals, the Bush-Cheney administration has succeeded in seizing vast powers for the presidency by throwing off many of the restraints placed upon it by Congress, the courts, and the Constitution. Charlie Savage's timely book unveils the secret machinations behind the headlines, explaining the links between warrantless wiretapping and President Bush's Supreme Court nominees, between the unprecedented politicization of the Justice Department and the torture debate, between the White House's use of "signing statements" to assert a right to defy new laws and its efforts to impose greater control over career military JAG lawyers, and between the secrecy surrounding Vice President Cheney's energy task force and the holding of U.S. citizens without trial as "enemy combatants." It tells, for the first time, the full story of a hidden agenda three decades in the making, laying out how a group of true believers undertook to establish monarchical executive powers that, in the words of one conservative critic, "will lie around like a loaded weapon," ready to be picked up by any future president--liberal or conservative.

Brilliantly reported and deftly told, Takeover is a searing investigation into how the constitutional balance of our democracy is in danger of being permanently altered. For anyone who cares about America's past, present, and future, it is essential reading.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2900316118056
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
04/11/2008
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
448

Table of Contents


Inside the Bunker     3
The Fall of the Imperial Presidency and the Rise of Dick Cheney: 1789-1976     10
"A Cabal of Zealots": 1977-2000     38
The Agenda     70
"Behind Closed Doors": Secrecy I     85
The Unleashing: Laws and Treaties I     119
"A Hollow Shell": Secrecy II     160
Pushback and Purge: Laws and Treaties II     177
The Torture Ban     209
Power of the Pen: Signing Statements     228
"To Say What the Law Is": The Supreme Court     250
Centralize and Control: The Executive Branch     279
The Politics of Presidential Power     308
Afterword     331
Acknowledgments     351
Notes     353
Index     403

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Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago