Historical Forces Greater Than A President Shape Events

Constant focus on the US President supports the flawed theory of the great and indispensable men and women, or evil ones, who shape events. The more I read of history, the more I believe that ideas, flawed thinking on the part of small-minded but well-intentioned people, social movements, economic forces, and technology usually shape events... Continue Reading →


WSJ Editorial from 2009 Reveals Wrong-Headed Predictions

The Wall Street Journal, the flagship of conservative thought, has proven again and again to be wrong about Obama and the economy, but of course will not acknowledge it. "The Obama program is going to test the liberal faith, not observed since the 1970s, that deficit spending and easy monetary policy are engines of prosperity," the... Continue Reading →

Presidents Must Use Rhetoric of Heroic Expectations

American presidents must "attempt to close the yawning gap between what the public expects and what political reality and the American system of government allows," write two political scientists. In The Rhetoric of Heroic Expectations: Establishing the Obama Presidency, they "argue that presidents justify their presidencies – both at the outset of their administrations and throughout... Continue Reading →

Books on the Presidency I’ve Studied

In college and grad school, these were some of the books we studied on the presidency: David Halberstam, The Best and the Brightest, on the origins of the Vietnam War. How did the smartest advisors to the president, who had graduated from the best schools in the country, make such poor decisions in Vietnam? How... Continue Reading →

What is the True Power of the Presidency?

Guardian: In the 1950s, a number of biographies of strong presidents and academic treatises on the institution had stressed its powers and the variety of the president's roles, for example as head of state, head of government, commander in chief, party leader and "leader of the Free World." Richard Neustadt, who was for more than... Continue Reading →

Inauguration Days in History

Inauguration Day is traditionally the day when Democrats and Republicans put aside partisan differences and become AMERICANS FIRST, celebrating respect for law and the rightful choice of the American people in the previous November's election. In January 2001, that traditional ritual really didn't occur -- there were thousands of passionate protesters on the street, still... Continue Reading →

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