It may be that Clinton's last and best hope is that the very radicalism of
the Republicans' antigovernment agenda and the prospects of its coming to
fruition will backfire. As Clinton becomes all that stands in the way of realizing that agenda, he has voiced newfound passion in opposition to it. As he
has done so, his approval also has begun to rise and, thus, so have his electoral prospects for 1996. Should the Republican juggernaut be slowed or
halted, however, the likely winner will be James Madison and not Bill Clinton. The tyranny of faction will have been prevented, along with the prospect of coherent action, however wrong- or clear-headed that may be.
I am grateful for the hospitality and support provided by the Centre for European Studies, Nuffield College, Oxford University, allowing me to complete this rather non-European project.
Richard Rose, "Evaluating Presidents," in Researching the Presidency: Vital Questions, New Approaches, ed.
George C. Edwards III,
John H. Kessel, and Bert A. Rockman ( Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1993), 453-84.
Richard Neustadt, Presidential Power ( New York: Wiley, 1959). This book
is now in its fifth edition, the most recent version published in 1990 as Presidential
Power and the Modern Presidents: The Politics of Leadership from Roosevelt to
Reagan ( New York: Free Press, 1990).
See, for example,
David Braybrooke and
Charles Lindblom, A Strategy of
Decision ( New York: Free Press, 1963).
On the matter of institutionalizing norms, see James G. March and
, Rediscovering Institutions: The Organizational Basis of Politics ( New
York: Free Press, 1989); and Robert Axelrod, "An Evolutionary Approach to
Norms," American Political Science Review 80 ( December 1986): 1095-1111.
The language of adaptive social processes may thus replace that of leadership because the emphasis is on the capacity to produce successful change as a result of
norms based on reciprocal relationships. From this standpoint, reciprocity is
wholly consistent with republican institutions but inconsistent with the logics
either of command or of populist democracy. Despite the powerful emphasis by
the American constitutional Framers on precisely the logic of reciprocity, current
American trends often favor the paradoxical combination of populist democracy
and forceful leadership.
Technically, this may be thought of as a repeated sequential equilibrium
game. See Robert W. Axelrod, "The Emergence of Cooperation among Egoists," American Political Science Review 75 ( June 1981): 306-18.
See Charles O. Jones, The Presidency in a Separated System ( Washington,
D.C.: Brookings Institution, 1994); and Charles O. Jones, Separate But Equal
Branches: Congress and the Presidency (Chatham, N.J.: Chatham House, 1995).
See, for example, Robert A. Dahl, A Preface to Democratic Theory ( Chi