Separate but Equal Branches: Congress and the Presidency

By Charles O. Jones | Go to book overview

masses have grown faster than the capacity of presidential government to meet them."17

These views set an agenda for political scholars--one that encourages analysis of the special challenge facing a president separated from, yet expected to lead, the rest of the political system. Within the broader development that Moe speaks of and that Sundquist and others worry about, the variation in approaches is a worthy subject of study. It begins, however, with the recognition of the changes that have occurred and directs attention to the variability in conditions for each new occupant of the office.

Wildavsky sees all of this as "an antileadership system" in which "presidents are tempted into action only to discover that whatever they do is not what they were somehow supposed to have done." 18 What that suggests is that presidents must be ever attentive to the constraints as well as the perquisites of power. Defining who you are and where you are is a starting point in the presentation of self. Doing so is an especially sensitive endeavor for the separated president, since there is an unusually small margin of error. Presumably, presidential attentiveness to position as a source of power would satisfy Madison as one of the "auxiliary precautions" that experience teaches are necessary if government is to control itself.


NOTES
1.
Richard E. Neustadt, Presidential Power: The Politics of Leadership ( New York: Wiley, 1960), 33.
2.
Ibid., 34.
3.
Ibid., 187.
4.
Ibid.
5.
David S. Broder, "Split Tickets Hurt Process of Democracy, Wisconsin State Journal, 10 April 1989, 7A.
6.
James L. Sundquist, "Needed: A Political Theory for the New Era of Coalition Government in the United States," Political Science Quarterly 103 (Winter 1988-89): 613-35.
7.
Ibid., 632.
8.
For a summary of political party success, see Paul Allen Beck, "Incomplete Realignment: The Reagan Legacy for Parties and Elections," in The Reagan Legacy: Promise and Performance, ed. Charles O. Jones ( Chatham, N.J.: Chatham House, 1988), chap. 5.
9.
Data from CBS/New York Times exit polls as reported in Public Opinion, January/ February 1989, 24-25.
10.
The 1992 Democratic win was in a three-way race, with Clinton garnering a minority of the vote (43 percent).

-57-

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Separate but Equal Branches: Congress and the Presidency
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents iii
  • Acknowledgments v
  • Introduction vii
  • Part I - The Separated System 1
  • 1 - The Constitutional Balance 19
  • 2- Presidential Government and the Separation of Powers 23
  • 3- The Presidency in Contemporary Politics 37
  • Notes 57
  • 4- The Diffusion of Responsibility 59
  • 5- Presidents and Agendas 77
  • Notes 101
  • Part II- Presidents Working with Congresses 103
  • 6- The Pendulum of Power 105
  • 7- Presidential Negotiating Styles with Congress 128
  • 8- Carter and Congress 161
  • 9 - Reagan and Congress 192
  • Notes 217
  • 10- Bush and Congress 220
  • II- Clinton and Congress 247
  • Notes 279
  • Index 285
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