Schlesinger argues that the power of the modern presidency has moved in dangerous directions in contrast to the idea of “checks and balances.” Much of his argument is about the potential power of the executive branch to act independently of the other branches. In theory, this gives the president a lot of opportunity to shape government policies.
Is Schlesinger’s analysis convincing?
Please explore that question while thinking about at least one of the following topics:
A. What does Schlesinger see as the historical context leading to an imperial presidency? Would this still apply today?
B. What formal powers of the presidency might allow the president to act without the other branches?
C. How does this Schlesinger perspective build on or challenge any of the other presidency scholars we have already encountered (Laski, Rossiter, Neustadt)? Could any of their ideas challenge his views?
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