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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

a dominate executive « Previous | |Next »
May 3, 2007

I've generally interpreted the Bush administration in terms of it being an imperial presidency by which I mean a strong executive that overides and ignores the rule of law. Those who defend this position say that an executive subordinated to the rule of law is in danger of being subordinate to the legislature. Thus Harvey C. Mansfield states:

One should not believe that a strong executive is needed only for quick action in emergencies, though that is the function mentioned first. A strong executive is requisite to oppose majority faction produced by temporary delusions in the people. For the Federalist, a strong executive must exercise his strength especially against the people, not showing them "servile pliancy." Tocqueville shared this view. Today we think that a strong president is one who leads the people, that is, one who takes them where they want to go

Mansfeld is pretty much for one-man rule. Only a strong president can be a great president.

So the American President has the power to act as a Prince and override the rule of law when circumstances supposedly justify that.That's President Bush since 9/11 isn't it. The endless War Bush claims justifies and compels the vesting of unlimited power in the President -- "unlimited" by Congress, the courts, American public opinion and the rule of law.

What works for quiet times is not appropriate in stormy times says Mansfield. And we live in stormy times.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 7:09 PM | | Comments (1)


Gary, I suppose you know that Mansfield recently published a book titled Manliness, which lamented the absence of "real" men in USA politics.

Meanwhile there is a momentum in the USA to revalorize Reagan as a great president and strong man who knew what do do. Personally I much prefer the assessment of the collective psychosis of the Reagan years via this reference:

I would also say that the Reagan years were just a minor prelude to the assault on the USA and world body politic now being done by the Bushites---the "real" men that Mansfield admires and hangs out with in the right wing war-mongering think tanks and their project(PNAC) to bludgeon the world in to one (capitalist) market under "god".

Father knows best!!!