Madison's Nightmare: How Executive Power Threatens American Democracy

Madison's Nightmare: How Executive Power Threatens American Democracy

Peter M. Shane


The George W. Bush administration’s ambitious—even breathtaking—claims of unilateral govt authority raised deep matters between constitutional students, civil libertarians, and usual voters alike. yet Bush’s makes an attempt to claim his strength are just the fruits of a near-thirty-year attack at the simple assessments and balances of the U.S. government—a conflict waged through presidents of either events, and person who, as Peter M. Shane warns in Madison’s Nightmare, threatens to absolutely subvert the founders’ imaginative and prescient of consultant government.

Tracing this tendency again to the 1st Reagan management, Shane indicates how this period of "aggressive presidentialism" has obvious presidents exerting ever extra keep watch over over approximately each enviornment of coverage, from army affairs and nationwide safeguard to household courses. pushed via political ambition and a growing to be tradition of entitlement within the government branch—and abetted via a complaisant Congress, riven by way of partisanship—this presidential aggrandizement has too usually undermined clever coverage making and resulted in shallow, ideological, and occasionally outright lawless judgements. the answer, Shane argues, would require a multipronged software of reform, together with either particular alterations in executive perform and broader institutional adjustments aimed toward aiding a renewed tradition of presidency accountability.

From the warfare on technological know-how to the mismanaged warfare on terror, Madison’s Nightmare outlines the disastrous results of the unchecked executive—and matters a stern serious warning call to all who care in regards to the destiny of our lengthy democratic experiment.

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