Posc 100: Week 8 Reading Notes
Posc 100: Week 8 Reading Notes Posc 100
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Laura Pratt on Tuesday March 8, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Posc 100 at California State University Long Beach taught by in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 11 views. For similar materials see Intro to american government in Political Science at California State University Long Beach.
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Date Created: 03/08/16
Pages 48-71 - The President and the Constitution o Article II has broad phrases that allow president to justify enlarging their powers o Last months of final term, president is a lame duck because he cannot be reelected and has less influence and accountability - The Electoral College o Each state is granted as many electors as it has senators and representatives combined – after a presidential election, the votes within each state are added up and the candidate with the most votes receives all that state’s votes in the electoral college o Can win popular election but lose presidential election because of losing electoral college’s vote - Vice president o Constitutional duties include presiding the Senate and to succeed the president if the office should become vacant - History of the president o Members of the constitutional convention in 1787 did not see a political role for the president o Residual power or inherent power is powers not spelled out in the Constitution but that are necessary for the president to be able to carry out other responsibilities Lincoln’s initiatives to preserve the Union Wilson – led country into WWI Roosevelt – pro-environment and antimonopoly policies FDR – New Deal – “first modern president” – changed shape of the office - Types of Presidents o Buchanan Presidents James Buchanan – refusal to end southern secession by force in 1860 These type of presidents adopt a custodial view of presidential powers: the president is limited to those powers explicitly granted by the Constitution o Lincoln Presidents Do not interpret the constitution as narrowly as Buchanan presidents Presidency is a stewardship – its only limits are those explicitly mentioned in the constitution o Eisenhower Presidents Combination of Buchanan and Lincoln Delegated responsibility widely, which allowed others to take the blame for policy failures while preserving reputation of being above politics Hidden-hand leadership o Modern Presidents LBJ – midnight phone calls and political arm twisting to gain support for proposals Nixon – being above politics while using his powers as president; Watergate Carter – lack of political leadership (criticisms) Reagan – excelled in communicating through the media while delegating broad powers to subordinates Clinton – youthful zeal for campaigning; passed drastic deficit reductions Bush – Medicare expansion; broad taxation reductions Obama – likely to be elected when the nation was in the situation it was in; pragmatist o A President’s Power Hats Presidents can create policies on their own by exercising unilateral powers that have the weight of law E.g. executive agreements, proclamations, national security directives, reorganization plans, and appointments – allow presidents to pursue and accomplish tasks without Congress’ involvement Give rise to the fear o f undermining the Constitution’s checks and balances – “imperial presidency” Chief of State President performs ceremonial functions Perception raises public expectations Chief Executive Comes from Article II of the Constitution “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the USA” o Ability to carry out or execute the laws Executive orders – set guidelines for federal agencies and have the force of law o Obama – work permits for young undocumented immigrants Chief Diplomat President has the power to establish relations with foreign governments, appoint US ambassadors, and to sign treaties that take effect with the consent of 2/3 of the senate Executive agreements do not require the approval of the Senate and their use has increased where the president may sign hundreds per year Commander in Chief Civilian supremacy – the elected head of government is in charge of the armed forces Chief legislator President has the right to recommend measures to congress o State of the Union Address Main constitutional power as chief legislator = veto Pocket veto – refusing to sign bill within 10 days of Congress adjourning Presidents try to lead congress by controlling the national agenda (consists of highest priority public issues) Party leader Choosing vice president after nomination, distribute a few thousand offices and numerous favors to fulfill party platform Party’s platform is the party’s program adopted at the president’s nominating convention The Public Presidency Influence over mass opinion Presidents need to shape public opinion in the manner to convince the public he is solving problems the country wants solved 71-84 - The Federal Bureaucracy o Bureaucrat – administrator – a member of the large organization that carries out government policies o Most of the bureaucracy is in the executive branch - Executive office o Established to advice and assist the president in managing the bureaucracy Three most important agencies are the White House office, National Security Council, and the Office of Management and Budget White house office – direct extension of president – not subject to senate approval Obama has embraced debate on issues and therefore has republicans in his staff to diversify and get the job done Presidential daily brief – president is updated on sensitive global intelligence reports and other issues National Security Council – policies mainly involve the State and Defense Departments CIA is a part of this National Economic Council (Clinton) manage orderly economic policymaking by the executive branch Office of Management and Budget (Nixon) – prepares the budget and helps control the executive branch by overseeing the agencies and their success in accomplishing their programs Council of Economic Advisers – three-member council of economic experts, appointed with Senate approval – helps the president form a national economic policy and predicts future economic developments - Cabinet Departments o Major agencies of the federal government o Has been expanding due to growth of problems that political and popular interests want the government to deal with Homeland Security o Cabinet has no power as a body Education and transportation operate like a client agency – lobbying for the bills and regulations that their industries need - Executive agencies o Important agencies of the executive branch that are not the cabinet NASA, CIA, NSA o Might include government corporations – began as semi-independent but have come increasingly under presidential control - The Regulatory Commissions o Charged with regulating and making rules for certain parts of the economy o Have power to legislate, execute laws and judicial powers o Federal Reserve Board o Created because it was thought Congress does not have the expertise to oversee complicated matters of the economy - Problems of Bureaucracy o Related to their size rather than the nature of the public or private organizations they serve o Complexity of any large bureaucracy makes it hard to tell who is responsible for a particular action, inhibiting public oversight - SEC and the Bernie Madoff Scandal o Chief function of SEC = regulate stock market and prevent corporate abuses o SEC failed to uncover wrongdoing of Madoff (financial frauds) - Obama and Whistlelboers o Obama’s administration has prosecuted over double the leakers (those who reveal government secrets) than all past presidents combined o Obama says these leaks could potentially harm national security and the American people so it is justified to prosecute leakers - Rise of the Civil Service o Spoils system was the usual method of choosing bureaucrats – meant that victorious politicians filled government jobs with their supporters o Since the president today fills only 5000 patronage jobs, (1/3 are policy making), it undermines the spoils system = less presidential control of the bureaucracy - Bureaucrats as policymakers o Policy administration – policy and administration were two different functions of government o President and Congress should make policy - President and the Bureaucracy o President has access to more information than anyone else but in carrying out his administration’s policies, the president must rely on the information of many others
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