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Debating the Presidency : Conflicting Perspectives on the American Executive



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This is the 2nd edition with a publication date of 10/13/2009.

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The study of the presidency&BAD:-the power of the office, the evolution of the executive as an institution, the men who have served&BAD:-has generated a great body of research and scholarship.What better way to get students to grapple with the ideas of the literature than through conflicting perspectives on some of the most pivotal issues facing the modern presidency? Richard Ellis and Michael Nelson have once again assembled a cadre of top scholars to offer a series of pro/con essays that will inspire spirited debate beyond the pages of the book. Each essay&BAD:-written in the form of a debate resolution&BAD:- offers a compelling yet concise view on the American executive. In essays that are new to this edition, contributors debate the repeal of the 22nd Amendment, the abolition of the vice presidency, the extent to which presidential signing statements threaten the separation of powers, and whether the fighting of the war on terror should require relaxing checks on presidential power. Ellis and Nelson introduce each pair of essays, giving students context and preparing them to read each argument critically, so they can decide for themselves which side of the debate they find most persuasive.

Author Biography

Richard J. Ellis is the Mark O. Hatfield Professor of Politics at Willamette University. Among his recent books are To the Flag: The Unlikely History of the Pledge of Allegrance (2005) and Presidential Travel: The Journey from George Washington to George W. Bush (2008). In 2008 he was named the Carnegie Foundation for Advancement of Teaching Oregon Professor of the Year. Michael Nelson is the Fulmer Professor of Political Science at Rhodes College, where he teaches courses on U.S. politics, the presidency, and southern politics. He is also a senior fellow of the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia and a former editor of the Washington Monthly. His recent books include The American Presidency: Origins and Development, 1776-2007 (with Sidney M. Milkis, 5th ed., 2008): How the South Joined the Gambling Nation: The Politics of State Policy Innovation (with John Mason, 2008), which won the Southern Political Science Association's V. O. Key Award for the outstanding book on southern politics: The Elections of 2008 (2010); and The Presidency and the Political System (9th ed., 2010).

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Contributorsp. xi
Resolved, the framers of the Constitution would approve of the modern presidencyp. 1
Pro: David Nicholsp. 3
Con: Terri Bimesp. 8
Resolved, political parties should nominate candidates for the presidency through a national primaryp. 14
Pro: Michael Nelsonp. 17
Con: Andrew E. Buschp. 23
Resolved, the president should be elected directly by the peoplep. 31
Pro: Burdett Loomisp. 33
Con: Byron E. Shaferp. 39
Resolved, the Twenty-second Amendment should be repealedp. 48
Pro: David Karolp. 50
Con: Thomas E. Croninp. 56
Resolved, the media are too hard on presidentsp. 64
Pro: Matthew R. Kerbelp. 66
Con: Bartholomew H. Sparrowp. 73
Resolved, the president is a more authentic representative of the American people than is Congressp. 82
Pro: Marc J. Hetheringtonp. 84
Con: Richard J. Ellisp. 94
Resolved, presidents have usurped the war power that rightfully belongs to Congressp. 100
Pro: Nancy Kassopp. 103
Con: Richard M. Piousp. 110
Resolved, fighting the war on terrorism requires relaxing checks on presidential powerp. 120
Pro: John Yoop. 123
Con: Louis Fisherp. 129
Resolved, presidential signing statements threaten to undermine the rule of law and the separation of powersp. 137
Pro: Peter M. Shanep. 140
Con: Nelson Lundp. 147
Resolved, the president has too much power in the selection of judgesp. 154
Pro: David A. Yalofp. 156
Con: John Anthony Maltesep. 163
Resolved, the vice presidency should be abolishedp. 170
Pro: Douglas L. Krinerp. 172
Con: Joel K. Goldsteinp. 179
Resolved, a president's personal attributes are the best predictors of performance in the White Housep. 187
Pro: Fred I. Greensteinp. 190
Con: Stephen Skowronekp. 197
Resolved, great presidents are agents of democratic changep. 209
Pro: Marc Landyp. 211
Con: Bruce Miroffp. 221
Notesp. 229
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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