The Cult of the Presidency: America's Dangerous Devotion to Executive Power
The Cult of the Presidency cakes a step back from the ongoing red team/blue team combat and shows that, at bottom, conservatives and liberals agree on the boundless nature of presidential responsibility. For both camps, it is the president's job to grow the economy, teach our children well, provide seamless protection from terrorist threats, and rescue Americans from spiritual malaise, Very few Americans seem to think it odd, says Healy, "when presidential candidates talk as if they're running for a job that's a combination of guardian angel, shaman, and supreme warlord of the earth."
Interweaving historical scholarship, legal analysis, and trenchant cultural commentary, The Cult of the Presidency traces America's decades-long drift from the Framers' vision for the presidency: a constitutionally constrained chief magistrate charged with faithful execution of the laws. Restoring that vision will require a Congress and a Court willing to check executive power, but Healy emphasizes that there is no simple legislative or judicial "fix" to the problems of the presidency. Unless Americans change what we ask of the office - no longer demanding what we should not want and cannot have - we'll get what, in a sense, we deserve.