The small Presidency – a model for our time?

Still mostly hidden behind the paywall, here’s Amity Shlaes at NRO on how Republicans have strayed from the concept of the small Presidency of Harding’s and Coolidge’s day, and why it might be time for a comeback. Being a thrifty person, I haven’t scaled that paywall to read the whole thing, but my immediate reaction to this would have to be, no way is the small Presidency coming back anytime soon – people have been so indoctrinated to invest their hopes and expectations in a savior-like, all-powerful Chief Executive. But maybe there’s hope, as that model has so demonstrably failed.

4 thoughts on “The small Presidency – a model for our time?

  1. I do so agree with you! There is no evidence that investing such power in the Executive Branch has been positive for the country, yet we just keep on doing it The Coolidge model was much more in line with our founding principles, yet I see no chance of us returning to it, not under the current President and the extremely partisan media we have.

  2. Coolidge followed the Patriots coach Bill Belichick dictate: “Do your job” period. We’re a star struck country needing constant media spin to keep the ad revenue coming in. But it’s a small president that we really need. One who just does his job following the dictates of the constitution. Coolidge was boring to Hollywood and leftists and mocked constantly for his “don’t just sit there, do something” approach. What we need is the opposite, “don’t just do something, sit there” approach.

    I read an op-ed from Al Arabia the other day which heaped scorn on Eisenhower for turning the country inward after all the wars. Ironically, perhaps Obama will do likewise not engaging in overseas adventurism. Oops, forgot about the drones.
    I’ll be interviewing Amity when the book comes out.

    • Thanks! I totally agree. The Founding Fathers only envisioned a “chief magistrate”, someone to take care of necessary executive business, certainly not the king-like power broker the president has become. How exciting that you’ll be talking to Amity! I hope you’ll share the result by way of a link.

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