Analysis Of Richard Neustadt 's The American System

1495 Words Dec 4th, 2014 6 Pages
Richard Neustadt had famously asserted that the American system is one of “separated institutions sharing powers”, this implies a hopeful sense of cooperation between the three branches of government (cited in Andres et Thurber, 2000:554). However, political realities led scholars to dispute Neustadt’s claim, proclaiming the system as “separate institutions competing for power” (Murphy, 2007:9). Political paralysis, particularly between the US president and Congress, has become increasingly common in the modern era. “President proposes, Congress disposes” famously sloganised the relationship between the two institutions (Johannes, 1974). Many scholars attributed this strained relationship to the constitutional design (Edward III, 1978; Florina, 1994; Dickinson, 2014). Although this is true, it offers an incomplete assessment of political gridlock in the US. Thus this essay will attempt to unravel the different factors that contribute towards political gridlock between the US President and Congress, thus explaining why Presidents find it increasingly difficult to govern in partnership with Congress.
The difficult and complex relationship between the US President and Congress lies ultimately with the constitutional ambiguity inherent in the US Constitution. Moreover, differences in constituencies, tenure in office and responsibilities contribute to the incompatibility between the two. Thus, the flawed constitutional design offers a platform for different…
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