To What Extent Is the Obama Presidency More Imperilled Than Imperial?

1152 WordsFeb 22, 20165 Pages
To what extent is the Obama presidency ‘more imperiled than imperial’? (40) To a fairly large extent, the Obama presidency is more ‘imperiled than imperial’ seems largely true, with Obama suffering from major constraints such as Congress. The theory of the imperiled Presidency suggests that rather than being too powerful, the President does not have enough power to be effective. In contrast, imperial presidency is characterised as when a president has greater power than the constitution allows. One can argue that his pursuit of major domestic policy goals has been much more aggressive than his predecessor, Bush, suggesting Obama’s presidency as imperial. Obama once quipped, “I’m the President of the United States, not the emperor of the…show more content…
In 2009, Obama signed an executive order that signalled the closing of Guantanamo Bay. However, Congress blocked bills that would have given the funds necessary to close the detention centre. As a result, Guantanamo Bay is still open today. This example demonstrates that presidents need congress on their side in order for congress to not undermine their executive orders. While the president may have power of executive orders constitutionally speaking, he needs Congress to not undermine it. The House controls the purse and executive orders often require money. This evidence supports the assertion that the US presidency is “more imperiled than imperial” because although he has the legal power, the president needs the political power for his executive orders to not be undermined. In the UK, the PM cannot make laws alone but can vote on them. On the other hand, by taking the country into a war with Libya, Barack Obama's administration is breaking new ground in its construction of an imperial presidency — an executive who increasingly acts independently of Congress at home and abroad. Obtaining a U.N. Security Council resolution has legitimated U.S. bombing raids under international law. But the U.N. Charter is not a substitute for the U.S. Constitution, which gives Congress, not the president, the power "to declare war." But, again, these

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