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

In: Historical Events

Submitted By nta786
Words 1152
Pages 5
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 United States”.

One argument supporting the assertion that the US presidency is “more imperiled than imperial” is the president being limited by political pressures. In 2012, Obama stated that if chemical weapons were used in Syria, he would use military intervention. However, when they were used in 2013, he seemingly tried to delay action. Explanations as to why he delayed include falling public support for intervention and the UK Parliament voting against intervention. As Commander in Chief, Obama had the power to intervene but was limited by informal, outside pressures. This demonstrates that although constitutionally a president has certain powers, political pressures limit him. Obama’s approval ratings would have fallen if he invaded without public support and this suggests that the president is imperiled, not imperial. This evidence supports the assertion that the US presidency is “more imperiled than imperial” because although constitutionally the president has power, he is limited by outside measures. In the UK, the PM may have legal powers but he needs his party to support him because otherwise, he may be removed. This…...

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