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The Founders’ Great Mistake

Publication Date: 
January 31, 2009
The Atlantic
Garrett Epps

Professor Jack N. Rakove is quoted in The Atlantic in an op-ed discussing who is to blame "for the past eight years of dismal American governance." The article suggests that the Constitution does not define the Presidency very well and therefore allows a Presidency to be abused as President Bush abused it:

The historian Jack N. Rakove has written, “The creation of the presidency was [the Framers’] most creative act.” That may be true, but it wasn’t their best work. The Framers were designing something the modern world had never seen—a republican chief executive who would owe his power to the people rather than to heredity or brute force. The wonder is not that they got so much wrong, but that they got anything right at all.