The Honeymoon & The Reality: The Cult Of the Presidency

Matt Welch is a journalist, blogger, pundit, and libertarian. Since 2008, he has served as the Editor-in-Chief of the online magazine, Reason. From 2006 to 2007, he was the Editorial Page Editor for the Los Angeles Times.

In a so far two part discussion with more to come, Welch talks with Real News CEO Paul Jay with an analysis of President Barack Obama’s campaign statements on various topics, including Foreign Policy, his speech to AIPAC, Iraq, Afghanistan, and others, and Obama’s inaugural address, in an attempt to get a handle on what can be expected from an Obama presidency.

Welch says in Part 1 that, “Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson were the first “progressive” reformers who started the process of bringing monarchial symbols to the presidency. George W. Bush famously came up with the idea of the unitary executive, whereby the president is somehow constitutionally above the law. What is interesting about Barack Obama is that he started his campaign as someone who attacked that aspect of the presidency, but then stopped talking about it.

During the inauguration speech Obama said “we reject the false choice between security and our ideals,” but supported Bush in his overriding of the rejected bailout to the auto industry, and in Part 2 below Welch concludes that Obama is going to maintain much of Bush’s second term politics, which saw him more willing to talk to regimes that were “unfavorable” to the United States.

Real News: January 26, 2009 – 9 min 54 sec

The cult of the Presidency


How will George W. Bush’s concept of the “unitary executive” play out under Barack Obama?

Real News: January 26, 2009 –  8 min 31 sec

The cult of the Presidency


The US treats its presidents like kings


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    • Edger on January 27, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    And they march you to the table to see the same old thing.

    Aint no food upon the table, and no pork up in the pan.

    But you better not complain, boy, you get in trouble with the man.

    — CCR, The Midnight Special

  1. with Al-Arabia TV. I haven’t had a chance to watch the whole thing yet.

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