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  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Critical Review
  • Institution: Critical Review Foundation
  • Abstract: With the publication of Jeffrey Tulis's The Rhetorical Presidency, Woodrow Wilson's contribution to a major transformation in the American presidency—and in American politics—came to be recognized. But while Wilson believed that the danger of presidential demagoguery was overrated, forms of demagoguery that he underestimated have undermined the legitimacy of America's presidential democracy, in both its Wilsonian, plebiscitary form; and in the rule by decree to which presidents sometimes turn when their rhetoric does not suffice. The basic problem that Wilson overlooked is the mismatch between effective rhetoric and what can actually be accomplished, even by the most popular of presidents.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Adam D. Sheingate
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Critical Review
  • Institution: Critical Review Foundation
  • Abstract: The Rhetorical Presidency places great importance on the transformative power of political ideas. For Tulis, Progressive ideas informed the rhetorical practices of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson—practices that reconstituted the American presidency. They did so, in part, by trading on the ambiguous nature of the concept of “publicity”—which at once evoked liberal ideals of public deliberation and transparency, and modern practices of manipulative communication. In turn, the new practices of publicity revolutionized not only the American presidency, but American politics as a whole.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: America