The Rhetorical Presidency and The Partisan Echo Chamber

Author
Nicole Mellow
Content Type
Journal Article
Journal
Critical Review
Volume
19
Issue Number
2
Publication Date
January 2007
Institution
Critical Review Foundation
Abstract
The rise of a partisan Congress can aggravate some of the pathologies of the rhetorical presidency identified by Jeffrey Tulis: reckless policy production, and the resulting public disillusionment with an overpromising government. In some cases, such as the debate over the invasion of Iraq, the unified ranks of the president's party amplify the president's simplistic rhetoric, reducing policy deliberation and aggravating public disappointment when reality turns out to be more complex. When combined with divided government, however, partisanship can work to produce deliberative compromises that mitigate these pathologies, as exemplified by the welfare-reform legislation enacted by a Republican Congress under a Democratic president in 1996.
Topic
Government