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POLSCI 21 Comparative Government and Politics

Published : 16-Sep,2021  |  Views : 10


Compare the strategies implemented by the Bush and Obama administration; and apply these as examples to explain presidential discretion and prerogative.

Explain the development of executive power, applying examples of executive behavior implemented, during the Obama and/or Bush observed from the movies, to assess the nature of conflict or conformity with the framer's intent and what they envisioned for this officeholder's power when writing the Constitution.

After watching the movie(s) apply what you learned to defend your interpretation of Article II in relation to types, limitation, or necessary conditions presidential power by assessing if informal powers, outside of the constitution, exist; or if what is enumerated is what the president has executive authority to do.


Political philosophy of John Locke sought for the answer of executive power and prerogative. In government body, the executive has the power to enforce laws for the betterment of the state (Locke). The following essay is going to compare the executive strategies of two major US presidents George W. Bush and Barrack Obama through the analysis of two of their decisions and law enforcement in the United States. this paper is going tto concentrate on two of the maor government issues regarding the enactment of law and dealings. These topics are Cheney’s law of empowering president George W. Bush during the wartime (Fisher).

The first video deal with the secretive meeting and campaign conducted by the then vice President Dick Cheney the empowerment was initiated rather instigated after the grotesque 9/11 attack. Cheney and his lawyer David Adding ton’s law on executive power was interpreted in an extensive way thus exhaling out the constant detention, interrogation, wiretap and spy  of innumerable Americans (specifically the “Outsiders” though). Controversy was created when the law was enacted without the approval or judicial review of the congress. Many of the terms were not even intimated to the congress before the enactment ("Introduction | Cheney's Law | FRONTLINE | PBS").

Almost similar step was followed during the presidential rule of Barrack Obama. Obama’s emergence as a US President was fuelled due to his promise on the establishment of Universal Healthcare hub in the country. the heath care reform process was accelerated in a quite controversial way when the government led by Barrack Obama in association with Rahm Emmanuel. With the elimination of Sen. Ted Kennedy, it wewas confirmed that the health care reform campaign was not going to be an open to all task. As the campaign was severly opposed by different congress members because of its high cost and possible aftermath of the great depression of 2008. There were two major proposed deals with the pharmaceutical industry that somehow enflamed the people because it rejected public opinion and the entire deal was conducted secretly without prior intimation to the majority members of the congress. This time Obama and the executive came up with partisanship. The deal of $80 million could not receive grater support from the congress though the government argued that the deal was made for the betterment of the healt care industry.  It was, as stated by the government, carried away for public sake ("Obama's Deal").

It can be clearly stated that the executive of George W. Bush strongly asserted prerogative. The law passed by congress regarding the national security in post 9/11 United States was immediately reinterpreted and circumvented by enforcing the practice of spying on American individuals thus negating the rules of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.  

Obama was rather, less instinctive in his circumvention of health care terms. He had allegedly “bribed” several pharmaceutical companies to ensure their engagement in business. Obama’s act of prerogatives and discretion did not affect the entire nation whereas that of Georgge W Bush created anguish to millions of Americans.

Having gone through the entire episode of executive discretion, it can be stated that discretion is welcome once it ensures safety and welfare of the country without hampering the social and political balance.


"Introduction | Cheney's Law | FRONTLINE | PBS". Pbs.Org, 2017,

"Obama's Deal". FRONTLINE, 2017,

Fisher, Louis. Presidential war power. University Press of Kansas, 2013.

Locke, John. Second treatise of government and a letter concerning toleration. Oxford University Press, 2016.

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