Americans have come to see the president as a figure responsible for solving all our problems and fulfilling all our hopes and dreams. Is it any wonder then that the presidency has burst its constitutional bonds and grown powerful enough to threatenWhy pick on just the 20th century? Activist presidents like Jefferson (Louisiana Purchase), Jackson (Indian "removal"), Lincoln (Civil War), and Grant (Reconstruction) -- and their worshippers -- are all over the 19th century.
Using historical scholarship, legal analysis, and cultural commentary, my book traces the growth of the Imperial Presidency over the course of the 20th century, showing how the Imperial Presidency has been a regularly recurring feature of American life for nearly a century. George W. Bush has, in short, followed a path marked out by history’s ‘great’ presidents.
I'm curious enough to ask, but probably not curious enough to actually read the book: does Healy confront the problem that sometimes liberties conflict? The "rights" to secede and to hold black people in bondage were surely infringed by activist presidents, but allowing those "liberties" probably would have hindered the expansion of corporate capitalism across a large uniformly governed area. If Healy is expounding an actual political philosophy and not just playing ventriloquist's dummy for a certain portion of the upper crust, he'll produce a rationale that goes beyond just hating on the New Deal.