Why This Blog?

I confess. It’s an academic requirement for Public Intellectual Practicum — a course in several of the kinds of writing associated with active citizenship. Don’t get me wrong. I love to write about and discuss the current issues. I think it’s an important act of citizenship to do so.

There are many things that interest me, and a few that really, really do concern me – the state of our liberties is one of the big ones. Under that topic, there are many, many issues that are in flux from week to week, even day to day.

On the one hand, these changing issues, though important to discuss, would be difficult to form an answerable question around because it is likely that the questions themselves will be different by the end of the process than they were at the beginning. On the other hand, I don’t want to be stuck working with a moot question. So, I have settled on a topic that, while igniting my passion for liberty, is partly historical and unlikely to change dramatically over the course of a semester. But, there is also an aspect of the topic that is continually unfolding. Here, my conclusions could change over a fairly short time frame. And, that’s risky blogging!

How have executive actions, that is, memorandums, orders and appointments, changed the power of the presidency over time? With that in mind, how might new execute actions effect that power?

Answering these questions will be the primary purpose of my blog for the remainder of this semester. I hope that I’ll still have time to discuss other issues here because they don’t go away simply because one less person is talking about them. And another thing. I hope blogging turns out to be habit forming.

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2 Responses to Why This Blog?

  1. RIVER TALK says:

    You have a lot of material for blog posting in front of you. While some Presidents may have only issued a few executive orders, others issued hundreds or in FDR’s case, thousands. There are questions ranging from legality to appropriateness to outright abuse. I think the extension of Presidential power through executive orders, memorandums and appointments is an exciting historical topic that you can develop through case studies. How will you decide which ones you will select for in-depth discussion?

  2. DebbS says:

    Many executive orders are simply administrative and clearly within the president’s role. On the flip side, there are a few that have been clearly illegal and consequently overturned by the supreme court. Quantity isn’t always indicative of anything except the times. For example, FDR issued a huge number of executive orders, but the vast quantity of those pertained to the war. The ones that I’m going to focus on are those that either extend the role of president directly by dancing on that line between legal and illegal and probably more importantly, those that extend the power of the agencies that report to the president as they are more likely to fly under the radar.

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