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False Idol

Barack Obama and the Continuing Cult of the Presidency

About the Book


Sharply focused and rigorously researched, False Idol: Barack Obama and the Continuing Cult of the Presidency is a highly compelling examination of both the Obama administration and our fixation on the fable of being led, comforted, and delivered by a presidential savior. If the Obama presidency has infuriated, frustrated, and disappointed many Americans, argues Healy, perhaps that’s due in great part to how we’ve embraced a warped notion of the presidency itself. From Barack Obama’s rise to power and the zeal‐​infused pace of the early Obama administration, and then ensuing domestic and foreign policy actions, Healy demonstrates how even as the President’s popularity and effectiveness erode, his powers continue to expand, revealing how our political culture so deeply needs presidential salvation that even when faith in the office holder wanes, new powers are still delegated to the executive branch.

About the Author

GENE HEALY is vice president at the Cato Institute and author of a number of studies criticizing executive power abuses by presidents of both parties. He has appeared on PBS’s NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and NPR’s Talk of the Nation, among other venues, and his writings have been published in the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, and elsewhere. Healy holds a B.A. from Georgetown University and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.