While the domestic arena is pretty much impervious to Presidential bullying, except in a national crisis, such as an economic depression, it is only in the realm of foreign policy that a President can make his real mark, as the case of George W. Bush makes all too ominously clear. Congress long ago ceded this arena to the imperial Presidency, abdicating its constitutional duty in the process, and so what happens, every four years, is that we elect a foreign policy dictator who can take us into war -- or out of it -- at will.
Justin Raimondo, 2008:
[T]he growth of presidential power -- epitomized in the openly authoritarian legal "theories" of the current administration, which give the White House something very close to absolute power in wartime -- is greatly accelerated by imperialization. Indeed, this has been the main engine of the growing imbalance of power between the three branches of the federal government. They don’t call it the "imperial presidency" for nothing.
Justin Raimondo, 2009:
In the age of the imperial presidency, where Congress and the people play only an advisory role, the emperor can certainly choose to "listen" to various petitioners, whether they be members of Congress or just ordinary non-titled mortals, but in the end The Decider decides -- and he does so, we are told, in a void, as the vessel of a perfect objectivity, in utter isolation from both lobbyists and the voters who put him in office.
Justin Raimondo, 2018:
Isn’t the President the most powerful person on earth? Doesn’t he (or she!) determine US foreign policy? Well, no, the President is not a dictator, nor is he the final arbiter of US policy: he is, in large part, at the mercy of the 'permanent government,' i.e. the career bureaucrats who persist no matter which party is in power, and without which the government cannot function. ("A President Held Hostage?" 04/19/18)
On one side is the Deep State, with its self-interested globalist leadership so invested in our interventionist foreign policy that even Trump’s limited (albeit surprisingly radical) critique poses a deadly threat to their power. On the other side is Trump, the outsider, who often has to work against and around his own government in order to pursue his preferred policies. ("Saboteurs of Peace: On the Road to Helsinki," 07/16/18)
[P]lease don’t bother me with objections like “But what about our Syria policy?” or “Didn’t he just impose new sanctions on Moscow?” whenever I point to Trump’s transitional role as the harbinger of a new foreign policy. Because the real culprits are the self-selected “officials” of the “steady state” set up by the coup plotters in the White House basement. ("The Seditionists," 09/10/18)