Presidential power is thus a matter of persuasion of the public and the other branches and actors within the government. Today in particular, because of the ability of the President to invoke the information of the intelligence agencies, information which the President has special authority over, he can persuade members Congress that if they do not do his bidding, they are jeopardizing America. When the presidential office was first created, the federal army and navy were far smaller than today -- and only Congress has the power to declare war. Yet many undeclared wars...
Presidents like Gerald Ford have limited the prosecutorial abilities of the nation by bestowing pardons, even changed the nature of American civil liberties through appointing justices to the Supreme Court. But to ensure reelection, to ensure continued support for wars and other ventures, to even ensure that appointees are approved by Congress, the President must have some persuasive capital, with the public, the congress, his own administration, or ideally all three. "Sustaining loyalty" amongst such actors is more important than expanding his defined powers (Neustadt 203). A President that is able to do so, however, can move mountains far in excess of his (or someday her) Constitutionally-defined powers.
Neustadt, Richard E. Presidential Power and the Modern President.…
To wit, in Socrates' day, there were no official government prosecutors (commonly referred to in modern America as "District Attorneys"); in effect, any citizen could bring an indictment against any other citizen, and call for a trial. And that's basically what happened to Socrates. Here in America, in 2006, notwithstanding what Vice President Cheney said, President George W. Bush stated, "I will never question the patriotism of somebody who disagrees
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