What Makes the U.S. Presidency Different?

Jonathan Bernstein is a Bloomberg View columnist. He taught political science at the University of Texas at San Antonio and DePauw University and wrote A Plain Blog About Politics.
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1. At the Washington Post, John Carey has one of the best things I've seen about presidential government in the U.S. He's good on Congress, too, although I'd emphasize the U.S. Congress's capacity just as much as its limits. Bottom line, in addition to his good point that it's very difficult to know which way causation runs in these cases: The U.S.'s presidential system is sufficiently different from other democracies that it's very hard to draw firm lessons from comparative analysis. Not that we shouldn't try; we should! Just that dumping the U.S. into the "presidential system" bin and assuming it's similar to others in that bin is almost always a mistake.

2. William Youmans at the Monkey Cage on what doomed Al Jazeera America.

3. Also at the Monkey Cage, five years on, Laryssa Chomiak has an update on what's going on in Tunisia.

4. Smart point from Brian Beutler about what the personal finances of Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton really say.

5. See also Lee Drutman on rich politicians.

6. Ed Kilgore asks a good question about Bernie Sanders in Iowa.

7. HuffPost's Jonathan Cohn on Louisiana's Medicaid expansion, and how the Barack Obama administration wants to get the last 19 states to do it, too.

8. At Plum Line, Greg Sargent on Paul Ryan's critique of Obama.

9. Nate Silver on Marco Rubio's dilemma

10. Walter Shapiro at Roll Call on the media and Donald Trump.

11. And Dan Drezner looks at the real security threat to Americans.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

To contact the author of this story:
Jonathan Bernstein at jbernstein62@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Brooke Sample at bsample1@bloomberg.net