The Christian Humanist Podcast, Episode #85: The Federalist Papers, Vol. 3

General Introduction
– Manageable outcomes assessment
– Midterm grades vs. Fall Break
– Listener feedback
– Teaching rhetoric at Christian colleges

The Controversy Over the President
– What the Anti-Federalists worried about
– Classical fears
– Anti-monarchical fever
– Fascists and communists
– Serraglia and Janissaries

Hamilton Responds
– Frequent elections (but not term limits)
– Impeachment and censuring
– Congressional approval
– Commander-in-chief
– Pardoning power
– Convening and breaking Congress
– President vs. governor

Commander-in-Chief
– Congressional approval
– Battlefield and ceremony
– War and the use of force

The Presidential Power of Pardon
– The wisdom of the individual
– Pardoning traitors
– How Enlightened
– The (very incomplete) history of the pardon

A Less-Interesting Power
– Appointing officers
– Congressional approval (again)
– Checks and balances

Presidents We Like
– Eisenhower stands up to Israel
– Nixon succeeds despite the worst of intentions
– Pardoning the draft-dodgers
– We almost discuss the Supreme Court
– Jefferson vs. the pirates

5 thoughts on “The Christian Humanist Podcast, Episode #85: The Federalist Papers, Vol. 3

  1. There have been presidents who have not pardoned anyone. I had to look it up as I only knew of you, but it turns out there were two. Neither one served a whole year in office. The two are William Henry Harrison and our one and only Stone-Campbell president, James A Garfield.
    What would the Federalist think of our current system which involves petitioning for pardon and that there is now an Office of the Pardon Attorney in the Deportment of Justice?
    In keeping with the presidential election theme, at least one man were pardoned and then later ran for president, John C. Fremont.

    1. BradWarfield As I said in the podcast, when I first started reading the Federalist back in ’08, the relative unimportance of “Commander in Chief” and the strong emphasis on pardons really impressed me–I came to realize that there was much wisdom in the way that Hamilton and Jay and Madison imagined the government operating, much wisdom that we had cast aside.  
      With regards to petitions for pardon, that strikes me as analogous to professional lobbyists’ becoming the standard way that the first-amendment right to bring grievances happens.  It’s unfortunate in some ways, but it does seem to follow the letter of the law.
      With regards to Stone-Campbell presidents, I assume you’re on the side of the debate that doesn’t consider Ronald Reagan “one of us” since his a cappella roots don’t seem to have followed him to Washington.  Do I get that wrong?

    2. Actually I was more interested in which side of my pillow to sleep upon when I wrote that. I had forgotten about Reagan. I suppose we shouldn’t claim him as every Republican candidate not named Ron Paul already claim him.

  2. For next week, some provocative statements about chess from George Steiner’s “A Death of Kings”:
    “There are three intellectual pursuits, and so far as I am aware, only three, in which human beings have performed major feats before the age of puberty. They are music, mathematics, and chess.”
    “To defeat another human being at chess is to humble him at the very roots of his intelligence; to defeat him easily is to leave him strangely stripped.”
    “There are more possible variants in a game of chess than, it is calculated, there are atoms in this sprawling universe of ours.”

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