Power, Domination, Legal, Authority in the Obama Administration

Power, Domination, Legal, Authority in the Obama Administration

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Karl Weber, a sociologist and political economist, describes authority as a form legal domination. Followers comply with the rules of these individuals because they consider their authority to be legitimate. While the legitimacy of domination does not have to be rationality, right, or natural justice, it is legitimate because individuals accept, obey, and consider domination to be required. The president of the United States is considered a traditional, legal and charismatic authority, where the legitimate domination rests on the idea of the legality of enacted rules for these individuals elevated to their status to give commands. The news article Obama's Executive-Power Use Shows He Still Holds Some Cards by NPR.com shows the President Barrack Hussein Obama II, the 44th president of the United States, as a traditional, legal and charismatic authority figure based on the characteristics of domination defined by Karl Weber.
The president can use his executive power to issue rules, regulations, and instructions, that are binding, yet do not require legislative approval. This use of executive power will allow President Obama to “do an end-run around the impasse created by congressional Republicans who…block virtually any controversial legislation.” By altering their current path the Obama administration can focus on renovating current housing polices, allowing homeowners to refinance their homes and avoiding massive foreclosure. This "we can't wait" initiative will also focus on making changes to college loan policies, in order to ease graduating students concerns with repaying federal loans and provide hope for potential students considering college. As the incumbent candidate, President Obama’s "we can't wait" initiative, will “allow him to actually put into effect real changes as opposed to merely proposing them.” These changes will allow the President to campaign against the GOP candidates, in the 2012 election, “by contrasting his specific policy changes against” their “lack of any policies other than to stand by and watch.”
By interpreting this article through Max Weber’s theory of power, domination, legitimation, and authority, the reader is shown the aspects that validate Obama’s authority and legitimacy of the presidential domination over the American people. The United States Presidency shows Weber’s concept of consecutive domination becoming a structured system that is regularly accepted by society. President Obama can be seen as defining Weber’s concept of power, because through his use of the presidential power of executive order he achieved his own will over the resistance of the republican congressional legislators. This patrimonialism type of setup is exemplified by the United States Presidents authority through administration and represents the traditional authority of the Presidents power.

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President Obama’s use of his executive power to issue rules, regulations, and instructions, that are binding, yet do not require legislative approval, shows the discretion and full extent of our leader’s power over subordinate groups involved in our branches of government. The second type of legitimate domination is presented through charismatic authority, in which an individual presents qualities that are seen by followers to be considered necessary of a leader. In 2008, this concept presented itself with the election of President Obama who won 52.9% of the votes and had a 79% approval rating. With only143 days of experience in senate and no military experience, Obama’s personality and promise of change helped him defeat John McCain, who served 26 years in the senate and 22 years in the military. The concept of legal and rational authority is present in Obama’s legal actions to use his executive power instead of enacting future proposals to be denied by the republican congress. This power granted to the President to issue executive orders is granted to this authority figure under “executive power” in Article II, Section 1, Clause 1 of the Constitution. President Obama displays this legal authority theory through being challenged by subordinate groups and GOP candidates. Also, his actions over previously passed legislation being ineffective might be because dramatic changes in the setup of our system cannot be preserved very quickly making them appear ineffective.
This article relates to this class based on Max Weber’s theory of power, domination, legitimation, and authority. The reader sees the effects of the president, a powerful figure in our government, using his legal authority and charisma to cause change while adhering to Max Weber’s theology of legal domination. Viewing the legal aspects that the president must adhere to we see the current setup of our legal system as something that is problematic and unrealistic to cause change. While this setup has always been there dominating the American people the recent inability for our leaders to work together to cause change, is resulting in a struggle similar to Quebec. The people are looking for change and are getting tired of the toddlers in congress not willing to work together.

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