obtaining the new power his supposed adversaries had justrnhanded him.rnBut the failure of the “Repubhcan Revolution” is due only inrnpart to the apparently genetic mental inferioritv of Rcpublieansrnand results at least as mueh from the institutional subservieneernof Congress to the presideney and its bureaueraev. Nevertheless,rnif Congress has been absorbed within the digestive tract ofrnthe executive behemoth and has long ceased to perform thernconstitutional function it was designed to have, Congress itselfrnis not entirely at fault, or at least not more so than other institutions,rnpublic or private, which have allowed the behemoth tornescape the cage where republican political structures originallyrnconfined it. The truth is that the executive power, in the formrnof the presidency and the bureaucratic class it leads, has beenrnthe major force pushing the political revolution of the 20th century,rnthe conversion of the Old Republic into the New ManagerialrnEmpire, and while both Congress and courts, states andrnprivate institutions, have allowed the revolution to take place, itrnwas the executive branch and its occupants who initiated thernrevolution and drove it to its completion. n doing so they alsorncompleted the century’s social and cultural revolution, ofrnwhich the political aspect was only a part.rnIndeed, throughout Western history, the expansion of executivernpower has commonly been associated with the destructionrnof an old ruling class and its order and the enthronementrnof new classes and orders, and the redistribution of power hasrnalmost always been billed as a process of progress or liberation.rnSometimes progress and liberation actually ensued, at least asrnthey are understood afterwards, but it is also a process by whichrnone group gains power at the expense of other groups.rnWhether progress and liberation ever mean anything morernthan this is a separate question.rnThus, tyranny in ancient Greece was an enlargement of executivernpower that was commonly associated with the weakeningrn(sometimes the obliteration) of aristocratic classes and thernempowerment of the poor, and the same pattern is evident inrnthe political struggles in Rome at the end of its republic. Fromrnthe Gracchi to Caesar, the goal of the “popular party” was tornget its hands on executive power—in the consulate, the tribunate,rnor the dictatorship—because only from that positionrnwas it possible to resist and overcome the oligarchical power ofrnthe Senate and its nobility. Julius Caesar’s victory resulted inrnchanges in the composition of the Senate that were supposedrnto create a new ruling class centered around him, but the appointmentsrnhe made merely contributed to the hatred the nobilityrnfelt for him and to his eventual murder by its disgruntledrnpartisans. His successors as emperor were usually more cautiousrnin avoiding offenses to the old ruling class, or at least in exposingrntheir bodies to their enemies, but it is no accident thatrnthe enlargement of executive power in their hands and the extinctionrnof the Roman nobility took place in tandem. Muchrnthe same pattern occurred in Tudor England, with the rise of arnmiddle class, composed of landed gentry and merchants, thatrnwedded itself to the Tudor monarchv and its vast confiscationrnof land and wealth in the Reformation.rnThe reason for the repetition of this pattern in history,rnwhereby an old ruling class is challenged b’ an emerging onernwhich allies with and makes use of executive power as a spearheadrnof its revolution, ought to be clear. By its very nature, thernold ruling class tends to monopolize offices and institutions,rnand emerging rivals arc usually unable to gain enough influencernwithin the old institutions and offices to achieve their ends.rnThe emerging class therefore invents new institutions and officesrnthat it can control and use to challenge the old elite, and,rnespecially when the situation requires conflict and coercion, executiverninstitutions and the charismatic leadership of a singlernman are well suited to achieve these goals.rnAmerican history also exhibits this pattern, but it occursrnmainly in this century and not, as many Old Right andrnSouthern conservatives believe, in the Civil War. hideed, arnclose look at Abraham Lincoln reveals not an American Caesarrnor an Illinois Bonaparte but a ill-prepared man who has a strongrnclaim to being the most incompetent President in Americanrnhistory. Of the 15 Presidents who preceded Lincoln in thernWhite House, all had served important apprenticeships as senators,rngovernors, diplomats, secretaries of state, or generals.rnLincoln brought no such experience to the office; he served inrnthe militia during the Black Hawk War but saw no action; hernserved only one term as a congressman and four as a state legislator.rnNominated as the candidate of a new splinter party thatrnwas widely regarded as eccentric if not extremist, he was electedrnto the White House as a fluke, because of the split withinrnthe Democratic Party, with less than 40 percent of the popularrnvote. A man of Lincoln’s political stature and following becomingrnPresident in I860 is comparable to someone like RalphrnNader being elected today, except that Mr. Nader displays farrnmore political sophistication than the Sage of Springfield everrnpossessed.rnBy the time Lincoln was inaugurated in March 1861, sevenrnSouthern states had seceded and the Confederate governmentrnhad been formed. Lincoln betrayed no indication of what hernplanned to do about this crisis of the Union, and it is likely thatrnhe lacked even the foggiest notion of what could be done orrnhow to do it. He merely regurgitated the commonplaces of hisrnmisinformed view of the Constitution, appeared indifferent tornSouthern efforts to resolve the crisis, and ignored the advice ofrnmost of his own cabinet members to evacuate Fort Sumter. Afterrnhaving blundered into the most disastrous war of Americanrnhistory, Lincoln lacked both the military knowledge and thernpolitical skill to resolve it quickly, and his entire administrationrnis a chapter of his own constitutional illiteracy and political ineptitude.rnAs David Donald has written.rnThe President had remarkably little connection with thernlegislation passed during the Civil War. He proposed fewrnspecific laws to Congress.. . . He exerted little influencernin securing the adoption of bills that were introduced. Inrnsome of the most significant legislation enacted duringrnhis administration Lincoln showed little interest. .. . Lessrnthan any other important American President did Lincolnrnuse his veto power. . . . [He] was also ineffectual inrncontrolling the executive departments of the government.rn. . . During his first months as President, Lincolnrndid not schedule regular Cabinet meetings at all. .. .rnThough some of the most important financial legislationrnin American history was adopted during the Civil Warrnyears, Lincoln had little interest in [these laws]…. Evenrnin the conduct of foreign relations the President himselfrnplayed a minor role.rnIt is true that Lincoln did expand the war powers of the presidencyrn(his arguments for them show both logical and factualrnincomprehension of the Constitution), and it is true that he (orrn24/CHRONICLESrnrnrn