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All this helps explain why, as an empirical matter, there is less political freedom in presidential than in parliamentary countries. A road back, in America, requires a political party committed to constitutional government and the indispensable role of Congress. Were that to be the Republican Party, it would have to be one that distinguishes itself from “presidentialists” of either the left or right who seem to believe that “their” presidents should have powers never envisioned by our Founders.

F.H. Buckley is a foundation professor at George Mason School of Law and the author of “The Once and Future King.” (Encounter Books, April 2014).