This is a remarkable bit of egoism. Several other landmarks in our history — the Emancipation Proclamation, the Voting Rights Act, or the Constitution itself — are certainly more consequential steps toward self-government than the inchoate Act. Writing the Act will prove even more difficult with such grandiose expectations.
This delusional sense of history is only a symptom of the larger problem that animates Lessig’s entire project. Consider for a moment what it would mean for a president to insist upon making the Act his sole act of government before resigning.
What if Congress fails to cooperate? How, precisely, will President Lessig force its hand given our constitutional structure? In the meantime, will he govern at all, or leave the trifles of his office — national security and appointments to the judiciary, for instance — to others? What if, heaven forbid, there is a significant attack on America or its interests? Does he honestly expect to serve as president, even for a time, while essentially conceding that he has no expertise or interest in these topics?