The Congress of the 1950s, known as the “textbook Congress”, is quite different than the Congress of the today. Our Author notes six legislative folkways that were noted by political scientist
Daschle, Thomas, and Charles Robbins. The U. S. Senate. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2013.
Throughout the course of American politics, superstar senators have risen from the frameworks of capitol buildings on federal, state, and local levels. Some were ruthlessly manipulative in their desire to achieve success, choosing to push their own agenda for the sake of a spot in history. Others served a more earnest cause, putting their country before their party. From the founding fathers to post World War II America, senators of the extremely partisan kind worked in Washington, these men certainly were not the last of the “cut throat” politicians, their actions setting a precedent for future men and women in their partisan agenda. However, noble men who worked endlessly for the prosperity, safety, and unity of America are often swept
To draw a modern-day analogy, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas used a procedural filibuster as a mechanism to shut down the federal government in opposition to President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. While some argue his political intentions were admirable, his self-interested nature drove his use of underhanded political tactics to achieve his ultimate end. In turn, his actions proved destructive for the public good—costing taxpayers millions of dollars. Supporters of Senator Cruz argue that he chose the right course of action. “The loyalties of every Senator are distributed among his party, his state and section, his country and his conscience.” The competing pressures of party interests, public interests, and personal moral responsibility to vote in the interests of his conscience forces the Senator to compartmentalize himself. As a result, Senator Cruz acted upon his ideal of statesmanship by pursuing private interest instead of adhering to party loyalty.
Throughout the second half of the 20th century, and into the first decade of the 21st century, Wisconsin politics had a well-established tradition of centrist governance, with the ultimate goal of best serving the citizens of Wisconsin. State Senator Tim Cullen (D), who served in the state Senate first between 1975 and 1987, returned to the state Senate in 2010, for fear that state politics was on the brink of hyper partisanship. In his Memoir Ringside Seat: Wisconsin Politics, the 1970’s to Scott Walker Cullen, in cooperation with former high ranking members of both parties, attempts to describe the fundamental differences between the political environment of Wisconsin prior to, and following, Act 10. Importantly, the memoir argues that the
In 1972 when Jesse Helms campaigned for the Senate seat in North Carolina, he brought his experience, policies, and beliefs. Senator Helms became one of the most conservative voices in the Senate. He always opposed members of the Senate, and this soon earned him the nickname “Senator No”. Senator Helms would not compromise his policies or beliefs. He earned the reputation for being stable, faith-based and a conservative. He remained steadfast throughout his career, and his feelings were made clear in this statement, “I want our government to encourage and protect freedom as well as our traditions of faith and family”. During Helms’ career, many of his colleagues in the Senate tried to find compromises on the hard issues. Helms understood the Senate rules and this permitted him to stand firm in his beliefs, and for this reason, he could block legislation that violated his principles, values, and beliefs. Helms rejected many laws such as same-sex marriage, abortion, the Panama Canal treaty, and communism to name a few. I will now explain how Senator Helms felt about these four laws.
Congressional members are influenced by their subjective experiences as well as their intellectual and psychological dispositions in dealing with the variability of global politics. Foreign policies, such as declarations of war, are conceived with the intent to defend congressional interests to protect the powers of Congress. Senators and Representatives frequently determine their stance on an issue by determining how it would impact their appointment to higher office, chances for reelection, and improving their influence and legacy. Once Members of Congress have established their interests, the United States Constitution provides the framework of how Congressional interests are conveyed into laws. The lawmaking process, however, may be a tedious
From the rousing introduction, Chris Mathews' Hardball presents itself as a godsend to young aspiring politicians, businessmen, and frankly, everyone alike. Pompously self-assured, Mathews discusses his reasoning to sharing his wisdom collected from his own experience and other major players in "Hardball". However after finishing the book, his audacity could be forgiven by the enjoyable nature of his work, the information it provides, and the uncanny resemblance to Benjamin Franklin's writing style. In the first section of Mathews' self-proclaimed "classic" and political manifesto, he presents the world of politics through a series of informative--if not redundant--phrases, historical examples, and his own experience in Washington.
It was in this spirit that I was honored to serve as a U.S. Senate Page this past summer. Working daily on the floor of the so-called “greatest deliberative body in the world” made me further recognize the beauty of democracy. I gained such an appreciation for Congress by having a front row seat to America’s lawmaking, which exposed me in new ways to the problems and issues that we as a nation must confront.
The purpose of this paper is intended to summarize my views on what has influenced my understanding of politics and government prior to taking this class, and how my understanding is now since completing this course.
The authors of this book are Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein. Mann is the senior fellow in Governance Studies and W. Averell Harriman Chair at The Brookings Institution. He has worked as the director of the American Political Science Association. As for Ornstein, he is a political scientist that is the resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. He also writes a weekly column called "Congress Inside Out" for Roll Call.
Toward the end of that first week I got a stark lesson in politics. Tom Linton, Director of the Division of Marine Fisheries, and I rode the same bus to work as we lived fairly near each other. One afternoon late in that first week he stopped by my office and asked if I wanted to accompany him on a visit to New Hanover County Senator John Burney’s office in the Legislative Building on the way to the bus stop. Linton had promoted development of a bill that would allow ¼ of 1% of the un-rebated motorboat fuel tax to be assigned to his program for research and development. Burney was handling the bill in the Senate. The door was open to Burney’s office and he was standing with his back to us as we walked in. Linton, in his usual “hail-fellow-well-met” manner asked Burney how his [Linton’s] motor boat fuel tax bill was faring. Burney did not respond for what seemed an eternity. Then he slowly turned, faced Linton, stuck his finger at Linton’s chest and said, “Doctor, I asked you for a favor on a permit 10 days ago, you have done nothing with my request and your motor boat fuel tax bill will rot in hell.” Linton was taken aback and Burney turned back to shuffling papers on his desk. Then he turned again and, with a sly grin, growled, “Politics is hell, Doctor.” We both backed out of Burney’s office and walked to the bus stop in
We all have personalities and that is what makes us, us. Likewise, Senators and Representors use their personality to build relationships with each other as well as other members of the government. These relationships are very compelling to the dynamics of Capitol Hill. Dr. Zwellings use Senator Ted Kennedy as an example. He brings forth the truth that Senator Kennedy was well respected by many of his colleagues. This said respect was giving birth due to the “long standing, deep”, according to Dr. Zwellings, and great relationships that Senator Kennedy shared with them. It was brought to my attention by Dr. Zwellings that if Senator Kennedy had any part of the Health Care Reform, then the bill would have passed in three months instead of the fourteen months it took. Why? Because of Kennedy’s established relationship. The squabbling among the Republicans is what caused the delay of the
This desire has been a driving force beyond more than my time with the National Parks Service and academic career. My advocacy for my preferred candidate as a persuasion captain on caucus night comes from the same place as my case for American opportunity delivered at the birthplace of Herbert Hoover, a desire to passionately advocate for what I believe to be important. This has meant leading a band of out-of-state volunteers south to Keokuk on a January Saturday and dashing through apartment buildings an hour before polls close in a bid to overcome pervasive midterm election
Wilson Q. James. American Government, Brief Version. 11th ed. Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. 2009, 2012, 2014.