Intro to American Politics Class Notes by JohnMValentine

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									Introduction to American Politics Notes Early discussions - How founding fathers took people - Politics is conflict of any sort - Not a static definition - Conflict over resources, ideas, power, decision-making - Conflicts that arise from social interaction create the need… Historical setting - French and Indian War (7 yrs. War) 1756-1763 o War of land (Ohio) o British won, raised money by taxing colonies o Local conflicts (Boston Massacre, Tea Party) Revolutionary War 1775-1781 Articles of Confederation: 1781-1789 - No executive branch…weak central government - Delegates chosen by state legislatures - No power to tax - No army - Each state had 1 vote (Multiple Delegates) - No feeling of collective nature - Way of strong central government Shay’s Rebellion: 1787 - Farmers revolt - Daniel Shays (1747?-1825, born Hopkinton, MA), a former Revolutionary Army captain, led a rebellion by farmers against unsettled economic conditions and against politicians and laws which were grossly unfair to farmers and working people in general. They protested against excessive taxes on property, polling taxes which preented the poor from voting, unfair actions by the court of common pleas, the high cost of lawsuits, and the lack of a stable currency. They rallied for the government issue of paper money, since at the time there were a variety of paper monies in circulation, but not much was honored at face value. A campaign for "sound money" rallied for the issue of a gold-backed currency. The revolutionary war was over, but The United States had yet to form formal government organizations. The contstitutional congress had yet to convene, and the country was in chaos. The rebels protested against governmental and court systems that were wrought with dictatorial and oppressive regimes and against excessive salaries for government and court officials. (States wouldn’t send their own militias to help calm them…Call for national army…Federal government) Intellectual Setting - John Locke (1632-1704) o Natural rights (liberty, protect property) o Declaration of independence o Liberalism  Minimal government  Liberty protects us from the government  Negative freedoms (Freedom from) rather than positive freedoms (freedom to)

o Fear of executive power o Fear of direct democracy Constitutionalism - Belief that all rules are supreme - Fed #51 – “If men were angels, no government would be necessary” - Fed #10 – “Enlightened statesman will not always be at the helm” - A way to create a government controlled by the people but can survive no matter what they do with it - Written rules can create powers but also limit them - Document is supreme - Allows for peaceful transition of power Constitutional Convention - How should power be allocated o VA plans vs. NJ Plan vs. CT compromise  VA – 2 houses – upper chosen by lower  NJ – All states have 1 vote in 1 house  CT – House and senate (Senate selected by others)  Nebraska – only state with 1 house - How should executives be elected o Popular vs. indirect vote o Small vs. large states o Electoral college (# of congressional members + 2 senators) o If no majority in electoral college, house votes 3rd party difficulties - Different requirements for getting on state ballots - Psychological aspect - 1st past the post…want the guy with the most (plurality system) - Winner-take-all system - Duverger's Law is a principle which asserts that a first-past-the-post election system naturally leads to a two-party system. - Need 5% of the vote to get federal funding - Logic o Entrepreneurial politics o Sometimes taking a leadership position in a 3rd party was a way to gain credibility for a jump to a major party Slavery - 3/5 compromise (Representation) - Allowed constitution to pass - Perpetuated an institution that was set up for conflicts Balance of power - Bleak view of human nature - Madison – “Ambition must be made to counter ambition” - Separate institutions sharing power - Government is a reflection of what our lawmakers think about human nature - Separate constituencies, overlapping jurisdiction

Republicanism - Indirect democracy - Representative government - Popular government with reps elected to serve public good Absence of equality - Slavery accepted - Economic inequality accepted - No mention of political equality 9/12/05 Confirmation Hearing of John Roberts starts today

Results - Republicanism o Indirect democracy o Representative government - Absence of equality o Slavery accepted o Economics inequality accepted o No mention of political equality  1 person, 1 vote comes later  No issue of donating money for campaigns o Combo of majority rule and minority rights  Balanced risks Selling the Constitution - Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists - Federalist Papers: Madison, Jay, Hamilton o Political propaganda supporting Constitution o Natural right were assumed. Didn’t want a laundry list of rights - Anti-Federalists - Bill of rights: o Natural right assumed vs. need enumeration o Bill of rights added to appease anti-Federalists o Anti-Federalists believed that centralization of government will cause corruption o Wanted natural rights stated explicitly in Constitution

Differing views on human nature (Federalists and Anti-Federalists - Anti-Federalists o You have ideas of what people will do if left to their own devices. Self-interest. o Pessimistic. Need a more local level of government to keep people in check o DIDN’T TRUST ELITES o More in favor of Federalism… - Federalists o DIDN’T TRUST THE MASSES - Both were cynical of human nature but disagreed over which form of government would deal with human deficiencies best.

Federalist paper #10 is about factions - When factions get to be too large and powerful, minority gets disregarded - 1. We must control the cause of factions (Would have to restrict liberties, cannot). Factions are a natural grow of right to assembly, freedom of speech. - 2. Control the effects of the faction (Yes, prevent one faction from dominating) o Need large republican authority with direct democracy o Filtration process: Indirectly electing our leaders, better quality o Large jurisdiction of government so having so many different interest groups…No one interest would get too large. - Cannot eliminate factions through conformism or authoritarianism - “liberty is to faction what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires” - Necessary evil - 2 kinds of factions – composed of minority (monarchy) and majority (democracy). Madison counters direct democracy - Republican form of government reduces tyranny by diluting factious spirit - Pluralism – Madisonian view that competing interests will have greatest say in public policy Anthony Downs, An Economic Theory of Democracy - 2 party system the parties deliberately change their platforms to conform with one another while a multi-party platform the parties seek to distinguish themselves from each other - They move together from both sides in order to attract the middle of the road voters - Each party cannot surpass the other parties on either side - The winner-take-all in the plurality structure leads to 2 major parties Earl Black and Merle Black, “The rise of southern republicans” - Collapse of the democratic south and emergence of southern republicans - “The Great White Switch” appeared after Congress and Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Republican Barry Goldwater defeated Johnson in the south - Reagan made the party respectable - Because of the close competition of the 2-party system, each election cycle brings great competition. Tocqueuville, “Democracy in America” - Democratic social condition - Men here are seen on a greater equality in point of fortune and intellect than any country in the world - Equal upon all - They had better notions of the right and the principles of true freedom Cornel West, “Race Matters” - We confine discussions about race in America to the problems black people pose for whites rather than consider what this way of viewing black people reveals about us as a nation. - We don’t acknowledge the widespread mistreatment of black people - They need new black leadership and public intervention to ensure the basic good to survive Michael Kammen, “People of Paradox” - Americans expect their heroes to be everyman and superman simultaneously - The US is like a superhighway…Unity to diversity and opposite as well


You cannot see what is going on else ware, and cannot easily turn around and go the other way. Also, we stop every once and a while and pay.

Sarah Vowell, “The Partly Cloudy Patriot” - Patriotism is making a comeback…After 9/11 flags flied everywhere - The term patriot is by definition skeptical of the government

Federalist #51 - Problem of self-governance - “If men were angel, no government would be necessary” - Deals with the delegation problem of keeping agents honest - Pitting politicians against one another through checks and balances and separations of power - “Ambition must be made to counter ambition” o Separating governmental authority over several branches, each having authority to check each other o Elective offices over appointed offices o Bicameralism – senate and house o The different governments control each other – state and federal Federalist #39 – Madison - Importance of representative government - Establishing the Constitution is a federal act, not a national act - Our government is not wholly national or federal Federalist 46 – Madison - The people are lost in the equation of state and national power…They are the people’s trustees. - State or national government will gain more power over the other only if the people find it necessary in order to form a better administration David Osborne, “Laboratories of Democracy” - Bruce Babbit, Arizona Governor, created a modern and forward-thinking Arizona political system - Judge Brandeis viewed states as laboratories of democracy in which the progressives could experiment with new solutions to social and economic problems. Those that worked could be incorporated nationally and the failures could be discarded. - Tests could be made on a limited scale, then brought to the nation if successful - Babbit created a strong governor profile in Arizona. He began by vetoing bills and creating ways to help the environment. He also invested greatly in Arizona State University, to increase the educational inputs in the state. He also increased medical research funds and programs United States v. Lopez - Enumerated powers…Dictates what national and state governments can control - Affirmed that national had overstepped its bounds and that gun control in schools will be a right granted to the states. This comes in opposition to the previously affirmed “Gun free School Zones Act” which gave the national government more power over school gun control issues Passion, emotion is bad for politics…Is what they thought. Rely more on well-thought out reasoning. Madisonsms to memorize

1. Ambition must be made to counteract ambition 2. If men were angel, no government would be necessary 3. Liberty is to faction what air is to fire There will be clashes over everything Democratic politics requires compromise and vigilance Free societies will have politics (Conflict. Who gets what, why, and how)

Critique: Central government is too big Critique: Central government is too small - Can the government move quickly enough because it is too big or small? - Proposals to lengthen terms of senators - Better off with parliamentary system…More organized system - Do the states have too much power? Too little power? - New York Times editorial…Georgia, need ID for voting power. - Anti-Democratic? We don’t have direct Democracy - Not enough attention to equality - Electoral college prevents 1 person, 1 vote 09/14/05 Conflict within consensus o Most of us want the system that we have o Agree on main structure of how processes operate o No calls for different form of government or new Constitution o We are all internally conflicted about issues o Conflict on how to implement these feature of government

Federalism - Political system with local units of government and a national government, each with their own jurisdiction o Against  Confusion in implementing policy  Federalism giving too much power to the state gives leeway for discrimination  Implementation: How do you tell if your policy is as generous as the Federal policy o For  Concentrated power is dangerous  States can be very creative. Locally grow efforts to meet community needs can be more specific and easier to work.  National government looks to states for advice in making decisions  With a central government, citizens would fail to do their part without presence in peoples’ lives  Vigilance important in preventing corruption - In mid 90s and Supreme Court rulings returned power to the states 3 conditions for the federal system 1. Same people and territory included in all levels of government 2. Constitution protects units at each level of government from encroachment by another 3. Each unit can exert leverage over other units

Debates about proper relationship between states and federal government persist - What does “one person, one vote” look like under Federalism? o In electing the President, it applies within states, but not across them o 1 person, 1 vote within each state o States are still meaningful political entities o People in power don’t want to make decisions to decrease their own power - Madison: the states are partly coequal societies, partly unequal members of the same society - Questions of loyalty and identity o Uniformity plus variation across political units Dual federalism – State and national government preside over mutually exclusive spheres of sovereignty Shared federalism – National and state governments jointly supply services to the citizenry (Current state) Shared federalism means anything but dual…complexities like social security done by national But gives states responsibilities James Bryce, “The American Commonwealth” - The problem which all federalized nations have to solve is how to secure an efficient central government and preserve national unity, while allowing free scope for the diversities, and free play to the…members of the federation - It is…to keep the centrifugal and centripetal forces in equilibrium, so that neither the planet state shall fly off into space, nor the sun of the Central Government draw them into its consuming fires Dual Federalism – There are clearly defined roles for state and national government How Congress and states work together - Categorical grants – specific rules…states acting like clerks carrying out government wishes - Block grants – given to states to achieve specific purpose…states given freedom - Unfunded mandates – Congress tells states to do something and doesn’t give money - Enticements – if you do something on policy X, we’ll give you money for policy Y. (Drinking age raise to 21 and federal highway funding) Pederson - National government best for redistribution income (means tested) - State government best suited for economic development (benefit everybody) - Competition amongst states is good…for healthy infrastructure - Race to the bottom – every states being most restrictive Federalism and Welfare reform - Set 5 year lifetime limits on cash assistance - Work requirements - AFDC (Aid to families with dependant children) replaced with TANF (Temporary) Purposes of TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) - Provide assistance to needy families so children may be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives - End the dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work, and marriage - Reduce incidence of out-of-wedlock marriages - Encourage two-parent families

HAVA: Help Americans Vote Act (2002) - Mix of mandates and enticements - This is a federal law…adaptations from federal law to state’s issues - Mandates: o Provide and ID when registering, or first time voting if no ID was given when voter is registering o Allow provisional voting (allow vote even if registration is disputed; put ballot aside and determine eligibility later) - Enticements o Upgraded machinery not required, but federal funds are available if states choose to upgrade o Certain upgrades for disability access required by 2006 The supremacy clause – “This Constitution, and the law of the United States which shall be made in pursuance of, shall be the Supreme law of the land.” Elastic Clause – Allows Congress to “make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers.” Tenth amendment – All powers not given to Congress shall be had of the states.

Representing interest Congress - Make Federal law while representing local interest - House of representatives is the people’s branch - Congressional record – Transcript of everything that gets said on the floor of Congress. - - Discrepancy between Congress the institution and Congress the members - Institution remains high, opinion of members low Necessary and proper clause – Stretched the powers of Congress. The single most extensive grant of power in the Constitution Powers of Congress - Only Congress can declare war, finance a militia and war. Senate ratifies treaties, approves ambassadors, approves Supreme Court Justices. - Bills concerning revenue-raising activity must originate in house, but senate can amend when they get the bills. - House ceiling of 435 seats established in 1911 when house decided that further growth would impede their work. States lose and gain reps according to decade-long population shifts - Gerrymandering – Redrawing districts to cement a state’s party majority. One cannot gerrymander according to racial, ethnic, or political party lines. Why the re-election rate is lower among senate members than house members 1. States are more diverse than districts 2. States are more likely to have balanced competition 3. Senate races bring more experienced and better financed challengers 4. Challengers can get their messages out better through state media markets

Presidential coattails – A member of one party winning the presidency and pulling a party’s other candidates into office In midterm elections, the president’s party almost always loses congressional seats. Individual members of Congress usually rate better than the opinions of Congress itself, but their party and their congressional body affect their fate. Ex. A democratic senator will get fewer votes if there is a democratic president, a senate scandal, and a democratic scandal. Logrolling – a legislative practice in which members of Congress offer support to each other’s votegaining projects or tax-breaks. Drawback – collective blame for failures Pork barrel legislation – measures earmarking projects for individual member’s districts Hamilton, “Federalist 69” - The real character of the executive David Mayhew, “Congress: the Electoral Connection” - Motivation of members in Congress is 1-dimentional: re-election - To be reelected, politicians advertise, take credit for goodies that flow to their districts, and take positions on political issues - Franking – to send out massive amounts of mail to constituents in order to gain name recognition. House members can do it al they want, but senators can’t. Senate members get TV face-time more than house members. - Casework – doing small favors for people in districts or states. Giving assistance to constituents Richard Fenno, “Home Style” - Concept of “presentation of self” in order to win trust from constituents - Delegate and trustee models of representation - Legislators want people to trust them enough to give them voting leeway. - Presentation of self enhances trust, trust enhances acceptability of explanations, this enhances voting leeway, and therefore presentation of self enhances voting leeway - Maybe we can never understand the activity in Washington of our representatives without analyzing the home style to react to voters and the needs and wants of his/her constituency David Price, “The Congressional Experience” - Congressman lead an extremely busy lifestyle. Daily schedules are filled quite quickly, and sometimes things have to be ignored unless constituency is present - The task is to work on challenges in campaigning and governing in a way that offers credibility and enthusiasm - It has been too easy for Congressmen to put down Congress to gain a short-term reelection, but, if done on a massive scale, will cause 435 small cuts that have led to dissatisfaction with Congress as a whole

Hate Congress; love my Congressperson - Both members and institution held in low regard - Members disliked more than the institution Why do people hate Congress?


Inefficient Inequitable Petonic fever…Enthralled with Congress and lifestyle…lose values and ethic People say they like the institution, but maybe people just don’t like Democracy o Compromise vs. selling-out o Debate vs. bickering o Inefficiency vs. incompetence o Representation vs. special interests o Openness means mess is out there for all to see

“Laws are like sausages: it is better not to see them being made.” – Otto von Bismark “Congress is the gastro-intestinal tract of the American political system.” – America, Jon Stewart “If a group of planners sat down and tried to design a pair of American national assemblies with the goal of serving members’ reelection needs year in and year out, they would be hard pressed to improve on what exists.” – Political scientist David Mayhew Models of representation - Representation as extent to which MC (member of Congress) votes match constituent opinions. o Trustee: “Mother knows best.” o Delegate: Always follow the public will (Requires citizens to have compelling and informed views) o There are no term limits in Congress Term limits - Alleged PROS o Less concerned with special interests o Less concern with Congressional lifestyle and perks o More freedom to act as a trustee - Alleged CONS o Elections provide accountability o MCs need time to learn how Congress works o Seniority is valuable for constituents “Franking” – Members of Congress have budget to send mail to their constituents…Advantages over challengers Irwin Gertzog, “Congressional Women” - The Clarence Thomas hearings changed the way women were handled and dealt with in Congress. - At the beginning, Congress was a male’s club. Cloak Room, sexist remarks. - But when there were many vacancies for the 103rd Congress, women filled 15 seats and created a new trend Maurilio Virgil, “Hispanics in Congress” - The Congressional Hispanic Caucus should be united but remains divided on many issues, rendering them useless - Hispanics are still underrepresented in Congress, and political leaders must usher in a resurgence of Hispanic representatives. Mark Monmonier, “Bushmanders and Bullwinkles”


Gerrymander – Governor Gerry of MA, snaked Essex County in MA Bushmander – New York State’s 12th District, Hispanics. “Bullwinkle District, Bush administration (antlers…thin and fragile district) Should race, shape, and geography matter? No, yes, yes

Robert Reich, “Locked in the Cabinet” -

9/21/05 Models of representation Representation as extent to which demographic characteristics of MC match demographic characteristics of constituents/American people Substantive vs. descriptive representation o Ex. Do blacks represent blacks better than whites? o People tend to vote with their constituencies o Policy votes vs. drafting legislation o Is representation more than just what a person votes?  Writing legislation, sponsoring legislation  We have single member districts  What if we had 10 member districts? o Calls into question of having representation based on geography  Question of redistricting

Redistricting - # of districts determined by Congress after decennial Census - Control of district lines rests with states - Partisan control of state legislature can be very important o Party that has the majority can decide district lines. o Others have non-partisan committee o 5 republicans, 5 democrats o Ballot initiative to make it non-partisan (People in power unlikely to want to give it away) Major-minority districts: milestone - 1982: VRA (Voting rights act) amendments. - Partisan and racial gerrymandering – Deliberate redistricting to influence the outcome of elections - Redistricting is favorable for white republicans because they can group all minorities together and increase their representation - 1986: Thornburg v. Gingles: upheld 1982 amendments - 1993: Shaw v. Reno: Race can’t be only factor - 1995: Miller v. Johnson: Upheld Shaw - 1996: Shaw v. Hunt: Supreme Court declares NC 12th unconstitutional. Redrawn in 1997. (Territorial community must be preserved) Evaluating the quality of representation we receive depend son how we define representation and on how we define interests


What role should constituent opinion be?

Bureaucracy Part of executive branch The complex structure of offices, tasks, rules, and principles of organization that are employed by all large-scale institutions to coordinate effectively the work of their personnel. The departments, agencies, bureaus, and offices that perform the functions of the government. Rely on Congress for mission, funding, and directives. (Oversight) Civil servants, shadow government (private entities the government hires), cabinet members o The spoils system is the democratization of civil service (President Andrew Jackson)  Led to bureaucratization of the government.  Division of labor  Career system  Specific goals  Abstract rules o Federalist Years – Washington sought to employ civil servants of character and who were respected in their communities.

Robert Reich “Locked in the Cabinet” - Clinton’s Secretary of Labor - Criteria for civil servants o They should share the President-elect’s values o They should be knowledgeable and competent about the policies they’ll administer. o They should be good managers - “I’m flying blind” The vast majority of those in the labor dept are civil servants. For years they have been treated like shit. They feel unappreciated by politicians. “Bureaucracy”, by James Wilson - Problems of bureaucracy o Accountability o Fiscal integrity o Equity o Efficiency  A government that is slow to build a rink but is honest and accountable in governing may be an efficient government o With all the rules and regulations and the insatiable desire to use government to rationalize society, we still have the ability to progress Privatization – taking responsibility away from public sector and handing it to the private sector Deregulation – reducing hoops to get things done.

Red tape - Complex rules and procedures one has to follow in order to get something done through bureaucratic channels - People may not appreciate what gets done on a daily basis


o Census, building highways, social security, Medicare, immigration, grants for research, reporting officials in different countries. The blame doesn’t lay with the agency, sometimes headache comes from Congress giving them little funding, poor directions, ect. Red tape grows out of efforts to combat discrimination, protect people form power of state, and help maintain accountability. OSHA – Inspect conditions of workplaces. (Issue fines, appeals, settlements) Done to protect a relatively powerless group Red tape creates paper trails Reduce points of access to government. Want to reduce attempts to corrupt Private companies want efficiency as the main goal…get more done with less Government wants justice, need to guard against temptation for corruption

Discretion - If you have a special circumstance that is not reflected in the rules, maybe the person who will audit you uses discretion…Freedom of interpretation when it comes to enforcing the law…Cops pulling over people ten miles over speed limit Is being efficient sufficient? - For which services are we willing to give up some efficiency so that the good can be provided fairly and objectively? - For which services is efficiency the main priority? o Ex. Wollman Rink in Central Park Pendleton Act, 1883 - Civil Service Reform Act - To remove politics from the implementation of policies - To combat corruption and patronage (giving jobs as political favors) - Honesty, accountability, transparency is all working against efficiency - IDIQ – certain things FEMA always needs during a disaster - Logic: Put 10% of government jobs under the merit system - Attempt to end the spoils system - Class of federal employment given through competitive exams

How do we define efficiency? - Wilson o When you take into account all of the competing values government tries to balance, maybe it is efficient after all o Maybe we just need to broaden our definition To guard against executive branch getting too strong - 4 year term; impeachable - Veto override (3/4 vote) - Congressional authority over: o War declaration o Treaties o Cabinet/judicial appointments o The federal budget

To allow authoritative and wise action - Vague specification of duties - Insulated from popular will - Stricter requirements for eligibility Why has executive power grown over time? - Technology – President appeals to the people - Federalism - Congress – Executive delegation (every time Congress commissions an authority) - Particular Presidents – FDR and others push the limits on what the executive branch can do What makes a president great? - Individual qualities (functioning under stress, accept criticism, defensiveness) - Willing to reconsider her views - Delegation ability - Strength - Crisis management - Legislative compliments - Political skills - Character - Persuasiveness (Neustadt) - Being in the right place at the right time Richard Norton Smith, presidential historian - “History rewards the risk-takers.” o But not all risks are worth taking - Greats are remembered “for the boldness of their actions in defending principles that outlive any administration Logic – The Presidency Constitution - President as Commander in chief and Head of State - President as Chief Executive o Executive privilege allows the president to hold information from the courts o Executive orders – formal instructions given unless another president or congress nullifies it, or a federal court rules that it violates con law. They establish agencies and alter policies. o Take care clause – A smaller class of executive orders based on presidential assertions of authority given in the Constitution - President as legislator o State of the union address o The veto - Institutional presidency o EOP – Executive office of the president – National Security Council people and environmental people. Office of management and budget. o White House Office - President as strategic actors Schlesinger, “The Imperial Presidency” - The imperial presidency has formed from the creation of foreign policy…doctrines…


The decay of the traditional party system…Ticket-splitting, independent voting…party loyalty becomes weak… Foreign policy gave the presidency command of war and peace It brought the president so high in the missile crisis and so low in Vietnam Secrecy brought Nixon the power to leak, lie, and withhold…The revolutionary presidency died LOGIC - Going Public – A strategy to deal with divided government. If presidents can get the public backing him, then the Congress will fear voter whiplash if they do not follow the president. It is a viable alternative to negotiating with the opposition. Teddy Roosevelt, “Bully pulpit” FDR’s fireside chats. Cable television has less of an impact now than it did before, but presidents are taking the issues on the road more now than ever.

Presidential rankings Best – Lincoln, Washington, FDR Near Best – Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, Jackson, Truman, Kennedy, Worst – Buchanan, Harding, A. Johnson (Hayes? Backroom deal-making, presidency for end of reconstruction) What makes Presidents failures? - Scandal - Poor choices w/negative consequences that outlive the administration - Poor choices that indulge personal failings - Treating presidency like a monarchy (Schelesinger) Presidential candidate qualities looked for: Knowledgeable and experienced – 43% Compassionate 46% High personal standards –52% Foreign policy knowledge – 47% Trustworthy – 70% Leadership qualities – 61% Easy-going and likable – 13% Norton Smith: “The real question that should be asked of any President is, did he make a significant difference, not only in his time but for a long time to come? Did the force of his personality and the power of his ideas affect the way Americans live, how they see themselves, and how they relate to the rest of the world? Did he spend himself in causes larger than himself, for purposes nobler than re-election? Did he strengthen his country, as well as his office? Leaders who embody timeless principles. Post-WWII Vice Presidents (12) - 5 became pres: Truman, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Bush I. o Truman and LBJ already in office b/c FDR and Kennedy died in office o Nixon resigned o Ford was never even elected to VP o Ford and Bush were 1-termers o Nixon, Ford, and Bush rank in bottom half 3 ran and lost: Humphrey, Mondale, and Gore


1 ran and didn’t get party’s nomination: Quayle. 3 didn’t run: Barkley, Agnew (resigned), Rockerfeller.

Connections between President and the Public - Campaigning - Polling - Going public o By-passing Congress and going to the people to get support for policies 10/3/05 Political party - A group of citizens united under a label to promote their ideas and policies by recruiting, nominating, promoting, and electing candidates for office in order to control the government. Early aversion to parties - Organizing one group of citizens against another was seen by critics to be against the common good. - Organized opposition was seen to be a challenge not just to particular policies, but also to the entire structure of government. (Madison, Washington against, people did differ though) - To what extent are political parties just another interest group? o Stability vs. transience o Broad platforms vs. single issue o Contesting elections vs. influencing elections Virtues of 2-party system - People are presented with organized packages of party platforms - Various views on what governments should be Why we came to 2-party system 1. Winner take all a. Multiple candidates compete for the office. Whoever wins gets all the representation for that district. b. People are strategic voters…best chance of winning 2. Plurality rule a. Don’t need majority, just most votes. b. Winning candidate may only get 30% of vote. Some places have runoffs (2nd election) c. Weaker parties are seen as not viable 3. Constrained range of debate a. Most voters are in the middle…Not a wide distribution of voters b. Parties at the extremes tend not to do well Functions of political parties - Electing candidates to office o Requires organization, coordination, resources - Organization of government o Caucuses working as a team to organize government o Party discipline, or party unity, is often difficult. Doing what party leaders want you to do.

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Federalism (members of congress vote on national policy), direct election, 2parties, candidates-centered elections (Wealthy candidates support themselves gives them freedom to vote how they want). When parties are unified, voters know what they’re getting (responsible voting system) Now, party platform is only a guideline…they could vote against the party stance

Logic - Incentives for party building - To build stable legislative and electoral alliances - To mobilize voters - To develop new electoral techniques o Overcoming the free-rider problem - To use party labels to enforce collective responsibilities o The more accurately a candidate’s party label predicts actions if elected, the more useful the party name is to voters o Once party label is initiated, politicians have a personal stake to maintain the party’s “brand name”


Providing a link between voters and government o Party labels as information shortcuts

Realignment (aggregate) - Substantial and long-term shift in party allegiance by individuals and groups, usually resulting in a change in policy direction - Shift in which arty dominates national politics - Shift in demographics of party support - Can be quick (1860s) or gradual (1960s) - Often result from major events - Must be enduring Dealignment - Decrease in willingness of voters to identify with a political party 10/05 Collective Action Political participation - Activity that is intended to or has the consequence of affecting, either directly or indirectly, government action - Activity directed explicitly towards influencing the distribution of social goods and values Collective action - Any action requiring collective effort and coordination - Certain conditions make collective action more or less likely to occur o Individual level vs. system level factors

Mancur Olson, “The Logic of Collective Action” - The larger the group, the smaller each group’s share in the benefits, the less likely individuals in the group will participate - The smaller the group, the more each individual in the group will gain, the more incentive they have to participate - Selective incentives is one way to overcome the free-rider problem - Selective incentives is one that applies selectively to individuals hinging upon whether or not they contributed (Labor unions, positive and negative, picketing) Rosenstone and Hanson, Individual-level factors - Costs © - things an individual has to give up in order to participate; ex: time, money, energy - Resources ® - things that allow an individual to pay the costs of participation; ex: time, money, education, age, efficacy (internal and external; competence and responsiveness) - Older people more willing to pay the cost of participation - Internal efficacy – feeling that one has the skills to make a difference - External – belief that the system is responsive to the efforts of ordinary citizens - If C<R, a person might participate o C>0 Incentives/Benefits - Benefits (B): the goods an individual acquires through participation - Participate is R + B>C o But can you get B without having to pay C? - Rationality: simultaneous maximization of goods and minimization of costs expended o Getting the most while doing the least - Rational actor assumption o People behave rationally Incentives - Collective vs. selective incentives o Everyone benefit of the work of a few o Selective – Benefit only goes to those who pay the costs - Olson o The more collective the good, the less likely any single member is to pay the costs of participation o Selective incentives can induce participation (Civil rights movement) Prisoner’s dilemma - - When individuals decide that even though they support some collective undertaking, they are personally better off pursuing an activity that rewards them individually despite undermining the collective effort. - Tragedy of the Commons – really hard to trust other people…tough to find ways to pursue collective and self-interest - Free-rider problem o A rational actor will get the benefit while letting others do all of the work Rosenstone and Hanson, So why does anyone participate? - Material benefits (tangible awards) - Solidary benefits (social rewards) Feeling community - Purposive benefits (psychological rewards) Feeling of satisfaction

10/11/05 Public opinion V.O. Key, “Public Opinion and American Democracy” - Those opinions held by private citizens that governments find it prudent to heed (V.O. Key) - Modification: those opinions about public matters that governments find it prudent to heed - “This effort is a task not unlike coming to grips with the holy ghost”(VO KEY) Tough to get a sense of what people think about politics - “Opinion dike” – Public opinions keeps leaders from straying too far outside the parameters acceptable to people in the making of the policy - The leadership are responsible for public indecision in public opinion - Permissive consensus – widespread sentiment supporting actions towards an incentive or goal Jacobs and Shaprio, “Politicians Don’t Pander” - Most often, politicians ignore what the public wants, instead attempting to create a vision of public opinion the politicians want - American people do not believe that the government reflects their views; they do not trust their leaders - Ex. Clinton’s impeachment and the motives of the Republican Party. They tried to achieve their policy goal of removing Clinton rather than achieve their political goal of winning over voters - Politicians use research on public opinion to pinpoint the most alluring symbols and arguments to move public support their way…SIMULATE RESPONSIVENESS Sarah Vowell, “Democracy and things like that” - Love canal story - Incredible to think what story lines are told and which aren’t o Direction  For or against o Intensity  How much does this issue matter to people?  How will they let it affect their political behavior o Durability  How stable is this view? How likely is this view to change with a political endorsement? Dependant on context?  When an issue is new…unstable. Opinions are more stable with longstanding issues  Partisan identification…One of the most stable political viewpoints Logic – Public Opinion - How do voters decide? o Past performance and incumbency o Assessing the issues and policy options o Voter cues and shortcuts  Party label  Issue voting o Party identification o

Measurement issues - Polls vs. participation o Picture of public opinion of polls depends on what pollsters ask o Participation is the best way to get at intensity o Always seeing the winner say that they have a mandate…Some vote for one candidate because they don’t like the other…What exactly do people want their representatives to do? o Both have flaws and strengths. Polls represent all people. It can tell us about a wide range of issues and give a fair representation of the American public o Mixed methods are often best - Sampling o Sample vs. Population  Between 1,000 and 1,500 people surveyed. (Sample)  Population is the group of people you want to say something about (mostly U.S. adults 18 or over…maybe likely voters, registered voters, men, women)  A random sample means that every member of the population in question has to have an equal chance of getting selected – Only way we can be confident that our results are generalized  Don’t need to finish a whole bowl of soup do realize that maybe you need more salt  Cell phone numbers do not get called with random sample dialing  Need innovative ways to get random generalized samples  Half to quadruple survey size to cut sample error in half - Selection bias o Mail-in, call-in, log-in  Always be wary. Irresponsible type of polling. Results are meaningless  Sometime - HOW THE SOURCE Writing in The Phantom Public, we find an even deeper contempt – which at times borders on outright loathing – of ordinary citizens and their capacity to evaluate political questions. By this time, some of the readers may aver that it has been demonstrated time and again that the American public is disinterested in public affairs and remarkably ignorant of such basic facts as the name of the Vice President or the location of any number of countries on a map. Opinions emerge in times of crisis, but fade quickly

Poll information to look for - Population - Sampling method - Source - Data of interviews - Sample size - Question wording o Can be deliberate - Question order - Response options o Open-ended or close-ended. Set of options. Prof likes open-ended. Stricter test o Consequential NY Times survey on social security (5/00)



“Some people have suggested allowing individuals to invest portions of their social security takes on their own, which might allow them to make more money for their retirement, but would involve greater risk. Do you think this is a good or bad idea?” o 51% said good idea Gallup (1/01) A proposal has been made that would allow people to put a portion of their SS payroll taxes into personal retirement accounts that would be invested in private stocks and bonds. Do you favor or oppose this proposal? o 64% approval

Question order - Approval rating - Do you think the United States should let communist newspaper reporters from other countries come in here and send back to their papers the news as they see it? - Do you think a Communist country like Russia should let American newspaper reporters come in and send back to America the news as they see it? - How about randomly spitting out questions? Better way…can’t get around the fact that order has an effect Influences on attitudes - Converse (1964): Use of ideology very low o Most Americans not politically sophisticated o Lack of constraint; lack of political knowledge - Reaction: Information shortcuts are “good enough” o Cues of symbols that we rely on to provide information about something else Socialization - Social environment when we come of “political age” - Family - Party identification (party ID): a psychological tie o Shapes how people interpret politics but also how they think of themselves o Perpetual screen Partisan Identification The true independent category is really very small. Many people identify with independent but end up voting to where they lean. Leaners are less likely to vote in the first place Other politically-relevant groups affect how we understand politics - Social groupings affect the attitudes we have but those attitudes will vary in systematic ways based on external events and internal processes - Cross-cutting affiliations (member of socially conservative church and union) - Political relevance of group memberships changes over time - Survey is a snapshot of public opinion at any given time - Surveys are politically useful, but also politically limited Electoral participation Mechanics of voting - States mostly control how elections are conducted - Australian ballot


o All candidates listed on 1 ballot o Ballots are printed at local government authorities, not by political parties o Trying to remove corruption from the political process Determining the winner o Winner-take-all vs. proportional representation  Winner-take-all (electoral college, congressional districts)  To get most of the power, a party only needs to win a plurality in 51% of the districts o First-Past-The-Post (plurality vs. majority) o 15th, 17th, 19th, 24th, 26th AMENDMENTS o 15th. Right to vote cannot o 17th Direct election of senators o 19th o 24th

Why do people vote? - Costs, benefits, resources - Potential benefit: getting preferred candidate in office - No, your vote will not bring about change in the election - 1 in 3,000 chance of changing the election - Costs outweigh the benefits…People vote not thinking that they can change the outcome - With this benefit, rational actor will be more likely to vote in local elections. But highest turnout is in national elections - Vote iff: Benefit +Resources > Costs - If B= preferred candidate winning, then vote if - [Pr(decisive vote) x B] + R > C - Having a preference in the outcome is not enough to make it a rational act. - If B = selective benefit, then vote if: o [Pr(selective benefit) x B] + R > C - Using voting-eligible population, turnout looks better…can’t measure those who are not citizens and those who are incarcerated. Never consistently above 60% mark - Has there really been a decline? Downs, “An Economic theory of Democracy” -First, he gave us a model of how candidates must locate themselves in order to maximize their chances of being elected. This is the median voter model, which says that a candidate must take a position at the median of a normal distribution of voters. A candidate who does not do this can be outflanked by another candidate who takes a position between the first candidate and the median voter. This model assumes away Arrow’s problem by supposing that all policy issues aggregately reduce to a single left-right dimension. Second, Downs supposed that voters actually have little incentive to vote, because they cannot expect to have any impact on the outcome of any given election. Indeed, they have so little impact that any costs of voting, such as suffering through long queues or foul weather, trump any direct benefit from voting. This claim is a specific instance of the logic of collective action, as generalized later by Mancur Olson (1965). The third major theoretical claim of Downs is that individual citizens have no incentive even to learn enough to be able to vote their interests intelligently. This immediately follows from the second claim if we suppose that gaining relevant knowledge entails some costs. Oddly, however, this claim seems to run against the first of Downs’s theses, which seems to entail that candidates should attempt to influence voters’ knowledge.

10/19/05 Electoral participation Why is turnout so low? Maybe costs are too high? (B+R<C) - Maybe benefits are worth less than they used to be - But costs are lower too Maybe efficacy and trust have declined? - Yes, but only efficacy affects turnout - Rise of the role of money in political campaigns Maybe the candidates and parties have become too similar? - But people in the middle of the road are less likely to vote while people at the extremes are most likely - Turnout isn’t necessarily higher when there is a third party candidate (1968, 1980, 1992, 1996) - Turnout isn’t necessarily higher when candidates are most disparate (1964, 1980) Have costs gone down over time? Maybe structural impediments are to blame? - Georgia vote tax - Barriers to registration have been eased over time: Voting rights Act, 24th Amendment, MotorVoter - But procedures are more strict in the U.S. than in many other countries o Each state can implement the motor-voter law differently…automatic or do you have to ask to register to vote? - There is more to the cost of voting than just registering to vote Registered voters vote - Turnout among registered voter in high 60s since 1996 - But registered voters who vote has declined since introduction of motor-voter - No evidence that registered increases the liklehood of voting Other structural impediments: Voting - One day - Not a Holiday - Not a legal requirement Maybe elections are less competitive? - Rosenstone and Hanson find this to be a factor - There has indeed been a decline in competitiveness of Congressional Elections - 50 yr average: 93% of incumbents who decided to run for re-election have won. 50% have done so with more than 60% of the vote Attitudinal changes - Decline in strength of party attachments - Decline in social connectedness


Decline in political connectedness

Does low turnout actually matter? - Decline in voter fraud and corruption accompanies decline in turnout - Expansion of the electorate accompanies decline in turnout - Low turnout rarely affects the outcome of national and statewide races - Some argue low turnout is a sign of satisfaction Rosenstone and Hanson, Logic of Political Participation - High costs of participating in the political process - Low turnout matters because of the political factors that contribute to it. - Mobilization – Process by which candidates, parties, activists, and groups induce people to participate - Being asked is important - Strategic mobilization – go hunting where the ducks are o Mobilize loyal supporters o Persuade the undecideds o Leave the opposition alone (hope they stay home) o Mobilization is rarely about conversion o Stategic mobilization subsidized the costs of becoming informed and of participating.

McConnell v. FEC
Summary of the Supreme Court's decision December 10, 2003 | The Supreme Court has issued a decision in McConnell v. Federal Election Commission, the landmark legal case challenging the constitutionality of the new McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, formally known as the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 ("BCRA"). The table below summarizes the Court's decisions on the constitutionality of the major components of BCRA.
What BCRA does National party soft money State and local party "federal election activities" Soft money fundraising by federal candidates and officeholders Prohibits national parties from raising or spending soft money Supreme Court decision Prohibition upheld Impact of decision National parties may not raise or spend soft money State and local parties must use hard money (or hard money and Levin funds) for federal election activities Federal candidates and officeholders may not raise soft money (with certain exceptions) Corporations and labor organizations may not use soft money to pay for electioneering

Requires state & local parties to pay for federal election activities entirely with hard Requirement upheld money or a mix of hard money and "Levin funds." Prohibits federal candidates and officeholders from raising or Prohibition upheld spending soft money, with certain exceptions.

Prohibits corporations and labor "Sham" unions from using soft money Prohibition upheld issue ads; Prohibitions to pay for "electioneering

communications" -- broadcast ads that mention a federal candidate or officeholder within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election and are targeted to that person's constitutuents (certain exceptions apply). Requires disclosure of "electioneering communications" (defined above) in excess of $10,000 per year Increases the dollar limits on contributions from individuals to candidates and political parties Requiries a political party spending money in a general election campaign to choose between making coordinated expenditures on behalf of its candidate, OR independent expenditures on behalf of its candidate, but not both Prohibits minors from making contributions to candidates and political parties

communications that run within 30 days of a primary election or 60 days of a general election

Sham issue ads; Disclosure

Disclosure requirement upheld

Electioneering communications must be disclosed to the FEC

Contribution limits

Increased limits upheld

Individuals may make larger contributions to candidates and political parties (review those limits here)

Independent & coordinated expenditures by political parties

"Choice of expenditure" rule declared unconstitutional

A political party may now make both coordinated expenditures and independent expenditures on behalf of its candidates in the same general election campaign

Contributions by minors

Prohibition on contributions by minors declared unconstitutional

Minors may now make contributions to candidates and political parties

BUCKLEY v. VALEO This selection was excerpted from

On January 30, 1976, the Supreme Court issued a per curiam opinion in Buckley v. Valeo, the landmark case involving the constitutionality of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (FECA), as amended in 1974, and the Presidential Election Campaign Fund Act. Limiting donations will violate free speech. Rule individuals and organizations could spend unregulated sums as long as their political communications did not entail “express advocacy” (could not tell people how to vote) Campaign finance Political equity vs. free speech (unequal access through political donations) There is a strong sense of political corruption Like factions; let campaign money flourish and protect liberty, or restrict liberty in order to regulate the flow of money and reduce perceptions of corruption?


Is the cure worse than the disease? 2002 BCRA, Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act 1974-present is the focus

Campaign Finance Guide - Pendleton Civil Service Act – Attempt to end spoils system - Tillman Act – Ban of Corporate gifts and contributions to federal candidates - Federal Corrupt Practices Act – created campaign spending limits for parties in congressional campaigns - Hatch Act banned political activity by federal employees and banned parties from soliciting donations from federal employees - Then FECA FECA: Federal Election Campaign Act - 1971, amended in 1974 (after Watergate) - Limited size and sources of contributions - Limited certain expenditures - Required disclosure of all financial transactions made by candidates and political committees - Established FEC (Federal Election Commission) - Established public financing of presidential primaries and general elections; Bush and Kerry decided not to take the public financing because they could raise more and spend more - Limited the amount of money a candidate could give to his/her own campaign - Required candidates, parties, and PACs to report on a quarterly basis Unintended consequences of FECA (Federal Election Campaign Act - Skyrocketing # of PACs (Political Action Committees) o PAC is an organization set up by a corporation, labor union, or interest group that raises and spends campaign contributions on behalf of candidates or causes o PACs donate to candidates and parties, but they also spend money on their own campaign activity o PAC activity was further spurred by the ruling that issue advocacy could not be regulated (unlike express advocacy) - Fueled rise of candidate-centered campaigns - Fueled increase in length of campaigns Hard money – Funds directly given to candidates’ campaigns in accordance with specific limits set by FECA Soft Money – money raised by parties for “party building” efforts, and not explicitly campaign expenditures. Banned by BCRA. (Now it goes to issue advocacy groups) There is a change in where donations go. $95,000 aggregate limit Sullivan and Cressman, “The Constitution and Campaign Finance Reform” - Dean Sullivan states that it is impossible to close the loopholes that allow money into politics - Cressman advocates lower limits to allow average Americans more influences over candidates for office 527 Political committee exempt from paying taxes All PACs and party committees are 527s


527s that do not engage in political advocacy at the federal level are exempt from FED disclosure requirements. They avoid taxation and regulation

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