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Download America's Congress: Actions in the Public Sphere, James by Professor David R. Mayhew PDF

By Professor David R. Mayhew

To appreciate American politics and govt, we have to realize that individuals of Congress are greater than brokers of societal pursuits and personal tastes -- in addition they act with a few autonomy and final result within the public sphere. during this illuminating publication, a exceptional political scientist examines the activities of individuals of Congress all through American background, assessing their styles and value and their function within the U.S. procedure of separation of powers.

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Additional info for America's Congress: Actions in the Public Sphere, James Madison Through Newt Gingrich

Sample text

Mr. Hyde’s reluctance gradually turned to resolve and his hesitation to absolute certainty. When Mr. Clinton was impeached . . , it was in no small measure as a result of Mr. Hyde’s determination to press forward. . Ralph Reed, the Republican strategist, who knows Mr. Hyde well, said: ‘They mistook a teddy bear exterior for a soft core. If he feels strongly about something, he’ll fight harder than anyone’ ’’ (p. ). Melinda Henneberger, ‘‘How Henry Hyde’s Resolve Was Shaped Against Clinton,’’ New York Times, January , , pp.

Also, new events may intrude (John Brown stages his raid on Harpers Ferry in ; the Communists seize Czechoslovakia in ). Some moves and events like these are noticed, considered, and adapted to by elite actors and much of the mass public. The overall pattern is a narrative-like process in which both elite actors and voters revise, to some degree, their policy preferences as they go along. There is nothing undemocratic or otherwise questionable about such voter plasticity; voters would have to be dense not to consider updating their preferences in response to relevant moves and events.

I believe this is a warranted move. 29 For another, compelling evidence surfaces now and then that shaping opinion is exactly what MCs sometimes try to do. How did members’ offices proceed during the White House’s –  health-care drive, for example? One answer is based on interviews with thirty-nine House and Senate staffers: ‘‘Instead of following public opinion, a plurality of respondents ( percent) reported using public opinion information for the primary purpose of changing (and not responding to) public opinion.

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