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. ### Spin/Blame ###.........................................................................................................................6 Obama gets blame............................................................................................................................7 Obama Gets Credit/Blame...............................................................................................................7 President Gets the Blame.................................................................................................................9 President Gets the Blame...............................................................................................................10 President Gets the Blame...............................................................................................................11 President Gets the Blame...............................................................................................................12 .......................................................................................................................................................13 A2: Obama Controls Spin..............................................................................................................13 Obama Doesn’t Get Blamed..........................................................................................................14 Obama Doesn’t Get Blamed..........................................................................................................15 Obama Will Push the Plan.............................................................................................................15 ### Spillover ###...........................................................................................................................17 Yes Spillover..................................................................................................................................18 No Spillover...................................................................................................................................19 No Spill-Over.................................................................................................................................20 No Spillover...................................................................................................................................21 No Spillover – Foreign policy/ Domestic Policy...........................................................................22 ### Courts ###..............................................................................................................................23 2AC No Court Link.......................................................................................................................24 2AC No Court Link.......................................................................................................................25 1AR No Court Link.......................................................................................................................26 1AR No Court Link.......................................................................................................................27 Courts Don’t Link – Insulated Ext.................................................................................................28 Courts Don’t Link – Cover Ext......................................................................................................29 Courts Don’t Link – Cover Ext......................................................................................................30 Courts Don’t Link – Cover Ext......................................................................................................31 Courts Don’t Link -- Cover............................................................................................................32 Courts Don’t Link -- Cover............................................................................................................33 Courts Don’t Link to Ptx—No blame............................................................................................34 Courts Don’t Link to Ptx—No blame............................................................................................35 Courts Link Less to Politics than Congress...................................................................................36 Courts Link Less to Politics than Congress...................................................................................37 Courts Link to Ptx—Not Insulated................................................................................................38 Courts Link to Ptx—Blame...........................................................................................................39 Courts Link to Ptx—Blame...........................................................................................................40 Courts Link to Ptx—Blame...........................................................................................................41 AT: Courts Shield..........................................................................................................................43 AT: Courts Shield – Election Year................................................................................................44 ### Executive Orders ###..............................................................................................................45 Executive Orders Links..................................................................................................................46 Executive Orders Links..................................................................................................................47 ### Agencies ###...........................................................................................................................48 Yes Blame for Agency Action.......................................................................................................49 Yes Blame for Agency Action.......................................................................................................50 Yes Blame for Agency Action.......................................................................................................51 Yes Blame for Agency Action.......................................................................................................53

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Agency Action Links to Congress.................................................................................................54 Agencies Shield.............................................................................................................................55 Agencies Shield ............................................................................................................................56 ### Vetoes ###..............................................................................................................................57 Vetoes Link Less............................................................................................................................58 Vetoes Link....................................................................................................................................59 ### Covert/Secret ###....................................................................................................................60 A2: Covert Passage........................................................................................................................61 ### Political Capital ###................................................................................................................62 Controversial policies drain capital...............................................................................................63 Controversial Policies Drain Capital.............................................................................................64 Unpopular Policies Drain Capital..................................................................................................65 Legislation Costs capital................................................................................................................65 Capital finite...................................................................................................................................66 Capital Key/A2: Dickinson...........................................................................................................67 Capital Key/A2: Dickinson...........................................................................................................69 Capital Key/A2: Dickinson...........................................................................................................70 Capital Key/A2: Dickinson...........................................................................................................71 Political Capital Key......................................................................................................................72 Political Capital Key......................................................................................................................73 Political Capital Key......................................................................................................................74 Political Capital Key......................................................................................................................75 Political Capital Key......................................................................................................................76 Political Capital Key......................................................................................................................77 Political Capital Key......................................................................................................................78 At: Political Capital Key ...............................................................................................................79 PC Key to Dem Unity....................................................................................................................80 Political Capital Finite...................................................................................................................81 Political Capital Finite...................................................................................................................82 Political Capital Finite...................................................................................................................83 A2: No Trade-Off/Spillover...........................................................................................................84 A2 No Spillover.............................................................................................................................85 A2 No Spillover.............................................................................................................................86 Political Capital Not Key ..............................................................................................................87 Political Capital Not Key...............................................................................................................88 Political Capital Not Key...............................................................................................................89 Political Capital Not Key...............................................................................................................90 Political Capital Not Key...............................................................................................................91 Political Capital Not Key...............................................................................................................92 ### Flip Flop ###...........................................................................................................................93 Flip-Flop Kills Agenda..................................................................................................................94 Flip Flop Kills Agenda...................................................................................................................95 Flip Flops Kill Capital...................................................................................................................96 Flip Flops Kill Capital...................................................................................................................97 Flip Flops Have No Effect ............................................................................................................98 Flip Flops Have No Effect ............................................................................................................99 Flip Flops Have No Effect...........................................................................................................100 Flip Flops Have No Effect...........................................................................................................101

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### Focus ###..............................................................................................................................102 Focus Key to Agenda...................................................................................................................103 Focus Key to Agenda...................................................................................................................104 Focus Key to Agenda...................................................................................................................105 Focus Key to Agenda...................................................................................................................106 Focus Key to Agenda...................................................................................................................107 Focus Answers ............................................................................................................................108 ### Bipartisanship ###................................................................................................................109 BIPART KEY – OBAMA...........................................................................................................110 Bipart Key....................................................................................................................................111 Bipart Key....................................................................................................................................112 Bipart Key....................................................................................................................................113 Partisanship Kills Agenda............................................................................................................114 PARTISANSHIP SPILLS OVER ..............................................................................................115 Bipart Key -- Obama....................................................................................................................116 Bipart Key – National Security ...................................................................................................117 AT: BIPART/CONCESSIONS KEY..........................................................................................118 A2: BIPART KEY – BIPART IMPOSSIBLE...........................................................................119 Bipart Not Key.............................................................................................................................120 Bipart Not Key.............................................................................................................................121 .....................................................................................................................................................121 ### Public Popularity ###............................................................................................................122 Public Popularity Key..................................................................................................................123 Public Popularity Key to Agenda................................................................................................124 Public Popularity Key to Agenda................................................................................................125 Public Popularity Key to Agenda................................................................................................126 Public Popularity Key to Agenda................................................................................................127 Public Popularity Key to Agenda................................................................................................128 Public Popularity Key to Agenda................................................................................................129 =...................................................................................................................................................129 Public Popularity Key to Agenda................................................................................................130 Public Popularity Key to Agenda................................................................................................131 Popularity Not Key to Agenda ....................................................................................................132 Popularity Not Key to Agenda.....................................................................................................133 Popularity Not Key to Agenda.....................................................................................................134 Popularity Not Key......................................................................................................................135 Popularity Not Key to Agenda.....................................................................................................136 Popularity Not Key......................................................................................................................137 Popularity Not Key......................................................................................................................138 Popularity Not Key to Agenda.....................................................................................................139 ### Presidential Leadership Turns ###........................................................................................140 Presidential Leadership Turns – International Action.................................................................141 Presidential Leadership Turns -- General....................................................................................142 ### Winners-Win ###.................................................................................................................143 Winners Win................................................................................................................................144 Winners-Win................................................................................................................................146 Winners Win ...............................................................................................................................147 Winners-Win................................................................................................................................149

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Winners-Win................................................................................................................................150 A2: Winners Lose........................................................................................................................151 AT: LOSERS LOSE ...................................................................................................................152 Winners-Win Answers.................................................................................................................153 Winners Win Answers.................................................................................................................153 Winners-Win Answers.................................................................................................................155 Winners Win Answers.................................................................................................................156 Winners Win Answers.................................................................................................................157 Winners Win Answers.................................................................................................................158 Winners Win Answers.................................................................................................................159 Winners-Win Answers.................................................................................................................161 .....................................................................................................................................................162 Winners Lose...............................................................................................................................163 Winners Lose...............................................................................................................................164 Winners Lose...............................................................................................................................165 Losers Lose..................................................................................................................................166 Losers Lose..................................................................................................................................167 Winners Win Answers.................................................................................................................168 Winners Win Answers.................................................................................................................169 ### Momentum ###.....................................................................................................................170 Momentum Key...........................................................................................................................171 ### Olive Branch ###..................................................................................................................172 Olive Branch Answers.................................................................................................................173 Olive Branch Answers.................................................................................................................174 Concessions Answers...................................................................................................................175 Concessions Key to Agenda........................................................................................................176 Concessions Key to Agenda........................................................................................................177 Concessions Key..........................................................................................................................178 *** Flip-Flips...............................................................................................................................179 Flip Flops Kill the Agenda...........................................................................................................180 Flip Flops Kill the Agenda...........................................................................................................181 Flip-Flops Kill the Agenda..........................................................................................................182 AT: FLIP FLOP KILLS AGENDA ............................................................................................183 AT: Flip Flop Kills the Agenda...................................................................................................184 *** Concessions ***....................................................................................................................185 CONCESSIONS KEY – GENERIC............................................................................................186 Concessions Key to the Agenda..................................................................................................187 CONCESSIONS FAIL: GENERIC.............................................................................................188 CONCESSIONS FAIL: ANGERS THE LEFT ..........................................................................189 CONCESSIONS FAILS: GOP SAYS NO..................................................................................190 ### Democrats ###......................................................................................................................191 Democrats Key to Agenda...........................................................................................................192 Democrats Key to Agenda...........................................................................................................193 Democrats Key to Agenda...........................................................................................................194 Democratic Unity Key to Agenda................................................................................................195 DEM UNITY KEY .....................................................................................................................196 AT: DEM UNITY INEVITABLE/PC KEY DEM UNITY.......................................................196 Moderate Democrats Key to Agenda...........................................................................................198

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Base Key to Agenda.....................................................................................................................199 AT: Dems Key to Agenda ...........................................................................................................200 AT: Dems Key to Agenda............................................................................................................201 Base Key......................................................................................................................................202 Base Key......................................................................................................................................203 A2: Base Key...............................................................................................................................204 ### GOP ###................................................................................................................................205 Concessions to Republicans Increases Opposition......................................................................206 Republicans Key..........................................................................................................................207 Republicans Key..........................................................................................................................208 Republicans Not Key...................................................................................................................209 ......................................................................................................................................................209 Republicans Not Key...................................................................................................................210 Republicans Not Key...................................................................................................................212 GOP Not Key...............................................................................................................................213 ### Moderates ###.......................................................................................................................215 Moderates Key -- General............................................................................................................216 MODERATE DEMS KEY .........................................................................................................217 AT: DEMS KEY .........................................................................................................................218 AT: MODERATES DEMS KEY ...............................................................................................219 MODERATES KEY -- GENERIC .............................................................................................220 MODERATE GOP KEY ............................................................................................................221 AT: THERE ARE NO MODERATE GOP.................................................................................222 AT: MODERATE GOP KEY......................................................................................................223 Moderate Democrats Key............................................................................................................224 Moderate Democrats Key............................................................................................................225 Moderate Democrats Key/ AT: Specter’s Switch= Lock............................................................226 Moderates/ Blue dogs Key...........................................................................................................227 Moderates/Blue Dogs Key...........................................................................................................228 Moderate Republicans Key..........................................................................................................229 Moderates Key- EFCA Proves.....................................................................................................230 Moderates Key- Empirically Proven...........................................................................................231 Swing Voters Key........................................................................................................................232 ### Independents ###..................................................................................................................233 Independents Key.........................................................................................................................234 ***Specific Senators***..............................................................................................................235 Landrieu Key ..............................................................................................................................236 Landrieu Key—Labor Bill...........................................................................................................237 Landrieu Key—Climate...............................................................................................................238 McCain Key.................................................................................................................................239 McCain Key.................................................................................................................................240 McConnell Key............................................................................................................................241 Snowe Key...................................................................................................................................242 Snowe and Collins Key................................................................................................................243 Snowe and Collins Key................................................................................................................244 Snowe and Collins Not Key.........................................................................................................245 .....................................................................................................................................................245

............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................268 Labor Lobby Key..................................................296 ### Spin/Blame ### ...........284 .................................................................................................................................................................................281 AT: Israel Lobby.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................265 Healthcare Lobby Not Key...........................................................................................................292 ...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................290 AT – No Link – Plan Passes Unanimously.266 Energy Lobby Key...............................................................................251 Military Lobby Key...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................286 A2: Intrinsicness............................283 AT: K of Israel Lobby.275 Israel Lobby ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................249 Business Lobbies Key............................................................................................250 Defense Lobby Key....................260 Defense Lobby Key..263 Agriculture Lobby Not Key................................................261 Agriculture Lobby Key.247 Interest Groups Internals.......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................293 ....................253 Defense lobby is powerful..................................................................................................................288 A2 Vote NO........................................................................271 Environment Lobby Not Key...........................................................................278 Israel Lobby .........................................................................255 Defense Lobby Key................................................................................280 AT: Israel Lobby.......277 Israel Lobby.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................246 ### Lobbies & Interest Groups ###.....................................................................................................................279 AT: Israel Lobby............................................................................................264 Healthcare Lobby Key.............Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 6 Spector Key.........291 Politics Disads Good..............................................................................................................................................285 ### Theory ###...289 ...........................................................................269 Labor Lobby Not Key.........256 Defense Lobby Key................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................287 A2: Bottom of the Docket............................................257 AT: Defense Contractors................270 Environment Lobby Key.....................................................................................................................................................................................254 Defense Contractor Lobbies Key...........................................258 AT: Defense Contractors......267 Energy Lobby Not Key......................................................248 Interest Groups Internal Link Answers..........................................................................................................................274 Israel Lobby............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................272 Teacher Unions Key..........................273 Teacher Unions Not Key.......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

com/blogs/ezraklein/post/sides-default-will-hurt-obama/2011/07/11/gIQApy42FI_blog. he's the president. But let's not pretend that Obama will somehow avoid that. if only because it appears to guide his actions now. stock market convulsions. See my earlier post. And he knew it was going to be trouble. 7/15/11. "Obama has got to get this done. And if things go rotten on his watch. To be clear. say. I have a hard time imagining that Obama is going to emerge unscathed if the ceiling isn't lifted and the economy suffers.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Obama gets blame Obama gets blamed for issues concerning spending – empirics Washington Post 7/15 (Ezra Klein.spokesman. insisting that Ronald Reagan never spent as much time as he has haggling with lawmakers over policy details. It's interesting that McConnell thinks that.washingtonpost. Faced with steadfast GOP opposition to tax increases. during the 1995 shutdown. Yes. http://www. So as President Obama continues to play chicken with the pending debt crisis before us.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jEh84nbuj_Ei28mJcPHMRq5ka28A?docId=3d2adbdbf71e456593f0198494d7dc15) The White House says Obama is the one who has shown leadership and willingness to compromise. I don't think either party would come out of a debt ceiling meltdown smelling like roses.google. Clinton's popularity went down during this time — although this fact seemingly cannot penetrate the conventional wisdom.html) 7 For one. " Obama's hands-on negotiation a political necessity ". he asked Republican leaders directly what "shared sacrifice" they were offering. Finally. Or put it this way: what if the meltdown led to." Further spending is blamed on Obama Spokesman Review 7/16 (7/16/11. the Tea Party or whoever he chooses. or the lack thereof. just as with Clinton in 1995. Eric Cantor. Obama Gets Credit/Blame . I'd be impressed that more Americans say they'll blame the GOP and not Obama if most Americans actually wanted to increase the debt ceiling in the first place. because Republicans have very little incentive to make a deal. it goes down. But when the United States credit rating falls. incumbent politicians are punished by voters for a thousand trivial things. disruptions of key government services. At another point. But I don't think it's true. There is certainly no evidence that I know of that the shutdown helped re-elect Bill Clinton. http://www. but it is hard to claim that Clinton benefited in the eyes of voters. even though this fight over the debt ceiling is unusual. we default on our debt and the subsequent collapse of our economy. This is his moment. history will only blame Obama. After all. he should heed this warning. See Mark Blumenthal's thorough rundown of the polls. He can blame Speaker Boehner. " Sides: Default will hurt Obama ". History is the only true measure of leadership.com/stories/2011/jul/16/obamas-historylesson/) Who remembers who was the House majority leader in 1929? Who was the Senate majority leader? Who was the treasurer of the United States? Who was vice president? The answer is nobody remembers. Hoover and the Great Depression are inseparable in the annals of history. "Even if people blame the Republicans in Congress. What they do remember about the stock market crash of October 1929 and the beginning of the Great Depression is that Herbert Hoover was president. he used a Republican icon to congratulate himself for his deep involvement in the talks. Obama gets blamed for bad policies AP 7/15 (7/15/11. the polls also weren't kind to Gingrich and the GOP. and wall-to-wall media coverage of the same? What happens to Obama's approval rating in that time? My bet is that. I am hardpressed to imagine that voters will suddenly exonerate Obama from possible economic disruptions and simply blame the GOP." Lichtman said. 1-2 months of bond rating markdowns. even losses in college football games. Second. http://www. he pays for it. " Obama's history lesson ".

creating the opportunity to challenge an incumbent president or his heir as presidential nominee.http://www. he'll cover two things. Morton: The Democrats have written the three cable news networks -. education. even if he's praising the Easter Bunny. The coverage gap is certainly real. 80] Given the popular image of presidential power.S. With so many complex issues and problems to address – the debt problem..whether that means credit or blame -. So the complaining Democrats have a point. You could ask the Clintons. DESERVED OR NOT Rosati 4. since September 11. Plus. sex life.politico. compromises on budget items done in private. In war or peace. If a small newspaper has one reporter in Washington. foreign policy – this is a very demanding time to be president. They're sexier. the White House press secretary's briefing. from January 1 through March 21. the economy. greater power. on big occasions. p. 2004. nowadays. and 7 involving elected Democrats. University of South Carolina Government and International Studies professor THE POLITICS OF UNITED STATES FOREIGN POLICY. welfare. has been at war in Afghanistan. CNN Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer 4/28/02 Bruce Morton. even if he's praising the Easter Bunny. [Jerel A. endless attention is paid. the president – the person perceived to be the leader of the country – will be rewarded in terms public prestige. [2-13-09 -. Politico 9. the briefings may make major news. for several reasons. aired 157 live events involving the Bush administration. Should success occur. the cameras are pooled. it is probably not by the president’s own design. Stay with us.CNN. Time now for Bruce Morton's essay on the struggle for balanced coverage on the cable networks. PRESIDENCY IS THE FOCAL POINT OF POLITICS – PRESIDENT GETS THE CREDIT OR THE BLAME. However. the president is a commanding figure -one man to whose politics and character and. the environment. There's a primetime TV show about a president. Blitzer: Welcome back. Nonetheless. But it won't always be coverage they like.html] The Washington climate. and reelection (for him or his successor). while always intense. which led to a party-line vote on the stimulus. isn't always positive .com/news/stories/0209/18827. energy. did much the same thing.for all the massive changes in government he envisions over the coming year. which they say. if the president is perceived as of unsuccessful – a failure – this results not only in a weakened president but one the public wants replaced. 9 Presidents will always get more coverage than Congresses. the president’s job becomes virtually an impossible task. . American politics and the policy process are incredibly complex and beyond considerable presidential control. You never know. None about the Congress. networks will often air whatever the president says. Congress is 535 people.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 OBAMA WILL GET THE BLAME FOR ALL POLICIES PASSED THIS YEAR – THE HILL IS TOO POLARIZED FOR ANY BLAME DEFLECTION. What it does is complicated. Fox and MSNBC -. As long as presidential promises and public expectations remain high. the Pentagon's. but it's worth remembering that coverage of a president. Why not? It's easy. Bush's administration. so the president has been an active commander in chief. Cnn Correspondent: Networks will often air whatever the president says. Blitzer: Competing for face time on the cable news networks. They cite CNN. the White House. presidents receive credit when things are perceived as going well and are blamed when things go badly. And covering the war.complaining that the Bush administration gets much more coverage than elected Democrats. 8 PRESIDENTS ARE THE FOCAL POINT OF POLITICS – THEY GET THE CREDIT/BLAME. the local congressional delegation and. given the lack of presidential power. But there's a reason for the coverage gap that's older than Mr. and lacks the drama of the White House. maybe the State Department's. has big political implications: It means that Obama will have sole ownership -. it's cheap. the U. Unfortunately. and in war time. they say. Fox and MS. First.

827. his ability to mediate conflict and control the agenda can be undermined. members of Congress tend to reflect the dominant public mood. University of South Carolina Government and International Studies professor. and how they are perceived within and beyond the Washington beltway. January. and their constituents. . 9 Zero sum nature of politics ensures president is assigned political blame Fitts. A preoccupation with reelection also makes them overly sensitive to public perceptions. Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. the baseball strike. political trends. and their public images. members of Congress have more freedom of action. government. 04 (Jerel A. They tend to be obsessed with reelection and are constantly soliciting funds from private contributors for reelection campaigns. political support. Members of Congress are “political animals” who are preoccupied with their institutional status and power. congressional colleagues. AB) To the extent that the modern president is subject to heightened visibility about what he says and does and is led to make increasingly specific statements about who should win and who should lose on an issue. “The Paradox of Power in the Modern State.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 President Gets the Blame Salience ensures a link – policies that are salient with the public receive congressional scrutiny Rosati. Lexis. 96 (Michael. the list is infinite. 144 U. executive agencies. special interest groups.. refuse to take symbolic stands. The modern president is supposed to have a position on such matters as affirmative action. THE POLITICS OF UNITED STATES FOREIGN POLICY. yet they are constantly pressured by the president.” University of Pennsylvania Law Review. accessed 7-8-09. and the newest EPA regulations. 309-11) The third pattern to consider is that Congress is the ultimate political body within the U. 2004. with Bill Clinton giving three times as many speeches as Reagan during the same period. their electoral security. Rev. In such circumstances. If the public and their constituents are interested in an issue and have staked out a position. The well-documented tendency of the press to emphasize the strategic implications of politics exacerbates this process by turning issues into zero-sum games. the president is far less able to exercise agenda control.S. Pa. each modern president has made more speeches and taken more positions than his predecessors. L. or take inconsistent positions. the war in Bosnia. Perhaps in response to these pressures. If the public is uninterested. p.

energy. the economy. With so many complex issues and problems to address – the debt problem. given the lack of presidential power. education. foreign policy – this is a very demanding time to be president. if the president is perceived as unsuccessful – a failure – this results not only in a weakened president but one the public wants replaced. However. greater power. Unfortunately. University of South Carolina Government and International Studies professor. creating the opportunity to challenge an incumbent president or his heir as presidential nominee. it is probably not by the president’s own design. THE POLITICS OF UNITED STATES FOREIGN POLICY. welfare. Should success occur. p. the president’s job becomes virtually an impossible task. presidents receive credit when things are perceived as going well and are blamed when things go badly. the president – the person perceived to be the leader of the country – will be rewarded in terms of public prestige. American politics and the policy process are incredibly complex and beyond considerable presidential control.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 President Gets the Blame Presidency is the focal point of politics – president gets the credit or the blame Rosati. 10 . 80) Given the popular image of presidential power. and reelection (for him or his successor). 2004.. Nonetheless. As long as presidential promises and public expectations remain high. 4 (Jerel A. the environment.

and only in some part to him. agency administrators. 1996 [MICHAEL. But operating agencies owe their existence least of all to one another. or governors. and criticism.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 President Gets the Blame PRESIDENT WILL GET THE BLAME 11 FITTS.. LN] On the one hand. Below the departmental level. The President heads one of these. power is a give-and-take. PROF OF LAW @ UNIV OF PENN. or foreign governments. and military commanders head others. Our statues give him central budgeting and a degree of personnel control. or national committeemen. virtually independent bureau chiefs head many more. Everything somehow involves the President. federal operations spill across dividing lines on organization charts. PROF @ HARVARD UNIV. regardless of what they do or say or any structural changes in the system. PRESIDENT GETS THE BLAME NEUSTADT. as the single most powerful actors in government. Under mid-century conditions. UPENN LAW REVIEW P. friends. they may be subject to excessive scrutiny. “PRESIDENTIAL POWER AND THE MODERN PRESIDENTS” PG 34] Yet we have seen in Chapter 2 that when a President seeks something from executive officials his persuasiveness is subject to the same sorts of limitations as in the case of congressmen. almost every program calls for interagency collaboration. each has its statutes to administer.827. Each has its own peculiar set of clients. On the other hand. Like our governmental structure as a whole. and enemies outside the formal government. 1990 [RICHARD. Each has a separate statutory base. . the executive establishment consists of separated institutions sharing powers. there can be no doubt that presidents make numerous mistakes for which they are and should be held politically and legally accountable. or private citizens. each deals with a different set of subcommittees at the Capitol. no differences in kind and only sometimes in degree. almost every policy entangles many agencies. each has a different set of specialized careerists inside its own bailiwick. The incidents preceding the dismissal of Macarthur and the incidents surrounding seizure of the steel mills make it plain that here as elsewhere influence derives from bargaining advantages. There are no generic differences. cabinet officers. All agency administrators are responsible to him. Our Constitution gives the President the “takecare” clause and appointive power. overestimation of casual responsibility.

and there is no one. argued by Harold Laski in his class The American Presidency. 1994 PRICHARD. But so too does the opposite case. A decision of the Supreme Court is regarded as adverse to his policy. Thus. PG 2] This argument seems plausible enough. He is. in the United States it is the president who is blamed. the president has many “voices. “there is little doubt that the president remains a powerful force in agenda setting. “makes him a target to be attacked by ever person or interest at all critical of his purposes. Laski maintains. who can help to bear the burden of the blame. a defeat in Congress is a blow to his presidency. NO one thinks of them in terms of their effects upon his cabinet.” “Moreover. While the literature on presidential agenda setting is not highly developed. As Kingdon states. . in any real sense.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 President Gets the Blame THE PRESIDENT WILL GET BLAMED 12 COHEN AND COLLIER. “PRESIDENTIAL LIGHTENING ROD. A president’s position as head of the executive branch. In his study of the agenda-setting process. the views of the department heads and others associated with the administration are usually thought of as the president’s or as having the president’s stamp of approval. PROF OF POLI SCI AT FORDHAM UNIV AND ASSIS PROF AT UNIV OF KANSAS. “PRESIDENTIAL POLICYMAKING: AN END OF CENTURY ASSESSMENT. to be blamed. the mid-term congressional elections protect his policy. 42] One of the President’s most important sources of political influence may be his ability to structure the agenda. there in all cases. In contrast to England. Kingdon finds that respondents cite the president and his administration as perhaps the most important actor with agenda influence. 1999 [JEFFREY AND KEN. it is for the administration and the president. published in the same year (1940) as Herring’s treatise. An American president. particularly compared to other actors. cannot deflect blame unto subordinates. PROF OF GOV @ BERKELEY. good or ill. ED SHULL P. Laski insists. there are suggestions that this type of presidential influence may exceed his often restricted ability to affect congressional decisionmaking. where we blame an anonymous entity “the Government” if things go wrong. When they speak .” THE PRESIDENT IS ALWAYS THE PRIMARY TARGET FOR BLAME ELLIS.

arguably. Political Science. The fact that leading Democrats typically did not vocally oppose the Iraq War is. the central puzzle. (Prof.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 A2: Obama Controls Spin Independent media prevents Presidents from controlling the spin 13 Ronald Krebs. 119. Presidents have many times faced substantial opposition and have been compelled to abandon pet projects abroad. The recent rise of cable television and. U.. . therefore. 2009. AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY AND THE POLITICS OF FEAR: THREAT INFLATION SINCE 9/11. of a generally more independent media has further undercut presidents' (already limited) capacity to control public debate.). Minn.

the GOP has to swallow deep hits to defense. The public will see the president as having tried to negotiate a balanced approach whereby each side allowed its own ox to be gored and made sacrifices for the broader national good. Yet. http://www. while Democrats are required to compromise on theirs. Likewise. If Republicans expect Democrats to swallow deep hits to domestic spending. The eventual deal will give them little reason for confidence in the country’s political leadership and economic future. and the United States will probably avoid default. Republicans will be able to smugly walk away from the table knowing that they didn’t give an inch. the Republicans’ position seems to be that they should be allowed to stand on their principles while Democrats are required to compromise theirs. A deal to raise the debt limit will surely pass. Republicans want to stand on their principles.com/columns/cookreport/cook-blame-republicans-for-debt-crisis-20110714) 14 Republicans don’t seem to understand the symbiotic relationships in this negotiation. just as Republicans dislike defense cuts. the GOP has to be willing to go along with some revenue increases. but President Obama may well come out the winner. Democrats dislike domestic spending cuts. both are necessary.nationaljournal. " Cook: Blame Republicans for Debt Crisis ". . Democrats hate entitlement cuts just as much as Republicans despise tax hikes. and they will likely keep sitting on the cash in their corporate coffers. But the business community and the financial markets will see no sign that Washington is committed to fiscal sanity. If Republicans expect Democrats to go along with entitlement cuts. Instead. and Obama will be able to blame Republicans for their unwillingness to meet Democrats halfway.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Obama Doesn’t Get Blamed Republicans get blame for spending crisis – Obama trying to compromise National Journal 7/15 (7/15/11. The current equation seems to be: Big Hopes and Big Talk = Small Cuts and No Progress. Washington will not succeed in bending the deficit and debt curve.

Markets would swoon over the uncertainty. No good crisis should go to waste. Congress would pass emergency legislation. here's what I would put on the teleprompter after a federal default. summon bankers to Washington for crisis-management sessions. is permanent loss of America's AAA rating. the Obama administration would declare an emergency. in which Obama will be able to portray the born-again budget-cutters as irresponsible fanatics who threaten to tip America into a new depression.atimes. The Tea Party movement may be marching into a political ambush. After 9/11 the central banks offered unlimited amounts of short-term financing against any dead cat that financial institutions cared to offer as collateral. but which we already know is vulnerable to a sell-off . The bigger danger lies in the "vast role Treasuries serve as collateral . Simon Johnson and other leftist economists urged him to do so. The now unpopular president then would assume the role of national savior in time of crisis. In that event.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Obama Doesn’t Get Blamed Obama will blame Republicans to get re-elected Asia Times Online 7/18 (7/18/11. as the rating agencies have threatened. Obama. supposedly to help poor people buy homes).a role which usually sees them safely locked up in the day to day operation of the money markets. engineering a brief but severe financial crisis in order to appear as crisis-manager-in-chief. After the last Republican administration led the country into the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. trained by socialists from his university days and promoted by a nexus of socialist foundations in Chicago throughout his political career. You'd hardly wait for ratings agency downgrades. markets would snap back. Now the Republicans have pushed America into yet another crisis. and so forth. consumer protection. when Paul Krugman. hedge funds and others who borrowed against bonds had to put up more collateral because Treasuries were in trouble. Evidently he thought that a compromise with Wall Street would benefit the economy and improve his chances of re-election.in the event of the debt ceiling remaining in place. And the president would be on television denouncing the lunatics who brought things to this point. if missed. Obama is a socialist of pure pedigree. " Obama could stir a Tea Party crisis ". If banks. He passed up an opportunity to nationalize American banks in March 2009. demanding tougher government controls. If I were an Obama speechwriter. meanwhile. That is what happened after the Lehman failure in 2008. (Plus a $20bn coupon payment on August 15 . A new financial crisis would give him the opportunity to do so. But there are bad reasons. Obama Will Push the Plan . and Obama has nothing to lose by running against Wall Street. would play the populist against the banks. 2008style margin spiral . all requiring redemption payments. Rahm Emanuel said. you elected me to restore the balance in favor of working people. http://www. As Stanley Kurtz documented in his 2011 book Radical-in-Chief [2]. they would have to sell huge volumes of securities into a falling market." The market for repurchase agreements (short-term loans against bonds) amounts to $4 trillion globally. as stock markets tanked and individuals cashed out their money market funds: My fellow Americans. What would happen if August arrives without an increase in the US debt ceiling? There is no good reason for a new financial crisis to erupt. [1] which notes that "the United States runs a monthly fiscal deficit totaling $124bn.com/atimes/Global_Economy/MG19Dj01. There are no automatic triggers in such things: ultimately the question of what collateral is good depends on the say-so of the monetary authorities. slash every form of spending except for coupon payments on Treasuries. the Republican party has been in the pocket of the big banks for too long. and so perhaps. and that there are almost $60bn of T-bills maturing in the two weeks after August 2. and perhaps even the right to dictate that banks make loans to the Democrats' pet projects in the name of job-creation (just as the Clinton administration forced banks into the subprime market. That did not pan out. The standard scenario was rehearsed July 15 on the Financial Times' Alphaville blog.Fitch has said this would be the trigger for restricted default.html) President Barack Obama's 15 best hope of re-election lies in provoking Republicans to force the United States into technical default. Just how that might transpire is up to the central banks. and Obama would declare himself a national savior. and again we are faced with the danger of depression.)" Technical default is likely.a Lehman.

Executive Controls Space Policy – Obama Push Is Required G.com/pages/images/stories/Memo_For_the_President_March_10_20091. “MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT: America’s Leadership in Space. periodic political support at the Presidential level is of great importance—or is perceived to be within the space community—because of the sentiment that the national space exploration program is a tool to be used by and within the prerogative of the executive. which in turn will be highly supportive and synergistic with your broader agenda. We know the formula for success in space. standing in the world and erode capabilities crucial to the nation’s security and prosperity in the decades ahead.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Only Obama involvement gets plan passed General Hamel et. “President Obama’s Vision for Space Exploration (part 2)” 4/26 http://www. Ryan Faith ’10 G. The Committee for US Space Leadership.S. In his op-ed for the Orlando Sentinel today. engagement by the President and State Department on behalf of NASA will be quite valuable. Ms.thespacereview. which specializes in news. so too mastery of space will be a defining feature of the 21st century.com/pages/index. al. Kennedy and the Race to the Moon. 09 – Michael A. a new President challenged America to become the world leader in space. “Last Man on Moon and Space Policy Expert Dismayed at State of U. starting at the top. Ryan Faith is an independent technology consultant and Adjunct Fellow for Space Initiatives at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. It takes the right skills. priorities. without sustained presidential leadership. LLC.com/article/1616/1 One thing that President Obama can learn from the fate of his predecessor’s plan for space exploration is that continued. Plan requires presidential involvement – means Obama gets the blame Marcia Smith ’11 Smith is President of the Space and Technology Policy Group. Should international cooperation play a greater role in American plans in the near future. military and commercial space programs and other technology areas. General (retired). USAF (3/10/10. but a President coping with Cold War realities. both symbolic and substantive. From March 2006-March 2009. America succeeded in achieving President Kennedy’s vision.S. to send Americans to the moon and return them safely to Earth within a decade. and goals for the nation.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1591:last-man-onmoon-and-space-policy-expert-dismayed-at-state-of-us-human-spaceflight-program&catid=67:news&Itemid=27 Logsdon recounted the key points of his new book. Loss of our strategic advantage in space would have acute consequences. Human Spaceflight Program” 5/25 http://spacepolicyonline.pdf) 16 Just as the mastery and use of the maritime and air domains helped define the course of world affairs and the histories of the 19th and 20th centuries. on U.. . he needs to emulate John Kennedy. Logsdon suggested that JFK could be a role model for President Obama in remaining closely involved in space program decisions. America is at a new crossroads. emphasizing that JFK was not a space visionary.” http://spacepolicyonline. and we need our new President to inspire the nation with a space vision and government actions to assure our continued leadership in the 2s1t century. hard work. and the nation has benefited beyond imagination from meeting that challenge. information and analysis of civil. Lt. and effective management. NASA will continue to lack the focus required for a space effort producing acknowledged international leadership and national pride in what the United States accomplishes. Strong White House leadership is essential to putting the national space enterprise on an effective new course. "If President Obama hopes for a positive space legacy. Nearly fifty years ago. John F." Logsdon wrote. (CSIS). Smith was Director of the Space Studies Board (SSB) at the National Research Council (NRC).

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11

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### Spillover ###

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Yes Spillover

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Yes vote switching – no impact to ideology Bond & Fleisher, Professor in Political Science - Texas A&M & Professor in Political Science Fordham - 1996 (Jon R. and Richard “The President in Legislation” pg 54)
In a previous study of presidential-congressional relations from Eisenhower to Ford, we found that ideological conflict between the president and members of Congress was associated with lower support. In general, as ideological differences increase, the president tends to lose support from members of both parties at about the same rate, although support from the opposition is lower at all levels of ideological conflict (Bond and Fleisher 1980,75). Thus ideological forces in Congress often cause the formation of bipartisan coalitions to support or oppose the president’s policy preferences. These ideological forces help explain why majority presidents have only a limited advantage over minority presidents in building majority support for their positions in Congress. Majority presidents inevitably experience defections of partisans who have ideologies in conflict with theirs. Minority presidents, on the other hand, can frequently build working majorities composed of their partisan base and like-minded members of the opposition.

Political capital spills over – 107th congress proves LEE 05 The Rose Institute of State & Local Government – Claremont McKenna College – Presented at the Georgia Political Science Association 2005 Conference [Andrew, “Invest or Spend?:Political capital and Statements of Administration Policy in the First Term of the George W. Bush Presidency,” http://as.clayton.edu/trachtenberg/2005%20Proceedings%20Lee.pdf]
The idea of investing political capital also supports the notion that the chief executive specializes in foreign and defense policy. The president may increase his domestic capital by cooperating on domestic legislation and then spend it implementing foreign policies. In executing foreign policy, the president will not issue

SAPs on his own foreign policy. For example, if the president signs a treaty, Congress may or may not ratify it, but there is no opportunity for veto. Therefore, the president’s use of foreign policy is a spend maneuver, whereas his domestic policy is an invest maneuver. The 107th Congress, during which the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began, supports this theory. President Bush may have spent his political capital towards executing those wars and attempted to invest his capital by cooperating
on domestic legislation.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 No Spillover No Spillover – Congress considers policies individually George C. Edwards III – Distinguished Professor of Political Science and the director of the Center for Presidential Studies at Texas A&M University – March 2000 (Presidential Studies Quarterly. Volume 30. Issue 1. “Building Coalitions” ty)

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Besides not considering the full range of available views, members of Congress are not generally in a position to make trade-offs between policies. Because of its decentralization, Congress usually considers policies serially, that is, without reference to other policies. Without an integrating mechanism, members have few means by which to set and enforce priorities and to emphasize the policies with which the president is most concerned. This latter point is especially true when the opposition party controls Congress.

Senators don’t vote based on capital – it’s all about ideology and representing their local interests Matt Yglesias, Fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, 6-15-09, http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2009/06/the-limits-of-political-capital.php I think the answer to the puzzle is simply that “political capital” is a pretty misleading metaphor. The fact of the matter is that the Senate is what it is—to wit, an institution with an enormous status quo bias, that’s also biased in favor of conservative areas. On top of that, the entire structure of the US Congress with its bicameralism and multiple overlapping committees is biased toward making it easy for concentrated interests to block reform. Between them, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Chuck Schumer, Kristen Gillibrand, Bill Nelson, Dick Durbin, Roland Burriss, Arlen Specter, Bob Casey, Sherrod Brown, Carl Levin, Amy Klobuchar, Kay Hagan, Bob Menendez, Frank Lautenberg, Mark Warner, Jim Webb, Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and Evan Bayh represent 50 percent of the country’s population. But that only adds up to 22 Senators—you need thirty-eight more to pass a bill. Meanwhile, the fact of the matter is that in recent years plenty of incumbent Republicans have been brought down by primary challenges from the right and as best I know zero Democrats have been brought down by primary challenges from the left. This has been a huge advantage for the Democrats in terms of winning elections—it’s an important part of the reason Democrats have these majorities. But it also means that when it comes to policymaking, Republicans have a lot of solidarity but Democratic leaders have little leverage over individual members. In other words, nobody thinks that Collin Peterson (D-MN) is going to lose his seat over badly watering down Waxman-Markey and that matters a lot
more than airy considerations of capital.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 No Spill-Over No horsetrading – policies are examined individually George C. Edwards III – Distinguished Professor of Political Science and the director of the Center for Presidential Studies at Texas A&M University – March 2000 (Presidential Studies Quarterly. Volume 30. Issue 1. “Building Coalitions” ty) In addition, Congress has little capability to examine two policies, such as education and health care, in
relation to each other. Not knowing that giving up something on one policy will result in a greater return on another policy, members have little incentive to engage in trade-offs. The budget committees have a

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broader scope than other committees and are involved in making some trade-offs between policies and setting some priorities. But they deal only with direct expenditures (and then usually only with increases over past expenditures), not taxes (except for general revenue estimates), tax expenditures, treaties, regulation, or other important areas. Moreover, they only recommend general limits on spending, leaving it up to the more parochial subject-area committees to go into specifics. The House committee is also composed of temporary members whose
permanent committee assignments undoubtedly limit their scope.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11

21

No Spillover
Political Capital is irrelevant – case studies prove Bond & Fleisher, Professor in Political Science - Texas A&M & Professor in Political Science Fordham 1996 (Jon R. and Richard The President in Legislation) In sum, the evidence presented in this chapter provides little support for the theory that the president's
perceived leadership, skills are associated with success on roll call votes in Congress. Presidents reputed as highly skilled do not win consistently more often than should be expected. Even the effects of the partisan balanced Congress, the president's popularity, and, the cycle of decreasing influence over the course of his term. Presidents reputed as unskilled do not win consistently less often relative to. Moreover, skilled presidents do not win significantly more often than unskilled presidents on either important votes or close votes, in which skills have the greatest potential to affect the outcome. Because of the difficulty of establishing a

definitive test of the skills theory, some may argue that it is premature to reject this explanation of presidential success based on the tests reported in this chapter. It might be argued that these findings by themselves do not deny that leadership skill is an important component of presidential-congressional relations. Failure to find systematic effects in general does not necessarily refute the anecdotes and case studies demonstrating the importance of skills.

Therefore. In executing foreign policy. The 107th Congress.clayton. The president may increase his domestic capital by cooperating on domestic legislation and then spend it implementing foreign policies. but there is no opportunity for veto. the president’s use of foreign policy is a spend maneuver.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 22 No Spillover – Foreign policy/ Domestic Policy No spillover between domestic and foreign policy Andrew Lee – The Rose Institute of State & Local Government – Claremont McKenna College .edu/trachtenberg/2005%20Proceedings%20Lee. during which the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began.pdf) The idea of investing political capital also supports the notion that the chief executive specializes in foreign and defense policy. . supports this theory. President Bush may have spent his political capital towards executing those wars and attempted to invest his capital by cooperating on domestic legislation.2005 (“Invest or Spend?:Political capital and Statements of Administration Policy in the First Term of the George W. Bush Presidency.” http://a-s. if the president signs a treaty. the president will not issue SAPs on his own foreign policy. Congress may or may not ratify it. whereas his domestic policy is an invest maneuver. For example.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 ### Courts ### 23 .

com/sharedcontent/dws/news/texassouthwest/legislature/schoolfinance/st ories/082005dntexsession. These Bush appointees tended to be strikingly young and were "advancing a conservative legal revolution that began three decades ago under President Reagan.html] That could foreshadow the court's response to a chief argument by state attorneys – that the court should butt out and leave school finance to the Legislature. who have tended to put off dealing with problems in schools." said Maurice Dyson. president of the Alliance for Justice.8bd31b4a. which allows politicians to say their hands are tied." No link . . it does matter enormously who sits on the federal bench. A court finding against the state would put the ball back in the hands of lawmakers. During the campaign. Senior Editor at Slate. an imbalance of this magnitude requires strong medicine in the coming years." My colleague Emily Bazelon has said. Dahlia Lithwick. who will shape national jurisprudence for years to come.. obscures the fact that the appointment power of the president -. Obama can’t overcome it." Today." It probably won't happen. Some are calling for Obama to seat a small army of fiery. Obama mentioned "empathy" as a prerequisite for judges. As far as Democrats are concerned. Obama almost certainly will get to appoint one or more Supreme Court judges -.can fundamentally change the legal landscape. and when. "It's the classic political response to problems they don't want to deal with. a school finance expert and assistant law professor at Southern Methodist University. The New York Times' Charlie Savage reported last fall that Bush had managed despite the confirmation battles to appoint more than one-third of the judges currently serving on the federal appellate bench.four are over the age of 70. Los Angeles Times 3-8-09 Of course. “Justices to decide if overhaul needed after bills fail in Legislature. "There is no better political cover than to have a court rule that something must be done. "The goal should be to find someone who can speak with a roar that matches Scalia's. told The Times: "We hope for a justice who can replace the lost voice of an Earl Warren or Thurgood Marshall or William Brennan. and Terrence. http://www. in the final analysis. and that probably will extend to his judicial nominations. 2005.Bush gets blamed – his stamp on the courts is so strong. ideological judges.dallasnews. He has shown himself inclined toward moderation. prisons and mental health facilities until state or federal judges forced them to act.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 24 2AC No Court Link Court decisions don’t hurt politicians – they serve as a scapegoat for unpopular actions GARRETT & STUTZ 05 Dallas Morning News Staff [Robert T. Nan Aron.” August 19. And partisan bickering over who borked whom. And the White House has already begun to assess the federal court vacancies across the nation.and its disposition in the hands of senators -. 10 of the 13 federal circuits are controlled by Republican appointees.

it is not surprising to find that the Supreme Court is much less frequently covered in the media. and party leaders and other members make statements. even before it takes a vote. Congress holds hearings. As one of the three branches of the federal government. Journalists may cover the Court. Political scientists tell us this is a crucial time of negotiations and decision making (Baum 1992. the Court is coequal with the President and the Congress. . Yet it is far from co-equal in visibility and hence in knowledge citizens have about it and its decisions. In comparison to the Supreme Court. visit the White house. The President is even more visible. The justices meet in private and they talk to themselves in private. through the media or perhaps conversation. and floor debates. 1995 [CHARLES. It is invisible to the media. Except on the days when it hears oral argument and the days when it hands down a decision. In contrast. there is literally nothing to watch. Congress is a veritable hotbed of activity. but the vast majority of Americans encounter the Supreme Court indirectly.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 25 2AC No Court Link No perception of court action means no link FRANKLIN. committee and subcommittee meetings. How much the media cover the Court and how much attention they devote to decisions therefore determine to a significant extent what the citizenry knows about the court. and lawyers may read some of its decisions. PROF POLI SCI @ UNIV OF WISCONSIN. One of the peculiarities of the Supreme Court as an institution is that it is high episodic and mostly private. “CONTEMPLATING COURTS”] Very few people have direct contact with the Supreme Court and its decisions. Murphy 1994) but because it is private. Given these differences in institutional structure and practice. The consequence of this is nonetheless important. and appear on television interview shows.

But. Board of Education in 1954 a whole slew of other political issues have fallen into the lap of the court – affirmative action. because it has implications for the long-term authority of the Court and the integrity of the American political system as a whole. as seen with the prolonged reaction to the Court’s 1973 Roe v Wade decision legalizing abortion. has meant that the judiciary has had to address these extremely explosive issues whether it wants to or not. PROF OF POLI SCI @ FLORIDA INT’L UNIV. gay rights – issues that touch a sensitive chord in multiethnic. multicultural America. since Bush left a permanent mark on the current court. together with the increasing ability of national interest groups associated with these issues to promote their objectives in federal court. “CONGRESS CONFRONTS THE COURTS. however.” PG. This development brings us back to the second of the scenarios above: the tendency for Congress to “pass the buck” to the Court on a whole range of political issues that the legislative branch itself is reluctant to tackle or resolve. This. [JOHN. Brown. flag burning and line-item veto prove Congress can shift the blame for unpopular actions to the court and face no political repercussions STACK. they win that the president gets the backlash because he appointed the judiciary.fairly secure in the knowledge that the Court will take the political opprobrium for rejecting them. and Obama has appointed 0 justices. The political cover of court action means officials would shift any industry backlash onto the court and there would be no political capital / horsetrading story That’s 2AC Guertz. it is likely to find itself contesting for political authority on these matters with the other branches of the government: a conflict that poses significant risks for the court’s authority. One further development of the past half-century or so demands our attention. 2001.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 26 1AR No Court Link The politics disad makes no sense in the context of a courts aff 1) Politicians blame the court for unpopular actions they have to take. although unless it reads the public mood carefully. abortion.] So there clearly are circumstances in which the Court can effectively legislate. We have also seen other instances where Congress has passed legislation of obviously dubious constitutionality to cater to ephemeral national sentiments – flag desecration and the line-item veto come to mind. Aside from the obvious concerns for the integrity of the electoral process if the least electorally accountable branch of the federal government is making more and more significant decisions. he’ll get the [blame / credit] for all the decisions – that’s Lithwick . “buck passing” to the judiciary has also been unhealthy for the court and the relationship between the branches. Since Brown v. 2) At best.

in the Washington scene. and the Roe abortion-rights case . Moreover. in marked contrast to a White House nagged by scandal and a Congress often locked in bickering. The carefully cultivated aloofness of the Supreme Court is. They were selected for life. Those decisions are a main reason the court image is so buffed today." says one court-watcher. the court is uniquely constituted.when the majority was fragile and the justices felt under great pressure. and assisted suicide. generally write their own opinions. say scholars. Justices Don't Have to Wade in Washington Swamp. as is a single chief executive. when politicians must create a TV image and constantly raise funds. The court's warts don't show. the Supreme Court is riding high in terms of its public image and esteem. the justices are deciding more major cases than at any time in the past decade . And there's some truth to it. Louis. "The stature and credibility of the court is higher than ever. almost countercultural in nature. Possibly adding to the court's prestige. They disappear. They are free to dissent. unlike earlier courts. It is not one targetable political persona. The White House is covered eight times as much. They don't need speech writers or have to check the polls.in areas such as religious freedom. "With Congress and the White House. The current justices. Conn. the line-item veto. The members of the court don't need to campaign for office every few years. 1997 These days. Yet it is smaller than a Congress of 535 people.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 27 1AR No Court Link There’s no link to politics –court decisions have no effect on Washington politics Christian Science Monitor June 25. a scholar at Yale University in New Haven. says Lee Epstein of Washington University in St. and everyone stands. They ask incisive questions. and their rulings are not tied to interest-group pressure." Importantly. as an institution.more than other branches of government. In one sense. the scholarly-looking justices seem a refreshing alternative. regulation of the Internet. but Americans continue to trust it as a fair arbiter of the nation's business . the reason is obvious: With divided government and partisan sniping in Washington. There's even a popular new mystery novel out this year about the lives of Supreme Court clerks. "There's an aura around it at the moment. The court does not have the power of purse or sword. They come out in black robes from behind red silk curtains. we see the blood-letting on the street. It looks like competence personified. "People don't see the court infighting. Congress is covered by TV four times as much as the court is." CONTINUES Today this holds true even more. it seems more harmonious and less political. ." says Akhil Amar. according to recent surveys. The court stands out now because it is not part of Washington's political swamp. current justices benefit from courageous stands the court took in cases like Brown school desegregation.

says constitutional historian Stephen Presser. high-profile news coverage of the U. who administers the laws. Says FindLaw.com/news/pressrelease. JD/BCL Candidate May 2005 @LSU. January 10. Louisiana Law Review Fall.cfm?id=2933] (PDAF0728) 28 In spite of broad. 507 As former Chief Justice John Marshall so famously stated in Marbury v. Federal judges are given lifetime appointment under Article III of the Constitution precisely because they are to be insulated from the passions and politics of the majority. a professor at Northwestern University Law School. Madison.ipsosna. As such. Supreme Court in the past year. the public ought to be paying more attention to the Supreme Court and the battles over the nomination of justices. 2004 65 La. Supreme Court justices. . http://www. L.S. Rev.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Courts Don’t Link – Insulated Ext. In a way it’s not surprising that most members of the public can’t name a single Supreme Court justice. which in effect makes the laws. De Shazo. only 43 percent of American adults can name at least one justice who is currently serving on the nation’s highest court <continuedÖ>. 57 percent of Americans canít name any current U." n166 Those who suggest that the Supreme Court utilize de minimis to protect the credibility of the Court ignore this command and invite the judicial branch to practice a dangerous jurisprudence of public sentiment. Indeed. 2006 [Most Americans Canít Name Any Supreme Court Justices. "[i]t is emphatically the province and duty of the of the judicial department to say what the law is.î Courts are insulated from politics – no link Michael L.com Survey. or the president. According to a new national survey conducted by FindLaw. No link – the public ignores court action Chris Deeney. such a position conflicts with the intentions of the Framers. Ipsos News Center. The reality is that who sits on the Supreme Court makes a big difference as to what happens to us as a nation. The average citizen probably doesn’t view the judicial role as being as important as the role of Congress.com.S. The Supreme Court must sometimes make unpopular decisions when they are required by the Constitution and to suggest that the Court should make decisions based on their "credibility" in the eyes of the general public degrades the entire judicial branch. the leading legal Web site.

Indeed. after all Judiciary Committee Republicans voted against reporting to the Senate floor his nomination for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. http://www.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Courts Don’t Link – Cover Ext Obama won’t get the blame the court is still controlled by “unbendable” conservatives Washington Monthly 9 –“ Tipping Back the Scales”. Meese turned machine. both Reagan DOJ alumni. he aimed to change America’s legal culture so that Ronald Reagan’s agenda would thrive the Justice Department into an ideological patronage providing a generation of young conservative lawyers with the government credentials and intellectual tools they would need to transform American jurisprudence. “but sometimes [that is] the only way you can make sure things are fair. obstruct. A study by the law professor (and now Office of Management and Budget official) Cass Sunstein found that the judges appointed by Republican presidents from Reagan onward were the Supreme Court has lurched to the right since the arrival of John Roberts and Samuel Alito. while Democratic appointees control just one. The filibuster threat keeps popping up. Indiana District Judge David Hamilton. more consistently conservative in their rulings than those appointed by Eisenhower. Rachel Morris . or Ford. strain for excuses to paint candidates as extreme and. When Edwin Meese became Schlozman’s ham-fisted quest to pack attorney general in 1985. its successes will reverberate for years to come. is already being quietly filibustered. a stint in the Bush DOJ will probably not be considered a stepping stone to greater things. Orrin Hatch (Utah) frowns.” Senior Republican Sen. they seem.washingtonmonthly. But even if the conservative legal movement advances no further. Already Obama shielded from court action due to Republican obstruction Roll Call 9 (Capitol Hill Newspaper. Obama’s first appeals court nominee. implicitly suggesting retaliation if her hearing is not pushed off past the August recess. with majorities on ten of the thirteen appellate courts. Many of these Republican appointees are not moderates or pragmatists. Republican appointees now comprise more than 60 percent of appeals court judges. Nixon.com/news/36303-1. “Don’t Blame Democrats for Republican Obstruction of Obama’s Judicial Nominees”.html) Republican leaders have promised her a “fair shake. The cronyism and ineptitude that pervaded the Justice Department in the past eight years may long after he left the White House.html> 29 the Justice Department with Bush loyalists was the crass echo of a project that began nearly twenty-five years ago. unbendable conservatives. but talented.rollcall. wherever possible.morris.Jul 11.“I don’t think anybody wants to filibuster Judge Sotomayor. “on the same page” with right-wing advocacy groups who demand a rejectionist strategy for Sotomayor and all of President Barack Obama’s judicial and other law-related nominees: delay. as confided to Roll Call by an unnamed Senate Republican leadership aide.” But behind the smiles. . 2009 <http://www. have dealt this project a mortal blow—thanks to the Schloz. 6/25.com/features/2009/0903.” Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has repeatedly refused to rule out a filibuster for Sotomayor. block confirmation.

there is always uncertainty in litigation. boundary and water compacts if the matter were left to the pleasure of the state in possession. PROF OF POLI SCI @ U OF CHICAGO. Court action provides political cover for politicians – no backlash GRANT 03 Professor. 1991 [GERALD. a state advantaged by an old water allocation compact negotiated under different circumstances would have little. This was also the case in the Alabama mental health litigation where ‘the mental health administrators wanted judge Johnson to take all the political heat associated with specific orders while they enjoyed the benefits of his action. William S. if any. Thus. “HOLLOW HOPE” P 34-35] Finally. This pattern is often seen in the school desegregation era. Rather than face highly unpredictable apportionment litigation. But the advantaged state's situation changes dramatically if the Supreme Court would allow the dissatisfied state to withdraw from the compact and then apply the doctrine of equitable apportionment. UNLV [Douglas L. cover. the state advantaged by the old compact should then have a serious interest in the unpredictability of apportionment litigation can provide needed political cover for state officials engaged in renegotiating a compact." 405 renegotiating the compact. if any. This was illustrated by the recent negotiated settlement of a claim by Nebraska against [*179] Wyoming for violating a Supreme Court decree equitably apportioning the North Platte River. . The Wyoming governor explained to Wyoming citizens why he approved the settlement by saying. Condition IV. Furthermore. or a shield. or excuse for persons crucial to implementation who are willing to act. incentive to renegotiate if left to its pleasure. court orders can simply provide a shield or cover for administrators fearful of political reaction.. "while Wyoming's case was strong and I am confident that Wyoming's legal team would have put forward the very best defense possible to Nebraska' claims. Courts may effectively produce significant social reform by providing leverage. a review of school desegregation cases did find that “many school boards pursue from the outset a course designed to shift the entire political burden of desegregation on the courts”. This is particularly helpful for elected officials who can implement required reforms and protest against them at the same time. “Interstate Water Allocation Compacts. in part. Writing in 1967 – one author noted that “court order is useful in that it leaves the official no choice and a perfect excuse”. Boyd School of Law. COURTS SHIELD POLITICIANS ROSENBERG. While the history of court-ordered desegregation unfortunately shows that officials often had many choices other than implementing court orders.” University of Colorado Law Review.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 30 Courts Don’t Link – Cover Ext. winter] Just as states would have negotiated few.

The local government is guided by the imperative of self-interest. Assuming. COURTS ARE THE MOST EFFECTIVE AND PROVIDE COVER THE WASHINGTON POST 9-22-96 Then there is the practical matter.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 31 Courts Don’t Link – Cover Ext. generously. We know Congress's problem: Even if members wanted to do more. often at great cost -whether it's cleaning up nuclear waste or seeing to the rights of Native Americans. Only the courts can break the political gridlock. A court can give everyone political cover. We don't know the White House's problem. there are still inevitable political barriers that thwart a solution. that everyone dealing with this mess has the best intentions. Why should Congress's District of Columbia be any different? . most people wouldn't have wanted to pay for Congress screwing up the savings and loan industry. Courts tell the government to fix inequities on government property all the time. especially when it comes to spending money. but it was the law. except the fact that President Clinton chooses to stay as far away from the matter as he can. either. their constituents will only let them tinker on the margins. Given a choice.

and floor debates. and appear on television interview shows. Except on the days when it hears oral argument and the days when it hands down a decision. This pattern is often seen in the school desegregation era. While the history of court-ordered desegregation unfortunately shows that officials often had many choices other than implementing court orders. or excuse for persons crucial to implementation who are willing to act.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Courts Don’t Link -. “HOLLOW HOPE” P 34-35] Finally. even before it takes a vote. Writing in 1967 – one author noted that “court order is useful in that it leaves the official no choice and a perfect excuse”. Murphy 1994) but because it is private. visit the White house. This is particularly helpful for elected officials who can implement required reforms and protest against them at the same time. and party leaders and other members make statements. Courts may effectively produce significant social reform by providing leverage. It is invisible to the media. a review of school desegregation cases did find that “many school boards pursue from the outset a course designed to shift the entire political burden of desegregation on the courts”. As one of the three branches of the federal government. The justices meet in private and they talk to themselves in private. but the vast majority of Americans encounter the Supreme Court indirectly. . Condition IV. Journalists may cover the Court. or a shield. Congress is a veritable hotbed of activity. court orders can simply provide a shield or cover for administrators fearful of political reaction. Political scientists tell us this is a crucial time of negotiations and decision making (Baum 1992. In contrast. the Court is coequal with the President and the Congress. The consequence of this is nonetheless important. The President is even more visible.Cover COURTS AREN’T PERCEIVED – THE PRIVACY OF RULINGS AND LACK OF MEDIA COVERAGE PRECLUDE POLITICAL BACKLASH FRANKLIN. there is literally nothing to watch. One of the peculiarities of the Supreme Court as an institution is that it is high episodic and mostly private. committee and subcommittee meetings. PROF POLI SCI @ UNIV OF WISCONSIN. Yet it is far from co-equal in visibility and hence in knowledge citizens have about it and its decisions. 1995 [CHARLES. and lawyers may read some of its decisions. How much the media cover the Court and how much attention they devote to decisions therefore determine to a significant extent what the citizenry knows about the court. PROF OF POLI SCI @ U OF CHICAGO. through the media or perhaps conversation. it is not surprising to find that the Supreme Court is much less frequently covered in the media. 1991 [GERALD. cover. This was also the case in the Alabama mental health litigation where ‘the mental health administrators wanted judge Johnson to take all the political heat associated with specific orders while they enjoyed the benefits of his action. Given these differences in institutional structure and practice. COURTS SHIELD POLITICIANS ROSENBERG. “CONTEMPLATING COURTS”] 32 Very few people have direct contact with the Supreme Court and its decisions. Thus. Congress holds hearings. In comparison to the Supreme Court.

2001. but it was the law. One further development of the past half-century or so demands our attention. however. Given a choice. most people wouldn't have wanted to pay for Congress screwing up the savings and loan industry.Cover CONGRESS CAN SHIFT THE BLAME TO THE COURTS STACK. it is likely to find itself contesting for political authority on these matters with the other branches of the government: a conflict that poses significant risks for the court’s authority. Why should Congress's District of Columbia be any different? .fairly secure in the knowledge that the Court will take the political opprobrium for rejecting them. generously.] 33 So there clearly are circumstances in which the Court can effectively legislate. “buck passing” to the judiciary has also been unhealthy for the court and the relationship between the branches. COURTS ARE THE MOST EFFECTIVE AND PROVIDE COVER THE WASHINGTON POST 9-22-96 Then there is the practical matter.” PG. Assuming. “CONGRESS CONFRONTS THE COURTS. multicultural America. except the fact that President Clinton chooses to stay as far away from the matter as he can.whether it's cleaning up nuclear waste or seeing to the rights of Native Americans. although unless it reads the public mood carefully. We have also seen other instances where Congress has passed legislation of obviously dubious constitutionality to cater to ephemeral national sentiments – flag desecration and the line-item veto come to mind. Since Brown v. This. This development brings us back to the second of the scenarios above: the tendency for Congress to “pass the buck” to the Court on a whole range of political issues that the legislative branch itself is reluctant to tackle or resolve. Only the courts can break the political gridlock. Courts tell the government to fix inequities on government property all the time. there are still inevitable political barriers that thwart a solution. as seen with the prolonged reaction to the Court’s 1973 Roe v Wade decision legalizing abortion. abortion. together with the increasing ability of national interest groups associated with these issues to promote their objectives in federal court. PROF OF POLI SCI @ FLORIDA INT’L UNIV. gay rights – issues that touch a sensitive chord in multiethnic. especially when it comes to spending money. Aside from the obvious concerns for the integrity of the electoral process if the least electorally accountable branch of the federal government is making more and more significant decisions. has meant that the judiciary has had to address these extremely explosive issues whether it wants to or not. [JOHN. Board of Education in 1954 a whole slew of other political issues have fallen into the lap of the court – affirmative action. We know Congress's problem: Even if members wanted to do more. that everyone dealing with this mess has the best intentions. either. because it has implications for the long-term authority of the Court and the integrity of the American political system as a whole. often at great cost -. We don't know the White House's problem.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Courts Don’t Link -. A court can give everyone political cover. their constituents will only let them tinker on the margins. The local government is guided by the imperative of self-interest.

The President was prompted to observe that he “could carve out of a banana a Judge with more backbone than that!” Franklin Roosevelt “thought that out in many areas to be a rank conservative. who as attorney general had approved all White House appointments. for a number of reasons. In 1949.” Clark also recalled how Eisenhower was “very much disturbed over Chief Justice Warren and Justice Brennan. But Truman could not accept Clark’s refusal to stand up for him when Brownell issued his attack. was a Soviet spy. Justices frequently disappoint their presidential benefactors. for political advantage. p. Presidents are disappointed because they fail to understand “that the Supreme Court is an institution far more dominated by centrifugal forces. Longevity of the appointees. Nixon (1974) to deny his claim of executive privilege as a shield against having to turn over the “Watergate tapes. Presidential efforts to pack the Court are only partially successful. “Neither the President nor his appointee can foresee what issues will come before the Court during the tenure of the appointees. after Truman left office.” and his sense of considered part of Truman’s “official family. Other justices strongly objected to members of the Court appearing at trials or before congressional investigating committees.” Justice Rehnquiest has pointed out.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Courts Don’t Link to Ptx—No blame 34 Supreme Court justices do not act in the same way as the President—disloyalty proves no link. In the fall of 1953.” . Frankfurter claimed it was his “duty” to testify in behalf of his former student and clerk to Justice Holmes. Attorney General Brownell continued the 1952 Republican campaign attack against the Roosevelt and Truman administrations for being for being soft on communism. they may well disagree as to future cases involving other questions when. “lied” and “fully embraced. so also may the personal antagonism developed between strong-willed appointees of the same President. pushing towards individuality and independence. “Even though they agree as to the proper resolution of [past or] current cases. Brownell charged that Harry Dexter White. countered Truman. Two years after joining the Court. a former assistant under Secretary of the Treasury Vinson.” And Blackmun undoubltedly also proved a disappointment because of his authorship of the ruling on abortion in Roe v. 2005. Clark. than it is by centripetal forces pulling for hierarchical ordering and institutional unity. Clark was considered part of Trumans’ “official family.” and his sense of having been personally betrayed ran deeper than his disagreement with Youngstown.” Byron White disappointed United States v. may also frustrate a President’s expectations. and he refused to testify. Wade. refused not only to testify but even to defend the President publicly. they study briefs and hear arguments. Storm Center: The Supreme Court in American Politics. Brownell. McCarthyism. 84-85 Like most Presidents.” The House Un-American Activites Committee subsequently subpoenaed Truman. Justices Reed and Frankfurter testified as character witnesses in Alger Hiss’s trial for perjury and espionage. Holmes disappointed President Theodore Roosevelt by voting against his administration’s antitrust policies. Truman expected loyalty. or untimely deaths such as those of Justice Murphy and Justice Rutledge. Professor of Government and Foreign Affairs at the University of Virginia. David O’Brien.” Fundamentally. as judges.

Professor of Political Science at Arizona State University. The simple fact is that all three institutions create policy. 118 35 What about the fundamental uniqueness argument? Although scholars continue to be skeptical about the role Court decisions play in public evaluations of the Court. But recognizing these differences does not mean abandoning explanations of public support for other institutions to create an entirely separate theory of support for the Court. it conducts its business differently from the other two branches.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Courts Don’t Link to Ptx—No blame Public doesn’t think about Court in the same way as President/Congress Valerie Hoekstra. and. All three branches must make choices. this must be true. Once a policy or decision is made public. Public Reaction to Supreme Court Decisions. often on some of the most contentious issues of the day. p. 2003. . it has the potential to affect support for that particular institution. The Court is fundamentally different: it has less visibility since the justices do not campaign for office.choices that will undoubtedly please some and anger others. most people simply do not think about the Court in the same way they think about Congress or the President. To some extent.

Casey. they have the best of the best of legal educations and are presumed to have an understanding of the law and the Constitution that surpasses that of most others (perhabs even other lawyers and judges). In part for these reasons.Congress and President aren’t 36 Elliot Slotnick and Jennifer Segal. They are believed to be able to do this because they are insulated from politics and are not elected officials as the politicians in Congress and the White House are. Television News and the Supreme Court: All the News That’s Fit to Air?. treating all who come before them equally. as well as for jounalistic rasons. that they rely on their training in the law to guide them to the best answers to the problems with which they are faced. the work of the justices involves primarily the interpretation of law and the Constitution and takes place in a court of law. p. . including the notion that these interpreters be fair and unbiased. The implications and public perceptions of such work are many. 1974). that they do not engage in haggling and do not succumb to the opinions and pressures of outsiders. and again related. 1998. the general perception of Supreme Court justices held by the American public (a perception often buttressed by the justices themselves) is that they are neutral interpreters of our laws and our Constitution. 4 Third. the appeal and justification for studying media coverage of the court have been less than for the other institutions. for example. neutral in their application of law. Typically. Moreover. Thus. and not part of the political world characterized by the wheelings and dealings of executives and legislators influenced by outside pressures as well as their own political preferences (see.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Courts Link Less to Politics than Congress Supreme Court insulated from politics. justices are specialists who speak a language that the average American does not. to which we turn below. Professor of Political Science at Ohio State University and Professor of Political Science at the University of Kentucky.

is episodic. al. 290-1). October." Rosenberg's challenge is especially sharp in light of the fact that the media concentrate their limited coverage of the Court to decisions dealing with civil rights and First Amendment questions (Danielian and Page 1994. 1063-5: Graber 1993.Milwaukee. the media may provide the Court with an unreliable link to the public. the two policy domains where the Court has been especially active over the past 45 years or so. when compared to the presidency and Congress. Indeed. As a result. raised fundamental questions about the Court's ability to shape national debates over important issues. If newspapers or television outlets pay limited attention to the Court. 1227 (JSTOR) Of course. . This means that the Court's concerns are unlikely to arounse the public to the same degree as presidential pronouncements or congressional activites. Rosenberg (1991). In effect they establish the grounds for an initial null expectation that no relationship exists between the Supreme Court's decisions and changes in issue attentiveness by the media and system. Media attention to Court decisions is less intense and more irregular than attention to the presidency and Congress. and thus the direction of legal change. there are reasons to expect that the Supreme Court has a weak hand in moving issues onto the systemic agenda and holding them there.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Courts Link Less to Politics than Congress 37 Supreme Court has a weak hand in moving issues onto the national agenda. It is also possible. He argued that the Supreme Court's ability to activate and lead public opinion. Filtered by media coverage. Professor of Political Science at University of Wisconsin. 1997. pales in significance when compared to the pervasive. American Journal of Political Science. 1074. that the Court's voice regarding major controversies cannot be heard over the rush of history. more powerful influences of the events and incidents that make up what he calls the "tide of history. the Supreme Court's decisions will unlikely be able to dominate what the public views as important.media coverage of the Court.don’t arouse the public to the same degree as Congress and the President John Bohte et. Franklin and Kosaki 1995: O' Gallaghan and Dukes 1992). upon analyzing media coverage of civil rights and abortion issues. as Rosenberg argues. presumably weakening the Court's ability to affect the intensity of national concerns. selective. p. These reservations are an advantage to this research since the answer to the questiona bout the Court's influence over the systemic agenda is not preordained and the issue remains problematic. and less intense (Danielian and Page 1994.

Either explanation would have fit nicely with a strategic model of decision making. Fliter might have guessed that the ideological distance between Scalia and Blackmun or the size of the conference majority made accommodation unlikely. O'Connor. Similarly. MICHIGAN can be analyzed and explained in a strategic framework. The court of appeals determined that the district court had properly required public disclosure of the basis for the fees. I do not dispute that the final vote on the merits in HARMELIN v. In such a case the defendant was interested only in disposing of the total claim asserted against it and was not interested in allocation between the attorneys’ fees and payment to the members of the class. in practical effect. the total award may be increased to reflect efficiency and benefit to the client. at the time of the final vote on the merits. Fliter 2009 (John is a Professor of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland. and the court should reduce the compensation when that practice occurs.College Park. Considering the model formulated by Wahlbeck. Marshall. It is possible that the outcome in this case is an example of a majority opinion author's (i..e. at times. Later. emphasis on the objective quantity of time spent should not shield wasteful or inefficient logging of hours from scrutiny. Scalia) refusal to accommodate a centrist viewpoint. we suggest is for trial courts to insist upon settlement of the damage aspect of the case separately from the award of statutorily authorized attorneys’ fees. . 35) Fliter lists twenty decisions in prisoners' rights cases. PRISONERS' RIGHTS is certain to prove equally insightful for scholars working the areas of criminal justice and judicial behavior. and Souter found no inconsistency between the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment and a state law imposing a mandatory life sentence on the defendant for possessing a large quantity of cocaine. knowing that a minimum winning coalition could be maintained following a single-vote switch. Conversely. only one fund for both the class and attorneys’ fees. Scalia may have strategically calculated the consequences of losing Blackmun's vote.1. “Prisoners’ Rights: The Supreme Court and Evolving Standards of Decency”. Best 2009 (Bradley is a lawyer who graduated from The University Of Mississippi School Of Law . MICHIGAN (1991) is among those listed in Table 7. Quality in this sense includes efficiency. in reality. 2001. Only after court approval of the damage settlement should discussion and negotiation of appropriate compensation for the attorneys begin. 2d at 1019. Justice Blackmun abandoned the conservative majority and voted to reverse the Michigan Supreme Court's decision. I find Fliter's book to be nothing less than successful. Blackmun. Moreover.. 35) We observe that the “quality” factor requires the court to adjust a fee on the basis of results of the work performed. Further. The court noted that there was. even though the defendant had agreed to the amount: A reasonable solution. Scalia. If the attorney achieves good results with a minimum time expenditure. The Court's decision in HARMELIN v. “Prisoners’ Rights: The Supreme Court and Evolving Standards of Decency”. easily delegable to nonprofessional assistants. p. The author's dual contributions to the study of constitutional law and judicial politics make this essential background reading for students facing doctoral examinations in public law.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Courts Link to Ptx—Not Insulated 38 Courts aren’t entirely isolated from politics. p. and Stevens in dissent. This would eliminate the situation found in this case of having. 557 F. 2001. one fund divided between the attorney and client. Although his account of strategic interaction as a key independent variable in prisoners' rights decisions is. each of which he argues bear the markings of strategic interaction. In that case the class action had been settled and the proposed settlement petition provided for payment of counsel fees as part of the settlement. Fliter offers no explanation for Blackmun's decision to join Justices White. Oddly. problematic. Justices Rehnquist. should not be valued at legal service rates. Our Filter evidence is possibly the most qualified person to talk about courts and congressional policy interacting. Spriggs.. At the initial conference vote in Harmelin. hours spent on purely clerical matters. The depth and clarity of Fliter's analysis exceeds that presented in most constitutional law casebooks. He refers to no specific mode of strategic interaction plausibly linked to Blackmun's vote-switch. Kennedy. and Maltzman..

1974). Bush found. Bush.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 39 Courts Link to Ptx—Blame Supreme Court tied to party politics-it’s a political court Tushnet 2009 (Mark is a Professor of Law at Georgetown Law School. But their actual accomplishments have been meager because they have been thwarted. 1952). Sawyer. the Supreme Court ruled the action improper because Congress had not provided authorization (Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. 2006. Interestingly. The president was ordered to relinquish the tapes. for example. The Rehnquist Court resembles the Warren Court in implementing a constitutional vision associated with the nation’s dominant political party. Within only three weeks of the announcement of the Court’s decision (which came on July 24th. so as to prevent an impending strike that would harm the United States’ efforts in the Korean War. “The Psychology of the Supreme Court”. . and they were found to contain statements linking him to a White House conspiracy to obstruct justice. 2005. in 6 to 3 decision (Rasul v. 15) Decisions by the supreme court can affect not only the lives of ordinary citizens but also that of the president. The standard view of the Warren Court. President George W. Leon Jaworski. For scholars. Supreme Court decisions affect the President Wrightsman 2009 (Lawrence is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Kansas. when. p. for White House tapes. The Republicans on the Court who would use the Constitution to advance the economic and cultural agendas of the modern Republican Party have been able to lay the groundwork for later advances. When President Truman issued an executive order seizing private steel mills in 1952. presidents have had their decisions or choices reviewed by the Court. the Supreme Court-in unanimous decision-ruled hat the president immunity and the executive privilege were not unconditional (United States v. not by activist liberals or by Democrats but by Republicans uneasy about the Republican cultural agenda. What makes its story more complicated (and interesting) is that the Republican Party has remained a coalition of economic and cultural conservatives. et al. When President Nixon refused to respond to a request from the Watergate special prosecutor. that his administration’s decision to detain foreign-born terrorist suspects without review was rejected by the Court. tying the Supreme Court to party politics is not all that new. “A Court Divided: The Rehnquist Court and the Future of Constitutional Law”. 1974). in the last half-century. 11) So the Rehnquist Court is a political court. they have generally come out the loser. 2004). is that it worked in conjunction with the Democratic Party to implement a New Deal/Great Society vision of the Constitution. v. in June 2004. p. Nixon resigned the presidency. Nixon.

p. And as we demonstrate in Part III.though. n3 The President also could have turned to elected officials with law degrees . Brigham Young University. may be best known for his efforts to pack the Court with good Federalists.thus increasing the number of possible nominees by hundreds. Thomas Jefferson hoped to rid the judiciary of most of them. n10 Motivating Eisenhower instead were electoral considerations. While virtually every President since Nixon has cared a great deal about packing the Court with Justices who shared his own commitment to a particular ideology. n7 In some cases the two goals electoral interests and ideology .Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Courts Link to Ptx—Blame Courts link--Bush’s political capital inextricably bound to the success or failure of Roberts and Alito proves Davis 1994 (Richard is a Professor of Political Science. This is not to say that emphasis on the nominees' ideology is a recent development . the President could hardly have believed that Brennan shared his ideology. Hoover's failed nomination of John Parker of North Carolina was perceived by Progressives and liberal Democrats as a Republican Southern Strategy n23 . he was not wrong to deem it as such. they are often rewarded with Justices who entrench those values into law . President George W. n5 Sometimes the emphasis on politics has centered on partisan aims. If Presidents could put themselves on the bench. neither Bush nor any of his predecessors. Consider the crucial role that geography once played in Supreme Court appointments. Presidents typically focus on candidates most likely to advance their own political goals. they would. my aim has been to combine geographical situation. or the idea that Presidents seek to nominate judges and Justices who share their ideological commitments. he could have chosen from among the nearly 270 judges sitting on the U. Roberts and Samuel Alito . Albany Law Review. A great deal of research demonstrates this point. Virtually all editorials published around the time of Brennan's nomination identified him as the liberal he was and would remain during his thirty-four-year tenure on the Court. and sometimes other considerations. the President believed the appointment would help his chances for reelection.the Brennans and the Powells .merely serve to reinforce the point. It is hard to make the case that with this appointment Nixon had much on his mind other than ideology.as did Eisenhower with his appointment of Earl Warren . n20 Surely one explanation is that Presidents used geography to appeal to elected officials and voters . n22 After Taft. their advisors create lists of candidates from which to choose n4 . Yes. Taft was hardly the last to launch a so-called "Southern Strategy" via appointments to the Court. Lewis Powell of Virginia. Nixon declared that the Court should be regionally and ideologically balanced.. n15 and two from the South. Presidents sought out candidates whose judging would reflect their political values. n11 At one time in our nation's history. with the idea being that Presidents try to exploit judicial appointments to advance their own interests or their party's electoral interests. While it is true that ideology has always played some role in judicial appointments. President after President adhered to the norm of [*614] geographic diversity that Washington had established. But that is not always true. This was the route President Richard Nixon took when he selected Justice Lewis F. disseminate them through the United States. Lexis Nexis) Among the central questions raised in this Article is how the personal beliefs of federal judges and Justices affect the nomination and confirmation processes. Courts of Appeals. But no President.are difficult to separate. so they find the closest possible surrogates. even likely. Justices appointed mostly or even exclusively for electoral reasons . Supreme Court.and Nixon "clearly laid to rest" any lingering "geographic imperative" with his nomination of a second Minnesotan. Then. Sure. Presidents If he wanted to follow in the path of his immediate predecessors and nominate a candidate with federal judicial experience. Bush to appoint Alito . 40 [*610] then our answer is straightforward enough: personal beliefs affect who the President will nominate and whether the Senate will confirm his choice. That it is entirely rational is far less so. ideological compatibility now takes precedence. and virtually all in between. n21 If this was so. when Presidents seek out candidates who share their political values. As we show in Part II.S. Powell to replace Justice Hugo Black. n26 We could say the same of several other characteristics associated with partisan-electoral considerations. this is what Nixon meant: ""A judge who is a "strict constructionist" in constitutional matters will generally not be favorably inclined toward claims of either criminal defendants or civil rights plaintiffs . according to an internal memo. considers each and every man and woman occupying these positions. n1 But this is not the end of the story. as well as to break up the solid Democratic South. and he made good on this claim by nominating Clement Haynsworth of South Carolina and G. Harry Blackmun . n16 This was no coincidence. politics have been primarily about policy. Instead. II.ideology.no less than those of yesterday .S. Brennan. For instance. Harrold Carswell of Florida. Because Brennan was a Catholic and a Democrat. or even service to the party or They now seem to take a back seat to just the sort of calculations that led Nixon to appoint Rehnquist. As we show in Part IV. such as religion (think Eisenhower's appointment of Brennan). it was Richard Nixon who was most explicit about his intent to make Republican inroads into the region. at least through much of the nineteenth century. the President was interested in . n14 two from the Mid-Atlantic. Bush was hardly lacking acceptable candidates. When James Wilson of Pennsylvania died in 1798. At a news conference held in 1969. so too did many of their predecessors. . Fall. again.'" n8 How did Nixon know that Rehnquist would fit the definition of a conservative judge? Among other indicators. ""It would be inexpedient to take two of the Associate Judges from the same state. its importance seems to be increasing with time. Washington's successor. Thus. take Nixon's nomination of William Rehnquist. Ideology and When faced with the opportunity to make his first two appointments to the U. the fact that it was none other than Rehnquist who wrote the memo. n13 two [*613] hailed from the East. During his presidency. 1994.that is. The rule now is that Presidents name Justices who share their political ideology.updated to include the appointments of John G.at least in the short term. Washington wrote the following: ""In the appointments to the great offices of the government.the latter two groups having been the principal beneficiaries of the Supreme Court's "broad constructionist" reading of the [*612] Constitution. n25 Since the Nixon years. In one way or another. "since that state had no member on the bench. and more recently.perhaps obsessed by . n9 Quite different were Dwight Eisenhower's motivations for appointing William J. if [*611] not thousands. John Adams. and the empirical analyses we report throughout this Article . n27 In both instances.. the President. to achieve partisan-electoral ends.attend to the nominees' qualifications. Whether this is a positive or negative development is a matter of contention. the degree to which candidates share the political values of their nominating President is higher now than it was just three decades ago. the President talked about appointing "strict constructionists" to the bench. Unless commentators of the day knew something that Eisenhower did not. both George Washington and John Adams wanted to appoint judges attached to a Federalist philosophy. the President was determined that his replacement hail from Virginia. But.making appointments that would enhance his and his party's appeal to Southerners. This much is not contested. Taft provides an example when he exploited appointments to appeal to voters in New Jersey.are the exceptions.was he able to succeed in appointing a Southerner. although Senators of today .'" n17 He echoed the sentiment in 1799 when he claimed." n19 And so it went. but why geography played such a dominant role is open to speculation. n12 Of George Washington's first six appointments.'" n18 Though the "practice" to which Washington referred originated with him.the pool would have been even larger: sitting on state high and appellate courts were over 1300 justices and judges. n24 Only [*615] after the Senate rejected both . But the Arizonian-by-way-of-Wisconsin Rehnquist hardly fit the bill. but he certainly did not ignore geographic considerations. however. and just as clearly.and from these lists. they cannot.a la Ronald Reagan with his appointment of Sandra Day O'Connor . however. it seems possible. If we define "personal beliefs" in strictly ideological terms and if we focus exclusively on Supreme Court Justices. the role of geography has been minimized. that the Eisenhower-type partisan-electoral considerations trumped ideology. Surely. The practice has been to .quite the opposite. n2 Had he looked to the states . there are attorneys working in private firms. n6 In other cases.

Although the President does not fall from power. 11 Nominees to the Court today are expected to undergo a scrutiny not known to their counterparts of an earlier era. Two had their video rental selections examined (Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas). but also their private lives. 4 Another's past marijuana [*1062] use while teaching law was exposed (Douglas Ginsburg). the most successful nominees were those lacking any previous publicly-stated position on abortion. 24 In the United States. It has become almost conventional wisdom that Supreme Court nominees possess some character flaw that will emerge in the confirmation process and seriously jeopardize. 3 One nominee's beard was criticized (Bork). But this is no longer true. Senators now face lobbying from constituents who have mobilized to affect the result. 10 One can only speculate whether the prospect of public exposure endured by recent nominees may have been a significant factor in each man's decision.nominees who have a short public record. also bowed out despite White House attempts to recruit him. 2 The possible homosexual orientation of another became the subject of press discussion (David Souter). Thus. cited his desire to continue to serve as governor of New York. particularly on issues of concern to interest groups. the President's power rises or falls based on single high-profile events.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Courts Link to Ptx—Blame Supreme court issues are directly related to politics. Most of the previous nominees during this period had faced potentially difficult confirmation struggles. House and the Senate diminished that prospect to some extent. and have significant effects on the president. To a great extent. Moreover. Same party control of both the White On March 19. Brigham Young University. 9 Richard Riley. the nomination was particularly intended to help stop the flow of bad press from administration mistakes. the ideology of the nominee has acquired a greater role in the nomination process. 1994. 27 The White House undertakes an aggressive task of selling the nominee to the Senate and to the nation. six of fifteen nominees have been rejected by the Senate or have withdrawn in the midst of controversy. if not fatally damage. 19 In the case of Clarence Thomas. 16 The Senate openly considers the nominee's ideological leanings. 13 Cabinet nominees sometimes face similar scrutiny. Fall. Until recently. it is new for nominees to the Supreme Court. p. Presidential candidates now endure microscopic investigation of some aspects of their private lives. the pressures felt by senators no longer emanate primarily from the legal community and only indirectly from constituents. In the case of President Clinton. 22 Although the nomination of Ruth Bader Ginsburg may be viewed as an exception to this rule. 12 Expectations have been raised. the news portrayal of issues and events in national politics personalizes a Supreme Court nomination to the point that the President is inextricably bound to the success or failure of the nominee. 28 Since self-presentation of the nominee to the mass public becomes far more critical. Albany Law Review. and failed nominations. Recent nominees have been subjected to interest group and press examination of not only their public records. it can build or kill his political capital. 18 The nomination process has become an exhaustive journey for nominees through a maze of press and interest group scrutiny and public disclosure. Since 1968. the President may lose so much political capital that a mortal wound on his presidency is inflicted. popular approval seen whether the process in this case is an indication of a trend or an aberration. In an era of plebiscitarian presidencies. 6 And one nominee's personal background was almost remarkable precisely because it seemed to include no odd quirks (Anthony Kennedy).a seat on the Supreme Court or lasting infamy due to the characterizations which stuck to the nominee during the process. long pendulum-like in its shift from sycophancy to ag [*1064] gressiveness. The players in the process only wait for it to emerge. And President Clinton's eventual announcement of a nominee potentially acceptable to a bipartisan coalition in the Senate avoided another prolonged battle. 1993 Justice Byron White announced his retirement from the United States Supreme Court. widely considered the front runner for the appointment. However. During the Reagan and Bush administrations. perhaps to a level uncomfortable for many potential candidates. The Senate's role. Lexis Nexis) 41 White became the fifth Justice to retire since 1986 and his retirement commenced another search for a replacement. their chances of earning confirmation. 17 The byproduct of this examination procedure has been the nomination of stealth candidates . Davis 1994 (Richard is a Professor of Political Science. 20 The stakes are also high for other participants in the process. 5 Still another was the object of a sexual harassment charge ultimately left publicly unresolved (Thomas). two potential nominees under serious consideration for the Byron White vacancy withdrew their names during the process. 23 ratings correspond to no-confidence votes in parliamentary governments. [*1063] s This development today is hardly unique to Supreme Court nominees. the question of whether the process 1 has been transformed by recent controversial nominations still remains. 21 The advice and consent role now includes at least several weeks of staff investigations. nominees had been accorded a measure of respect provided the Justices themselves. Cuomo. and floor debates and voting. The private lives of these public figures have become standard fare during the introduction of nominees to the public. the Supreme Court nomination process had been one of the last vestiges of an earlier era. the White House makes intensive efforts to prepare nominees not only for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings but also for all appearances before . Secretary of Education. 7 Reportedly. committee hearings and voting. 26 The White House hoped a [*1065] popular nominee would reverse that perception as well as the slide in the President's public approval rating. 15 Interest groups scour the nominee's record to determine whether the Justice-to-be heeds or strays from their agenda. Moreover. 14 However. the nominee received both. it remains to be The stakes in the outcome are also high for the White House. at this point in history leans more toward the latter. Private character is not the only object of scrutiny. scandals. confirmation struggles have become major battlegrounds for Presidents. 8 While Mario M. 25 The ability to gain confirmation has become a major objective of Presidents in the wake of these rejections. The stakes for nominees are great .

Two journalists who broke the Anita Hill story themselves became embroiled in the confirmation process as some media critics and Clarence Thomas supporters lashed out at them for reporting the results of a confidential investigation. An estimated thirty million viewers watched the first night of that second round of Thomas hearings. Combined. 33 After the confirmation vote.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 the press. The Thomas nomination was widely viewed as helping launch the "Year of the Woman" and aiding women candidates in the 1992 elections. both Totenberg and Newsday reporter Timothy Phelps resisted a Senate Special Prosecutor's efforts to discover the source of their reports. presidential campaigns featured debates over who would control the direction of the Supreme Court. 31 Also in the case of the Thomas confirmation. 30 Public interest seemed to justify network decisions to preempt large blocks of previously scheduled programming. For example. Public interest soars when the nominee is controversial. In 1988. 34 The events of a Supreme Court nomination process also have had a spill-over effect into other aspects of American life. the media became news. Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis attempted to link the Bush campaign to the failed Bork nomination. the three major television networks devoted sixty-six hours to the second round of Clarence Thomas hearings after Anita Hill's sexual harassment charges surfaced. 35 . publicly defended her role and participated in an on-air verbal clash with Senator Alan Simpson of Wyoming. 32 One of the journalists. During the 1980s and early 1990s. [*1066] The electoral process also has been affected. 29 The process also has been ratcheted up for the press as well. 42 Supreme Court nominations are major news stories designed to capture public interest for several weeks or months. the Thomas nomination provided new impetus for a discussion of sexual harassment. Nina Totenberg.

1818334. that that does not violate our Constitution.html) 43 When the Supreme Court issues rulings on hot-button issues like gun control and the death penalty in the middle of a presidential campaign. Obama surprised some observers by siding with the hardline minority of Justices Scalia. "I have always believed that the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to bear arms." she says. Obama has consistently moved to the middle. McCain himself is vulnerable to charges of using the Supreme Court for political purposes." McCain advisor Randy Scheunemann was even tougher in a conference call Thursday. The Supreme Court has now endorsed that view." national security. Thomas. Obama has some centrist positions to highlight in the general election campaign on foreign policy and on how he calculates it will affect his political fortunes. in some cases. president of People For the American Way. but McCain's team may be more afraid of Obama's shift to the center than their words betray. McCain attacked the opinion in particularly harsh language." Scheunemann said. On the issue of gun control. law was constitutional. And Obama's run to the center surely won't stop conservatives from using the specter of a Democratic-appointed Supreme Court to try to rally support. A top legal adviser to Obama says both cases are consistent with his previous positions. Since he wrapped up the primary earlier this month and began to concentrate on the independent and moderate swing voters so key in a general election. "What both of these decisions say to me is that the Supreme Court really is an election-year issue. is "that for Senator Obama the most important issue in the election is the political fortunes of Senator Obama.00. after the House passed a compromise bill on domestic spying that enraged liberals and civil libertarians. On Wednesday. Sunstein says Obama is "not easily characterized" on social issues.com/time/printout/0. Liberals are hoping that despite Obama's moderate response to the Supreme Court decisions. the Supreme Court decisions have focused attention again on the role of the court in the campaign season." Then Thursday. Obama gave a speech about the problem of absentee fathers and the negative effects it has on society. Republicans could be excused for thinking they'll have the perfect opportunity to paint their Democratic opponent as an out-of-touch social liberal. But Obama's sudden social centrism would sound more convincing in a different context. But while Barack Obama may be ranked as one of the Senate's most liberal members. Earlier this month. the issues alone will rally supporters to him. as the court found Thursday. His position on the child rape death penalty case. and says the Senator's support for allowing government use of the Ten Commandments in public. On Father's Day. Whether Obama's new centrist sheen is the result of flipflopping or reemphasizing moderate positions. Obama's Supreme Move to the Center. social issues and economics. http://www.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 AT: Courts Shield Obama has input on court decisions which can drain his PC via Republican criticism Time 9 (1/26." Last week. is in line with his record in Illinois of supporting the death penalty. Obama said in a statement. he says Obama has always expressed a belief that the Second Amendment guarantees a private right to bear arms. He has demonstrated that there really is no position he holds that isn't negotiable or isn't subject to change depending Politicians are always happy to get a chance to accuse opponents of flip-flopping. "What's becoming clear in this campaign.time. limited. when the court granted habeas corpus rights to accused terrorist prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. "We're still only one justice away from a range of really negative decisions that would take away rights that most Americans take for granted. with one surrogate. six or eight years old. is a heinous crime and if a state makes a decision that under narrow. Obama said. "I think that the rape of a small child. . calling Obama's gun control statement "incredible flip-flopping. Obama announced that though he was against other eavesdropping compromises in the past. effective safety measures." John McCain's camp wasted no time in attacking.C. a former colleague of Obama's at the University of Chicago. Roberts and Alito. He is on less solid ground on the gun ban as his campaign said during the primary that he believed the D. known for defending the benefits of globalization and private Social Security accounts." says Cass Sunstein." says Kathryn Kolbert. but I also identify with the need for crime-ravaged communities to save their children from the violence that plagues our streets through common-sense. after the Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty was unconstitutional in cases of child rape. to the displeasure of liberal economists. well-defined circumstances the death penalty is at least potentially applicable. after Justice Scalia released his majority opinion knocking down the city of Washington's ban on handguns. though advisers say closing the prison there is high on his list of actions to rehabilitate America's image around the world. At a press conference after the decision. this time he was going to vote for it. He hired centrist economist Jason Furman. conservative Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas. in particular scolding some fathers for failing to "realize that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child — it's the courage to raise one. his reactions to this week's controversial court decisions showed yet again how he is carefully moving to the center ahead of the fall campaign. for example.8816. is another example of his unpredictability on such issues. "I don't see him as moving in his statements on the death penalty or the gun case.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 AT: Courts Shield – Election Year COURT DECISIONS DURING ELECTION YEARS ARE POLITICALLY DIVISIVE MEERNIK. 1999 [BRADLEY AND CHARLES. Campaigning against unpopular Court decisions may also prove to be good politics when the electorate is outraged by Court decisions. Given these combined incentives. PG47-8] 44 Election years. if feasible. . By attacking the Court during these periods. Congressional willingness to respond to public anger or demands for action may also occur when Court decisions are handed down in election years. COURT DECISIONS INEVITABLY FACE CONGRESSIONAL CHALLENGE AND REACTION CANNON AND JOHNSON. UNIV OF NORTH TEXAS. Some groups become especially agitated when they are unhappy with some judicial decision or doctrine. If the pressure is great enough and is not counterbalanced by pressure from groups that support the judicial policy. We argue that when Supreme Court decisions are handed down in election years. Congress will. As a political body. the probability of a congressional response increases. take action. At the very least. and they make their dissatisfaction known to members of Congress. such as the 1854 school desegregation case. 1995 [JAMES. POLITICAL RESEARCH QUARTERLY. Congress as well as individual representatives and senators are usually assured of greater media attention and opportunity to make their case. Congress tends to be the focal point for public reaction to judicial policies. “JUDICIAL POLICIES: IMPLEMENTATION AND PRACTICE] More than any other public agency. we expect there to be a rise in congressional responses to Supreme Court decisions announced in even numbered years. Congress cannot ignore any sizable or prominent group of constituents. numerous members of congress will score political points by showing righteous indignation on behalf of the disaffected groups. PROF OF POLI SCI @ UNIV OF KENTUCKY AND PROF @ TEXAS A&M.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 45 ### Executive Orders ### .

Congress seems ever ready to impose statutory constraints on the President’s domestic discretion. “THE PRESIDENT’S AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON”. “The aura here is of congressional suspicion.” A second Carter aide confirmed. They don’t trust much of anything we do. According to one Carter domestic aide. We have swung full circle from the 1960s. . THIRD ED. Whatever our intentions. Then everything the president did was good.. Congress increasingly relies on the legislative veto to supply oversight of executivebranch implementation.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Executive Orders Links CONGRESS WILL USE LEGISLATIVE VETOES AND SURVEILLANCE LIGHT. PRESS. Congress suspects the worse. From 1970 to 1977 there was a threefold increase in the number of bills containing some form of the legislative veto. This statutory surveillance has made its mark on the presidential policy process. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. “It’s not all bad for Congress to take a close look at our programs. For example. Congress has shown a willingness to apply legislative sanctions to the President’s domestic agenda. Starting with the Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974. What has become a problem is the assumption that the President will always mislead. 1999 [PAUL C. Now everything seems to be bad. Despite presidential protests. PG 213 46 First. Congress continues to use the veto to ensure proper administration. We are at a disadvantage from the start.

” The White House staffs viewed legislative action as having greater impact and legitimacy.. whether liberal or conservative. "You can definitely cut emissions through regulation. PRESS. Personal staffs as well as committee staffs have steadily expanded. “THE PRESIDENT’S AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON”. coupled with the expansion of the Congressional Research Service and the General Accounting Office has added to the legislative information base. The creation of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). But she also knew it would get people's attention. Furthermore. The Congressional Budget Office in particular. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. PG 208 47 Beyond the changes in the balance of power and membership. whether against the President or the executive branch. This influx of new staff eventually leads to a greater emphasis on policy initiation – legislators increasingly use the staffs to develop new ideas. . According to one assistant.they link to the counterplan Stone 3/29 [Daniel. Staff Writer.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Executive Orders Links CONGRESS WILL CHALLENGE PRESIDENTIAL POLICY LIGHT. making it easier to get industry on board. Congress has also increased the basic resources of competition. [continues…] Second." she says. for example – the staff recognized the need for eventual legislative action. “The President had to issue the orders. Nixon’s “administrative Presidency” serves as an example As one HEW officer suggested. As Congress has expanded its information base. and the staffs are more than willing to comply. “The President’s decision to dismantle the OEO (the Office of Economic Opportunity_ and tighten welfare regulations simple didn’t have the same force as legislation. Executive action is easier to fight and easier to undermine. The Kennedy staff interpreted the civil rights orders as a product of the legislative stalemate. The career civil service is not inclined to agree with executive action if the executive action doesn’t agree with them. These staffs in turn see regards in the initiation of major programs that compete directly with presidential priorities. For one thing. The personalized nature of the new staff system provides ample incentives for committee and subcommittee chairmen to hire activists. Lexis] KLS Jackson knew that threatening to act by executive fiat wouldn't be popular. it has increased its capability to use that information for policy competition. 2010. Congress has more than doubled the number of staff members in the House and senate. but that was about all we could do. CBO has broad powers of analysis and review it has become a valuable source of preliminary staff work on potential congressional programs. Newsweek. Even when Presidents use executive orders to accomplish major policy goals – Kennedy’s equal opportunity orders. Under its mandate. executive action is often viewed as a short-term solution. Congress has increased both the quantity and the quality of the supply. Congress could sugarcoat a carbon-cutting bill with tax cuts and other incentives. THIRD ED. but a much more efficient way is through legislation. We just could not justify moving a major bill in 1961. We understood that we couldn’t make any long term impact with the orders. 1999 [PAUL C. Congress now has both the will and the expertise to challenge the President’s domestic leadership. She says that she would prefer to go through--instead of around--Congress. and maybe prod Congress to act. Assuming information is one ingredient of initiation. XOs are politically unpopular. has become an important source of competing information. Once again.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 48 ### Agencies ### .

[Edward. "there is little doubt that the president remains a powerful force in agenda setting.Nov -.lexis] Both the Reagan and Bush administrations have witnessed great confrontations between Congress and administrative agencies. 1999 Presidential Policymaking: An End of Century Assessment. When Congress is faced with the direct and heavy-handed undermining of its intent -. p. The great battles of this time have been characterized by instances of rigid adherence to an ideological agenda by administrative agencies. and press conferences.whether expressed clearly [*982] or ambiguously -. It can determine the success or failure of modern presidents in meeting constitutional and electoral mandates. “Congress to Administrative agencies: creater. AGENCY ACTION CAUSES MASSIVE CONGRESSIONAL BACKLASH.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Yes Blame for Agency Action 49 AGENCY ACTION IS CONNECTED TO THE PRESIDENT. or when some social problem goes unaddressed. 42) In his study of the agenda-setting process.. and Ken. The president is held accountable for the success or failure of the entire government. When the economy is in recession. the views of department heads and others associated with the administration are usually thought of as the president's or as having the president's stamp of approval. particularly those channeled through elected officials like the president. . 4) Agency design determines bureaucratic responsiveness to democratic impulses and pressure. the president has many "voices". prof. Congress has responded with heightened use of the most prominent weapons in the congressional arsenal: oversight hearings. One of the central concerns of presidency scholars beginning with Richard Neustadt (1960) has been increasing public expectations of presidents (Lowi 1985. and partner” Duke Law journal -. when an agency blunders. it is for the administration and the president. Kingdon finds that respondents cite the president and his administration as perhaps the most important actor with agenda influence. overseer. NO POLITICAL COVER – PRESIDENT GETS THE BLAME. 2003 Presidents and the Politics of Agency Design. which in turn has created countervailing pressures for rigidity by a Congress that views its legal mandates under attack. When they speak. MARKEY 90. Thus. Cohen and Collier 99 (Jeffrey E. As Kingdon states." Moreover. p.Congress must respond in the strongest fashion possible. politics and public affairs @ Princeton. it is the president whose reelection and historical legacy are on the line. particularly compared to other actors. strongly-worded letters. Lewis 3 (David E. Skowronek 1993). The difficult process of legislation becomes even more hazardous when Congress and the executive branch are controlled by competing parties. professors of political science at Fordham and Kansas. Democratic Congressman from MA.

and circumstances sometimes force members to cast additional votes on particular programs. As Kingdon states. When they speak. it is for the administration and the president. there is nothing about delegation that prevents an unhappy electorate from holding members of Congress accountable for regulatory power exercised by the agencies. Law @ Univ. even those they have no control over. Legislators must cast votes to establish executive branch agencies and to give those agencies the authority to make regulatory decisions. Kingdon finds that respondents cite the president and his administration as perhaps the most important actor with agenda influence. but they do quite often need to go on record with "yes" or "no" votes that make agency activities possible. and Ken. 1999 Presidential Policymaking: An End of Century Assessment. Thus. Pittsburgh. even without plenary power to second-guess all bureaucratic policy makers. The democratic controls created by such votes weaken over time.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 50 Yes Blame for Agency Action Congress still weighs in on agency action Lovell 2k (Assistant Professor of Government. the President's support may be critical to an agency in its negotiations with Congress. Cohen and Collier 99 (Jeffrey E. the president has many "voices". particularly compared to other actors. "there is little doubt that the president remains a powerful force in agenda setting. The President's value structure is likely to dominate the bureaucracy even if he is not formally able to command all important policy decisions. the President may well be held generally and properly accountable for overall bureaucratic performance in any event. Presidents do not inevitably have less influence over "independent" agencies than they do over "purely executive" establishments Executive agency decisions are always connected to the President. George. 42) In his study of the agenda-setting process.. For these reasons. But members of Congress need to take at least one vote per year (on the relevant appropriations bill) in order for any regulatory program to continue. The President is held accountable for all agency decisions. 17 Const. professors of political science at Fordham and Kansas. Commentary 79) It is true that members of Congress do not cast "yes" or "no" votes on particular rules created by agencies. . (Most of the voters who voted for the legislators who passed the Agricultural Adjustment Act are now dead). Professor Abner Greene has recently catalogued a series of reasons why this is so: OMB reviews virtually all agency budgets. Since no regulatory program can operate without being created and continually authorized by Congress. 1995 Political Accountability in a System of Checks and Balances: The Case of Presidential Review of Rulemaking. College of William and Mary. p. Arkansas Law Review) The reason for the insignificance of the transparency argument is that. That is because voters know the President has appointed all key policy makers and the most important managers of executive affairs. Shane 95 (Peter M. the Attorney General controls most agency litigation. the views of department heads and others associated with the administration are usually thought of as the president's or as having the president's stamp of approval. Dean and prof." Moreover.

maybe the State Department's. Morton: The Democrats have written the three cable news networks -. so the president has been an active commander in chief. Perhaps in response to these pressures. p. government analyst. refuse to take symbolic stands. Any effort to reform current statutory restrictions on agency public relations activities will face three challenges: tracking public relations activities by agencies. from January 1 through March 21. the U. with Bill Clinton giving three times as many speeches as Reagan during the same period. defining “propaganda. and 7 involving elected Democrats. 19 Univ. the baseball strike.html) Bruce Morton. has been at war in Afghanistan. Time now for Bruce Morton's essay on the struggle for balanced coverage on the cable networks. but a Member or Committee of Congress may ask the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to examine an agency’s expenditures on public relations activities with a view to their legality.fas. the president is far less able to exercise agenda control. the cameras are pooled. and covert propaganda. purely partisan communications. Why not? It's easy.CNN. CRS Congressional Report. the White House press secretary's briefing. They cite CNN. The well-documented tendency of the press to emphasize the strategic implications of politics exacerbates this process by turning issues into zero-sum games.S. The coverage gap is certainly real.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Yes Blame for Agency Action Empirically proven. or take inconsistent positions. of law UPenn.C. Blitzer: Welcome back. Penn L. the war in Bosnia. the list is infinite. Bush's administration. and the newest EPA regulations. even if he's praising the Easter Bunny. No federal agency monitors federal public relations activities. they say.cnn. You never know.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0204/28/le. the president is a . and in war time. Appropriations law “publicity and propaganda” clauses restrict the use of funds for puffery of an agency. 1996. http://www. And covering the war. First. the briefings may make major news. Plus. which they say. http://transcripts. some of which have been characterized as propagandistic. Rev. Fox and MS. for several reasons. prof. 3107 prohibits the use of appropriated funds to hire publicity experts. Presidents are the focal point of governmental policies CNN 02 (Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer transcripts. even if he's praising the Easter Bunny.S. In war or peace. aired 157 live events involving the Bush administration. did much the same thing. the Pentagon's.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL32750. But there's a reason for the coverage gap that's older than Mr. each modern president has made more speeches and taken more positions than his predecessors. 5 U. his ability to mediate conflict and control the agenda can be undermined.agencies have caused political backlash Kosar. Cnn Correspondent: Networks will often air whatever the president says. 51 Generally speaking.00. there are two legal restrictions on agency public relations activities and propaganda. 4-28-02. Political visibility virtually guarantees that the president will be associated with plan Fitts. Fox and MSNBC -. Blitzer: Competing for face time on the cable news networks.pdf) Controversies recently have arisen over certain executive branch agencies’ expenditures of appropriated funds on public relations activities. Stay with us. 96 (Michael. 05 (Kevin. it's cheap.” and enforcing laws against agency use of funds for publicity experts and propaganda. The modern president is supposed to have a position on such matters as affirmative action.827) To the extent that the modern president is subject to heightened visibility about what he says and does and is led to make increasingly specific statements about who should win and who should lose on an issue. since September 11. networks will often air whatever the president says.complaining that the Bush administration gets much more coverage than elected Democrats. In such circumstances.

You could ask the Clintons. sex life. compromises on budget items done in private. and lacks the drama of the White House. the local congressional delegation and.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 commanding figure 52 -. the White House. nowadays. on big occasions. What it does is complicated. he'll cover two things. They're sexier. So the complaining Democrats have a point. endless attention is paid. If a small newspaper has one reporter in Washington. There's a primetime TV show about a president.one man to whose politics and character and. None about the Congress. Congress is 535 people. but it's worth remembering that coverage of a president. But it won't always be coverage they like. . 9 Presidents will always get more coverage than Congresses. isn't always positive. while always intense.

Yale Law Journal. and probably as a result. 2006 What is driving the backlash we are documenting here? First. .20 Thus.19 Even the exceptions (Reagan and Clinton) suffered major Congressional losses in their first midterm elections. to punish that president’s party in midterm elections.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Yes Blame for Agency Action 53 The president gets the public blame for legislative action Calabresi and Lindgren. the response of voters is to blame the president for whatever goes wrong. with Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton being the only exceptions since at least Dwight Eisenhower.18 Most presidents leave office less popular than when they entered. at times when their job approval ratings were down substantially. and most obviously. presidents become lightning rods for everything that goes wrong.

com/od/thefederalbudget/a/budget_process.law. (D) a summary of reports on internal accounting and administrative control systems submitted to the President and the Congress under the amendments made by the Federal Managers’ Financial Integrity Act of 1982 (Public Law 97–255).cornell. (B) a summary of the most recently completed financial statements— (i) of Federal agencies under section 3515 of this title. when the President submits his proposal to Congress.budget approvals have to go through Congress US Code. (C) a summary of the most recently completed financial statement audits and reports— (i) of Federal agencies under section 3521 (e) and (f) of this title.edu/uscode/31/3512. 2-14-07.and saving .com. . is known as the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This step in the process is governed by the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Agency Action Links to Congress 54 Budget approvals means plan is politically perceived About. (E) a listing of agencies whose financial management systems do not comply substantially with the requirements of Section [1] 3(a) [2] the Federal Financial Management Improvement Act of 1996. 07 (online encyclopedia. The Act also established the Bureau of the Budget which. OMB is the largest and arguably the most powerful group in the Executive Office of the President.about. The President's proposed budget includes extensive supporting documentation to make the case for White House spending . and (ii) of Government corporations. OMB is also responsible for overseeing management and budgets of executive branch agencies as well as advising the President on a variety of issues. since 1970 (Nixon Administration). and (ii) of Government corporations. and a summary statement of the efforts underway to remedy the noncompliance.htm) The budget process begins the first month in February. http://uspolitics.html) (a) (1) The Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall prepare and submit to the appropriate committees of the Congress a financial management status report and a governmentwide 5-year financial management plan. and (F) any other information the Director considers appropriate to fully inform the Congress regarding the financial management of the Federal Government. http://www4.priorities. Agencies link. (2) A financial management status report under this subsection shall include — (A) a description and analysis of the status of financial management in the executive branch. No Date (TITLE 31 > SUBTITLE III > CHAPTER 35 > SUBCHAPTER II > § 3512.

" then Presidential Contender Obama said. it is not a good use of our resources. raided a medical cannabis dispensary in South Lake Tahoe. "they become more locked into crime from being in prison. that he believes when it comes to offenders. and prosecutions of patients and their providers in medical cannabis states." We have included video below of President Obama making the quoted statement above. “Does Obama Have Control of the DEA?”. arrests. Obama has stated on more than one occasion that he is not interested in locking up non-violent drug offenders as felons which leads to no good prospects except drug dealing and other criminal activity. California.php) 55 The DEA is defying President Barack Obama's word that the Department of Justice would no longer be used to harrass and arrest owners and operators of medical marijuana dispensaries.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Agencies Shield Agencies are seemingly defying Obama and taking blame Salem News 9 (1/23. Obama said in September 2007. still mostly comprised of officials from the Bush Administration. The group Americans for Safe Access reports that on Thursday. "They did so knowing full well that President Obama has repeatedly pledged to end federal threats. the Drug Enforcement Administration. and more. Why is the DEA so intent on carrying on what many call "thuggish behavior"? .com/articles/january232009/obama_dea_1-23-09. "I would not have the Justice Department prosecuting and raiding medical marijuana dispensaries.salemnews. on August 21st 2007. http://www." the ASA's George Pappas said.

cappp. statues often are structured so that the disappointed expectations of would be beneficiaries and the costs to others are perceived after the next presidential election.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Agencies Shield AVOIDS POLITICS – SHIELDS THE LINK.ucla. and confusion that the process causes. but they can shift some of the blame for agency laws to the agency. and their staffs. agency heads. Third.. the president. Economic Integration and the Politics of Monetary Policy in the United States.edu/papers/cappp932. Delegation does not change the cast of officials who participate in lawmaking: legislators. October 1992.” President George Bush tried to distance himself from agency laws promulgated during his administration by declaring a ninety-day moratorium on new agency laws before the 1992 elections. Schoenbrod ’93 (David. the 1970 different incentives from legislators. [50] A number of reasons for this might be adduced. 95-96) 56 Second. http://www. three factors work to attract the president to delegation. even incumbent presidents try to “run against the government. has When legislators shift blame or credit to an agency. [Jeffry. Delegation also increases the opportunity for legislators and the president to do politically valuable casework. The incentives for legislators to delegate might appear to be disincentives for the president.[51 . complexity.but usually to defend executive powers from congressional encroachment and never to prevent Congress from delegating its legislative power to the executive branch.. Clean Air Act was structured so that the EPA administrator would deal with states’ failures to adopt plans only after the 1972 election.professor of law at NYU “Power Without Responsibility” pg. just in a way that protected Congress from responsibility for unpopular monetary policies.DELAYS OPPORTUNITY FOR BLAME.txt] For all intents and purposes. AGENCY ACTION SHIELDS LINK -. Indeed. 93-2. Presidents also often avoid substantial political losses they might sustain for the unpopular action of appointees who do serve at the president’s please by taking no position on what the agency has done or even by expressing some disagreement. because the leaders of such agencies do not serve at the president’s pleasure. 95] The president. presidents must take personal responsibility for laws embodied in statues that they sign. Occasional Paper Series. Shifting blame is easy when as independent agency has made the law. delegation enhances the president’s ability to use his staff to do casework. In this view the Fad was in fact implementing true Congressional preferences. But delegation does allow legislators and the president to shift to the agency blame for the costs of complying with the laws. and blame for the delay. It thereby allows the president as well as legislators to particularize constituents’ perceptions of costs and benefits. INDEPENDENT AGENCIES PROVIDE POLITICAL COVER FRIEDEN 92. Congress virtually neglected monetary and exchange rate policy for nearly forty years after the New Deal reforms. Not only could the agency pursue welfare-improving policies without having to pay attention to political pressures. who of course influences the design of legislation through recommendations and vetoes. One possibility--often mentioned in the analogous literature on trade policy as well as in discussions of central bank autonomy--is that Congress recognized the efficiency gains to be made by delegating responsibility to an independent agency. Schoenbrod 93 [David. they shift it to presidential appointees.professor of law at NYU “Power Without Responsibility” pg. President Reagan and Bush made much of separation of powers --. blame for the failure to deliver promised regulatory benefits. For instance. but Congress was provided with an ideal scapegoat to avoid direct blame. First. However.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 57 ### Vetoes ### .

THIRD ED. All you have to win is one House. Proposals.. As one Ford aide noted. You don’t have to devote too much energy over too long a time. 1999 [PAUL C. PRESS. the veto requires only an intensely focused effort at a specific moment.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Vetoes Link Less VETOES REQUIRE FAR LESS POLITICAL CAPITAL THAN POLICIES LIGHT. the commitment may last several years. “THE PRESIDENT’S AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON”. PG 113114 ] 58 Proposals involve a greater commitment of presidential resources than do vetoes.” Coalitions for vetoes are easier to build. Since vetoes span a very limited time period. It demands a single coalition for a single vote whereas a propose often demands multiple coalitions across multiple decisions. the President can concentrate what little capital he has on the specific battle. however.” Nor does the veto require a number of successive tests. “putting together 34 like-minded senators of 147 representatives isn’t as difficult as it may seem. At the most the battle will last two weeks. . It is a hell of a lot easier than pulling a majority into place. “it is much easier to turn to the veto. It is a very “cheap” alternative with temporary impact. According to one Nixon assistant. involve a much larger investment. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV.

All Presidents oppose congressional action at one time or another. Most important. Each veto crippled future opportunities for success. “It is inevitable that the President will use the veto at some point. According to one Johnson assistant.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Vetoes Link VETOES CAUSE CONGRESSIONAL BACKLASH LIGHT. but few use the veto as an exclusive tool of policy. there is considerable variation in the proportional amount of presidential opposition. No President can afford to veto twenty-five bills a year. It’s the best method to show the Congress he means business.” Yet. each veto eroded the President’s already limited base of support.. it is not the most effective means to accomplish policy goals. THIRD ED. 1999 [PAUL C. PRESS. “THE PRESIDENT’S AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON”.” . not in the 1970s at least. the veto also engenders congressional hostility. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. PG 111112 ] 59 Several trends emerge from table 9. It’s too damn much. and Congress won’t stand for it. for that reason. Consider the reaction of a Ford assistant: “The veto strategy had certain costs.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 60 ### Covert/Secret ### .

1999 [PAUL C. the press knows.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 A2: Covert Passage NOTHING IS COVERT – PLAN WOULD BE LEAKED AS A PRESIDENTIAL PRIORITY LIGHT. The executive staff knows. THIRD ED. but it is always known to the key participants. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. These are the items that absorb the Present’s time and expend the greatest resources. PRESS. “THE PRESIDENT’S AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON”. the agenda might not be openly publicized. the ideas discussed and refined in the Oval Office. as Nixon did when he announced his Six Great Goals in his 1971 State of the Union message. In other years and other administrations.” An administration may choose to identify the agenda in a public statement. These are the President’s personal priorities. there is a final set of items that are central presidential requests. An administration may underscore its agenda in a major address to Congress. They are uniquely “presidential. as Kennedy did in a press conference scarcely two weeks following his election. and the Congress knows. PG 5 ] 61 Within the nesting set of items both “in accordance” with the President’s program and the subject of White House attention. ..

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 62 ### Political Capital ### .

Iowa Law Review. October 1994 In addition. and a broad display of sheer buffoonery at the Sotomayor hearings ("Wait. but they gain nothing. his power to bestow benefits on the constituents of members of Congress who support his agenda. according to a new Public Strategies Inc. Politico: Trust in President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies to identify the right solutions to problems facing the country has dropped off significantly since March. Thus. But the news is also bad for the GOP. On any proposed regulatory measure. The bad polls are coming just as (or maybe because) the President is really digging into the politically charged healthcare debate.com/another-bad-poll-for-obama-2009-7 The last 10 days have seen a spate of fresh polls all showing the same thing -. and despite the mindblowing ineptitude of the Republican opposition. just to clarify. At some point the price to the President for pushing legislation through Congress exceeds the benefit he derives from doing so. Pushing controversial issues kills Obama’s political capital Joe Weisenthal. a President would be unwise to rely too heavily on legislative changes to implement his policy vision./POLITICO poll. the percentage of those who say they do not trust the president has jumped from 31 to 42.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Controversial policies drain capital 63 Pushing through controversial legislation burns political capital Mark Seidenfeld.that the President's honeymoon period is coming to an end. Repeated use of such tactics.businessinsider. Florida State University College of Law. have you now or have you ever used the term 'wise Latina'?") hasn't helped their brand. the propensity of congressional committees to engage in special-interest-oriented oversight might seriously undercut presidential efforts to implement regulatory reform through legislation. . A series of high-profile affairs. however. Associate Professor. and his potential to deliver votes in congressional elections increase the likelihood of legislative success for particular programs. Just as Obama intensifies his efforts to fulfill a campaign promise and reach an agreement with Congress on health care reform. The President's ability to focus media attention on an issue. He is. will impose economic costs on society and concomitantly consume the President's political capital. after all. So the President takes a hit. and that he doesn't have unlimited political capital. the political suicide of Sarah Palin. human. the President could face opposition from powerful committee members whose ability to modify and kill legislation is well-documented. 7-21-2009 http://www. This is not meant to deny that the President has significant power that he can use to bring aspects of his legislative agenda to fruition. political warfare hurts. At the same time. the number of Americans who say they trust the president has fallen from 66 percent to 54 percent.

Early--and ambitious--actions were taken.. Academic One. "the challenges we face are real" and they "will not be met easily or in a short span of time. Moreover. “The Contemporary Presidency: The Obama Presidential Transition: An Early Assessment”. will bring him legislative--and ultimately policy--success. but as he cautioned in his inaugural address. it was a controversial agenda. Still. . Good transition planning is propitious. both in Congress and with the public. At the same time. 9 (John P. not just to focus on the economy. President Obama seems to reside largely on the positive side of the equation. His early efforts to gain bipartisan support in Congress--much like those of his predecessors--seem largely for naught and forced the administration to rely on narrow partisan majorities." His initial political capital seemed high. So far. Presidential Studies Quarterly 39. he also sought to tamp down public expectations for quick results on the economy.3 (Sept 2009). p574(31). University of Vermont political science professor. but it offers no guarantees. accessed 7-1510) President Obama signaled his intention to make a clean break from the unpopular Bush presidency with his executive orders and early policy and budget proposals. But what the future might portend remains another matter. without it. political and policy disaster likely awaits.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 64 Controversial Policies Drain Capital Controversial policies drain political capital Burke. But was the right course of action chosen? The decision was made to embrace a broad range of policy reforms. The question that remains is whether his political capital.

now say. "Republicans. “Democrats Find Some Traction On Capitol Hill”. even when the President and the Congress are controlled by the same party. a scholar at the Brookings Institution who follows Congress. As James Madison put it in Federalist No 10." Ross K. No one takes orders from the President who can only use moral or political suasion and promises of future support for policies or projects. agreed. classes and interests check other classes and interests. bargain and engage in serious horse trading. "Any sign of weakness out of the White House is going to be perceived by the president's allies in Congress as an opportunity to act a little bit more like free spirits. New York Times. 'Wait just one minute. All are grounded in their own power bases which they use to fend off challengers. basic institutions check other basic institutions." Legislation Costs capital Any and all legislation costs political capital Ryan 09 January 18 2009 "Obama and political capital. 3 (Sheryl Gay. who have been reluctant to get off the reservation. 9-13-3. Lexis) "A presidential speech.' And Democrats have all the more reason to be unified. is followed by a seven-point drop and suddenly the atmosphere changes. A1. means you do what I the leader say you do. a political scientist at Rutgers University.trinidadexpress." Professor Baker said." Trinidad Express. and there is no such thing as party discipline which translated. "It's the blood-in-the-water syndrome. and regions do the same. one of the foundation documents of republicanism in America.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Unpopular Policies Drain Capital 65 Unpopular action ensures backlash against the president – politicians are emboldened when they smell blood in the water Stolberg. http://www. instead of boosting support. but socially and geographically so. It is pluralistic vertically and horizontally.com/index." said Thomas Mann. p. The coalitions change from issue to issue. . New York Times. Baker. and getting anything done politically. requires groups to negotiate. The system is not only institutionally diverse and plural. and on the part of the opposition to be more aggressive.pl/article_opinion?id=161426968 One of the "realities" that Obama has to face is that American politics is not a winner-take-all system. The system was in fact deliberately engineered to prevent overbearing majorities from conspiring to tyrannise minorities.

To my eye it seems clear that this president is someone who has a to do list (like many of us do) and has prioritized everything on it and is checking away.and take it one step at a time . I think we can all rest assured that it is still on the to do list.with eight years of George Bush -. This is For the millions of Americans with television ADHD. announced that he would close Gitmo and stopped torture as a policy. He must now follow them through to the end if for no other reason than to claim MORE of that coveted capital. put health care reform in motion. The economic stimulus. relax. I can see issues such as Business Regulations and Climate Change cropping up in the near future (and rightfully so). These fights are already on the table and they must be resolved to move further ahead. any one of which could define his presidency. The Health care debate is in its 3rd quarter. Afghanistan in the 2nd Stimulus in the 2nd and gays in the military on deck.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Capital finite 66 Obama must focus on only key issues. We as a nation need to acknowledge the seriousness of the problems that confront us. it is after all still a Nation "of the people and for the people." Really? While I think this policy is absurd. These days that option is a luxury. don't tell. None of these should come as a surprise to anyone as Obama had promised to address these issues in the campaign and has worked to make good on them. health care. politics a plain fact in politics. For all others. The President and the Nation are no different. sexuality or anything else for that matter. The Obama administration cannot do it alone. I think most of us would agree that this is not an issue that is quite as urgent as the ones he has tackled." Even Mother Teresa didn't cure the world's ills in four years. Obama also strikes me as someone who un derstands that these issues are tough fights that will take time. it makes sense that we as a nation would expect these issues to be resolved if not in an hour then at least 6 months! But therein lies the heart of the issue: most people in their personal lives don't make huge decisions overnight and have them finished in a day! Quitting smoking.com/dan-vickrey/what-do-we-want-emchangee_b_335932. and the war in Afghanistan are all issues of such massive scope that previous presidents would have needed to focus on just one or two of them in a full term in office. We as a people need to get serious about solving them with a real debate of ideas (not name calling) or we will never really progress. and for better or for . put additional troops into Afghanistan. anything else distracts him from his agenda Huffington Post 9 (10/27/09. Sure. vowing to get in shape. Presidents have only so much political capital and they had best use it wisely. yet it still is not enough for those who seem to forget the magnitude of the economic crisis we were in when he was elected and are thereby unable to grasp the scope of each and every one of these decisions. He passed a plan to stave off an economic landslide.S. This week gay rights activists are up in arms about Obama's silence on the policy of "don't ask. and that in an all volunteer army we should be thankful for each and every person who pursues the armed services as a career regardless of gender. Obama has set in motion many policies that have changed the trajectory of US foreign and domestic policy.html) Since the election. http://www. For those on the left who are now critical of his Afghan policy. and let's remember where we started -. worst he has followed through by initially sending extra troops and now reevaluating U. race. Those who question the President now on issues of the Economy-War-Health Care and Gay Rights should look closely at his intent. Obama has made an investment in these issues. when he announced he was going to spend some of his "political capital" he felt he earned after the 2004 re-election. interests there after a questionable Afghan election. George Bush educated the nation to a real truth in U.S. but first things first. It takes hard work and patience to find success. what did you expect? He campaigned on making this war his priority. " What Do We Want? Change! When Do We Want It? Ten Minutes Ago! ".huffingtonpost. sticking to a budget are things that take time to adjust to and see results. Nothing breeds success like success.

184). the president's electoral support and/or popular approval. within this limited bound. The misinterpretation of the findings as they relate to PP stems in part from scholars' difficulty in defining and operationalizing presidential influence (Cameron 2000b. . see also Edwards 1991).D. there are a number of possible bargaining outcomes for a given distribution of legislative and presidential policy preferences. In fact. and filibuster "pivots" within Congress. 97-106). The reason may be that Neustadt concentrates his analysis on the strategic level: "Strategically the question is not how he masters Congress in a peculiar instance. But how? Scholars often argue that a president's most direct means of influence is to directly lobby certain members of Congress." however. Jon Bond. Dietz 2002.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Capital Key/A2: Dickinson Prefer our ev – its specific to PC and vote switching in context of skfta 67 Their ev is just a blog post. see also Bond. These lobbying efforts are correlated with a greater likelihood that a president's legislative preferences will come to a vote (Beckmann 2008. after first establishing a baseline model that explained these outcomes on other factors. although the vote "buying" approach is certainly consistent with Neustadt's bargaining model." Sullivan concludes (1991. veto.). they often tried to estimate it indirectly. Because scholars found it difficult to directly and systematically measure presidential influence or "skill. n. For Neustadt. In his study of presidential lobbying on key votes on important domestic legislation during the 83rd (1953-54) through 108th (2003-04) Congresses. from initially opposing the president to supporting him in the final roll call (Sullivan 1988. whether a president's lobbying efforts bear fruit in any particular . at critical junctures during the lawmaking sequence. presidents also lobby leaders in both congressional parties in order to control what legislative alternatives make it onto the congressional agenda (more on this later). Terry Sullivan examines presidential archives containing administrative headcounts to identify instances in which members of Congress switched positions during legislative debate. members of Congress's ideology. Fleisher. working under the supervision of presidential scholar Richard Neustadt. presidents do strive to influence legislative outcomes. one could then presumably see how much of the unexplained variance might be attributed to presidents. "at the margins. But it is also that case that scholars often misconstrue Neustadt's analytic perspective. 4). and Krutz 1996. 105-6. Keith Krehbiel analyzes successive votes by legislators in the context of a presidential veto and finds "modest support for the sometimes doubted stylized fact of presidential power as persuasion" (1998. and Krutz 1996. These outcomes depend in part on legislators' success in bartering their potential support for the president's policy for additional concessions from the president. the aggregate results reinforce Neustadt's recurring refrain that presidents are weak and that. In threatening to withhold support. Matthew Beckman shows that in addition to these pivotal voters. Nonetheless. David Brady and Craig Volden look at vote switching by members of Congress in successive Congresses on nearly identical legislation and also conclude that presidents do influence the votes of at least some legislators (1998. these results indicate that Neustadt's "president-centered" perspective is incorrect (Bond and Fleisher 1990. where he also received his Ph. 12. the skill to bargain successfully becomes a foundation for presidential power even within the context of electorally determined opportunities. as George Edwards (1989) puts it.1991). however. Despite differences in modeling assumptions and measurements. Edwards 1989. "Hence. Shull and Shaw 1999).d. In one of the most concerted efforts to model how bargaining takes place at the individual level. Presidential Studies Quarterly 39 no4 736-70 D 2009) Small wonder. when dealing with Congress. 197. "[S]tudies that compare presidential success to some baseline fail to find evidence that perceptions of skill To some scholars. professor of political science at Middlebury College. however.153-54). We All Want a Revolution: Neustadt. members of Congress run the risk that the president will call their bluff and turn elsewhere for the necessary votes. that initial efforts to find evidence of presidential power centered on explaining legislative outcomes in Congress. He taught previously at Harvard University. rather than measuring it directly (Bond. these studies came to remarkably similar conclusions: individual presidents did not seem to matter very much in explaining legislators' voting behavior or lawmaking outcomes (but see Lockerbie and Borrelli 1989.. Most of these studies infer presidential influence.128-29. Similarly. Edwards 2000." his case studies in PP also suggest that. 221have systematic effects" (2008. Sullivan shows that in a bargaining game with incomplete information regarding the preferences of the president and members of Congress. 127. New Institutionalism.1990. This logic finds empirical support in vote-switching studies that indicate that presidents do direct lobbying efforts at these pivotal voters. including party strength in Congress. 23). and the Future of Presidency Research. not peer reviewed and solely in the context of Supreme court nominations – Dickinson concludes neg Dickinson. and B. As Richard Fleisher. Sullivan theorizes that presidents can reduce members of Congress's penchant for strategic bluffing and increase the likelihood of a legislative outcome closer to the president's preference. and whether individual presidents did better or worse than the model predicted. 1188). and various control variables related to time in office and political and economic context. 212). then. however. Interestingly. By capitalizing on members' uncertainty regarding whether their support is necessary to form a winning coalition. 2009 (Matthew. none of his case studies in PP show presidents employing this tactic. Dan Wood summarized. 125-36). his description of what presidents must do to influence policy making does not mean that he believes presidents are the dominant influence on that process. and with positive legislative results. but what he does to boost his mastery in any instance" (Neustadt 1990. Neustadt writes from the president's perspective. Fleisher. but without adopting a president-centered explanation of power. often through quid pro quo exchanges. if Neustadt clearly recognizes that a president's influence in Congress is exercised mostly. Spatial models of legislative voting suggest that these lobbying efforts are most effective when presidents target the median. a president's power is "comparably limited" (Neustadt 1990. With the baseline established.

of itself. These previous interactions determine a president's professional reputation--the "residual impressions of [a president's] tenacity and skill" that accumulate in Washingtonians' minds. helping to "heighten or diminish" a president's bargaining advantages. . or impossible" (Neustadt 1990. "Reputation. but it can make persuasions easier. or harder.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 68 circumstance depends in large part on the broader pattern created by a president's prior actions when dealing with members of Congress (and "Washingtonians" more generally). 54). does not persuade.

Associate Professor. Lebo. Journal of Politics. and Andrew O'Geen. . Further. theories of partisan politics in Congress argue that cross-pressured legislators will side with their parties in order to enhance the collective reputation of their party (Cox and McCubbins 1993. “The President’s Role in the Partisan Congressional Arena” forthcoming. PhD Candidate. This allows us to neatly fit the president interested in both the causes and consequences of success. We develop a theory that views into existing theories of party competition in Congress while our analyses on presidential success enable us to fit existing theories of party politics into the literature on the presidency. but no empirical research has answered the question: "of what are collective reputations made?" We demonstrate that it is the success of the president – not parties in Congress – that predicts rewards and punishments to parties in Congress. Specifically. we use established theories of congressional parties to model the president’s role as an actor within the constraints of the partisan environment of Congress. Stony Brook University. Stony Brook University. google) Keeping this centrality in mind. 2005). 2010 (Matthew J. we are the president’s record as a key component of the party politics that are so important to both the passage of legislation and the electoral outcomes that follow. a variable of some controversy in the presidential success literature.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Capital Key/A2: Dickinson 69 Ideology doesn’t outweigh – presidential success dictates votes Lebo. Department of Political Science. We also find a role for the president's approval level. Department of Political Science.

party control of Congress is most important (Bond and Fleisher 1990). Policy Priorities and Presidential Success in Congress. 1-26. the policies that the president prioritizes have “a major impact on the president’s relationship with Congress.” Moreover. Canes-Wrone 2001. In their landmark examination of presidential success in Congress. while conditions of divided government decrease presidential success. M. in that conditions of unified government increase. approval ratings (Edwards 1989) and a favorable honeymoon (Dominguez 2005) period may also increase presidential success on legislation. Eshbaugh-Soha 2006). Retrieved from Political Science Complete database. (2008).” Taken together. all else equal. Eshbaugh-Soha. 230) identify yet another condition that may facilitate presidential success on legislation when they write that “the president’s greatest influence over policy comes from the agenda he pursues and the way it is packaged. . The president’s influence the likelihood of presidential success on legislation. The literature is clear that a handful of variables strongly Of these variables. Conference Papers -. Bond and Fleisher (1990.American Political Science Association. these assertions strongly suggest that the policy content of the president’s legislative agenda—what policies the president prioritizes before Congress —should be a primary determinant of presidential success in Congress.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Capital Key/A2: Dickinson 70 Studies prove issues spillover—the president is key. Presidential-congressional relations are a central topic in the scientific study of politics. presidential speeches that reference policies or roll-call votes tend to increase the president’s legislative success rate (Barrett 2004. In addition.

Though bargaining is an important tool of presidential power. party support. given low levels in presidential capital. determining the size of the agenda and guiding the criteria for choice. While there is little question that bargaining skills can affect both the composition and the success of the domestic agenda. In the past. Thus. disadvantages to the table. information. Though the internal resources are important contributors to timing and size. even the most positive and most active executive could make little impact. Whatever the President’s personal expertise. no amount of expertise or charm can make a difference. Regardless of the President’s personality. character. capital remains the cirtical factor. That conclusion will become essential in understanding the domestic agenda. charismatic. pull. whether he will be restricted to a series Yet. the President’s Agenda. without the necessary party support. a veritable legislative wizard. but if he does not have the basic congressional strength. punch. charming. juice. The most basic and most important of all presidential resources is capital. And capital is directly linked to the congressional parties. Capital sets the basic parameters of the agenda. Presidents bring certain advantages and .Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Capital Key/A2: Dickinson 71 Capital determines agenda above all else Light 99 – Senior Fellow at the Center for Public Service (Paul. capital is the central force behind the domestic agenda. Though the internal resources time. expertise. personality being the dominant factor. the President’s Agenda. it does not take place in a neutral environment. or concessions Light 99 – Senior Fellow at the Center for Public Service (Paul. it is capital that determines whether the President will have the opportunity to offer a detailed domestic program. or skills. the President is severely limited without capital. and energy all have an impact on the domestic agenda. presidential scholars have focused on individual factors in discussing White House decisions. p. A president can be skilled. Capital is key – it outweigh ideology. capital is the most important resource. power. 2425) Call it push. his domestic agenda will be severely restricted – capital affects both the number and the content of the President’s priorities. of limited initiatives and vetoes. I will consider just how capital affects the basic parameters of the domestic agenda. or clout – they all mean the same thing. p. 34) In chapter 2.

The more stable a president's grant of authority. If a president claims more authority than he actually possesses. the perception of what it is appropriate for a given president to do” (Skowronek 1997. Reagan’s efforts to secure aid for the Contras in Nicaragua during the 9th congress -6) illustrate the point. defined as the “expectations that surround the exercise of power at a given moment. Political Capital trumps everything else – concessions. as every president does. he invites challenges from rivals that can reduce his authority and power. 7. however. and bipart are useless if a president has no skill Bond& Fleisher. Their explanations of the problems tend to become excuses: compromises become “waffling.” Skilled presidents have more room to maneuver. long before his direct presidential powers face serious challenge. has broad grants of power and authority. Yet as his political capital drops. . rests on the “warrants” drawn from the politics of the moment to justify action and secure the legitimacy of changes. again by a thin margin. After losing several important votes by close margins n the House flood. Presidents who are viewed as unskilled as continually on the defensive. and will occur during Obama’s time in the oval office. That has been the case with all recent presidents. Vol. the authority of his office will surely shrink.. and Richard The President in Legislation) Finally. he will find that his warrant of authority will fade first. the easier his exercise of power.Texas A&M & Professor in Political Science Fordham 1996 (Jon R. 3). initially at least.bepress. 18).. “Understanding the Obama Presidency”.com/cgi/viewcontent. as they inevitably will. the president's professional reputation affects the leeway he has to pursue his policy goals. Issue 1. When they suffer loss. to Skowronek. http://www.cgi? article=1283&context=forum) At the center of the conflict lies the desire of presidents to create political “regimes” supported by popular approval and constitutional authority (Schier 2004.it determines authority Schier 9 (Steven E. wins. Authority. As adverse events arrive. professor of political science at Carleton College. they still have leeway to pursue other items on their agenda or to try again to turn the defeat into a victory. Presidential power is intimately tied to presidential authority. The Forum. A regime is a stable authority structure that reworks Washington power arrangements to facilitate its own dominance. Obama. Professor in Political Science . the president eventually got a bill through the House giving him most of what he wanted.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 72 Political Capital Key Political capital is key to the agenda.

he entered office with a formidable store of political capital. 185). not stable. Neustadt defines this as the “impressions in the Washington community about the skill and will with which he puts [his formal powers] to use” (Neustadt 1990. Stephen Skowronek argues that “presidents disrupt systems. professor of political science at Carleton College. Bush. who entered office amidst continuing controversy over the 2000 election outcome. the President’s electoral margin and patronage appointments (Light 1983. His solid electoral victory means he initially will receive high public support and strong backing from fellow Congressional partisans. presidents must force political change if they are to enact their agendas. and pass to successors leadership challenges that are different from the ones just faced” (Skowronek 1997. Vol. Issue 1. Washington power structures have become more entrenched and elaborate (Drucker 1995) while presidential powers – through increased use of executive orders and legislative delegation (Howell 2003) –have also grown. he found that his political capital had shrunk. http://www. Given their limited time in office and the hostile political alignments often present in Washington policymaking networks and among the electorate. In recent decades. By the later stages of Bush’s troubled second term. and both the public and Washington elites granted him a broad ability to prosecute the war on terror. Obama probably enjoys the prospect of a happier honeymoon during his first year than did George W. .Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 73 Political Capital Key Political capital is key.com/cgi/viewcontent.. Nevertheless. Informal power is a function of the “political capital” presidents amass and deplete as they operate in office. 6). George W. Richard Neustadt’s concept of a president’s “professional reputation” likewise figures into his political capital. lawmakers.cgi? article=1283&context=forum) In additional to formal powers. as is always the case for presidents. a president’s informal power is situationally derived and highly variable.it’s empirically proven Schier 9 (Steven E. 7. In the wake of 9/11. Bush’s political capital surged. Obama’s informal powers will prove variable. The presidency has more powers in the early 21st century but also faces more entrenched coalitions of interests.bepress. beset by a lengthy and unpopular occupation of Iraq and an aggressive Democratic Congress. Paul Light defines several components of political capital: party support of the president in Congress. Presidents usually employ power to disrupt the political order they inherit in order to reshape it according to their own agendas. 15). and bureaucrats whose agendas often differ from that of the president. a combination that will allow him much leeway in his presidential appointments and with his policy agenda. public approval of the presidential conduct of his job. “Understanding the Obama Presidency”. The Forum. This is an invitation for an energetic president – and that seems to describe Barack Obama – to engage in major ongoing battles to impose his preferences. reshape political landscapes.

no amount of expertise or charm can make a difference. among the presidential staffs it is generally understood to be equal to the President’s party support in Congress. expertise.” Though power may remain undefined in the presidential literature. information. According to the Congressional Quarterly Almanac. capital is defined as the number of votes the President can generate in Congress at any one time on any given issue. Johnson secured passage of 60 percent of his legislative proposals in 1965. While there is little question that bargaining skills can affect both the composition and the success of the domestic agenda.7 percent of the vote. others sued a variety of other terms. without the necessary party support. PG 2526 ] 74 Call it push. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. THIRD ED. Finally.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Political Capital Key POLITICAL CAPITAL IS LIMITED AND NECESSARY FOR LEGISLATIVE VICTORY LIGHT. 1999 [PAUL C. Johnson’s base of support. The increases in both electoral margin and congressional support assured a greater degree of success for Lyndon Johnson. “THE PRESIDENT’S AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON”. it does not take place in a neutral environment. For more White House aides. Though the internal resources time. whereas Kennedy was elected to office by 49. Presidents bring certain advantages and disadvantages to the table. Throughout the following discussion. the base of presidential capital is always the number of party seats the President has in Congress. Johnson’s greater impact was the result of the massive increase in House Democrats. the President is severely limited without capital. pull. Perhaps the best way to illustrate the impact of capital is to compare Kennedy’s early legislative failures with Johnson’s eventual victories. or clout – they all mean the same thing. Johnson went from 263 Democrats in the Eighty-seventh Congress to 294 in the Eighty-eighth. and energy all have an impact on the domestic agenda.. The most basic and most important of all presidential resources is capital. particularly from Northern liberal districts. punch. Moreover. It should be remembered that this definition is restricted to the domestic agenda – a restriction with heavy legislative content. the basic explanation for the change lies in his increased external resources. power. Johnson’s success stemmed from dramatic shifts in presidential capital. juice. However. grew from 152 seats in 1964 to 194 in 1965. the definition would certainly change in foreign affairs. Hence. Neither institutional prerogatives nor bargaining skills explain Johnson’s dramatic success. Though bargaining is an important tool of presidential power. PRESS. capital responds to the President’s public approval and electoral margin. Though Johnson’s skills might have stretched his scarce resources. Its attractiveness rests on the image of a fixed amount of influence expend over time. Was Johnson’s success due to some change in the President’s prerogatives? Was it due to his abilities as a legislative broker? The answer to both questions is no. Johnson returned to office in 1965 following a landslide. the northern Democratic bloc. And capital is directly linked to the congressional parties. it should be remembered that capital is only a word – some aides used it frequently. As such. while Kennedy secured passé of only 27 percent of his in 1963. . Johnson’s higher degree of success paralleled the increase in his political resources following the 1964 election. in his political “capital.

These constraints prevent the President from marshalling through Congress all but a handful of statutory provisions reflecting his policy vision. On any proposed regulatory measure. the President could face opposition from powerful committee members who ability modify and kill legislation is well-documented. the propensity of congressional committees to engage in special-interest-oriented oversight might seriously undercut presidential efforts to implement regulatory reform through legislation. Although some provisions. will impose economic costs on society and concomitantly consume the President’s political capital. can significantly alter the perspectives with which agencies and courts view regulation. his power to bestow benefits on the constituents of members of Congress who support his agenda. Repeated use of such tactics. however. and his potential to deliver votes in congressional elections increase the likelihood of legislative success for particular programs. Thus. if carefully crafted.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Political Capital Key 75 POLITICAL CAPITAL IS FINITE – PUSHING TOO MANY POLICIES DOOMS THE REST OF BUSH’S AGENDA SEIDENFELD. At some point the price to the President for pushing legislation through Congress exceeds the benefit he derives from doing so. ASSIS PROF @ FLORIDA STATE UNIV COLLEGE OF LAW. In addition. LN] The cumbersome process of enacting legislation interferes with the President’s ability to get his legislative agenda through Congress much as it hinders direct congressional control of agenda policy-setting. This is not meant to deny that the President has significant power that he can use to bring aspects of his legislative agenda to fruition. REV. 80 IOWA L. such judicial and administrative reaction is not likely to occur quickly. a substantial legacy of existing regulatory policy will still be intact. The President’s ability to focus media attention on an issue. and precious little time to get his agenda enacted. Even after such reaction occurs. 1. a President would be unwise to rely too heavily on legislative changes to implement his policy vision. A President has limited amounts of political capital he can use to press for a legislative agenda. . 1994 [MARKS.

charismatic. character. Capital sets the basic parameters of the agenda. but if he does not have the basic congressional strength.. . his domestic agenda will be severely restricted – capital affects both the number and the content of the President’s priorities. whether he will be restricted to a series of limited initiatives and vetoes. capital remains the critical factor. charming. Though Nixon and Ford may have had some preference for smaller scale programs. That conclusion will become essential in understanding the domestic agenda. capital is the most important resource. THIRD ED. Regardless of the President’s personality. PRESS. Thus it is capital that determines whether the President will have the opportunity to offer a detailed domestic program. PG 34 ] 76 In chapter 2. 1999 [PAUL C. POLITICAL CAPITAL KEY LIGHT. “THE PRESIDENT’S AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON”.. In the past. a veritable legislative wizard. Goals shape the direction of agenda requests. capital is the primary factor in defining the scope of presidential requests. more attractive explanation for party differences is political capital. presidential scholars have focused on individual factors in discussing White House decisions. Though the internal resources are important. neither President had much choice. PRESS. THIRD ED. personality being the dominant factor. while capital affects the size. PG 132 A second. 1999 [PAUL C. Yet given low levels in presidential capital. “THE PRESIDENT’S AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON”. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. capital is the central force behind the domestic agenda. contributors to timing and size. Whatever the President’s personal expertise. determining the size of the agenda and guiding the criteria for choice. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Political Capital Key CAPITAL IS CRITICAL TO DOMESTIC POLICY LIGHT. even the most positive and most active executive could make little impact. I will consider just how capital affects the basic parameters of the domestic agenda. or skills. A President can be skilled. given their political situation in Congress. Though goals are critical in the initial stages of the search for alternatives.

but time does not give the President the power to win bargains. while the internal resources help to absorb decision-making costs. they are generally expended in the decision-making process. As one Nixon aide reported. If we didn’t have some basic support. expertise. 1999 [PAUL C. information. PRESS. As one Johnson aide remarked.. “THE PRESIDENT’S AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON”. we couldn’t bring the staff together to make the choices. THIRD ED. expertise. it didn’t matter how much time we had. both domination and the garbage can are tied to conflict. conflict increases. 1999 [PAUL C. POLITICAL CAPITAL IS CRITICAL TO AGENDA PASSAGE LIGHT. . There may be a truce at the beginning of the administration. “It is a hell of a lot easier to get along with your enemies when you both can be satisfied. We saw time as something we had to have to make the decisions. Bargaining takes time. Capital reflects the President’s political strength. and energy. as well as in the evolution of the domestic decision-making structure. and energy have an impact on the agenda. the response is to drag out all the old weapons. the President’s political power is only marginally related to internal resources. If we didn’t have the time.. the staff either engages in attempts at internal domination or collapses into organized anarchy. We saw congressional support in an entirely different light. We could have a twenty year term and it wouldn’t make a tinker’s damn. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. Congress was the basic force in our success. If we didn’t have the time. but it is broken very quickly. However. This is not to argue that internal resources are unimportant. “THE PRESIDENT’S AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON”. time was important only inasmuch as it gave us the opportunity to get compromises nailed down. we couldn’t get the hearings scheduled or the liaison effort on track. As conflict increases.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Political Capital Key LACK OF POLITICAL CAPITAL CAUSES INTERNAL CONFLICT 77 LIGHT. Though time. they have a significant role in the timing of agenda requests. When it turns to a game with winners and losers. PRESS. according to the White House staffs. information. THIRD ED. PG 1516 ] Capital must be distinguished from the internal resources time. PG 181 ] There is a clear relationship between presidential capital and staff conflict: as capital declines. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV.” Thus.

Furthermore. creating two distinct policy cycles The cycle of decreasing influence appears as time. The cycle of increasing effectiveness enters as information and expertise grow. Both cycles have a dramatic influence on the President’s agenda. public approval. information.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Political Capital Key CAPITAL IS CRITICAL TO AGENDA SUCCESS LIGHT. presidential bargaining has no impact on domestic outcomes. energy. the external resources flow from congressional support. 1999 [PAUL C. Without these requisite resources. and electoral margin. THIRD ED. and energy. expertise. The internal resources involve at least four separate entities – time. “THE PRESIDENT’S AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON”. and congressional support drop. PRESS. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. these resources rise and fall over the term. PG 10 ] 78 This study hinges on a resource definition of presidential power. .. It is my argument that Presidents are constrained by the level of both internal and external resources.

skills are associated with success on roll call votes in Congress. “Hard Fought Legacy: Obama. Victor S. and. Even the effects of the partisan balanced Congress. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard. and Richard. SKOCPOL AND JACOBS 10. and when they unify. Presidents reputed as highly skilled do not win consistently more often than should be expected. The party bases are likely to unify only if the party and committee leader of a party take the same position. Because party and ideology are relatively stable. "The President in Legislation”] In sum. "The President in Legislation”] Neustadt is correct that weak political parties in American politics do not bridge the gap created by the constitutional separation of powers. But party and committee leaders within each party take opposing stands on a significant proportion of presidential roll calls. We would add: neither does skilled presidential leadership or popularity with the public. former Director of the Center for American Political Studies. Failure to find systematic effects in general does not necessarily refute the anecdotes and case studies demonstrating the importance of skills.Texas A&M and Professor in Political Science. [Jon R. PRESIDENTIAL CAPITAL ISN’T SIGNIFICANT – PARTY SUPPORT AND DIVISIONS ARE KEY Bond & Fleisher 96. POLITICAL CAPITAL IS IRRELEVANT -. Humphrey Institute and Department of Political Science at the University of Minnesota. In practice. the evidence presented in this chapter provides little support for the theory that the president's perceived leadership. Our analysis of party and committee leaders in Congress reveals that support from congressional leaders is associated with unity of the party factions. Lawrence. and Joan Mondale Chair for Political Studies and Director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance in the Hubert H. and Richard.Texas A&M and Professor in Political Science. [Theda. congressional democrats. Moreover. cross-pressured members are typically divided. some may argue that it is premature to reject this explanation of presidential success based on the tests reported in this chapter. In fact. Fordham 1996. As expected. the truth is that presidential influence over domestic law making is quite limited. Because members of the party factions and their leaders frequently fail to unify around a party position. the cycle of decreasing influence over the course of his term. Presidential speeches (as in the case of Obama‘s nationally televised September address to restart health reform) can influence the agenda of issues for DC insiders and all Americans. Presidents reputed as unskilled do not win consistently less often relative to. There is. the president's popularity. considerable variation in the behavior of the party factions.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 79 At: Political Capital Key CAPITAL NOT KEY TO THE AGENDA – LIMITED IMPACT. they unify against about as often as they unify for the president. the forces that Neustadt stressed as the antidote for weak parties are even less successful in linking the president and Congress than are weak parties. It might be argued that these findings by themselves do not deny that leadership skill is an important component of presidential-congressional relations. [Jon R. But Constitutional checks and balances prevent any president from having his way with Congress – and this situation was exacerbated in 2009 and 2010 by Republican obstructionist tactics. in which skills have the greatest potential to affect the outcome. . Our findings indicate that members of Congress provide levels of support for the President that are generally consistent with their partisan and ideological predispositions. Bond & Fleisher 96.October] Although presidential power is widely credited with dictating public policy. facing a Congress made up of more members predisposed to support the president does increase the likelihood of success on the floor. professor in Political Science . Walter F. Because of the difficulty of establishing a definitive test of the skills theory. there is considerable uncertainty surrounding the outcome of presidential roll calls. Obama and his aides were often little more than frustrated witnesses to Congressional maneuvers and delays. Fordham 1996. Even members of the party bases who have reinforcing partisan and ideological predispositions frequently fail to unify for or against the president's position. however. professor in Political Science . and the struggle for comprehensive health reform” Russell Sage Foundation -. skilled presidents do not win significantly more often than unskilled presidents on either important votes or close votes.EMPIRICALLY PROVEN.

Obama must make it clear that there will be an enormous political cost which Democrats who vote against the bill will have to pay. but on standing their ground and getting a strong and inclusive health care reform bill. Before any bill is voted upon. .huffingtonpost. There are now some very clear issues where Obama should be spending political capital. Columbia University . however. This is not the time when the administration must focus on making friends and being liked. It is imperative that Obama push for the best and most comprehensive health care reform possible. The Huffington Post. against the President.html ty) This strategy. This will likely mean not just a bruising legislative battle. but one that will pit powerful interests. is perhaps an even more critical time as pressure from insurance groups.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 PC Key to Dem Unity 80 Political capital key to Dem unity. The most obvious of these is health care. will not be fruitful for much longer. but for American society over the next decades.6/18/ 2009 (Time for Obama to Start Spending Political Capital.The legislative struggle will also pull many Democrats between the President and powerful interest groups. but also on the administration as it works with congress to craft the legislation. business groups and doctors organizations will be brought to bear both on congress.Assistant Professor in the Practice of International Politics.must threaten retaliation Lincoln Mitchell .com/lincoln-mitchell/time-for-obama-to-start-s_b_217235. The battle for health care reform will be a major defining issue. not just for the Obama presidency. not just angry Republican ideologues. http://www. however.

which often are fixed and limited. . this pressure will not abate in the near future. PRESS. expertise. each agenda choice commits some White House resources – time. As a President moves through the term. energy. Each agenda item also commits some policy options. PG 2 ] 81 The President’s domestic agenda also reflects the allocation of resources. “THE PRESIDENT’S AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON”. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. The sheer number of participants in the policy process both inside and outside the White House has increased rapidly over the last two decades. interest groups and individuals have “discovered” Congress and the Presidency. whether federal funds or bureaucratic energy. THIRD ED. 1999 [PAUL C. Policy-makers increasingly turn to the agenda for the first battles over the distribution of scare resources.. information.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Political Capital Finite POLITICAL CAPITAL IS LIMITED AND PLAN FORCES AGENDA BATTLES LIGHT. political capital. This growing pressure has placed greater emphasis on the agenda as a topic of political conflict. Given the ever-tightening policy options.

they no longer have the time to spend on a full search for new ideas and programs. The cost of presidential policy has grown. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. we have talked of five rather separate trends which have contributed to a No Win Presidency in domestic affairs. PRESS. PG 217 The Price of Policy. as well as about the selection of “winnable” issues and alternatives. while the President’s ability to influence outcomes has declined. THIRD ED. “THE PRESIDENT’S AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON”. and change in the available issues have steadily increased the price of policy. 1999 [PAUL C. Presidents must now pay more for domestic programs. Thus far. declining influence. Together the increased competition and complexity.. While the price of policy has risen. the President’s resource base has not. pervasive surveillance. It is a remarkable no-win position. If anything. Presidents no longer have the resources to expend on “educating” the public. the President’s resource base has dwindled over the 1970s. Presidents must be more careful about timing.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Political Capital Finite 82 THE PRESIDENT HAS A LIMITED AMOUNT OF POLITICAL CAPITAL – EACH POLICY IS MORE EXPENSIVE LIGHT. .

Though Congress can act quickly during a crisis. “THE PRESIDENT’S AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON”. They have a heavy work load and won’t take too much White House pressure. “THE PRESIDENT’S AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON”. start all over again in the Senate. “ AGENDA SIZE IS LIMITED – PLAN WOULD RISK ANGERING THE LIAISON OFFICE LIGHT. PG 25-26 ] 83 Presidential Limits. THIRD ED. the President’s internal resources demand limits on choice. to go through the Senate with the bill. the Congress will put your agenda on the back burner. Kennedy’s complaint came long before the rise of subcommittee government and the increased complexity within the legislative process. but only a few could be involved in the critical decisions. We could only concentrate on a couple of problems at a time. “if you press too hard. that is an extremely difficult task (transcript of television interview. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV.” .. According to john Kennedy. 1062. pp. According to a Nixon domestic aide. to have it go back through the Rules Committee. most legislation must pass through a series of decision points en route to enactment. go to the Rules Committee and get a rule. the full committee and get a majority vote.. or if one member objects. PRESS. but the congressional calendar involves the greatest institutional restrictions. and have this done on a controversial piece of legislation where powerful groups are opposing it. and get a majority vote. Even if Congress could handle every item. “nothing ever happens overnight. 892. back through the Congress. go to the Floor of the House and get a majority. Basically.. After a month. When you enter office. Past Presidents and their staffs have been sensitive to the demands of the congressional process. But if you don’t press hard enough. and in the Senate there is unlimited debate.” one Nixon officer suggested. PRESS. the White House policy process can accept only a limited number of items at a time. you’re likely to anger the committees. To go through a subcommittee-. Presidents face several structural limits on agenda size. even if they are a minority. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. in Public Papers of the Presidents. so you can never bring a matter to a vote if there is enough determination on the part of the opponents. The President needs time to make decisions. the White house policy process itself places certain limits on the domestic agenda. THIRD ED. 1999 [PAUL C.894). And then unanimously get a conference between the house and Senate to adjust the bill. subcommittee and full committee. “The liaison office always walks a tight line. It is much more difficult to pass one. Though recent scholars have complained about the size of the presidential staff. PG 53-54 ] Congressional Limits . it looks as if the sky’s the limit. the process contains a number of hurdles: It is very easy to defeat a bill in the Congress. There were a lot of bodies.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Political Capital Finite PLAN WOULD FORCE AN AGENDA TRADE OFF BECAUSE OF LIMITED INTERNAL RESOURCES LIGHT. the staff needs information to draft specific proposals. 1999 [PAUL C. you find that the gears don’t mesh.

the breadth of partisan support in Congress. as did the upending of his first two choices for attorney general. only hint at the potential for off-script disruptions. It derives largely from numbers: the size of the election victory. Obama’s 53 percent popular vote majority. Bush entered the White House with far less political capital than Kennedy.” recalled his speechwriter Ken Khachigian.com/2009/02/15/weekinreview/15harwood. which Mr. By 2008. Bill Clinton occupied a kind of middle ground in presidential sway. presidential momentum can drain rapidly — or replenish — depending on unplanned events. But it is too early to answer with much confidence. After John F. George W.html? pagewanted=1) WASHINGTON — It is not too early to ask whether President Obama’s robust supply of political capital has begun to dissipate. Lyndon B. Ronald Reagan needed every bit of his political capital — and a booster shot of good will from an assassination attempt — to win his package of deep tax and budget cuts. his initial 72 percent job approval rating was the highest Gallup has recorded for a new president. “Still. Judd Gregg’s ideological misgivings. The recession and two wars facing Mr.D. and solid House and Senate majorities compare favorably at this stage with the profile of any new president post-World War II.nytimes. which often come in the realm of foreign policy.” his history of F. Obama’s economic stimulus package add up to the depletion of his momentum.D. Americans rallied behind him. Presidential mojo is an elusive and ephemeral force that flows from many sources. Johnson. One lesson for new presidents. the 9/11 attacks gave him enough standing eventually to take the nation to war against Iraq. Later that year Mr. Only after he was martyred in Dallas two years later did his proposals on civil rights sweep through Congress under his less-charismatic successor. and the about-face by Senator Gregg that ended his nomination for commerce secretary. Few remember the early travails of Franklin Roosevelt after he swept 57 percent of the vote and all but six states against Herbert Hoover in 1932. Alter called “one of the least appreciated elements of how F. and discontented voters turned the House and Senate over to Republicans in 1994. Daschle. despite the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in April 1961.R. Bush. And then Roosevelt executed a leadership tour de force that lifted the nation’s spirits. In the whirl of action Roosevelt moved to end Prohibition by prodding Congress to legalize beer.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 84 A2: No Trade-Off/Spillover Obama has a finite supply of political capital and needs to be careful of how he is spending it. Kennedy retained that high standing through his first 100 days. But political insiders scorned his extended post-election passivity — presidents weren’t inaugurated until March then — including a Caribbean yacht cruise while the Great Depression festered.R.D. and even greater momentum after he came back from being shot. http://www. “By early February. Kennedy narrowly defeated Richard Nixon in 1960. Wall Street’s catcalls and the near-complete Republican rejection of Mr. Four months later. Obama easily match the stagflation and cold war challenges that confronted Ronald Reagan in 1981. Having lost the popular vote to Al Gore. there was resistance. But the sustainability of those power gauges can be inversely related to the scale of the political challenges a president faces — sometimes exhausting his capital in the first year of a White House term. but split the “change” vote with Ross Perot. The alchemy that translates those ingredients into presidential success defies consistent prediction. Entering office in 1993. Clinton managed to win narrow approval of his economic plan. Obama is most appropriately compared don’t have the luxury of serving bite-size initiatives. In 1981. changed the country’s psyche.R. not enough courage. a Clinton White House lobbyist: “Congress swallows better in small bites. the Emergency Banking Act swept through the House by voice vote. Yet the victories he achieved from a Democratic Congress remained modest. By those measures. the poll ratings. “Obama. mid-60 percent job approval ratings. Mr. Congress and both political parties. the president-elect was in political trouble. And yet before summer he muscled through a closely divided Congress the income tax cuts that became the signature economic policy of his eight-year presidency. swept his New Deal agenda through Congress and durably transformed the federal role in American society.” .” recalled the presidential scholar Fred Greenstein. Mr. it may not be too early to ask whether Tom Daschle’s tax problems. and may exceed those of any predecessor since F. An early furor over gays in the military drained away some of his political energy.” In Roosevelt’s case. He ousted the incumbent. in 1992. With a Pile of Chips” page 1. “Reagan had great momentum. The rap on Kennedy was “too much profile. before or since. often partly or entirely outside the president’s control. George H. but his universal health care initiative collapsed.” Jonathan Alter wrote in “The Defining Moment. the difficulties of that endeavor had helped wipe out his influence with the public. it was the application of supple leadership skills to a public terrified of financial ruin that allowed him win all 15 items on his 100-days priority list. Predecessors with bigger victory margins have lost it this quickly. New York Times 2-14-09 (John Harwood. The belatedly disclosed tax problems that felled Mr. W.’s first 100 days. In other words. in the words of Howard Paster.” Yet the “crisis presidents” to whom Mr. Moreover.

Indeed. http://www. if the president signs a treaty.clayton. bigger fish to fry. such claims would be wrong. Political capital key to agenda and spills-over – 107th Congress proves. perhaps a dozen or so. The 107th Congress. The Obama administration has concluded that it is simply not worth the political capital to try. he has been willing to delay action on other issues that could distract or dilute his mandate. I have no doubt whatsoever what Bob’s private counsel would be if asked about whether applying estimation principles to the Census would increase its accuracy. And an attempt to use estimation for reapportionment has that potential. “Invest or Spend?:Political capital and Statements of Administration Policy in the First Term of the George W.com/tag/michael-j-oneil/) I think this says something very revealing. He has This strategic retreat resembles the back-burnering of issues such as gun control and gays in the military. It would not matter that as a matter of scientific certainty. supports this theory.pdf] The idea of investing political capital also supports the notion that the chief executive specializes in foreign and defense policy. Bush Presidency. President Bush may have spent his political capital towards executing those wars and attempted to invest his capital by cooperating on domestic legislation. Therefore. To pursue key objectives. his scientific judgment on this matter is 85 this new position mirrors the Obama administration’s approach to dealing with many controversial matters. during which the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began. they could score political points in making the already a matter of public record. Lee 2005 The Rose Institute of State & Local Government – Claremont McKenna College – Presented at the Georgia Political Science Association 2005 Conference [Andrew. especially the economy and health care reform. the president will not issue SAPs on his own foreign policy. Congress may or may not ratify it.” http://as.) Obama looks willing to forgo the congressional seats. whereas his domestic policy is an invest maneuver. (This is the type of technical issue that is difficult to explain to a statistically lay audience. many intelligent people simply won’t understand it. The president may increase his domestic capital by cooperating on domestic legislation and then spend it implementing foreign policies.edu/trachtenberg/2005%20Proceedings%20Lee. While he has pursued many initiatives. but far more about the Obama administration than about Bob Groves. he has carefully avoided those with the explosive potential to blow up the broader agenda. . Each has been delayed out of a fear that it could be divisive and derail his core agenda. For example. getting the public to understand such arcane statistical principles is a lost cause. but there is no opportunity for veto.O'Neill Associates.mytwocensus.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 A2 No Spillover Obama thinks our link is true even if it is false. There is a pattern: President Obama does not want the political distraction of Republicans screaming that the Democrats have “fixed” the Census to produce a partisan result. While the scientific merits are indisputable. In executing foreign policy. Democrats would gain in order to avoid this political distraction and pursue higher priorities. the president’s use of foreign policy is a spend maneuver. O'Neill 2009 (President -. But what is interesting here is how charge.

268). Although there are several ideologies.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 A2 No Spillover Issues are zero-sum -. the visibility and singularity of the modern presidency can undermine both informal techniques. Even conservatives who want to cut domestic spending and liberals who want to reduce defense spending work to protect domestic and defense programs in their districts. 135 In such circumstances. The "conservative coalition" of Republicans and southern Democrats. his visibility and the influence of the media may also make it more difficult for him to exercise it. 144 U. First. "no politician can endure opposition from a wide range of opponents in numerous contests without alienating a significant proportion of voters.their unitariness by allocating responsibility for different agencies to different political constituencies. and the newest EPA regulations the list is infinite. Presidents who attempt to tamper with these programs are likely to find few friends in Congress. or take inconsistent positions. can frequently build working majorities composed of their partisan base and like-minded members of the opposition. on the other hand.Press ensures it. the modern president's attempt to avoid or mediate issues can often undermine him personally and politically.Texas A&M & Professor in Political Science . Brady and Bullock 1980." 130 Two types of tactics illustrate this phenomenon. the president must often take a position and act. for example. . The modern president is supposed to have a position [*867] on such matters as affirmative action. Rev. Perhapsin response to these pressures. when he opposed several water projects in 1977. 136 Thus.the buck stops [*866] with the president. Manley 1973). the president is far less able to exercise agenda control. with Bill Clinton giving three times as many speeches as Reagan during the same period. the baseballstrike. most representatives' electoral self-interest is probably best served by avoiding ideological extremes. 134 Unfortunately. Fitts 1996 (Law Prof -. true unitariness means that he has the authority to reverse the decisions or non-decisions of others .Fordham (Jon R. which public choice scholars see as an advantage of presidential power." presidents have attempted to create the division within their person. surrounding such issues as gays in the military or affirmative action.at least politically . reportedly "gave" the Department of Justice to the liberal wing of the Democratic party and the Department of the Treasury and the OMB to the conservatives. as President Carter discovered ideological voting blocs are relatively informal coalitions composed of individuals who have similar values. Because the typical political values shared between the president and members of Congress provide an important linkage source. refuse to take symbolic stands. for example.Penn. First. But this coalition of conservatives has no formal organization with elected leaders to serve as a communication and information center. not produce ideological divisions. At least in theory. and Richard The President in Legislation) pg 54 Minority presidents. Vote switching is real – ideology is minimal. in contrast to Congress. for example. Distributive or "porkbarrel" programs. 129 In this environment. The well-documented tendency of the press to emphasize the strategic implications of politics exacerbates this process by turning issues into zero-sum games. 827) 86 While the president's singularity may give him the formal ability to exercise agenda control. While the effects of ideology are limited for several reasons. Bond & Fleisher 1996 Professor in Political Science . appears on certain votes and sometimes has a significant influence on the outcome of floor votes (Shelley 1983. many votes that may be important to the president do not involve ideological issues. To the extent that the modern president is subject to heightened visibility about what he says and does and is led to make increasingly specific statements about who should win and who should lose on an issue. most members of Congress are pragmatic politicians who do not have views and preferences at the extremes of a liberal-conservative continuum. Finally. When public scrutiny is brought to bear on the White House. the unitary president may be less able to rely on preexisting congressional or agency processes to resolve disputes. Second. 131 Presidents Bush and Reagan tried a similar technique of giving control over different agencies to different political constituencies. Finally. typically do ideology is a less important voting cue for moderates than it is for ideological extremists (Kingdon 1981. Pa. American voter is not strongly ideological. 128 This can deprive him of the ability to choose when or whether to address issues. President Clinton. L. 132 Second. Eisenhower is widely reported to be the best exemplar of this "bumbling" technique. his ability to mediate conflict and control the agenda can be undermined. each modern president has made more speeches and taken more positions than his predecessors. by invoking vague abstract principles or "talking out of both sides of their mouth. the war in Bosnia. As noted above. 133 Reagan's widely publicized verbal "incoherence" and detachment from government affairs probably served a similar function. presidents in recent years have often sought to deemphasize . and as President Reagan discovered when he vetoed the highway bill in 1987.

If he wants to let cold-blooded murderers out of prison. Frank Lautenberg.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Political Capital Not Key Political capital isn’t key. 6-15-09. This has been a huge advantage for the Democrats in terms of winning elections—it’s an important part of the reason Democrats have these majorities.php) I think the answer to the puzzle is simply that “political that the 87 capital” is a pretty misleading metaphor. Arlen Specter. On top of that. Carl Levin. But that only adds up to 22 Senators—you need thirty-eight more to pass a bill.concentrated interests can block reform Yglesias 9 (Matthew. that’s also biased in favor of conservative areas. . Maria Cantwell. Kristen Gillibrand. Bob Menendez.thinkprogress. Chuck Schumer. Between them. Bill Nelson. senior editor at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. nobody thinks that Collin Peterson (D-MN) is going to lose his seat over badly watering down Waxman-Markey and that matters a lot more than airy considerations of capital. Patty Murray. The American presidency is a weird institution. Roland Burriss. it’s not clear that anyone could stop him. Barbara Boxer. John Kerry. Republicans have a lot of solidarity but Democratic leaders have little leverage over individual members. and Evan Bayh represent 50 percent of the country’s population. The fact of the matter is Senate is what it is—to wit. If Barack Obama wants to start a war with North Korea and jeopardize the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Amy Klobuchar. Kay Hagan. In other words. Mark Warner. Ted Kennedy. But it also means that when it comes to policymaking. he needs to obtain a supermajority in the United States Senate. Jim Webb. But if he wants to implement the agenda he was elected on just a few months ago. the entire structure of the US Congress with its bicameralism and multiple overlapping committees is biased toward making it easy for concentrated interests to block reform. Dick Durbin. Meanwhile. an institution with an enormous status quo bias. Bob Casey. the fact of the matter is that in recent years plenty of incumbent Republicans have been brought down by primary challenges from the right and as best I know zero Democrats have been brought down by primary challenges from the left. http://yglesias.org/archives/2009/06/thelimits-of-political-capital. Sherrod Brown. “The Limits of Political Capital”. Dianne Feinstein. it’s completely clear that nobody can stop him.

The evolution of subcommittee government during the late 1960s increased the sheer number of actors who wield influence in the domestic policy process and tangled the legislative road map. I will suggest that this atmosphere of suspicion has reduced the opportunities for effective presidential leadership in domestic policy. Congress has become more complex. PRESS. Fourth.” . PG 1112 ] In the final chapter. social-security financing. We have witnessed the rise of a new group of “constituentless” issues. welfare reform. Third. and hospital-cost control are all examples of a new generation of constituentless issues. The Presidency of the 1980s is quite different from the Presidency of the 1960s. THIRD ED. in turn. It might look similar. the congressional parties have weakened. As we shall see. I will take a deeper look at recent changes which have altered the domestic agenda process. The dispersion of congressional power has. Together they have contributed to the rise of a No Win Presidency in domestic affairs. Lyndon wouldn’t like it one bit. Though there are fewer single obstacles to passage of the President’s program. with no corresponding increase in the President’s ability to absorb the “inflation.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Political Capital Not Key POLITICAL CAPITAL ISN’T ENOUGH – MULTIPLE FACTORS PRECLUDE PRESIDENTIAL LEADERSHIP IN CONGRESS 88 LIGHT. it is important to note that the domestic policy process continues to shift. Unfortunately. Energy. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. Finally. as Congress has become more competitive and complex.” At least five explanations arise. Presidents must now conduct domestic policy under increasing congressional and media surveillance. there are many more potential dead ends and delays. We will return to the concept of a No Win Presidency in chapter 9. reduced the President’s potential influence over domestic legislation. Presidents must still cling to their party as the source of their political capital. party is no longer the “gold standard” of presidential influence. Separately these five trends have created difficult problems for the President’s agenda. Second. In the few short years since Kennedy and Johnson occupied the Oval office of the Presidency has undergone a dramatic era of change. “THE PRESIDENT’S AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON”. For now. and perhaps most important. 1999 [PAUL C. First. but the relationships have all changed. issues that generate remarkably little congressional support and considerable single-interest-group opposition. “This office is nothing like it sued to be. As one Johnson aide remarked. the basic issues that fuel the domestic policy process have changed since 1960. Congress has become more competitive in the search for scarce agenda space – whether because of changes in congressional membership and norms or because of a steady growth in the institutional resources for program initiation.. The political and economic costs of domestic programs have escalated.

welfare reform. but they transcend the familiar coalitions and jurisdictions. As federal resources decline. First. in the legislative process. Presidents are increasingly caught in a political vise. Presidents are currently limited by the tools of congressional oversight – not the least of which is the legislative veto. The parties have been drowned out in the nominating process. The issues many not be more difficult in 1980. and perhaps most important. The President no longer can rely on automatic access to the legislative calendar. It was kindled by a series of presidential misjudgments. 1999 [PAUL C. nor has Congress relaxed its oversight of presidential choice. PG 2526 ] 89 The growth of this No Win Presidency is a 19070s phenomenon. THIRD ED. there has been a remarkable rise in the amount of congressional competition for scarce domestic agenda space. They are cross-pressured from a number of angles. It is reflected in the way the press covers the President. and they have lost considerable cohesion in Congress. more technical expertise.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Political Capital Not Key PRESIDENTIAL INFLUENCE ON CONGRESSIONAL LEGISLATION IS LIMITED BY MULTIPLE FACTORS LIGHT. and increased incentives for drafting its own agenda. Presidents must not operate in an environment of increasing surveillance. each with somewhat separate uses and effects. while presidential influence has not. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. and there is no shortage of enemies.” The price of domestic policy success has gone up. the domestic policy process has continued to fragment. and hospital cost containment all failed to fit the traditional political framework. the development of this no Win Presidency involves at least five separate trends. The rise of subcommittee government in Congress has reinforced White House frustration – legislation must not pass through more stops on the road to enactment (see Patterson 1978). The explanation rests partly on the backlog of legislation left after the Nixon and ford years. . and partly on changes in the congressional environment. the number of active participants and claimants has spiraled. there are few natural allies. Separately the trends have created unique problems for the President. a backlog created by legislative stalemate. Though there are fewer single obstacles to passage in Congress. and was fueled by a string of congressional reactions.. the congressional system increasingly provides active competition for agenda space. In domestic policy. the most important of which were the War Powers Resolution and the Budget and Impoundment Control ct (see Greenstein 1978). Unlike the issues of Kennedy and Johnson years. with little opportunity for release. Fifth. Despite Carter’s substantial congressional majorities in 1977 – which rivaled Lyndon Johnson’s 1965 margins. Party is falling as the ‘gold standard” of presidential influence.Carter was unable to secure passage of his domestic program. Congress has new sources of information. the domestic issues have changed. and in an emerging string of one-term Presidents. Presidents now face a significant drop in their potential influence in Congress. Fourth. Carter’s energy plan. Presidents increasingly must build their legislative coalitions ‘in the sand. thereby increasing legislative complexity. larger staffs. PRESS. combined they have increased the cost of presidential policy. The mood of public distrust has not abated in the post-Watergate era. “THE PRESIDENT’S AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON”. The White House can no longer rely on the president’s party to produce the margin of support in either Congress or the electorate. most notably the War in Vietnam and Watergate. Whether the President is a Democrat or a Republican. The growth of complexity has limited the President’s ability to influence outcomes and has increased the problems of White House liaison. Second. Third. the new domestic issues have few active constituents. The changes in the “pool of issues” reflect an increase in what King (1978) calls the “atomization” of politics.

and legislative turnover in the Senate serve to confuse an already complex system. “THE PRESIDENT’S AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON”. PRESS. The greater number of access points leads to a new brand of legislative stalemate. 1999 [PAUL C. There are fewer single obstacles to the President’s agenda.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Political Capital Not Key POLITICAL CAPITAL IS IRRELEVANT – BUREAUCRACY PRECLUDES INFLUENCE LIGHT. the President needs to understand the system. as Johnson did. . “The big question is where to put your energy. The 1980 elections only complicated the process further. There are simply fewer opportunities for intense lobbying. Congress has removed one major obstacle but has developed many smaller hurdles.. The staff changes. PG 210211 90 Obviously. The power of one chairman or committee to forestall legislative action feel between 1960 and 1980. Too many chiefs…” The paradox is clear: Congress has diluted the power of single committee chairmen to impede progress but increased the complexity of the legislative process. But despite fewer blockades. committee restructuring. According to one Carter aide. Now more than ever. Presidential influence is often a blunt instrument – the new congressional policy process demands a surgeon’s skill. With the dispersion of congressional power. but the power of many smaller coalitions increased. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. Carter did not have to deal with an entrenched House Rules Committee as Kennedy did. Carter ran into more participants. inaction caused by the process itself. THIRD ED. The Reagan administration must now deal with a Democratic majority in the House and a new Republican majority in the Senate. subcommittee government is not all pain for the President. Presidents are increasingly limited in their ability to concentrate influence at key decision points. Which committee is the best to work with? Which subcommittee is going to cause the most damage? We try to work with the Speaker and the Majority Leader. but the process is so mixed up.

THIRD ED. parties have been the major victims of the dispersion of House and Senate power. Believe it. a primary explanation rests on subcommittee government and the dispersion of congressional power. Once the gold standard of presidential influence. And the net result is that it has developed certain characteristics that are detrimental in doing the job that’s needed and necessary to solve some of our problems… The Congress has disintegrated from the position of responsibility and how it can operate. its capability of doing the job. . JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. No longer do we have the capability of the Speaker of the house. I developed many friends. As Gerald Ford suggests. can say. Democrats and Republicans. Unlike Johnson in 1965. and I have nothing but the warmest feelings toward the House of representatives. Once again. Carter was unable to convert his party numbers into firm support. on the one hand.. As one Johnson assistant reflected. There are fewer opportunities for the kind of personalized leadership made famous by Lyndon Johnson. PRESS. I loved the congress. you were in for a tough time. It’s the finest legislative body in the world. But I think its effectiveness. Presidents can not rely on party as the one potent route to success. “in 1965. there are more actors with congressional influence in direct competition with the President’s domestic agenda. Democrat or Republican.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Political Capital Not Key THE PRESIDENT IS IRRELEVANT – SUBCOMMITTEE GOVERNMENT AND DISPERSION OF POWER MEANS HE CAN’T INFLUENCE POLICY LIGHT. January-February 1980.” transcript. “THE PRESIDENT’S AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON”. Carter’s sizable Democratic majorities did not guarantee more than fleeting consideration. Now. Without those people. I’d put that figure upwards of one hundred. to follow the Democratic Party policy. They go off in 10 different directions. “my party is going to follow this party position. And the net result is no leader in the Congress. has degenerated in the last five or ten years. The post-Watergate period has witnessed a steady drop in the President’s potential influence over domestic policy. They seem to follow the public surveys rather than party philosophy. there were maybe ten or twelve people who you needed to corral in the House and Senate. PG 211212 91 Declining Influence. so to speak. or the minority leader. “Every Four Years. p.” The erosion of congressional parties only compounds the problem.36). for a variety of reasons. to get their troops.” They just can’t get the troops to do what I think the public wants them to do under our two-party system (PBS. there are so many people who have a shot at derailing a bill that the President has to double his effort for even routine decisions. It’s a great institution. 1999 [PAUL C. or the Republican Party policy on the other.

Although Presidents can still engage in heroic battles with the spiders of public policy.” setting their agendas in response to earlier signaling by the media and world events. but all will be bound by the checks and balances established by the founders. Jones.” the two researchers conclude. advantages. Jones is not the only political scientist to argue for perspective. Some political scientists argue that this shrinking is appropriate. p 2).” he writes in his award-winning The Presidency in a Separated System. No one has made this cautionary case more effectively than Charles O. As risk averse actors. “this is to be expected. PRESS. Dan Wood.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Political Capital Not Key 92 PRESIDENTS ARE IRRELEVANT TO THE PASSAGE OF LEGISLATION – THEY CAN’T SET THE AGENDA LIGHT. “The plain fact is that the United states does not have a presidential system. “because presidents have limited institutional resources and do not desire to be influential on all issues. the President may be slowly fading from sight as a significant force in setting the legislative agenda. some with less. from presidential historians such as Stephen Skowronek (1993) to rational choice researchers such as Jon Bond and Richard Fleisher (1990) and sophisticated number crunchers such as George Edwards and B. “THE PRESIDENT’S AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON”. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. Some Presidents will enter office with more opportunity. To expect the President’s agenda to remain dominant year in and year out is to ignore the normal ebb and flow of power built into the very fiber of the office. so to speak. the President’s agenda appears to be shrinking. He has been joined by a host of colleagues. PG 208 On the contrary. that Presidents mostly operate in a “reactive mode. It is as fit the President’s agenda of the 1960s has been exposed to some invisible force. by a political process that somehow altered its basic genetic structure as an action-creating device.26) . Edwards and Wood argue. It has a separated system” (1994. They rightly caution that America has expected too much from the President’s agenda and that scholars have placed too much emphasis on the President’s role in directing legislative traffic. “focusing exclusively on the presidency can lead to a seriously distorted picture of how the national government does its work. irradiated. for example. the President’s role in setting the domestic agenda varies with each occupant’s resources. For Jones. however they are ever watchful that respond when other institutions deem an issue worthy of greater consideration” (1996 p. however. there is only so much they can do with stick pins and paper clips. THIRD ED. and strategic position. increasingly dismissed as merely one of the many inputs in structuring the national debate.. 1999 [PAUL C. Like the hero of the science fiction classic The Incredible Shrinking Man.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 93 ### Flip Flop ### .

such as hiring a lobbyist to a key position or overlooking an appointee not paying their taxes. Iraq troop withdrawals and taxing employer healthcare benefits. it seems he is in for tough fights on all fronts. http://innovation. CQ Politics. I think Obama spends some of his political capital every time he makes an exception to his principles -. 9 (Taegan. Creator – Political Wire. # Taegan Goddard: That's a great question.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Flip-Flop Kills Agenda 94 Flip-flops destroy the agenda Goddard. 3-19.com/ liveonline/51/landing) # Dan from Philadelphia: How quickly is Obama burning through his political capital? Will he have anything left to actually keep some of his promises? With potential shifts from his campaign stances on the question of Gitmo. Policy reversals such as the ones you note burn through even more of this precious capital. (One of the Most Widely-Read and Influential Political Web Sites on the Internet). "Does Obama Practice a Different Kind of Politics?".cq. .

jamaicaobserver. And even if he has good reason to change his policy position on an issue. DEC. At the same time.68. uncommitted. indecisive. Cohen 99 (Jeffrey E. THE KANSAS CITY STAR. he may have to bear some costs from doing so. "If a candidate is perceived to be less than genuine or perceived to be hypocritical.http://www. the centralization and individualization of the presidency can be a source of its power.. there is no blue America or red America but the United States of America. once one explores the different ways in which unitariness and visibility can undermine an institution's informal influence. People expect him to govern on behalf of all Americans. . Fitts 96 (Michael A. In this context. a former political director in the Bush White House. 1999 (DAVID.com/columns/html/20090126T2000000500_145308_OBS_THE_DAWNING_OF_A_NEW_ERA_FOR_AMERICA_. From being publicly cool toward the North American Free Trade pact during his presidential election campaign. As a single visible actor in an increasingly complex world. [1/27 -. FLIP-FLOPPING CREATES POLITICAL BACKLASH GOLDSTEIN. January. however. From these. as well as its political illegitimacy and ultimate weakness. Lexis) 95 Centralized and visible power. and/or duplicitous. p. Professor of Political Science at Fordham University. in which his party lost control of Congress. he often must be clear about the tradeoffs he makes. He also may be exposed to a normative standard of personal assessment that may conflict with his institutional duties. Furthermore. L/N) The political flip-flop. especially its ability to mediate conflict and appear competent.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Flip Flop Kills Agenda FLIP FLOPS KILL THE AGENDA. It came back to haunt him in the 1992 campaign after he had supported a tax increase as part of a budget deal with Congress. PG. Unlike members of Congress or the agencies. alter his policy stance. becomes a double-edged sword. the modern president often does not have at his disposal those bureaucratic institutions that can help mediate or deflect many conflicts.. he became an ardent promoter of that policy once in the Oval Office. one who is forever changing his mind. Available via Google books) A president cannot. a president who will be held personally accountable for government policy cannot pursue or hold inconsistent positions and values over a long period of time without suffering political repercussions. no new taxes" pledge in 1988. Clinton has developed an image of a waffling politician. 23. It's a staple of the campaign season and a time-honored tool to adjust to changing political circumstances. the visibility and centralization of the presidency can have mixed effects. Clinton reoffered a tax cut in the wake of the devastating 1994 midterm elections. "It didn't help him any. Presidential Responsiveness and Public Policy-Making. But beware of the possible fallout." said Ron Kaufman. as its chief proponents and critics accurately have suggested.asp] So many things will have to be corrected and re-built and president Obama may very well spend the first term doing just that before he can really begin to put his own unique stamp on history. As he himself stated. This seems very much to be one of the major charges against Bill Clinton’s presidency. However. He must remain true to his core values and allow integrity to be his watchword. perennially trying to stake out the most popular position with the public and not necessarily a president who is able to lead. Former President George Bush learned that after reneging on his "read my lips. and many other occasions. the reservoir of goodwill that he now has in America and the world can be easily dried up if he veers away from the person he presented himself to be in the election campaign. the unitary president can be prone to an overassessment of responsibility and error. University of Pennsylvania Law Review. FLIP FLOPS DRAIN POLITICAL CAPITAL – CLINTON PROVES. Flip Flops Kill Obamas Capital JAMAICA OBSERVER 9. After abandoning his campaign promise of a middle-class tax cut because of budget deficit pressures. The public and other political elites may view him as waffling. it hurts. But he is starting out with great political capital. In short. without good reason.

These kinds of left-center tensions will intensify when Congress delves into the final negotiations over health care this summer. But the tensions are becoming more pronounced and more difficult to resolve. The same polls that reveal vulnerabilities show a candidate who was once seen as invincible is now seen as potentially vulnerable.cnn. there is the economy. Since his election. needs to spend the stimulus money if the recession is almost over. Recent polls have shown that the public is concerned about the growing size of the deficit and Republicans have finally gained a bit of political traction by linking Obama's policies to the government's red ink. some of his political vulnerabilities have started to emerge. Several Democratic moderates have been pushing alternatives that fall far short of that goal.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 96 Flip Flops Kill Capital Obama’s political capital has been decreasing due to recent flip flop Zelizer is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School. many Americans perceive the budget deficit as a symbol for whether a president is keeping federal spending under control. He came under fire for having declined to provide health care and retirement benefits on the grounds that such a move would violate the Defense of Marriage Act. survived while growing the deficit. The first vulnerability is the tension between the left and center of the Democratic Party. health care. The second vulnerability is the deficit. When Republicans have turned away from cultural issues and toward economics. Nonetheless. This is exactly what happened with the recession in 1937. they can erode Obama's political standing and make it more difficult for him to pass legislation. they expressed their frustration with the Department of Justice's legal brief supporting the Defense of Marriage Act. who were the core of his early support. This is when the sharks start to circle in American politics. A growing number are more comfortable criticizing the administration's economic policies. Last week. CNN News. President Obama has struggled to navigate the divisions that exist between the liberal base of the party. The president has disappointed gay rights activists for not fulfilling promises they thought he had made on the issue of gay rights. 6-23-09 (Julian. If the problems are not contained. Does this mean Obama is finished? Not at all. this is not a home run issue for the GOP. Some Republicans have picked up on this and have asked why the U. they can also become the foundation for the Republican campaign for Congress in 2010.S. There have not been any presidential candidates or major midterm elections in recent history that hinged on anti-deficit arguments. "Arsenal of Democracy. The revelation of weakness gives Republicans. such as when Obama agreed to reductions in the size of the economic stimulus package to placate the conservative Democrats and some Republicans despite the objection of progressives. that Obama is still extremely popular with the public and most evidence suggests that he has good standing with congressional Democrats. Polls have shown the public is also notoriously fickle about how much weight it gives to the deficit as an issue. At first. Progressive Democrats insist that without a public insurance option health care reform will fail in the long run. Moreover. the White House must prevent these weaknesses from becoming debilitating. so voters won't be happy either.com/2009/POLITICS/06/23/zelizer. At the same time. which FDR's opponents called the "Roosevelt Recession. and moderate Democrats. To be sure. Obama is in a double bind: Most experts agree that we will have a fragile economy in the foreseeable future. the public will blame President Obama rather than President Bush. deficits have a poor track record in terms of being a winning campaign issue.obama. as well as unhappy Democrats. and is often misinformed about the actual size of the deficit. they have been finding more success at attracting the interest of independents and moderates. it has become a greater source of political danger. voters are not as panicked and don't feel as desperate for federal assistance. Many presidents. “Commentary: Is Obama’s honeymoon over?” http://www." using the downturn to diminish the number of New Deal liberals in the House and Senate in 1938. The irony for Obama is that as the economy has stabilized. This is not what the president wanted right as he is trying to win support for his health care proposal and the rest of his budget. warning about rising deficits has been an effective tool for weakening the political strength of an incumbent administration. more confidence to challenge the White House. As Republicans begin to think about the 2010 midterm elections and moderate Democrats decide how they should vote on Obama's most ambitious initiative. Many commentators have pointed to the hypocrisy of Republicans making anti-deficit arguments following the tax-cutting and spending spree that took place under President Bush. While Republicans might not take back Congress by focusing on the deficit. the administration relied on good will and political capital from the election to overcome conflicts. with some respected economists saying short-term deficits don't matter. Obama failed to calm the storm even when he extended some employment benefits to the same-sex partners of federal workers. Finally.honeymoon/) June has been rough for President Obama. who were also instrumental to his victory. Without an immediate crisis. His new book. a law that prohibits same-sex partners from receiving marriage benefits and protects states that don't recognize same-sex marriages. Roosevelt. After experiencing enormous success during his first months in office. But in recent weeks . If there is any new dip in the economy. Regardless of the economics of the issue. including Franklin D.

When will Americans grow tired of this fairly new campaign strategy? During the last Presidential Election.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 97 Flip Flops Kill Capital Flip flops hurt political capital. "year of the Political Flip-Flop. people believe that they should not be comfortable with someone who flip-flops on issues. Business Law. and it was obviously successful. Vincent. http://www. there were many people that began to question Kerry through the power of suggestion.html?cat=49) Many political analysts are calling this year the. From a political aspect.degrees in Computer Science. “Are We In the Year of the Political Flip-Flop?”.com/article/277443/are_we_in_the_year_of_the _political. and Political Science. Many studies after the Election found that many of the people that did not vote for John Kerry did so because they believed that he easily flip-flopped from one ideal to another. The psychological argument is that if someone is told something often enough.associatedcontent.empirically proven with John Kerry Poupard 07. a freelance political advisor (L." Almost every Presidential candidate is using the flip-flop argument against his or her opponents. What people do not realize is that all politicians are flip-floppers at some point during their career. They believe that the President should stand firm on all beliefs. President George Bush used the flip-flop argument against Senator John Kerry at every opportunity. This was the goal of the Bush Campaign. The goal was to make John Kerry look wish-washy to the American people. . he or she will believe it. When Bush pushed this point over and over again.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Flip Flops Have No Effect

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Obama has flip flopped on many issues including Osama Bin Laden, NASA, Armenian Genocide. Conant 09- a communications consultant, writer, and former spokesman for the RNC and White House (Alex, 6/1/09, “The Obama Flip-Flops You Don’t Know”, Politico, http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0509/23144.html ) Since winning the election, President Barack Obama has famously flip-flopped on many of the major issues that he championed on the campaign trail. But did you know he’s also flip-flopped on a myriad ofless publicized issues? This much everybody knows: Even before taking office, Obama broke his promise to not appoint lobbyists to his administration. Since then, he’s abandoned his promises to pay for every dollar of new government spending and bring home all combat troops from Iraq within 18 months. And in recent days, he’s outraged his political base by reversing his earlier commitments to eliminate military tribunals and release photos depicting prisoner abuse. All those well-publicized reversals have overshadowed the administration’s flipflops on a host of additional positions. Here are just some of the biggest flip-flops that you may not have noticed: Osama bin Laden:During the presidential debates last year, Obama declared that capturing or killing Osama bin Laden “has to be our biggest national security priority.” In his first TV interview after winning the election, he said the terrorist leader was “not just a symbol. He’s also the operational leader of an organization that is planning attacks against U.S. targets,” and that the additional troops being sent to Afghanistan would hunt him down because “capturing or killing bin Laden is a critical aspect of stamping out Al Qaeda.” Bin Laden’s significance to Obama dissipated during the transition. By the time Obama gave another interview in early January, he said killing or capturing bin Laden was not necessary to “meet our goal of protecting America.” A few months later, when he announced his Afghanistan troop surge, he made no reference to the hunt for bin Laden. On human space exploration:Early in his presidential campaign, Obama had great reservations about the costs and risks of human space flight. He said he would delay NASA’s plans to send humans to the moon and, eventually, Mars and, instead, spend that money on education. But, as Florida, Ohio and Texas became more politically important, Obama began to walk back his proposed NASA cuts, promising to fund unmanned space exploration and some other scientific missions. Now that he’s in office, Obama’s reversal is complete: The White House budget, released earlier this month, provides a healthy increase in NASA funding and explicitly endorses the “goal of returning Americans to the moon and exploring other destinations.” On the Armenian genocide:In the U.S. Senate and on the campaign trail, Obama firmly declared that the death of 1.5 million Armenians during World War I was “genocide” — a touchy topic between Turks and Armenians and a political priority for Armenian-Americans — and promised that “as president, I will recognize the Armenian genocide.”

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Flip Flops Have No Effect Flip flops have not cost Obama political prices, gay rights issue proves. Walsh 09- Chief White House correspondent for U.S. News & World Report (Kenneth T., “Obama Said To Have Rebuffed Liberal Activists In Series Of "Flip-Flops.”, 6/1/09, lexis) US News Weekly's Kenneth T. Walsh (5/29) writes, "President Obama has been shifting gears, and reversing some of his policies, at a remarkable rate. But so far, he hasn't paid much of a political price for it, a testament to his popularity and the willingness of Americans to give him a chance to get results. The list of his fluctuations is lengthy: He once promised Planned Parenthood that his first act as president would be to sign an abortion-rights bill into law. Now he says it is 'not my highest legislative priority.' He pledged to gay activists that he would repeal the military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy. ... Instead, he has delayed any action to change the system." Walsh adds that Obama has adopted many of the Bush administrations antiterrorism policies and "plans to leave tens of thousands of troops behind to train Iraqis, protect U.S. interests, and root out al Qaeda insurgents. Many antiwar Democrats backed Obama in key primaries and caucuses last year because they believed he would end the war as soon as possible. Some of them are disappointed; others are angry. Overall, however, Obama has been praised for his flexibility, not condemned for his flip-flops."

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Flip Flops Have No Effect A WELL-CALCULATED FLIP FLOP PROJECTS STRENGTH -- NOT POLITICAL SUICIDE. Harris 8. [John, Politico.com editor-in-chief Bryant Park Project, NPR, “Politicians: Flip-Flopping Or Changing Their Minds?”,
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=92510153]

100

Can politicians change positions without being accused of the now familiar criticism that they are flip-flopping? Take, for example, Barack Obama's trip to Iraq. When he announced at the beginning of the month that he would be making his second visit to the war-torn country, he said that he would be making a "thorough assessment" of the situation while he was there, adding, "I'm sure I'll have more information and continue to refine my policy." That immediately opened him up to questions about whether he would alter his position that, as president, he would take the United States out of Iraq within 16 months of his election.John Harris, editor-in-chief of Politico.com, says it is possible for politicians to change their stands without being perceived as flip-floppers, but he says it depends on the issue, the political climate, and the agility of the politician. Obama is walking a line, he says, and if he is going to change his position, "it will tell us about how skillful a politician he really is." McCain has
what is perhaps the flip side of the flip-flop question on Iraq. Harris says that McCain, long identified as a strong supporter of the war, "knows that he's sort of exposed on this issue." Harris says McCain won't try to alter his position substantially. Instead, he says, McCain will highlight his support of the war head-on: "Rather than trying to talk his way out of the issue or downplay the issue, he's going to say, 'Look, let's have an argument about Iraq and who's been right over this past year about the surge."On the issue of the war in Iraq, says Harris, he thinks most Americans have already made up their minds, deciding that the war was a mistake in the first place. These voters, says Harris, don't look at whether the war is going well for the U.S. on any particular month. "At least, that's what Barack Obama will hope,"

the American public will allow politicians to change their positions, but only under the correct circumstances. "On the one hand," he says, "we don't want politicians who look just nakedly expedient, totally transparent — they're
Harris says. Harris believes that

there are many times when the electorate will admire politicians who change their positions: "They're flexible, they're shrewd, they're willing to stand up to the extremists in their own party, and they're willing to fight for maneuvering room.""I believe that with the exception of the most ideologically committed partisans, most voters are not that worked up about flip-flops," says Harris. "They know that situations change, politicians change their mind. What they are looking for is strength, and the key is projecting strength.""Strength can be consistency," says Harris. "It can also be judgment."
flip-floppers." He says that

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Flip Flops Have No Effect FLIP FLOPS DON’T HURT OBAMA. Walsh 9 [Kenneth, Chief White House correspondent -- U.S. News & World Report
Activists In Series Of "Flip-Flops.” 6/1 lexis] US News Weekly's Kenneth T. Walsh (5/29) writes,

101

“Obama Said To Have Rebuffed Liberal

"President Obama has been shifting gears, and reversing some of his policies, at a remarkable rate. But so far, he hasn't paid much of a political price for it, a testament to his popularity and the willingness of Americans to give him a chance to get results. The list of his fluctuations is lengthy: He once promised Planned Parenthood that his first act as president would be to sign an abortion-rights bill into law. Now he says it is 'not my highest legislative priority.' He pledged to gay activists that he would repeal the military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy. ... Instead, he has delayed any action to change the system." Walsh adds that Obama has adopted many of the Bush administrations antiterrorism policies and "plans to leave tens of thousands of
troops behind to train Iraqis, protect U.S. interests, and root out al Qaeda insurgents. Many antiwar Democrats backed Obama in key primaries and caucuses last year because they believed he would end the war as soon as possible. Some of them are disappointed; others are angry.

Overall, however, Obama has

been praised for his flexibility, not condemned for his flip-flops." Political flip-flops are common – key to adapt to changing political climates. VAN HORN 1. [Carl, affiliated with the John J Heldrich Center for Workforce Development @ Rutgers, Politics and Public Policy, 3
ed, p 181-182]

rd

It is not uncommon for chief executives to contradict one of their publicly stated positions rather than to pursue policies that displease important voting blocs. For much of his public career, George
Bush supported a woman’s right to choose an abortion, but he shifted positions 180 degrees in order to fit comfortably on the Republican ticket in 1980. By 1988, when he sought the presidency on his own, Bush had become an ardent advocate of restrictions on abortion. Reagan often changed his mind at politically opportune moments, making adept adjustments in his positions on Social Security, farm subsidies, public works programs, and import restrictions. For much of his public career,

Clinton supported policies aligned with liberal ideologies. He shifted his position somewhat in order to garner enough mainstream support to defeat Bush in the 1992 presidential elections. By 1995 it was often difficult to tell the difference between his policy proposals and those of the Republican Congress. Ironically, political leaders sometimes have to follow changes in the political wind in order to stay in charge.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 ### Focus ###

102

An agenda crowded with critical items . . PRESIDENTIAL FOCUS KEY AGENDA – PLAN TRADES OFF. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.he has the political capital to address the pent-up demand for change that is inevitable when the opposition party takes over from an unpopular previous administration. the continuing mortgage meltdown. and disposing of it before moving on to another project. [March 12 – lexis] The Obama administration itself has not hidden the fact that it sees a limited window to enact its agenda." As long as Obama's job approval ratings are comfortably high .an economy in recession. ANDRES 00. and they will need to make choices on how to use their initial honeymoon period and their finite supply of political capital. Presidential Studies Quarterly. September -. processes a variety of issues simultaneously.boston. “A climate plan in peril?” Boston Globe -http://www. There are only so many priorities that an administration and Congress can focus on.lexis] The constraint of "time" is another trade-off the White House mustmanage.com/lifestyle/green/articles/2008/11/10/a_climate_plan_in_peril/] A budget out of balance and a populace more worried about the economic present than our atmospheric future does not bode well for global warming emerging as a top-tier issue in the early days of the new administration. healthcare . Given all the issues Congress can present to the president and the limited number of hours in a day or week.currently in the 60s in major polls . Congress. A typical legislative day might find two or three keyissues on the floor. The resolution of these choices and the trade-offs ultimatelyshape the White Housecongressional agenda. [Gary. it is critical how the White House prioritizes. Members of Congress regularly criticize the White House for only being able to focus on one single issue at a time.awaits our newly elected leaders. president for legislative affairs in the Bush Administration. and even members of Obama's own party are raising warning flags about the magnitude of the new president's agenda. PRESIDENTIAL FOCUS IS KEY TO GETTING THE AGENDA – PLAN IS A SURPRISE DERAILING THE AGENDA GOMES 8. [11-10 Jim. and a half a dozen critical markups in committees. The White House must decide which issues to get involved with and which to ignore or delegate to others within the administration.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Focus Key to Agenda 103 OBAMA’S AGENDA IS FINITE – FOCUS IS KEY – PLAN DERAILS THE AGENDA. But. there's only so much a White House and Congress can accomplish. CSMonitor 9. a trait common to the White House legislative office that routinely works this way during major legislative battles. columnist. given the deliberative nature of the process. almost like a game of "beat the clock. focusing its attention to winning a key vote on the House or Senate floor. with its diverse committee system and decentralized power structure. leadership meetings about the agenda for the following week.

If presidents cannot focus Congress’s attention on their priority programs. the White House wants to ensure that its proposals compete favorably with other proposals on the agenda. [George & Andrew. [George & Andrew. EDWARDS AND BARRETT 00. presidents and their staff have the time and energy to lobby effectively for only a few bills at a time. the White House not only wants its initiatives to be on the congressional agenda but also prefers to have fewer congressional initiatives with which it must deal. presidents wish to focus on advancing their own initiatives rather than opposing or modifying the proposals of others. presidents wish to focus on advancing their own initiatives rather than opposing or modifying the proposals of others. Moreover. the programs will get lost in the complex and overloaded legislative process. Moreover. Polarized Politics: Congress and the President in a Partisan Era. EDWARDS AND BARRETT 00. assistant lecturer/PhD Candidate in political science @ A&M. assistant 104 lecturer/PhD Candidate in political science @ A&M. and the president’s political capital is inevitably limited. Thus. the White House wants to ensure that its proposals compete favorably with other proposals on the agenda.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Focus Key to Agenda Focus key to passing the president’s agenda. distinguished professor of political science @ A&M. As a result. and the president’s political capital is inevitably limited. Focus key to passing the president’s agenda. . Thus. presidents and their staff have the time and energy to lobby effectively for only a few bills at a time. distinguished professor of political science @ A&M. If presidents cannot focus Congress’s attention on their priority programs. ed Bond and Fleisher p 110] In addition. the programs will get lost in the complex and overloaded legislative process. As a result. Polarized Politics: Congress and the President in a Partisan Era. the White House not only wants its initiatives to be on the congressional agenda but also prefers to have fewer congressional initiatives with which it must deal. ed Bond and Fleisher p 110] In addition.

” he wrote in his memoirs. p. as Edwards rightly notes. PG 237-8 Obviously. too. so .. Lyndon Johnson said as much when he observed. I could never force it to act” (Johnson 1971. PRESS.” a phrase that seemed to be “particularly apt.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Focus Key to Agenda FOCUS IS KEY TO PASSAGE OF AGENDA ITEMS 105 LIGHT. but the margins are where many of the President’s priorities are won – from Johnson’s War on Poverty to Carter’s War on Energy. “THE PRESIDENT’S AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON”.461) However.. . but you can’t make him go. p. the President’s ability to focus attention may be an important intervening skill.185). THIRD ED. increasing the value of the initial political capital. Congress will drift aimlessly from one presidential proposal to the next with no way to determine what proposals come first. It may be a skill that operates at the margins. “Legislative skills are not at the core of presidential leadership of Congress… Their utility is at the margins. As such. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. lobbying skill is no substitute for hard capital – that is. and remember that no matter ho w many times I told the Congress to do something. “when I found myself in a struggle with the House or Senate. in exploiting rather than creating opportunities for change” (Edwards 1989. and knowing the facts. without some effort to focus its attention. setting the legislative agenda on the basis of anything but the President’s wishes. As George Edwards has demonstrated in an exhaustive analysis. Just as a new car buyer can get a better deal by jawboning. arm twisting. No matter what the President’s starting resources. seats in Congress and popularity back in the home districts. I would start to speak out. “You can tell a man to go to hell. 1999 [PAUL C. the focusing skill can help the President make the most of the opportunities. can a President get a better deal by focusing congressional attention.

these will become lost in the complex and overloaded legislative process. The conventional wisdom of the president’s success is captured in Neustadt’s observation (1991. WHO INFLUENCES WHOM? THE PRESIDENT. 8): “Congressmen need an agenda from outside. 93. PROFESSORS AT TEXAS A&M U. something with high status to respond to or react against. AND THE MEDIA. 325] An important aspect of a president’s legislative strategy can be to influence Congress’s agenda. the president’s political capital is inevitably limited. VOL. AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW. NO. 2. Moreover.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Focus Key to Agenda 106 PRESIDENT MUST FOCUS HIS LIMITED POLITICAL CAPITAL ON A SMALL AGENDA – OTHERWISE IT WILL GET LOST EDWARDS AND WOOD. If the president is not able to focus congressional attention on his priority programs. What provides it better than the program of the president?” Kingdon (1995.” . Gaining congressional attention is also important because presidents and their staff can lobby effectively for only a few bills at a time. CONGRESS. not only of people in the executive branch. 1999 [GEORGE AND B. Thus presidents try hard to set Congress’s agenda. DAN. 23) adds that “the president can single handedly set the agendas. and it is sensible to spend it on the issues he cares about most. PG. but also of people in Congress and outside the government.

That was a lesson we learned quite early. PUSHING TOO MANY PROPOSALS OVERLOADS CONGRESS BOND AND FLEISHER. PROF OF POLISCI AT FORDHAM U. Setting priorities yields a double advantage: not only does it result in a more efficient use of the president’s time. PG. submit proposals to Congress in a measured way. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. Otherwise. For the liaison staffs. As one Carter assistant apologized. With increased competition for agenda space. he will spread his momentum over too many issues.” one Nixon assistant argued. PG157 ] Resources and the Need for Priorities. That was the primary reason for the repeated reference to the Six Great Goals in 1971.. The president needs to determine which issues are most important to him. Priorities are central to the conservation of both internal and external resources. “He must give them a lead on the top items. 1990 [JON R. the Congress will drift to other business. “The President cannot expect Congress to act on every proposal. It is to the President’s advantage to provide some statement of priorities. Congress can deal with only a limited number of complex issues at any time.” A second Nixon assistant agreed: When you look at the situation we faced. THIRD ED. PRESIDENTS MUST PRIORITIZE. “THE PRESIDENT’S AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON”. . PROF OF POLISCI AT TEXAS A&M. the need for priority-setting was even more important. Unless the President gives Congress a firm list of priorities. THE PRESIDENT’S LEGISLATIVE AGENDA. Without a firm statement of priorities.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Focus Key to Agenda FOCUS IS CRITICAL – PLAN CAUSES CONGRESSIONAL DRIFT 107 LIGHT. AND RICHARD. A president who is not sensitive to “the pace and workload of Congress” runs the risk of overloading the system. the President must focus his scarce political support on the most valuable proposals – at least that is what the liaison staffs believe. the executive branch was not particularly interested in our ideas. the critical resource was presidential capital. “I don’t mean to simplify a very complex process. We had a very slim electoral margin. It was an attempt to concentrate our political strength. PRESS. we could not focus our energy. but Congress no longer offers that many opportunities for the President to set the agenda.32] A second structuring skill closely related to agenda control is setting priorities. 1999 [PAUL C. it increases the chances that Congress will focus attention on the issues about which the president cares the most. we faced a hostile democratic Congress. and concentrate his efforts on them in order of priority.

Focus Link Not True For Obama Herald Times. Wait until Congress has pushed this as far upfield as it's able. 6/23/09 (lexis) 108 For now. Let the CBO score all the different options. Then take Olympia Snowe for a ride on Marine One. One astute political observer recently told me that Obama reminds her of an octopus with eight arms. 4/29/09 (Lexis) I don't think any of us were quite prepared for the sheer energy this new president demonstrated in his first 100 days. Let the early coalitions present themselves. the White House should have as little to do as possible with the various legislative products. The White House can exert explosive force on a piece of legislation. Let the committees absorb the blows of the bad weeks. Obama said he would close down Guantanamo Bay. and the process is under way. cross-country and international travels on top of new initiatives to bolster financial markets has been mind-boggling. but it can only do so effectively for a short period of time. . means to repeat. Wait and wait and wait. Bush's executive orders on stem-cell research and did that. He said he would reverse many of George W. Let the legislature familiarize itself with different revenue options. Wait. too. but each done with agile efficiency . administration officials were so deeply involved that they couldn't add external momentum . who watched it all happen firsthand. By the time their legislation was near reality. It is not a mistake that Rahm Emmanuel. Then open up the White House. Then have Obama on TV. Let the Republicans show their strategy in the mark-up sessions . He said he would extend health care to children. That was the mistake Clinton White House made in 1994. policy speeches.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Focus Answers Delayed Focus Key to Effective Use of Capital Newstex. all doing different things. He said he would assess the situation in Iraq and provide a plan to bring our troops home safely. The number of press conferences. Then have Rahm on the phone with legislators . and he has signed into law a program that will provide more than 11 million children with health care.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 109 ### Bipartisanship ### .

may assist him in making a shift to a more fiscally conservative position. Obama returned from Asia to reverberating aftershocks of mid-term elections which dealt Democrats a crushing defeat and handed Republicans the House of Representatives -. ImmigrationWorks USA. he will be forced either to negotiate with an emboldened Republican House majority or endure two years of confrontation and gridlock.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 BIPART KEY – OBAMA 110 BIPART KEY TO AGENDA. (As Newt Gingrich discovered in 1995. due out in December.and the means to halt his reform program. Brookings. “Obama lands back in changed Washington” AFP] President Barack Obama landed in a politically-changed Washington after 10 days abroad and called on newly empowered Republicans to drop their strategy of 'No' to work with him. Flying into Washington on Air Force One on Sunday. finally. Neither party will have much to show for itself if it does not find ways to work across the aisle. Instead. and promised to do more to honor his previous vows to reach across the aisle. Democrat Erskine Bowles and Republican Alan Simpson. “President Barack Obama’s First Two Years: Policy Accomplishments. BIPART IS KEY TO OBAMA’S AGENDA. GALSTON 10. AFP writer. so why make concessions to get a deal? This will no longer be true in the 112th Congress: Little if anything is going to pass without compromise. as President Bush. JACOBY 11-4-10. there's little or no incentive to compromise -. CNN. 1/13) Obama will have to define himself in relation to his predecessor. although the findings of his bipartisan fiscal commission. President. rather than the same. Senior Fellow. [Stephen. Political Difficulties” Brookings Institute -.) Choosing the path of negotiation over confrontation would require a change of substance as well as tone. Obama reflected on the meaning of the election defeat two weeks ago. BIPART KEY TO AGENDA – SPILLS OVER Zelizer 9 (Julian. It will no longer be possible for President Obama to advance his agenda with support from only his own party. [Tamar. where one party has a supermajority or close. after a trip that circled the globe. Governance Studies. And just saying "no" to the other side's proposals is likely to wear thin very quickly with the independent voters who decided this election and the last one and will surely be the prize in 2012. COLLINSON 11-15-10. in which conservatives refuse to consider raising taxes while those on the left stoutly resist cuts in social programs. “Immigration reform is still doable” CNN] In a lopsided Congress. [William. BIPART KEY TO AGENDA.you can pass almost anything you want without making nice. And. the same logic applies in reverse: it is no easier to run divided government from Capitol Hill than from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.Nov 4] The outcome of the November 2010 election has fundamentally changed the political dynamic for at least the next two years. Prof Public Affairs @ Princeton. Here the obstacles to agreement across party lines are formidable. an "obsessive" focus on anti-crisis policies had led him to neglect the need to reach across political divides and to get out into the heartland to explain to Americans what he was doing. The president would have to give the federal budget deficit and national debt a far more central place in his policy agenda. the new president will need to find legislation that attracts some support from the opposition to diminish the power of polarization on Capitol Hill and establish the groundwork for future compromise . but in this case by demonstrating clearly to the public what he will do differently. . He said that early in his term. are determined to break the current gridlock. It helps that the co-chairs of the commission.

Byrd (W.com/2009/07/09/wyden-urges-dems-tokeep_n_228711. Edward M." said Wyden. Senate Republicans must understand that Senatorelect Franken's election does not abdicate them from the responsibility of governing.) and Robert C. Moreover. Tuesday's seating of Sen.html) In an interview this week with the Huffington Post. http://www. Max Baucus (D-Mont." he said. two members of the Democratic caucus.will allow them to participate in any key matter before the Senate. While Democrats both inside and outside of government say they expect Wyden ultimately to support the health care legislation put forth by the party. “Wyden Urges Dems To Keep Trying For Bipartisan Approach To Health Care”. But he also didn't hide his own preferences. "In turn. 91." Asked whether he would support cloture on health care legislation that he would ultimately oppose -. “Senate Democrats Still Seeking GOP Support”.) did little to change the balance of power in the chamber. He would not comment directly on news that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had urged the Committee's Chairman. http://www.Wyden was noncommittal. have not cast a vote in months. "I'm committed to the priority that the president laid out. Sens. but they are grappling with internal divisions on key issues such as health care.huffingtonpost. It is not clear whether the health of either elder statesman -. is battling the effects of a staph infection incurred during a hospitalization in May -. climate change and union organizing.washingtonpost. In addition. . Democrats have a large enough majority to pass bills without any GOP support.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Bipart Key 111 Bipart key despite 60 seat majority Washington Post 9 (7/9. Sen. caucus leaders and President Obama would like at least some Republican backing on key measures so they can say they are enacting a bipartisan supermajority: scrambling agenda. It is up to them to decide whether they will sit down and work for the common good or continue to be the 'Party of No.). 77. "I'm going to just say that I think the president's right and I'm supportive of what the president said in terms of both a timetable and in dong something bipartisan. which then-Sen. "Democrats aren't looking at Senator Franken's election as an opportunity to ram legislation through the Senate. That is why we have and will continue to offer Senate Republicans a seat at the table. Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Ron Wyden (D-Ore. has brain cancer.' " Bipart key to get moderate Democrats on board with agenda Huffington Post 9 (7/9.Va. The senator is one of a handful of Democrats whose thoughts on key components of reform have been difficult to pin down. In welcoming Franken to Capitol Hill this week. Some conservative Democrats who live in GOP-leaning states believe that getting Republican votes on controversial bills provides them with a line of defense against political attacks back home.html? hpid=topnews) Senate Democrats spent their first full day holding 60 votes just as they have spent the previous 2 1/2 years without such a to find Republican support for their key initiatives in order to choke off potential filibusters. Al Franken (D-Minn. In short. Sen.) maintained that there was still "great interest in the Finance Committee for a bipartisan bill on both sides of the aisle" and he urged lawmakers to continue to pursue a collaborative path.so as to preempt a Republican filibuster -. Reid (D-Nev. his most recent round of comments are likely to cause anxiety among progressives.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/08/AR2009070803884. Obama made a cornerstone of his 2008 campaign. Kennedy (Mass." he said Monday. He said 'I want to get it done this year' and he also indicated that his first choice is to have a bipartisan bill because he recognizes that a bipartisan bill allows the country to come together. "I think the president got it right. and Byrd.Kennedy.) to drop efforts to attract Republican support.) sounded a conciliatory note.

president of the Service Employees International Union. But proponents of universal coverage disagree. how will he pay for it? Andy Stern. without an estimate of its cost. that means cutting costs and raising revenue. and the cost vs. and his support is potentially very valuable. and his idea has attracted sympathetic attention. The goal of reform advocates long has been a plan that moves the country to universal coverage. Obama may have to accept a diluted version of a public plan. Another factor is that. Lexis Nexis. Washington Post. Without the competitive pressure of a public plan. Even at a cost of $1 trillion. Will Obama insist on a plan that achieves the goal of universal coverage? If he doesn't. by requiring everyone to buy insurance. . Is he prepared to sign a bill that would restructure a sizable portion of the economy with a slender Democrats-only majority? Obama and White House officials say they are not alarmed by the talk that the prospects for enactment of health-care reform have been set back. though their numbers were based on incomplete plans. Charles E. Finally. Earlier assumptions put the price tag in the neighborhood of $1 trillion over 10 years. the more likely even moderate Democrats may be to support their president. Obama spent millions of dollars attacking Sen. employersponsored health insurance.) for proposing such taxes. As a candidate he opposed the idea. Sen. No one knows how far Obama is prepared to go on this controversial issue. Ultimately. is a journalist at The Washington Post. Kent Conrad (DN. Three House committees put forward their plan for universal coverage on Friday but. Cost and coverage suddenly became a more central issue after the Congressional Budget Office issued new estimates last week.). and liberal groups favor it even more strongly. unwilling to compromise on much at this point. In 1999. all inextricably linked. which they say would hit many of their workers hard. That has little support in Congress. They also know they face six or eight weeks of legislative sausagemaking that will keep the outcome in doubt. where he has been a political correspondent since 1978. Most Republicans appear dug in. But Republicans are unalterably opposed. the president will have to make his choices clear. The cost of the incomplete plan drafted by the Senate Health. The new numbers make the choices more difficult.D. They include cost and coverage. Those decisions. A preliminary estimate of the Senate Finance Committee's draft bill put the price tag of universal coverage at $1. The CBO shattered those assumptions. Giving in on that provision may be the price that Obama and the Democrats pay for maintaining the support of Sen. argued that every step in the direction of holding down the overall budgetary cost of a reform plan means additional costs to individual workers. White House officials believe it's wiser to wait. Now. Another choice will be whether Obama supports a mandate requiring individuals to buy insurance. tellingly. can he hold liberal Democrats and constituencies to support a measure that falls short? If he does. Balz 2009 (Daniel J. White House correspondent and as the Washington Post’s Texas-based Southwest correspondent. Without Grassley. but whether they would amount to enough overall revenue is questionable. Obama might also lose a few moderate Democrats. Balz has served as National Editor. One challenge will be finding real savings. Obama is committed to accomplishing health-care reform without increasing the deficit. but at some point the president will have to make clear what he'll accept and what he won't. "The president's going to have to come down between the cost to our country as well as the cost to people who go to work every day. His biggest political call will be whether to accept proposals to tax a portion of health-care benefits for workers with high-end. Political Editor. But Grassley continues to work with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont. As a candidate. although the more intransigent the Republicans. Organized labor opposes those taxes. Labor and Pensions Committee was pegged at about $1 trillion over 10 years. That was considerably more than anyone anticipated and forced the committee to delay work on the bill.) As the legislative debate over health care intensifies on Capitol Hill. For now. Breaking the campaign promise would come at a potentially significant cost. John McCain (R-Ariz. To gain anything approaching bipartisan agreement. For Obama. but taxes present Obama with even more difficult choices. The issue that has drawn most attention recently is whether a health-care package should include a public insurance option. Obama strongly favors one. he received the American Political Science Association award for political coverage.6 trillion over 10 years. the private insurers have more incentive to support a reform package because they will have the potential for tens of millions more customers.) has proposed using cooperatives rather than putting the federal government in charge." he said. probably will determine whether he succeeds where other presidents have failed. there is growing clamor for President Obama to step in.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Bipart Key 112 Key agenda issues such as healthcare and the economy. Reversing his earlier opposition to the individual mandate may be an easy call. arguing that he could achieve near-universal coverage with subsidies for low-income families to buy insurance. the ranking Republican on the Finance Committee. there's the question of bipartisanship. Obama proposed limiting the tax deduction on charitable contributions for the wealthiest Americans. the administration is giving Congress time and space to find consensus. a public option or not. though the administration still pushes it. revenue and savings. a handful of big decisions awaits. Obama was critical of President George W. he doesn’t want to proceed even if he can without bipartisanship because of the way Bush passed legislation. Grassley (R-Iowa). are issues where Obama needs bipartisanship. the desirability of bipartisan agreement. Bush for trying to enact major legislation with a bare Republican majority. as president. Education. they fear that private insurers will be less likely to constrain costs. But the Senate Finance Committee has been moving in that direction. Obama is being encouraged to accept some version of McCain's idea. There are other smaller tax increases possible. but the CBO said that would still leave 30 million (rather than the current 46 million) people without coverage. But White House officials see a public option not only as critical to holding onto liberal support but as an essential weapon in holding down the cost of private insurance plans. “Health-Care Reform Will Test Obama's Resolve” June 21st 2009.

First.10. The Republicans denounced the deficit-spending envisaged by the Obamaendorsed budget and decried the Democrats' habit of voting down every Republican amendment. twice-a-week political columnist for The Washington Post. Republican opposition was reinforced and Democratic support weakened to the point that the Obama plan may already be doomed this year. starting with the fact that the fastest-growing portion of the electorate consists of people who have no strong partisan allegiance. . It defines the spending priorities and the tax limits. the independent voters make up the swing vote in almost every contested election — including the presidential race. Presidents who hope to achieve great things cannot for long rely on using their congressional majorities to muscle things through.com/html/opinion/2009020621_opinb12broder. majorities now answer "yes" to both questions. matching a deep partisan divide within the electorate in judging his performance as president. this analysis ignores several potent factors. The crucial role of the independents will be demonstrated again and again when Congress takes up Obama's challenge to reform health care.nwsource. Once political independents. No vote is more important in encapsulating the approach of the two parties to the basic issues of governing than the vote on the budget resolution. “Obama will need bipartisan help to achieve his goals. Because those independents are impressed when measures find prominent supporters in both parties. It is the reaction of those swing voters — or the politicians' anticipation of their shifting opinion — that drives the outcome of the big policy debates. He rated a thumbs-up from 88 percent of the Democrats and only 27 percent of the Republicans in the poll — a gap of 61 points.. But. who like the idea of clean air. At a comparable point in their first terms. the gaps for George W. the data that shouts that I am wrong. This year.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Bipart Key 113 Bipartisanship key to Obama’s agenda Broder. That is why a strategy based on the early roll calls and polls is likely to fail. the percentage of voters who think that Democrats and Republicans in Washington are bickering more than usual has grown by 14 points.” The Seattle Times. where districting rules and campaign-finance practices reinforce the two-party hegemony. Though badly underrepresented in Congress. along with many of the policy innovations that will be fleshed out in later legislation. it will continue to behoove Obama to woo Republican help — no matter how tough the odds. or renew arms control agreements. for reasons that require a little explanation. grasped that cap-and-trade would mean a big tax increase for them. not a single Republican in the House or Senate voted for the Democratic budget resolution and not a single Democrat endorsed the Republican substitute. respectively. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and professor at the University of Maryland. These political independents are now as numerous as self-identified Republicans and are closing the gap on the Democrats. for their part. with a similar trend on the question of whether the country is more politically divided than in the past.html) WASHINGTON — It looks like perfect political symmetry — party-line voting in Congress on the first key pieces of Barack Obama's agenda. still. the Pew Research Center reported earlier this month on a survey that showed the partisan gap in Obama's job approval scores is the widest in contemporary history. Democrats." pointing out that the GOP members of Congress had been almost as unanimously negative in their reactions to Obama's stimulus bill and the catch-up budget left over from last year's partisan gridlock. But. 4. immigration and other broken systems. By large margins. http://seattletimes. called Republicans "the party of no. it may be wrong to conclude from this evidence that the center has fallen out of American politics and Obama is on a fool's errand if he continues to pursue bipartisan support. You've had an example of this already with Obama's cap-and-trade proposal for protecting the environment from carbon discharges. A separate Pew poll found that since January. as if none of the GOP ideas could possibly have any merit.09 (David S. editorial. As for the voters. All this suggests the notion that Obama's election marked a change for the better in the political environment was as fanciful as Michigan State's chances against the mighty North Carolina Tar Heels. Bush and Bill Clinton were only 51 and 45 points.

Their high-pressure tactics in promoting and passing legislation. Like FDR. which he has so far been unable to achieve. comes around applies to them. most notably the economic "stimulus" enacted in February. With large majorities in Congress and an obsequious press corps.are in serious jeopardy and he has himself and his congressional allies to blame. He let congressional Democrats draft the bills. still a popular new president confronting an unpopular Republican Party. He is. Mr. They own the stimulus outright.” On the Republican side. But President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats are finding that the old maxim that what goes around.belongs to Democrats alone. Those tactics include unbridled partisanship.wsj.nytimes. He made a rookie mistake early on.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Partisanship Kills Agenda 114 Partisan ship derails Obama’s agenda Wall Street Journal 7/21/2009 (Fred Barns. Obama tried to push as many liberal bills through Congress in as brief a time as possible.especially the $787 billion stimulus -. who had insisted the stimulus was wasteful and wouldn't work. Obama's top initiatives -. Partisan derails his agenda – campaign promises New York Times 7/21/2009 (Sheryl Gay Stolberg. Mr. executive editor of the Weekly Standard “The Obama Agenda Bogs Down” http://online. And because it is early on. be a measure of his clout and of his success early on. Less than six months into his term. They're as partisan as any group that has ever controlled Congress. procedural short cuts. That makes them accountable for the hopes of a prompt economic recovery now being dashed. Mr.html ty) It usually doesn't happen this quickly in Washington. who remains a close adviser to the White House on health issues. and so it would be easy for him to demonize Republicans as obstructionists who want to stand in the way of progress. too. and because he has invested so much personal time and effort. Obama was smitten with the idea of emulating President Franklin Roosevelt's First 100 Days of legislative success in 1933. the former Senate Democratic leader. and as impatient.com/article/SB124804492049963557.html) Mr.health-care reform and "cap and trade" energy legislation -. Mr. and promises of quick results. Obama came into office promising a more bipartisan Washington tone. this will. “Because he’s made it such an issue. Republicans.” said Tom Daschle. after all. demands for swift passage of bills. have backfired. His actions in the coming weeks on health care may determine his long-term relationship not only with Republicans but also with his fellow Democrats. “I think this will be a major factor in defining his presidency. one question is whether Mr.com/2009/07/22/us/politics/22obama. Obama's credibility is sinking and his job approval rating is declining along with the popularity of his initiatives. . “A Defining Moment Nears for President” http://www. They have little interest in the compromises needed to attract Republican support. even as he tries to court the opposing party. As a consequence. what they passed -. Obama will succumb to the temptation to turn health care into a partisan fight. are being vindicated. more than stimulus and more than anything he has done so far. With the economy still faltering and jobs still being lost. it will define his subsequent years.

Spring -. counselor @ CSIS and former Secretary of Defense. or to humiliate or embarrass one’s opponents. Washington Quarterly -. Such .lexis] Finally. At times – such as the Desert Fox strikes – the enmity has become so intense that some openly question the motivations of the leaders on the opposite side of the aisle. [WILLIAM.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 PARTISANSHIP SPILLS OVER 115 PARTISANSHIP SPILLS OVER ON SECURITY POLICY SPECIFICALLY. Debate too often gives us a way to diatribe. At other times – such as during the national debate on the CTBT – incendiary rhetoric is used to inflame core constituencies. a more bipartisan approach to the formulation of national security policy specifically can only occur with a less partisan approach to political discourse generally. gain political advantage. but they only diminish the trust and respect among policymakers that is essential to responsible and reason compromise. and practical problem-solving to rhetorical finger-pointing. COHEN 1. Social and political observers alike have chronicled an absence of civility in the public sphere and increasing hostility in the political sphere. scorched earth tactics may be chauvinistically satisfying.

[11/7. as President Bush. and a Democratic Senate. [11/7 -. rather than the same. Prof Public Affairs @ Princeton. But if Obama can rise above that instinct. and trade. And. which was the centerpiece of his domestic agenda. because it still is going to be very difficult and very challenging to get Congress to pass legislation that needs to be passed. Lexis] I mean. And so.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Bipart Key -. I think Obama needs to focus on measures where he can secure bipartisan support and start to rebuild public confidence in government. the new president will need to find legislation that attracts some support from the opposition to diminish the power of polarization on Capitol Hill and establish the groundwork for future compromise . President Carter faced some of the same problems in the 1970s. I guess.Obama BIPART KEY TO AGENDA – SPILLS OVER Zelizer 9 (Julian. . News and Observer 8. and President Clinton was unable to get a single vote on health care reform. health care reform. and they have signaled resoundingly that they are.Darrell. This is what Ken was referring to. a Democratic House. If the people are ready. then Republican and Democratic leaders need to be ready as well. I mean. for years. There's been extensive political polarization that has turned our politics into shouting matches. Vice President and Director of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. Lexis] Such a move toward bipartisanship may be challenged by those who think the Bush partisans have some payback coming. but in this case by demonstrating clearly to the public what he will do differently. BIPART KEY TO OBAMA AGENDA. and in easing the way for his ambitious agenda to clear the Congress. our political system has been stalemated along issues such as immigration. So I don't think anyone should feel complacent about the ability to get things done because Democrats have big majorities. CQ Transcripts. climate change. CNN. he will have taken some important initial steps in bringing a muchdivided country together. BIPART KEY TO THE AGENDA – DEMS ALONE NOT ENOUGH. West 8. finally. as the Reagan model. at the beginning of his administration. Social Security. 1/13) 116 Obama will have to define himself in relation to his predecessor. 2008. we do have a Democratic president. but I want to remind people: We had exactly the same situation in 1993 and '94.

COHEN 1. gain political advantage. Washington Quarterly -. counselor @ CSIS and former Secretary of Defense. but they only diminish the trust and respect among policymakers that is essential to responsible and reason compromise. a more bipartisan approach to the formulation of national security policy specifically can only occur with a less partisan approach to political discourse generally.Spring -. or to humiliate or embarrass one’s opponents. Social and political observers alike have chronicled an absence of civility in the public sphere and increasing hostility in the political sphere. At other times – such as during the national debate on the CTBT – incendiary rhetoric is used to inflame core constituencies. Such scorched earth tactics may be chauvinistically satisfying. and practical problem-solving to rhetorical finger-pointing. [WILLIAM. . Debate too often gives us a way to diatribe. At times – such as the Desert Fox strikes – the enmity has become so intense that some openly question the motivations of the leaders on the opposite side of the aisle.lexis] Finally.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Bipart Key – National Security 117 PARTISANSHIP SPILLS OVER ON SECURITY POLICY SPECIFICALLY.

Baltimore Chronicle. denying him even one GOP vote for his first budget and then sabotaging Hillary Clinton’s plan for universal health insurance. it is smart politics to pick off Republicans for a progressive agenda wherever possible. much of his program will have been blocked by Republican filibusters enabled by a few conservative Democratic allies. Jim Gerlach (Pa. if he achieves that. on his wife Hillary. http://baltimorechronicle. McCain are the only obvious potential allies Obama will have on the GOP side.-06). Alternatively.html] Here is an easy prediction: When President Obama reaches that hand of bipartisanship across the aisle. If he put can Republicans in the position of haplessly opposing popular and urgently needed legislation. great. George Voinovich.-15) and Dave Reichert (Wash... In that emergency climate. Arlen Specter and. Obama may well get some Republicans to cross over and vote for a Democratic plan.nationaljournal. Splitting the Republicans is much better than splitting the difference. Olympia Snowe.-08). National Journal. November 18. he will have done it with precious little Republican support. [Robert.-07).php) But what does "working across the aisle" really mean? In the Senate. so much the better.-At Large). But that strategy is not being bipartisan. Given Obama's strong showing in places like Neb. Mark Kirk (Ill.com/articles/2008/12/the_post_postpartisan_presiden.-02 (where GOP Rep. Parry 8 (Robert. former writer for the Associated Press and Newsweek who broke the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s. Susan Collins.realclearpolitics. By the end of his first year. Team player he was not. this is a guy who campaigned heavily on his "maverick-ness" and ranted against the corrupting influence of Washington insiders. November 11. And there will be many other times when Obama will need to rally all of his Democrats to enact progressive legislation over the strenuous objection of most Republicans. BIPART FAILS—STRONG PARTISAN LINE KEY TO WIN SUPPORT KUTTNER 8. on personnel decisions at the White House. If Obama can win over a few Republicans for a progressive program.-10). of course. ended the campaign with high approval ratings and has more political capital than your typical defeated nominee. retirements and election losses have substantially reduced the number of Republican moderates.including Voinovich and Specter -. It is being an astute partisan. and state and local governments will be slashing public services.com/2008/111108Parry. when Congress takes up the emergency stimulus bill. either Obama will have put the economy on the path to recovery based on a progressive program that represents a radical ideological shift." December 15. (Note: We are using 2004 stats since we won't have presidential vote by congressional district data for some time). By January. this list of Republicans sitting in putatively Democratic seats will grow -. For all the talk of bipartisanship. . unemployment will be heading toward double digits. about corralling expectant Democrats . he will find that the Republicans bite it. After all. MODERATE GOP NOT KEY – DEMOCRATIC UNITY IS CRUCIAL.shtml) Barack Obama seeks a new era of bipartisanship. Walter 8 (Amy. and on key members of his administration. just six -. Now. Even so. The Republicans also took the offensive against Clinton’s reformist agenda. Of course. like Obama.com/njonline/ol_20081117_2769. Leonard Lance in N. There are only five Republicans who sit in districts that John Kerry won four years ago: Mike Castle (Del. Of the 19 Republicans up in 2010. This economic emergency and its political opportunity is no time to compromise for the sake of hollow unity. http://www. The war on Clinton included attacks on his past life in Arkansas. but he should take heed of what happened to the last Democrat in the White House – Bill Clinton – in 1993 when he sought to appease Republicans by shelving pending investigations into Reagan-Bush-I-era wrongdoing and hoped for some reciprocity. Obama's potential GOP allies in the House may be an even smaller bunch.but probably not by much. If Obama is counting on McCain to help broaden that coalition. Lee Terry sits) and New Jersey (home to freshman Rep. he.J. Staff Writer.sit in states Obama won. Instead the Republicans pocketed the Democratic concessions and pressed ahead with possibly the most partisan assault ever directed against a sitting President. Charlie Dent (Pa. it's worth asking why. political commentator and author of "Obama's Challenge: America's Economic Crisis and the Power of a Transformative Presidency. the reality is that there just aren't that many Republicans left to work with. Herding them may not be Obama's biggest problem.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 118 AT: BIPART/CONCESSIONS KEY CONCESSIONS FAIL – CAUSE REPUBLICANS TO UNDERMINE OBAMA AGENDA. http://www.

put aside their differences. [Benjamin. like former labor secretary Robert Reich. Politically speaking. 2. the “average” Democrat in the House is now much more liberal than the “average” Democrat in the last Congress. making the prospects for “bipartisan” accomplishments on any substantive piece of legislation very. Most of the Democrats who were swept out of office last week were moderate Democrats from conservative districts. DECLINING MODERATE NUMBERS MEAN ATTEMPTS AT BIPART FAIL. And Democrats like Evan Bayh of Indiana who frequently voted with the Republicans saw the writing on the wall and quit politics this year in disgust. while liberals capable of bipartisandship like Russ Feingold of Wisconsin got creamed. “Prospects for “bipartisanship” in the 112th Congress” Novemver 7 -http://informationknoll. they will be even less likely to want to “compromise” than they were before last week’s election.shift to the centre and you'll find you are all alone. When the democrats enjoyed a 60-40 Senate majority. if such a thing were possible. the 2012 presidential campaign began last Wednesday morning.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 A2: BIPART KEY – BIPART IMPOSSIBLE ZERO CHANCE FOR BIPARTISANSHIP – FEWER MODERATES AND REELECTION WORRIES. And this is clearly a problem for any attempts at bipartisanship.au/news/stories/2010/11/04/3056619. the “average” Republican is now going to be much more conservative. Yep. Why? For several reasons. Ideologically speaking. there was no need to compromise. say the political centre just doesn't exist . research associate @ US Studies Centre @ U of Sydney.http://www. Thus. [John. It’s election season. Which was just as well because there were only one or two moderate Republicans who might have ever considered a compromise. And because of the election of a number of Tea Party Republicans. But it’s not going to happen.to do as Bill Clinton did after he suffered massive losses in the 1994 mid-terms and abandon more divisive agenda items like health care and gays serving openly in the military. very unlikely. The two parties in Congress will now be even more ideologically polarized. But not for 2010. Republicans have very little incentive to provide President Obama with any sort of legislative victory.abc.net. Inside American presenter on ABC NewsRadio. “The Doughnut Election” ABC -. .wordpress. researcher focused on public opinion and voting behavior of the American public. But even some Clinton insiders. as it would only aid his reelection chances in 2012. and do what’s best for the future of the country. Again. KNOLL 10. BARRON 11-4-10. for 2012. There are fewer moderate members of Congress now. But not this time. American politics is more like a doughnut. Tea Party-backed freshmen Republican senators like Rand Paul from Kentucky and Marco Rubio in Florida immediately become the least likely to join with the Democrats. including these two: 1.com/2010/11/07/prospects-for-bipartisanship-in-the-112th-congress/] 119 It would be nice if the results of last Tuesday’s election prompted our political leaders to seek common ground. Usually when a chamber like the Senate swings back to closer to 50-50 that means you'll get more moderates in swinging electorates prepared to cut a deal and cross the floor. Assistant Prof of Govt’ @ Centre College.htm?site=thedrum] Already president Obama is being urged to "shift to the political centre" .

Obama and the Democratic congressional leadership can foster some bipartisanship at the committee level by using regular order as much as possible. Mostly Obama and the Democratic leadership will have to be satisfied with picking off a few Republicans in the Senate.edu/carlalbertcenter/extensions/spring2009/Sinclair. Obama’s attempts to reach out have yielded considerable dividends in terms of public opinion. a majority of those members will not see supporting Obama as furthering either of those goals.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 120 Bipart Not Key Bipart isn’t key to the agenda.pdf. Opportunities for genuine cooperation will arise occasionally. “Barack Obama and the 111th Congress: Politics as Usual?”. Marvin Hoffenberg Professor of American Politics at the University of California. Spring 2009. KR) A second lesson concerns the limits of bipartisanship. Still. 10 But the Republican leaders’ job is furthering their members’ policy and electoral goals.ou. Extensions. . Obama can perhaps prevent the relationship from descending into bitter distrust. By communicating with them regularly. Los Angeles.Dem support is enough Sinclair 9 (Barbara. He has gotten credit for a sincere attempt to change the harsh partisan tone in Washington. Obama and moderates in the Democratic party have learned that the relationship between Obama and the Republicans (both the leadership and the bulk of the membership) is likely to be rocky throughout his presidency. http://www. Certainly Obama has learned not to make getting a large number of Republican votes a test of his success.

Aly) 121 Good things don’t come easily. most important. that lame excuse no longer exists. and the White House and Barack Obama’s approval rating is pretty high. they should get out of the way and make room for others who will. what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. We remember what happened under Republican control of the Senate. Who cares what Chuck Grassley says about the public plan option? The truth is. .com/bnr/opinion/457290. the Senate. or repeal the Pentagon’s Don’t Ask. or do anything else we promised to do if re-elected — because we don’t have 60 votes. Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Bipart Not Key Bipartisanship not key with 60 seat majority Wisconsin News 9 (“Democrats have votes. Do you think. We have to compromise with Republicans." they would have privatized Social Security. Before you could say "Point of Order. instead. immigration reform. they’d seek bipartisan solutions? Hell. no. the Employee Free Choice Act. flex their muscle. That gives Democrats more political clout than at any time since 1978. And suddenly Democrats have 60 votes in the Senate — and no more excuses. repeal of Don’t Ask. 60." outlawing the filibuster forever. gutted Medicare. for Democrats. Compromise be damned! Well. Senate rules require only 51 votes to pass legislation. Once Democrats took over. But now. Imagine what it would be like were Republicans given 60 votes in the Senate. That excuse was phony. or pass the Employee Free Choice Act. overturned Roe v. And. For six months. but without a tax on health care benefits. universal health care — with a public plan option. Al Franken is No. Wade. not 60. Forget that those obstructionist Senate Republicans even exist.wiscnews. of course. The big question is: Will they take advantage of it? Indeed. this is the moment of truth: Will they stand up or bend over? Are they able and willing to lead? If not. Forget the need for compromise. Now is the time for Democrats to seize the moment. however. they insisted. When Democrats planned to filibuster a few of Bush’s judicial appointments. They control the House. Democrats don’t need Republican votes anymore. Forget bipartisanship. It’s time for Democrats to pull together. We can’t deliver a public plan option for health care. for a moment. Don’t Tell policy. Democrats should never have allowed Republicans to pretend otherwise. http://www. Democrats will never have a better opportunity. outlawed labor unions. but the Minnesota Supreme Court finally declared Al Franken the winner over Norm Coleman. but need backbone”. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist threatened to drop the "nuclear option. we’ve heard nothing but complaining from Democrats: Our hands are tied. Let Mitch McConnell whine all he wants. and deliver their promised agenda: a strong climate bill. It took 239 days. Democrats meekly went along. phony or not. Republicans began demanding a filibuster on every single Senate vote. instead of challenging Republicans. and. and forced prayer in public schools.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 122 ### Public Popularity ### .

No other politician or office is accorded such a role. rather than individual occupants.org/stable/2111759 123 Popular presidents may have more impact over public opinion than unpopular ones. With these high intercorrelations it is difficult to disentangle the separate effects of presidential emphasis from popularity-weighted emphasis. Popularity may lend credence and weight to what the president says. all presidents have easy access to the mass public.94. http://www. In an attempt to do so. Professor of Political Science. thereby increasing his ability to influence public opinion . popularity does not seem to increase the president's ability to affect the public's agenda very much Popularity key to the agenda Jeffrey E. To test this notion. status.jstor. Some presidential resources are constant across presidents-associate with the office. Perhaps the most important variable resource is popularity. while no impact was found for economic policy. http://www. 116-126) produced equivocal results. American Journal of Political Science.emphasis variable and the third containing both. public attention and interest.org/stable/2111759. Fordham University. Comparison of the R2's with an F test (Pindyck and Rubinfeld 1981. multiplying presidential emphasis on the three policy areas by presidential popularity at the time of the president's speech. They may include experience and preparation for the job. and possession of other political skills. In all. For instance. I created a weighted popularity variable. Cohen. increasing his leverage over public opinion (see the studies cited above). Popularity-weighted emphasis for foreign. 18/07/2011 “Presidential Rhetoric and the Public Agenda”. Cohen. one each containing either the emphasis or popularity-weighted. The weighted popularity variables strongly correlated with the original presidential-emphasis variables. American Journal of Political Science. Other presidential resources are more variable. [Stolarski] Presidential influence over the public's policy agenda is a function of his resources and the public's receptivity to his influence attempts. with correlations from . whose possession may enhance the president's credibility with the public. The office is highly prestigious. 18/07/2011 “Presidential Rhetoric and the Public Agenda”. I ran three equations for each policy area. ability to articulate positions. media access.rights policy shows very slight impact beyond non-weighted emphasis.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Public Popularity Key Popularity key to the agenda Jeffrey E.89 to . Professor of Political Science. and the glow of prestige shines on all its occupants.and civil. none can compete effectively with the president in terms of prestige. Fordham University.jstor.

Furthermore. That different researchers have found varying results when considering bills in the aggregate is thus not surprising. http://journals. a good deal of reassurance can be offered. presidents can increase the salience of issues through plebiscitary activities such as speechmaking (Canes-Wrone 2001. In particular. Cohen 1995). [Stolarski] Ever since Neustadt (1960) characterized public prestige as a keystone of presidential power. our analysis not only has implications for the relationship between a president’s approval and legislative success. Second. while highly popular presidents may bemoan the finding that approval does not facilitate influence over all types of legislation. Given that even marginal increases in salience augment the impact of approval for complex issues. they have some degree of choice over the legislation that they promote. In the example with which we began this paper. the class of legislation over which approval does facilitate influence is not at all trivial. Duke University. this capacity offers a valuable means by which presidents can translate popularity into legislative influence. but also for the type of policy agenda that a popular president should adopt.org/action/displayFulltext? type=1&fid=1886900&jid=JOP&volumeId=64&issueId=02&aid=1886892&bodyId=&members hipNumber=&societyETOCSession=. and we have excluded foreign policy issues.cambridge. it comprises one-third of our data. Even focusing exclusively upon the complex and highly salient sample. This finding resurrects approval as a significant resource for presidents in the legislative arena. Our main contribution has been to establish the necessary conditions for this relationship. Bush was not forced to expend his historic approval ratings on the simple issue of crime. 02 “Presidential Approval and Legislative Success”. THE JOURNAL OF POLITICS. First. Our results indicate that a president can capitalize on such popularity if he champions legislation that is salient and complex. our explanation is useful not only for post hoc analysis but also for predicting a president’s chance of capitalizing upon approval for a given legislative item. we find that only for legislation that is both complex and salient will popularity translate into policy influence. Finally. although presidents cannot alter issue complexity. Thus. .Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Public Popularity Key to Agenda 124 Popularity is key for salient bills Brandice Canes-Wrone. Moreover. which are generally complex. It is only when these attributes are taken into account jointly that the role of presidential approval is explained. Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Scott de Marchi. political scientists have been interested in whether approval ratings facilitate presidential success in Congress.

while debated by some. http://digitalcommons. on the other hand. 95). may attempt to champion only the more popular bills. Members of Congress that take their representative role very literally may see his popularity as validation of the policies that he is trying to pursue. It has been found by some that popularity has no significant impact on legislative success but that it may influence other factors.iwu.edu/cgi/viewcontent. The theory that popularity influences presidential success. Other times. Along with this idea. a president’s high popularity is seen as a confirmation of his mandate. although they believe that it “has only a marginal effect” (Bond. . which may in turn influence success in Congress (Marshall and Prins 2007). Neustadt states that good popularity among the electorate does not necessarily guarantee victory for the president. Res Publica . For example. Others. Fleisher. [Stolarski] Out of Neustadt’s theory of president-centered power of persuasion emerged the widely upheld theory of presidential success in Congress being attributed to president-centered reasons. it does encourage it. such as Bond. scholars propose that members of Congress “fear electoral retribution if they oppose a popular president or support an unpopular one” (Bond. Fleisher and Wood 2003. Past research designs have analyzed the “extent to which the president’s leadership skills and popularity with the public influence Congress to do something it otherwise would not have done” (Bond. This theory claims that “the president’s public approval provides leverage with Congress” (Bond. 09 “Presidential Success in Congress: Factors that Determine the President's Ability to Influcence Congressional Voting”. could have more widespread consequences. but that it would provide a “leeway” (Neustadt 1962).cgi?article=1145&context=respublica&seiredir=1#search=%22presidential%20popularity%20agenda%20success%22. some scholars have found that greater popularity may encourage a president to pursue complex and salient legislation as well as increase their willingness to take positions on more difficult issues (Marshall and Prins 2007).Journal of Undergraduate Research. on the other hand. Although leeway does not guarantee government action. 90). has gained wide support. According to Neustadt. have acknowledged that popularity is an accepted influence on presidential success. Illinois Wesleyan University. Fleisher and Wood 2003. Fleisher and Wood 2003. 105). public disapproval increases resistance from members of Congress and leaves the president with “his opportunities diminished [and] his freedom for maneuver checked” (Neustadt 1962. Less popular presidents. 95). 92). A bad popularity rating. and Wood. according to Neustadt and his followers. Fleisher and Wood 2003.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Public Popularity Key to Agenda 125 Popularity key to the agenda Christine Gibb.

not Obama. “Presidential effectiveness in the legislative arena is an important component in maintaining public support. According to the data analysis of political scientists Charles Ostrom.html. State University of New York.. and Dennis Simon. such as the onset of a sharp economic downturn at the start of an administration. And none of that legislation was either hard won. In turn. Next year Congress will face midterm elections. new government regulation of tobacco products. A president's influence in Congress is directly tied to the perception of his public support. Chief Political Correspondent for RealClearPolitics. Obama's greatest ambitions remain ahead. 7/23/09 “Obama's Public Support Cracking at 6 Months” Real Clear Politics. .realclearpolitics. “the cumulative rate of roll-call victories [for the President in Congress] will decline by three points for every tenpoint drop in [public] approval. 93 [Robert J. That bully pulpit is also traditionally strongest during the first year in office. http://www.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Public Popularity Key to Agenda 126 Obama’s agenda depends on public support David Paul Kuhn. The tick tock is growing louder. But Ostrom and Simon conclude that a shrewd President can influence public support and that the typical long-term decline in a President’s public standing is by no means inevitable. policy becomes only that much more political and legislative victories that much more difficult. especially health care reform--which he had hoped to sign into law before the August recess. or a central tenet of his campaign. President and Congress: Executive Hegemony at the Crossroads of American Government] [Stolarski] An important empirical study of the relationship between the President’s public standing and presidential support in Congress concluded that the two are inextricably linked.” In turn. the expansion of children's health insurance and legislation that makes it easier to win pay-discrimination lawsuits. At that point.com/articles/2009/07/23/obamas_public_support_cracking_at_6_mo nths_97574. many of the factors that influence the President’s standing are beyond direct control.” Naturally. But the stimulus was a consequence of the recession. [Stolarski] Obama has legislative victories: the $787 billion economic stimulus package.. Presidents who manage to satisfy public expectations are rewarded by high and stable public support. public support translates directly into success for the President in Congress. Jr. Popularity key to the agenda SPITZER Prof of Poli Sci.

42) has observed that presidential approval ratings have created a pseudoparliamentary situation. whereby the President faces a monthly vote of confidence from the total electorate … this vote of confidence is accepted by both politicians and political analysts as an indicator of the President’ s political clout and. JSTOR] The importance of public approval and support to presidential success is well documented. presidents who enjoy substantial popularity and public support have more options and resources available to them and fewer concerns about congressional resistance to their policies. Popular presidents have more leverage in persuading other political actors to adopt administration priorities and policies as their own (Neustadt 1960) and are more likely to present bold and ambitious legislative packages to Congress (Light 1982). . of his ability to govern effectively. “PATRIOTISM OR OPINION LEADERSHIP? THE NATURE AND ORIGINS OF THE ‘RALLY ROUND THE FLAG’ EFFECT. 2001 [WILLIAM AND JOHN. Presidential popularity has also been linked to presidential success in congressional roll call votes (Edwards 1980). therefore. and congressional reactions to presidential vetoes (Rohde and Simon 1985). ARKANSAS SCHOOL FOR MATHEMATICS AND SCIENCES. the success of presidential policy initiatives (Rivers and Rose 1985). Crespi (1980. whereas unpopular presidents may be more vulnerable to congressional recalcitrance and investigations. DEPT OF POLI SCI @ UNIV OF ALABAMA. Although not binding.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Public Popularity Key to Agenda 127 AND POPULARITY IS KEY TO POLITICAL CAPITAL AND PROVIDES AN INCENTIVE FOR COOPERATION BAKER AND O’NEAL. OCTOBER. whereas Marra and Ostrom (1989) demonstrated that the president’s public approval ratings play a role in the distribution of congressional seats.” JOURNAL OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION. Aldrich.” Quite simply. Both Abramson. and Rohde (1987)and Fiorina (1981) noted that voting behavior in presidential and congressional elections is influenced by the popularity of the White House incumbent.

GOING PUBLIC PROVIDES POLITICAL LEVERAGE IN CONGRESS THOMAS & PIKU. OF POI SCI AT U. THE POLITICS OF THE PRESIDENCY 4TH ED. public popularity is a critical measurement of a president’s performance.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Public Popularity Key to Agenda POPULARITY IS CRITICAL TO AGENDA SUCCESS EISENSTEIN AND WITTING . Public approval makes other resources more efficacious. AND JOSEPH. DEPT OF HISTORY AND POLI SCI @ PURDUE UNIV. PG 139] The president’s relationship with the American people between elections has undergone significant changes.” POPULARITY BOOSTS PARTY SUPPORT AND PROVIDES CAPITAL EDWARDS. OF CINCINNATI.. Therefore. 1989 [GEORGE. and legislative skills become more effective. PROF. the public is more easily moved. PROF OF POLI SCI AT U. public approval is the factor most likely to determine whether or not an opportunity for change exists. The president’s party is more likely to be responsive if the president is held in high public esteem. AT THE MARGINS: PRESIDENTIAL LEADERSHIP OF CONGRESS 1989] The strategic position of presidential approval is mixed. that is. 2000 [MAURICE AND MARIE. “TIME AND THE LIFE CYCLE OF PRESIDENTIAL APPROVAL: A RESEARCH NOTE. Kernell contends that presidents used to promote their programs primarily by negotiating with other political elites in Congress and the executive branch. policies. EBSCOHOST] 128 One of the most important parameters modern American president’s negotiate during their administration is their popularity with the American public. “SOCIAL SCIENCE JOURNAL. DEPT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AT TEXAS A&M. It accords the president useful leverage in dealing with Congress. a president resorts to promoting “himself and his policies in Washington by appealing to the American public for support. but today they more often choose to “go public”. and agenda. Public approval is therefore the resources with the greatest potential to turn a typical situation into one favorable for change. OF DELAWARE. 1997 [NORMAN. As the most volatile resource for leadership. A modern president’s political success is constantly being measured by public popularity because in today’s political climate a president must constantly maintain public support to achieve his goals. .

POPULARITY INCREASES CONGRESSIONAL RESPONSIVENESS TO PRESIDENT’S PRIORITIES PATTERSON. Members of Congress are unlikely to vote against the clear interests of their constituents or the firm tenets of their ideology out of deference to a widely supported chief executive. L/N] The presidency is particularly affected by a hypercritical press. But if his approval ratings drop. Similarly. POLITICS AND POLICY MAKING. No matter how low a president’s standing in public polls or how close it is to the next election.. PROF AT GEORGETOWN AND PROF AT TEXAS A&M. which has now become the norm. he has clout. 323] 129 The impact of presidential approval on presidential support occurs at the margins of coalition building. = POPULARITY KEY TO POLITICAL CAPITAL CNN INSIDE POLITICS 2-15-1997 If a president’s approval ratings are high. . as Clinton’s are right now. PROF OF PRESS AND POLITICS. no matter how high approval levels climb or how large a president’s winning percentage of the vote. HARVARD U. not control. Much of the president’s authority derives not from constitutional grants of power but from the public force that is inherent in the president’s position as the only official chosen by the whole nation.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Public Popularity Key to Agenda POPULARITY CONVINCES WAVERING CONGRESS MEMBERS TO SUPPORT THE PRESIDENT WAYNE AND EDWARDS. the president still receives support from a substantial number of senators and representatives. within the confines of other influences. congressional resistance intensifies. he loses clout. PG. 1996 [THOMAS E. JULY. When approval ratings are low or in decline. 1997 [STEPHEN AND GEORGE. When the president’s public approval ratings are high. Even members of his own party will abandon him as republicans did George Bush and as Democrats did Bill Clinton in 1994. a significant portion of the Congress may still oppose his policies. Approval gives a president leverage. 546 ANNALS 97. PG. Congress is more responsive to presidential leadership.

and to do whatever it takes to persuade Congress and the people to accept it. “Is Obama Taking too Much?” Christian Science Monitor. there’s only so much a White House and Congress can accomplish.” As long as Obama’s job approval ratings are comfortably high – currently in the 60s in major polls – he has the political capital to address the pent-up demand for change that is inevitable when the opposition party takes over from an unpopular previous administration. to embrace a solution commensurate with the problem.09 (Linda.” wrote William Galston. the topic du jour has become: Is Obama trying to do too much? The Obama administration itself has not hidden the fact that it sees a limited window to enact its agenda.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Public Popularity Key to Agenda 130 Popularity key to the agenda – approval ratings allow legislation to be passed Feldmann. and even members of Obama’s own party are raising warning flags about the magnitude of the new president’s agenda. given the deliberative nature of the process. almost like a game of “beat the clock.11. http://features.com/politics/2009/03/11/is-obamataking-on-too-much/) All the while. and with no end in sight. the nation remains gripped by its worst economic crisis in decades. staff writer of the Christian Science Monitor. . But.csmonitor. 3. a former senior adviser to President Clinton. “It is time for President Obama to focus his considerable leadership and communication skills on the financial crisis – to speak candidly with the people about the magnitude of the problem. in The New Republic.

Obama himself maintained his high approval ratings with the American people and the proportion approving of Congress increased significantly. according to a February 17-18 poll conducted by Fox News/Opinion Dynamics. Los Angeles. However.pdf) Whether the stimulus bill was even in danger of losing significant public support is unclear. A February 10 Gallup poll found that 59 percent of the public favored the stimulus bill while 33 percent opposed it. support had increased after Obama went on the road to sell the program. Extensions. in fact. feel constituency pressure. their response is likely to be quite different. 7 Voters approved of the job congressional Democrats are doing by 46 percent to 45 percent and disapproved of the GOP’s performance by 56 percent to 34 percent. http://www. 9 When the president attempts to build public support for his agenda by “going to the people. “Barack Obama and the 111th Congress: Politics as Usual?”. but Obama's efforts meant he got the credit when the bill passed to strong public acclaim. Marvin Hoffenberg Professor of American Politics at the University of California.” it is sometimes interpreted as “going over the heads” of members of Congress to pressure them via their constituents and is thought to breed resentment. furthermore. And if a few Republicans do.edu/carlalbertcenter/extensions/spring2009/Sinclair.it makes it easier for Democrats to support him Sinclair 9 (Barbara.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 131 Public Popularity Key to Agenda Public popularity is key. Obama makes it easier for congressional Democrats to support his initiatives and for the congressional leaders to deliver for him legislatively.ou. Spring 2009. when the president's efforts allow members to do what they would like to do anyway. any resentment is likely to be considered a reasonable price to pay for their occasional votes. . 8 By using the bully pulpit effectively.

1998a. "You can find any number of groups which can present a poll to support a given proposal. His approval ratings started out at barely 50 percent. . it affects both midterm losses and the President's chances for re-election. A dozen Congressional leadership staff members have told me that the President's high approval ratings have not helped him pass any important bills. But for an occasional bump due to a foreign policy crisis. Brookings Center for Public Service. Bush had the roughest ride. approval seemed to be governed by a coalitionof-minorities phenomenon. According to a panel survey by The Pew Research Center for the People & The Press. They have agendas. Most often it is an indirect factor in the congressional struggle. Detroit News 5 (January 23. Both Republican hopes and Democratic fears went unfulfilled. these approval ratings are a liability that has hurt his agenda. Public approval can be used to sway congressional votes. The American Enterprise. Presidents started their terms at the peak of their approval and slid steadily downward. p. but in the closed world of Washington politics. Far from being an asset. 1). Congress is fairly suspicious of polls as a bargaining tool. Founding Director. and nothing's going to stop him. the Bush/Clinton years suggest that public approval may be increasingly irrelevant to agenda influence . 280) Although party seats remain the gold standard of a President's political capital. September 1. it doesn't matter if he won the election by two percentage points or 20." Public opinion is important over the term. PUBLIC POPULARITY IS NOT KEY TO THE AGENDA. and public approval ratings are too general to be of much good.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Popularity Not Key to Agenda Popularity not key to agenda. Light 99 (Paul. His approval continued upward through 1997 and early 1998. rose again to unprecedented heights after the Gulf War. Among all respondents. Senior Adviser. He's going to do what he wants to do. If a president has enough votes in Congress to get that agenda passed. Brookings Presidential Appointee Initiative The President’s Agenda: Domestic Policy Choice from Kennedy to Clinton. Each decision angered some small number of presidential enthusiasts. LIGHT 99. Senior Adviser. Bush's approval ratings--which jumped from 57 percent to 90 percent--would create political capital that would help Bush advance his legislative agenda and elect more Republicans. slowly eroding approval in each successive poll. fell by roughly twenty points. Clinton's approval stood at 71 percent. nor is it clear how such instability could have helped the President convince Congress of either the inevitability of his success or the rightness of his cause. p. National Commission on the Public Service. the trends in public approval seemed mostly immutable. the GOP lost control of the governors' mansions in Virginia and New Jersey. one fifth of the President's new supporters were drawn to his side by his State of the Union address and another sixth by his ability to do his job despite the sex scandal. [Paul. EMPIRICALLY NOT KEY TO POLITICAL CAPITAL." one aide noted. fell twenty points in the wake of the 1990 midterm elections. Lexis) President Bush's approval rating has remained above 70 percent forten months. Lexis) 132 Presidents don't have mandates. Norquist 2 (Grover. but 70 percent liked his policies (Pew Research Center. Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service. you can get a positive result. only 55 days after September 11. but with only limited success. Having held for every President since 1960. the trend changed direction under both Bush and Clinton . Democrats feared and Republicans hoped that Mr. Depending upon how you word the questions and how you select the sample. Yet. New York University. Twenty years ago. p. public opinion is not easily converted into direct influence in the domestic policy process. On November 6. "Everyone has a poll. Immediately after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Clinton's ratings followed a more orderly course. Having won the Presidency by a plurality of just 43 percent. his approval started out in the mid 50 percent range. a gain of nine points over a single month. President Bush made no progress on legislative priorities such as reforming Mexican immigration and giving Americans the option of investing part of their Social Security taxes. the party comes into play virtually every day of the term. The President’s Agenda: Domestic Policy Choice from Kennedy to Clinton. rising even despite allegations regarding his relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. POPULARITY DOESN’T AFFECT AGENDA – BUSH AND CLINTON PROVE. roughly half said they did not like the President personally. Presidents cannot afford to ignore public opinion. Party support thereby becomes the central component of the President's capital. and can do so without hurting his party's chances in the next election . rose steadily for the next two years to the 70 percent range. His approval was so volatile that it is not clear how he could have harnessed it as a source of legislative advantage. and fell again by nearly fifty points as the economy slowed prior to the 1992 election. then began a slow but steady saw-tooth rise back into the mid 50 percent range by 1996. but again in the opposite direction from previous Presidents. 27] . By February 1998.

As table 20 suggests. page 42.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Popularity Not Key to Agenda WITHOUT POLITICAL CAPITAL – POPULARITY AND BARGAINING IS IRRELEVANT 133 LIGHT. for the KennedyCarter data). PG 241 The notion that political capital shapes the President’s policy proposals is confirmed in table 20. Reagan trails his Democratic predecessors in total proposals per year. which summarizes the overall Reagan agenda (see table 2. “THE PRESIDENT’S AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON”. or considerable social grace. THIRD ED.. Reagan could only do so much. 1999 [PAUL C. particularly working within the bounds of the No Win Presidency. No matter his focusing skill. . PRESS. personal popularity. Senate Republican majority. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV.

“popularity is like ice cream. PRESS. where Eisenhower had the public approval. Support comes only if both Congress and the President benefit. One Carter aide summarized the paradox as follows. Public opinion couldn’t create was the electorate hadn’t given him – party control of the House and Senate. . Approval created through constant campaigning may not equal approval earned through presidential performance. When the President and Congress are from different parties. seats do not guarantee support. Though public approval cannot create vast gains in Congress.” suggests Kernell. THIRD ED. 52 percent of the President’s initiatives and only 16 percent of congressional initiatives become law. Short-term gains in presidential approval can make the influence of those seats more liquid perhaps. The impact of party seats is apparent in two ways. Beyond some point. and Congress started to back off. but it sure as hell can hurt you. “in that the more of it one consumes. when Presidents belong to the majority party in Congress. 27 percent for the President and 25 percent for Congress. we had nothing. Second. Party seats remain the gold standard for presidential agenda-setting. First. As noted above. In this regard. Even though he was one of our most popular Presidents. When the President and Congress are from the same party. according to Edwards and Barrett’s data. We had the potential support. In our case.. “THE PRESIDENT’S AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON”. Our public ratings started to drop fairly quickly. of course. THIRD ED. but we didn’t have the public approval. unified government increases the odds that the President ‘s agenda will dominate the legislative agenda. 1999 [PAUL C. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. Clinton’s downfall came in the 1994 mid-term election when Democrats squandered their majority. We had the seats. To paraphrase Edwards and Barrett. he just didn’t have enough strength in Congress. their fellow partisans are more willing to defer to them in both setting the congressional agenda and coming to consensus on shared ideas.201). the numbers even out. the less satisfying the next helping will be. When Eisenhower was on top of the polls. Do you see the point? Public opinion can’t help you. that going public cheapens the public approval it creates. the value of additional increments of support will diminish sharply” (p. Public opinion is a valuable tool in fashioning congressional support. But. “THE PRESIDENT’S AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON”. he couldn’t move. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV.. but it cannot convert a Republican seat into a Democratic seat unless that approval creates coattails in the next election. unified government increases the odds that the President’s initiatives will actually pass. PG 208 It is entirely possible. POPULARITY ISN’T ENOUGH – PARTY SUPPORT IS KEY TO PASSAGE LIGHT. PG 28] Public Approval and Electoral Margin. we had the congressional seats. the absence of public approval eventually undercuts potentials for success. Although Kernell rightly argues that the point of diminishing returns will vary with a President’s leadership style and transient political circumstances. the point of diminishing returns is also tightly linked to party support on capitol Hill.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 134 Popularity Not Key to Agenda PUBLIC APPROVAL CAN’T HELP PRESIDENTS – ONLY HURT THEM LIGHT. 1999 [PAUL C. PRESS.

public distrust continues its slow boil. it limits the President’s ability to convert public approval into congressional support. It is difficult to predict whether Reagan will be able to stem the rapid drop in public approval experienced by Nixon. Future presidents may have to become accustomed to continued public dissatisfaction. Indeed. THIRD ED. The public cynicism has two important impacts on the presidential policy process. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. Ford. Contrary to expectations. Indeed. Given the steep declines in public approval over the term of office. 1999 [PAUL C. PRESS.. public cynicism has not declined as we have moved further away from Watergate. Presidents are actually encouraged to separate their congressional fortunes from the volatile roller coaster of public opinion. PG 214 The increasing congressional and media surveillance are compounded by a third.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Popularity Not Key PUBLIC APPROVAL IS IRRELEVANT TO POLITICAL CAPITAL – IT’S TOO VOLATILE 135 LIGHT. “THE PRESIDENT’S AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON”. . and Carter. more pervasive trend: the increasing level of public distrust of the Presidency. First. it is increasingly difficult for the White House to use public support in the legislative struggle.

How much presidential popularity affects success in Congress has been increasingly challenged by empirical research that suggests the impact is marginal at best. Reagan and Bush – all popular presidents – saw their approval ratings bottom out around the time unemployment peaked. “PRESIDENT AND CONGRESS.21] Using public opinion data and a congressional roll call voting patterns. a number of studies have concluded that presidential popularity correlates with increased voting support from members of Congress. Inflation. During war. PG. AND RESEARCH PROF OF POLISCI AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW ORLEANS. President Bush’s public approval ratings were the highest ever recorded. The president’s popularity tends to increase when the United states is involved in some military action or national security crisis. Following the decisive victory over Iraq. and poor economic performance damages public approval ratings. Research has shown. PROF AND CHAIR OF THE DEPT OF POLISCI AT WASHINGTON STATE UNIV. More enduring is the link between the state of the economy and public approval of the president. . however. the public tends to “rally around the flag.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Popularity Not Key to Agenda PRESIDENTIAL POPULARITY HAS NO EFFECT ON CONGRESS 136 LELOUP AND SHULL. unemployment. 1999 [LANCE AND STEVEN. that the boost to popularity is often short-lived and down not necessarily translate into increased domestic success.” boosting approval of the president and enhancing his influence. Eisenhower.

and except when the expected vote is very close. ceteris paribus. A president’s “popularity” is said to be a political resource that can help him achieve his program. but changes from month to month are seldom greater than 5 percent. THE PRESIDENT’S LEGISLATIVE AGENDA.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Popularity Not Key POPULARITY CAN’T OVERCOME PARTISAN OPPOSITION BOND AND FLEISHER. if a president’s popularity declines by the relatively large amount of 25 percent. the effect on the probability of victory is likely to be marginal. 75) indicate that. and guide his and other political leaders’ expectations abut the president’s party’s prospects in presidential and congressional elections. presidential support scores of members of the president’s party will decrease by an average of 6. AND RICHARD. Thus while popularity with the public might influence congressional support indirectly over the course of the term by increasing party unity.289) 137 We will use the estimates from the 1980 study to estimate the substantive effects of public approval. 1991 [RICHARD. PROF OF POLISCI AT FORDHAM U. PG. Moreover. POPULARITY IS A RESOURCE THAT CAN BE USED TO BOOST THE AGENDA BRODY. a change in popularity of 25 percent over the course of a four-year term is common.75 percent and those of the opposition will increase by an average of 4 percent. ELITE OPINION AND PUBLIC SUPPORT] The standing of the president with the American people has come to have a political life of its own. keep challengers at bay. These figures are relatively small. ASSESSING THE PRESIDENCY: THE MEDIA. PROF OF POLISCI AT TEXAS A&M. PROFESSOR AT STANFORD. . A political fact with consequences as important as these will be attended by political elites and is worth of our close attention. it cannot overcome the basic partisan and ideological predispositions of members of Congress. 1990 (JON R. The regression model estimates (Bond and Fleisher 1980.

"Everyone has a poll. it doesn't matter if he won the election by two percentage points or 20. September 1. Lexis) 138 Presidents don't have mandates. . Depending upon how you word the questions and how you select the sample. Bush's approval ratings--which jumped from 57 percent to 90 percent--would create political capital that would help Bush advance his legislative agenda and elect more Republicans. Most often it is an indirect factor in the congressional struggle. it affects both midterm losses and the President's chances for re-election.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Popularity Not Key Popularity not key to agenda. Detroit News 5 (January 23. EMPIRICALLY NOT KEY TO POLITICAL CAPITAL. Party support thereby becomes the central component of the President's capital. "You can find any number of groups which can present a poll to support a given proposal. only 55 days after September 11. these approval ratings are a liability that has hurt his agenda. PUBLIC POPULARITY IS NOT KEY TO THE AGENDA. Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service. He's going to do what he wants to do. A dozen Congressional leadership staff members have told me that the President's high approval ratings have not helped him pass any important bills. public opinion is not easily converted into direct influence in the domestic policy process. They have agendas. Presidents cannot afford to ignore public opinion. the GOP lost control of the governors' mansions in Virginia and New Jersey. Immediately after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. LIGHT 99. and nothing's going to stop him. Senior Adviser. you can get a positive result. Public approval can be used to sway congressional votes. 27] . Lexis) President Bush's approval rating has remained above 70 percent forten months. and can do so without hurting his party's chances in the next election . Founding Director. the party comes into play virtually every day of the term. but with only limited success. Congress is fairly suspicious of polls as a bargaining tool. [Paul. p. Brookings Presidential Appointee Initiative The President’s Agenda: Domestic Policy Choice from Kennedy to Clinton. but in the closed world of Washington politics. President Bush made no progress on legislative priorities such as reforming Mexican immigration and giving Americans the option of investing part of their Social Security taxes. and public approval ratings are too general to be of much good." one aide noted. Brookings Center for Public Service. Far from being an asset. The American Enterprise. Senior Adviser." Public opinion is important over the term. On November 6. Democrats feared and Republicans hoped that Mr. Both Republican hopes and Democratic fears went unfulfilled. National Commission on the Public Service. Yet. Norquist 2 (Grover. If a president has enough votes in Congress to get that agenda passed. New York University.

Political & Social Thought. George W. Republicans (and plenty of Democrats) aren't interested in better immigration laws. Bush's major domestic initiatives came before his massive postGulf War approval bump. Absent substantive leverage -. or reform corporate taxes. Popularity with the public is a necessary part of presidential success in Congress. . 5/5/11. he needs unified support from his party and support from a non-trivial number of Republicans. for liberals who want to see Obama use his political capital. the mere fact of popularity (or a large congressional majority) doesn't guarantee support from key members of Congress. As we saw at the beginning of Obama's presidency. To repeat an oft-made point.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Popularity Not Key to Agenda Pol Cap more outweighs Boulie.W. provide money for jobs. [Stolarski] Unfortunately.there isn't much Obama can do to pressure these members (Democrats and Republicans) into supporting his agenda. Bush was able to secure No Child Left Behind. political 139 capital isn't that straightforward. Indeed. but it's far from sufficient. and his final year in office saw little policy success. but the former two either came with pre-9/11 Democratic support or were Democratic initiatives to begin with. the presidency is a limited office with limited resources. it's worth noting that approval-spikes aren't necessarily related to policy success. http://prospect. the Homeland Security Act. George H. and the Authorization to Use Military Force in the year following 9/11. fiscal stimulus. 5/5 “Political Capital”. or liberal tax reform.and not just high approval ratings -. BA.org/csnc/blogs/tapped_archive? month=05&year=2011&base_name=political_capital. For Obama to actually sign legislation to reform the immigration system. when it comes to domestic policy. Unfortunately. Writing Fellow of The American Prospect.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 140 ### Presidential Leadership Turns ### .

and act on what you believe. and there's a lot he hasn't done that every other Democrat who ran for president would have done. address their ambivalence (because by definition. I don't. People in the center will follow if you speak to their values. has fallen prey to the conventional Democratic strategic wisdom: that the way to win the center is to tack to the center. but he's going to set back the Democratic Party and the progressive movement by decades. Compromised Values. although I wish he hadn't. Bush. which builds political capital Westen 9 [Drew Westen. and the Looming Losses in 2010: Pretty Speeches. You want to win the center? Emanate strength. Bush did it. either. Psychologist and neuroscientist. He's done a great deal with that eloquence to speak to Muslims around the world and to make clear to others in the international community that America is back -. But I believe if he doesn't figure it out soon. Bush (e. they're torn between the right and left). and the Quest for the Lowest Common Denominator” 12/20/09] 141 The president's biggest success has been on the international stage: He's not George W. if it ever happens)." and they don't like what they see.. Am I being too hard on the president? He's certainly done many good things. and wandering through the wilderness without an ideological compass. . Emanate conviction. like so many Democrats in Congress.g. FDR did it. and he's eloquent to boot. start enunciating it. I don't honestly know what this president believes. That's a recipe for going nowhere fast -. Obama. But you have to believe something. Emory University Professor “Leadership. and start fighting for it. LBJ did it. But that international community is just starting to learn that his eloquence doesn't always have much behind it.mostly. because the average American is coming to believe that what they're seeing right now is "liberalism. Obama Style.but getting there by November. he's not only going to give American families hungry for security a series of half-loaves where they could have had full ones.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Presidential Leadership Turns – International Action Action on liberal international issues defines Obama by action. But it would be hard to name a single thing President Obama has done domestically that any other Democrat wouldn't have done if he or she were president following George W. What's they're seeing is weakness. Lead like you know where you're going (and hopefully know what you're talking about). But it doesn't work that way. signing the children's health insurance bill that Congress is about to gut to pay for worse care for kids under the health insurance exchange. waffling. Reagan did it. Even George W. on a wide range of issues.

get some stones. you know. or don't you? I don't want to hear that it would sort of. He's increasingly appearing to the public. He got "float like a butterfly" in the morning but never made it to "sting like a bee. But Obama really doesn't seem to want to get involved in the contentious decisions. for God's sake. kind of. Emory University Professor “Leadership. [continues] The problem with the president's strategic team is that they don't understand the difference between compromising on policy and compromising on core values. make it evocatively. listen all you want to the Stones: "You can't always get what you want" (although it would be nice if the administration tried sometime). But on issues of principle -. Compromised Values.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Presidential Leadership Turns -. And although he is likely to squeak by with a personal victory in 2012 if the economy improves by then. When it comes to policies. Obama Style. maybe be your preference. He needs someone to shake him until he feels something strongly enough not just to talk about it but to act. and particularly to swing voters. and especially the swing moderates Westen 9 [Drew Westen. like Dukakis without the administrative skill. Psychologist and neuroscientist. and the Quest for the Lowest Common Denominator” 12/20/09] It's the job of the president to be in the fray. It's his job to make the tough decisions and draw lines in the sand. That's how you earn people's respect. They're so.like allowing regressive abortion amendments to be tacked onto a health care reform bill -. That's the only thing that will bring Independents back. But then I suppose he'll get the bipartisanship he always wanted. contentious. all other things being equal. he may well do so with a Republican Congress. He doesn't need a chief of staff. He wants us all to get along. He's like an amateur boxer who got a coupon for a half day of training with Angelo Dundee after being inspired by the tapes of Mohammed Ali. and the Looming Losses in 2010: Pretty Speeches. Do you think we ought to use health care as a Trojan Horse for right-wing abortion policies? Say something.General 142 Only Taking a decisive stance like the plan allows Obama to control his own party. Better to leave the fights to the Democrats in Congress since they're so good at them. Make your case to the American people. and draw the line in the sand." Do you think Americans ought to have one choice of health insurance plans the insurance companies don't control. It's his job to lead us out of it. not to run from it. .

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 143 ### Winners-Win ### .

His foreign policy is almost incoherent. His hesitancy in both the Egyptian crisis and the one in Libya may ultimately come back to haunt us as those seeking to oust dictatorial regimes begin to doubt our commitments. March 23. a Republican. .S.theatlantic. [Dan K. No one seemed to mind that he had served only two years in the Senate. No Presidential Greatness Without Spending Political Capital. the president moved to take some of the heat off. paying only lip service to helping solve the carnage they cause and infuriating besieged Mexican officials. was President Obama able to achieve victory in the bitter congressional battle over health care reform. Such victories--which upset the status quo--only occur when a president takes political risks and is willing to incur short-term unpopularity with significant segments of the electorate. Voters ignored the fact that he got there because the leading candidate. Medicare and immigration apparently are off limits. He also was a member of the Illinois Legislature. Voters reacted passionately to him despite a résumé that would have placed him in middle management in most private corporations. to carry out in style all those pledges so eloquently handed down before and after Grant Park. often leaving those charged with carrying it out. has held top positions in government. and Paki intelligence forces. He said he would go along with amending the reform plan to allow states to opt out of its controversial points if they could find another way to accomplish the same thing without driving up health costs. remember that George W. His responses to the Middle Eastern turmoil have been sluggish and uncoordinated. Confused? If you are. Problems like Social Security. then the question becomes why not and the obvious reply to that would be because he doesn't want any. Thomasson: Obama must be more decisive. Empirics prove Obama can get wins Ben . 2010. For us to believe that this utter lack of experience could be overcome quickly is foolish. The war in Afghanistan becomes less defensible daily. at their wits' end. He has done little or nothing to interrupt the flow of guns from here to Mexican drug cartels. which critics quickly pointed out was highly unlikely even under the best political circumstances. Obama is beset by enormous deficit problems and a House Republican majority that wants to exploit his weaknesses. http://www. And while the national debt is not of his making. he has done little the last two years even to emphasize its seriousness. this president shows none of the aggressive decisiveness at home or abroad promised in his miraculous campaign of two years ago. Domestically.com/politics/archive/2010/03/no-presidential-greatness-without-spending-political-capital/37865/) Heineman. This is a president who more than most needs all the good help he can get. including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. There is still time for the president to step up to the promise of his campaign. His economic spokesmen deny entitlements have an impact on short-term debt reduction. Jr. self-destructed and withdrew. He opened this year by submitting a plan for ultimate resolution that even he admitted was inadequate. And before someone cites an Ivy League education as an indicator that Obama's inadequacies are just superficial and easily resolvable. http://www. He is the author of High Performance with High Integrity. Bush went to Yale and look where that took us. which puts a whole different light on the situation. when he was willing to make it his personal issue and to spend significantly from his store of political capital.vcstar. leaving the opposition unable to field a viable alternative. Thomasson. Presidential greatness is combining policy and politics to win significant victories that have a major impact on the trajectory of national life. law and business. He majored in charisma and minored in political realities. aggressive. Now his focus seems strictly on 2012. aggressive Who in the world is advising President Barack Obama? If the answer to that is no one. He offered a "compromise" to complaining governors that is as shameless an act of political pandering as Washington has seen in some time. it's probably no more than the White House seems to be on a variety of issues. With the courts now threatening to pick apart his masterpiece on constitutional grounds in a tidal wave of suits launched by financially strapped states. ’10 Only in recent months. Obama obsessively spent enormous political capital on overhauling health care despite the opposition of a majority of Americans.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 144 Winners Win Winners-Win THOMASSON 3 – 3 – 11 former editor of Scripps Howard News Service.com/news/2011/mar/03/thomasson-obama-mustbe-more-decisive-aggressive/] Obama must be more decisive. Moving into the last half of his first term and facing the rigors of being elected to a second in less than two years. (The Atlantic. Iran is scary and Pakistan is no better considering the feuding between U.

His agenda has faced national pushback and congressional gridlock." said Stephen Hadley. "The criticism has been: (He) sets big goals but doesn't close the deal. He had the unique magic that generated serenity and euphoria. he has quickly realized.com/opinions/2010/01/14/2010-0114_on_the_anniversary_of_his_inauguration_president_obama_is_on_the_wrong_side_of_h. and his policies . " On the anniversary of his inauguration. A large portion of Obama's discomfort is stemming from the two onerous millstones around his neck: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (and not just because they say stupid stuff). And change is not easy. "It shows political strength. after a rocky first year that produced few major domestic or foreign policy victories. To date. it appears as if he's at the end of his seventh. is not a strategy unless you can produce working solutions. Bush. and his inability to rein them in. Twelve months later. there's no more affirmative answer to that criticism than closing the biggest deal you have going. as well as their respective caucuses. “Obama's health win could boost foreign policy”.a $787 billion stimulus and billions more to bail out Wall Street .htm] WASHINGTON. with an economy still strangled." The world watched as President Obama made history. has only emboldened the rank and file and cost him valuable political capital.alertnet. leader taps his momentum to take on international issues with allies and adversaries. But now." Obama's deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said the Democratic president's persistence in the long healthcare battle added credibility to his rhetoric on climate change. ". when Americans were scared and needed assurance after an attempted terror attack on Christmas Day. Gone is his confidence.org/thenews/newsdesk/N26180856. As a nation.. "It sends a very important message about President Obama as a leader. could generate momentum for Obama's agenda at home and in his talks on a host of issues abroad. One year later. That charisma and ability to comfort is missing. Hope. So. they said. I remember that day.. http://www. In the absence of George W. he can't credibly blame his predecessor anymore. former national security adviser to Republican President George W." Rhodes told Reuters during an interview in his West Wing office. Obama is without an enemy to help define him.nydailynews. . President Obama is on the wrong side . "It helps him domestically and I also think it helps him internationally that he was able to win and get through a major piece of legislation. Analysts and administration officials were cautious about the bump Obama could get from such a win: Iran is not going to rethink its nuclear program and North Korea is not going to return to the negotiating table simply because more Americans will get health insurance in the coming years. Recordhigh approval ratings have plummeted. Though he's only at the beginning of his second year in office." Winners win New York Daily News 10 (Andrea Tantaros. 1/14/10. Both are big reasons that his agenda is failing. the man who waxed optimistic is gone. March 26 (Reuters) . demure and heavily weathered commander in chief. and that counts when dealing with foreign leaders. a sign of how much attention the fight for his top domestic policy priority received in capitals around the world. he's still making history. http://www. Obama was nowhere to be found. we've heard little from him that could help calm us. If Obama has any chance of reassuming the helm.S. Though he has tried repeatedly. when a self-assured. covering Barack Obama 26 March.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 145 Winners Win Winners Win Mason 10 [Jeff.have given him little to show for it.President Barack Obama's domestic success on healthcare reform may pay dividends abroad as the strengthened U. Bush. unity of purpose over conflict and discord. he must do it quickly. idealistic icon who oozed bravado spoke of choosing "hope over fear. He has been replaced by an unsure. More than a dozen foreign leaders have congratulated Obama on the new healthcare law in letters and phone calls.htm l) Soon. Candidate Obama used to elicit tears and provoke fainting. albeit for the wrong reasons. even with total party control of government. covers the White House for Reuters. it will be the one-year anniversary of Barack Obama's inauguration. Americans are more divided and discontented than ever. we're less hopeful and filled with fear. But the perception of increased clout. nuclear nonproliferation and other foreign policy goals.

and if he had taken a stronger stand on behalf of core priorities even if they were destined for failure. such as the public option. his lefty critics would be more willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. bottom-line stand on core principles. or even forgotten completely. White House advisers also seemed reluctant for Obama to stake real political capital on provisions that were likely to fail.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Winners-Win Winners Win-Democrat Specific SARGENT 8 – 23 – 10 Washington Post Political commentator [Greg Sargent. we are not even one-fourth of the way through his tenure. By the time Obama retires to private life.com/plum-line/2010/08/politico_channels_professional. But my bet is that if the White House hadn't fetishized bipartisanship early on.html] The fetishizing of bipartisanship. this whole debate underway about Obama's early failings could ultimately be reduced to a mere asterisk.washingtonpost. 146 http://voices. is also what led Obama to avoid taking a strong. I tend to think this critique is overstated: Obama has passed the most ambitious domestic agenda since FDR. which also contributed to his mixed messages on core liberal priorities. and there are some grounds for believing that the White House got as much as it possibly could have. To be clear. and the hope that a few Republicans could be induced to back his agenda. if Obama had drawn a sharper contrast with the GOP from the outset. presuming Obama's will be a two-term presidency. . That said.

however. provide for medical privacy. including from liberals pushing him to grab hold of his executive authority and run with it. says presidential historian Stanley Renshon. partly based on their understanding of how the Republicans will respond. . Obama has been caricatured on the cover of a conservative magazine branding himself with a "loser" hand gesture. presidential historian Obama is not without strategic advice on the way forward. a City University of New York political science professor and psychoanalyst. who now heads the liberal Center for American Progress. His icon is Lincoln. In the two-plus weeks since his party's disastrous showing in the midterm elections. strategic political analysis that says you have to find common ground going forward — as limited or as robust as that may be. But Obama is a complicated man. "It looks an awful lot like the latter to me. some strategists say. It's a complicated new world for the still-ambitious midterm president. In that there is peril. Renshon says. Clinton. who faces a decision on how to reset his agenda in the face of an economy that continues to struggle and an incoming Congress that is not only newly divided.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Winners Win Winners-win HALLORAN 11 – 18 – 10 147 joined NPR in December 2008 as Washington correspondent for Digital News (Liz Halloran. "How Obama Can Still Push His Agenda". and perhaps on energy policy. and partly based on what the public expects. co-author of The Politics of the Presidency and a historian at the University of Delaware. where he has the potential to find common ground with Republicans." Cooperation could be possible. And Republican leaders this week were seen as snubbing a White House invitation to a bipartisan chat and said they'll try to block a lame-duck Senate vote on an arms treaty with Russia — the president's top foreign policy goal. Transformation Or Triangulation? . http://www." says Renshon. 2 that it wants an agenda that focuses on jobs and the economy. and others urging him to steer a moderate. One of the best ways for the president to achieve results. "Obama and his advisers must make a strategic decision. pursued the politics of "triangulation. says he sees real possibilities in the ways of his former boss. he has to make a straightforward. "On one hand. The influence of new Tea Party-fueled GOP members of Congress and their small-government mandate. a recipe for Capitol Hill gridlock. The Clinton Model Former Clinton Chief of Staff John Podesta." Transformational leaders.org/2010/11/18/131414490/how-obama-can-still-push-hisagenda) It's gut-check time for President Obama. 11/18/10. don't-rock-the-boat course. much as Clinton post-midterms forged agreement with Republicans on overhauling welfare policy. I would say. where Obama has found GOP support before. is though robust exercise of executive authority. and the president has recently been interpreting the public's preference as for more of the former — more efforts at cooperation. And the public made clear on Nov." says Joseph Pika. Pika. may complicate compromise for both Obama and Republicans." That reference harks back to an element of President Clinton's agenda after the Democrats' 1994 midterm drubbing. and promise. "Will the public view this as being cooperative or confrontational?" Pika asks. and wage a national campaign against teen pregnancy — "all.npr. on issues such as Afghanistan. the author and historian. Democratic strategists like Podesta are urging the president to create a narrative of reining in spending by working with agency chiefs to identify savings. "But on the other side of the ledger is the psychology of a man who subscribes to the 'great man' theory of leadership. "don't do school uniforms. He has been urged by two old-time Democratic pollsters — frequent antagonists — to "unite" the country by declaring himself a one-termer. and he also aspires to be the moral center of American policy. at the time. a politician who has to accommodate his self-view as a transformational leader with the new rules of the political road ahead. The White House should understand both: Republican leaders have vowed publicly to deny the president any wins going into the 2012 presidential campaign. without the help of Congress. connect schools to the Internet. Podesta says. In the current economic crisis." picking issues on which he could draw some support from his political opponents for initiatives that may have angered his party base but helped him win re-election. but decidedly more hostile to the big ideas the commander in chief prefers. however. warns that there is a downside to pursuing what he characterizes as an "administrative" strategy to achieve the president's goals. His trip to Asia ended in a failed attempt to seal a trade deal with South Korea. And to take an active role in writing regulations that would implement the health care overhaul legislation. Clinton used his to protect wide swaths of federal land.Stanley Renshon." Podesta said.

He is the author of High Performance with High Integrity (Harvard Business Press. both could have run for a second elected term. http://www. and win a major legislative victory (with uncertain short-term political consequences) echoes decisions of his great Democratic predecessors. knew that his initiatives. welfare reform and numerous other initiatives--with limited or no success. to public policy) but whose major accomplishments were so slender. in no small part. To be sure. Truman's unpopularity was also due to scandals. of being part of the winning team. By the end of 1977.com/articles/The-Do-Nothing-44thPresid-by-David-Michael-Gree-100611-648. weaken the Democratic Party and put his own reelection in jeopardy. it is far. Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson. and Dick Morris's "triangulation" meant that Clinton took few significant political risks. It is too soon to tell whether health care reform will be a policy success in implementation and a long-term political success (like Medicare) as it changes a health care system bristling with problems. To be sure. would split the Roosevelt coalition.Great Presidents in the past are empirical proof Heineman Jr. are unlikely (even in light of more even-handed views of historians a generation from now) to enter the pantheon of greatness. the civil service and government contracting. has an astounding list of major decisions by his name: the dropping of the atomic bomb. Medicare. had dramatically diminished his reputation in Washington and seriously eroded his popularity in the nation. LBJ was one of our greatest domestic presidents. And.. Under his leadership from 1964-66. of all people. Johnson had the courage to spend political capital on great tasks even though he. the other two Democratic presidents prior to President Obama. the formation of the UN and NATO. the minimum wage and federal housing support). Both came to office through the death of a president. now considered by historians as one of our most momentous presidents.theatlantic. a willingness to oppose Communist aggression in North Korea (and to fire General Douglas MacArthur). . the issuance of executive orders desegregating the Armed Forces. they could be given the illusion of being next to power. the formulation of the Truman Doctrine and the strategy of "containing" the Soviet Union. with virtually the sole exception of Spending Political capital gives more Political Capital. Medicaid. oddly enough. Heineman JR. the Voting Rights Act of 1965. the War on Poverty and a path-breaking elementary and secondary education act. And he could never recover from his naive policy profligacy as the nation's economy began to suffer from the lethal combination of high inflation and high interest rates. but. only in small part. the adoption of the Marshall Plan. was either on the defensive or advanced a minimalist. "The Do-Nothing 44th President ". Clinton had to fight a rear guard action until the 1996 election. law and business. By contrast. But his historical standing today is owed. David Michael Green.html] Moreover. energy reform. drive away Southern whites. By contrast. was that he recklessly spent presidential capital in his first year in office--on reforming water projects. his apolitical approach.. since the Massachusetts senatorial election to push his chips take a huge political gamble. part of their unpopularity was due to courageous decisions which required large expenditure of personal capital and which Truman. both declined to do so because they were extremely unpopular. “No Presidential Greatness without spending Political Capital. Johnson's unpopularity also stemmed. After Lincoln. nothing sets the president up for achieving his or her next goal better than succeeding dramatically on the last go around. especially on race. his place in history is secure because of courageous domestic decisions which weakened him politically. There have been two great Democrat presidents since FDR--Harry Truman and LBJ. on the table. Similarly. This is absolutely a matter of perception. a war weary nation and vicious debates about who lost China. domineering personality that his oleaginous rhetoric could not conceal. The political teams surrounding these presidents understood the psychology of power all too well. Presidential greatness is combining policy and politics to win significant victories that have a major impact on the trajectory of national life. and you can see it best in the way that Congress and especially the Washington press corps fawn over bold and intimidating presidents like Reagan and George W. and his serial failures.” http://www. changed the course of history. recognition of the state of Israel. 6/11/10. after being defeated on that. Mar 23 2010 Ben W. and promotion of the Fair Deal (which was only a mixed success but which expanded social security.opednews. But. I always felt that it was a badge of dishonor for Clinton to leave office with a high approval rating for the reasons I have tried to develop here: no great deeds are possible for a president without a willingness to risk political standing. 2008). And so.com/politics/archive/2010/03/no-presidential-greatness-without-spendingpolitical-capital/37865/ Only in recent months. In the same way that nothing breeds success like success. to his political courage and willingness to use up the political capital of the presidency on issues of major import. By jumping on board the freight train. Never has there been a president with as much political and policy talent. of course. was President Obama able to achieve victory in the bitter congressional battle over health care reform. in important part. The saga of President Obama is but 14 months old. after a first year of aloofness from the political fray of health care. there is a continuously evolving and reciprocal relationship between presidential boldness and achievement. President Clinton tried one major domestic initiative early in his administration--health care--and. has held top positions in government.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 148 Winners Win Winners Win Green 10 [professor of political science at Hofstra University. Then the Lewinski scandal and impeachment consumed much of the administration's energy. Such victories--which upset the status quo--only occur when a president takes political risks and is willing to incur short-term unpopularity with significant segments of the electorate. President Carter's fundamental problem. Bush. from his prosecution of an increasingly divisive war in South Vietnam and from a complex. who presided over a booming economy (due. when he was willing to make it his personal issue and to spend significantly from his store of political capital. Yet. Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. they could leave such hapless hangers-on with only one remaining way to pretend to preserve their dignities. With the Republican take-over of Congress in 1994. They knew that by simultaneously creating a steamroller effect and feigning a clubby atmosphere for Congress and the press. Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Johnson is considered the president who did the most to overcome the nation's shameful history of slavery and racial discrimination and to advance the ideal of racial justice. Obama's willingness. far too soon to make any meaningful judgments about his tenure. safe agenda.

Wallis said. particularly if his poll numbers go up in the coming days. 2010. urging them to take advantage of the momentum from health care passage. So instead of depleting political capital. it can replenish it. Yesterday. an evangelical Christian who supports the reform effort.boston. “The country needs to know we are together. In the meantime. success breeds success. Jim Wallis.’’ Wallis said. March 23.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2010/03/23/health_care_win_gives_obama_advantage_but_gop_vows_to_resist/? page=2) “It 149 should make it easier because health care sucked up a lot of the oxygen in the political room as well as consumed a lot of time. he wants to help Obama by forming prayer groups for immigration reform in the same way that tea party activists have led protests against various Democratic policies. “In politics. an expert on climate change at the liberal Center for American Progress Action Fund. Weiss believes that health care passage will strengthen the president’s hand on climate change. met with officials at the White House. “Bolder Obama may press other big parts of agenda” http://www.’’ said Daniel Weiss.’’ That is what advocates of immigration reform are hoping. . Weiss cited the example of a Democrat who was unable to attend a key meeting on global warming with Obama two weeks ago because he was meeting elsewhere about health care. Staff writers.Healthcare proves Kranish and Milligan 2010 (Michael and Susan. the Rev.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Winners-Win Winners Win.

And as you use your political capital. by the way. THIRD ED. That if you use it and you succeed. that it evaporates if it isn't used. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. http://www. George W. you have to recognize that for presidents. . 1999 [PAUL C. then you have a steeply higher hill to climb with what follows. time can give him additional opportunities. 2001 [NORMAN. and that issues come up and they’re tough but somehow you're going to prevail.” No matter what their performance. Winners win.asp] 150 What flows from that as well is.. it will fall in value. they will act in anticipation of that. he clearly wasted substantial amounts of already scarce capital by delaying his domestic agenda. If you're a winner and people think you're a winner. the congressional calendars will fill with competing business. Information and expertise may help the President stretch his capital through wise “investment”. Unless the President presents his agenda to Congress early. use every bit of political capital you have to achieve early victories that will both establish you as a winner. political capital is a perishable quality. the more he can tolerate waste in the commitment of his internal resources. PRESS. With increased competition for congressional agenda space. Not all Presidents have done this. Bush learned firsthand from his father. That's a lesson. to be sure. Presidents don't have a lot of that formal power.281/transcript. Presidents can expect a midterm loss in the party ranks in Congress – it is a pattern across four decades.org/events/eventID. capital can also affect the recruitment of more expertise and energy. the best way to cash in on presidential capital is to present a program as quickly as possible.aei. AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE. The greater the President’s capital. Nixon spent his first months immersed in foreign affairs. capital is closely related to internal resources. Your ability to coerce people to do what they otherwise would not do. PG 33 ] Much like time. Congress is willing to wait for the President’s agenda. capital can lead to more time and greater access to information. because the key to political power is not the formal power that you have. it's a gamble.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Winners-Win AND POLITICAL CAPITAL IS PERISHABLE – SPENDING IT CREATES THE PERCEPTION OF STRONG LEADERSHIP ORNSTEIN. 5-15. Presidents must be concerned about moving the domestic agenda immediately following inauguration. CAPITAL IS PERISHABLE – YOU’VE GOT TO SPEND IT LIGHT. “THE PRESIDENT’S AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON”. Conversely. you'll get it back with a very healthy premium. the President is well advised to move quickly. A Ford assistant compared it to the dollar: “Unless you spend it fast. Thus. If it looks like you can't get things done. Thus. presidential capital does not keep. energy can sustain the effort. but only so long. It's as much psychological as it is real.

and a wild and reckless gamble. President Reagan went through this. he'd probably have been a one-term president. his tax bill passed. falling interest rates. Washington recoils. and plummeting joblessness. . and proved that tenacity pays off. Had Reagan blinked and settled for less. Much of Washington was rattled. and by 1984 the economy was booming with lower inflation. and doom is predicted. In 1981.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 A2: Winners Lose 1. even White House aides and GOP leaders in Congress. but a steadfast president prevails and the weeks of anxiety and trembling are forgotten. his tax cut (three time bigger than Bush's in 2001) was called a budget-buster. EMPIRICALLY DENIED – PRESIDENTIAL WINS OVERCOME ANY CONGRESSIONAL BACKLASH THE WEEKLY STANDARD 1-27-03 151 The cycle is not a new one: The president announces a daring initiative. an inflation-spiker. But Reagan didn't flinch.

It's precisely what happened to Bill Clinton. After passing all his most important first-term domestic priorities (a tax cut.slate. Bush faces a second term that is beginning with a gigantic rebuke: A Congress solidly controlled by his own party is repudiating his top goal. How will he handle it?” Slate.can still get big agenda items after a loss Weisberg 5. (Jacob Weisberg. when Congress rejected his health-care reform proposal in 1993. http://www. an education-reform bill. March 31. “Bush's First Defeat: The president has lost on Social Security. such a setback doesn't doom an administration.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 AT: LOSERS LOSE 152 Losers don’t necessarily lose. 2005. domestic security legislation. .com/id/2115141/) This means that Bush is about to suffer—and is actually in the midst of suffering—his first major political defeat. Editor. But how Bush handles the defeat is likely to be a decisive factor in determining whether he accomplishes any of the other big-ticket items on his agenda. As the Clinton example shows. another tax cut).

if they survive what will no doubt be stiff challenges in both Congress and the states. and was expected to unite Democrats from all regions. White House officials and Congressional leaders reassured environmentalists with their theory that success breeds success.aspx) Rather than doing this. it became harder to persuade Democrats from swing districts and states to cast the next one. but it is hard to avoid the conclusion that it was—and remains—a political liability. “President Barack Obama’s First Two Years: Policy Accomplishments. only one—financial regulatory reform—enjoyed majority support. and created the Tea Party movement. The reverse was closer to the truth: with each difficult vote. It lasted much too long and featured side-deals with interest groups and individual senators. I'm sure this seemed like a good idea at the time. House members who feared that they would pay a heavy price if they supported cap-and-trade legislation turned out to have a better grasp of political fundamentals than did administration strategists. made in full public view. In a September 2010 Gallup survey. some of which had to be spent early on to push the economic stimulus bill through Congress with no Republican help. not easier. In the event.” In fact. to pass comprehensive health reform. 11-4. 52 percent of the people disapproved of the economic stimulus. http://www. “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste. it may turn out to be a policy success. Senior Fellow for Governance Studies – Brookings Institution. Worse. (It remains to be seen whether sentiment will change in coming years as provisions of the bill are phased in—that is. The first was that the economic collapse had opened the door to the comprehensive change Obama had promised. The financial bailout and the stimulus package made it harder. Of five major policy initiatives undertaken during the first two years. the entire effort came to be seen as diversionary. He paid a steep political price for his failure. The legislative process that produced the health care bill was especially damaging. A quick victory on healthcare reform would renew Obama's political capital. the seemingly endless health care debate strengthened the view that the president’s agenda was poorly aligned with the economic concerns of the American people. even as the country remained mired in a kind of economic slump that most Americans had never experienced and could not understand. President Obama allowed himself to get trapped in legislative minutia. Political Difficulties”. Ironically. and an even larger majority—61 percent—rejected the bailout of financial institutions.org/article/2010-07-28-lessons-from-senate-climate-fail/ Lesson 2: Political capital is not necessarily a renewable resource Perhaps the most fateful decision the Obama administration made early on was to move healthcare reform before energy and climate legislation.) Winners Win Answers Political capital is drained long before it is renewed Grist.edu/papers/2010/110 4_obama_galston. most of the Obama agenda turned out to be very unpopular.[v] Democrats’ hopes that the people would change their minds about the party’s signature issue—universal health insurance—after the bill passed were not fulfilled.brookings. drained political capital. The health reform bill was surely a moral success. Healthcare reform was popular. but only after an exhausting battle that eroded public support. the administration operated on two fundamental political premises that turned out to be mistaken. http://www. a man who attained the presidency largely on the strength of his skills as a communicator did not communicate effectively during his first two years. 7-28. Their reaction combined confusion and fear.grist. As incoming Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel famously put it. the administration believed that success would breed success—that the momentum from one legislative victory would spill over into the next. was seen as an issue that the public cared about on a personal level. even anti-democratic. Second. 56 percent disapproved of both the auto rescue and the health care bill. 10. there was a tension between the steps needed to arrest the economic decline and the measures needed to actualize the president’s vision of fundamental change. Public support for . as Emanuel himself came to realize. Because the administration never persuaded the public that health reform was vital to our economic future. From the beginning. Healthcare reform was eventually enacted.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Winners-Win Answers 153 Not true for Obama Galston 10 (William. which the president did little to allay. Indeed. Much of the public was dismayed by what it saw.

. But this is occurring too slowly to rebuild Obama's political capital in time to help push climate legislation across the finish line.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 154 healthcare reform is slowly rebounding as some of the early benefits kick in and people realize that the forecasted Armageddon is not happening.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Winners-Win Answers 155 OBAMA DISPROVES THE “WINNER’S WIN” THEORY – HE HAS ACHIEVED SOME LEGISLATIVE SUCCESS BUT THIS HAS NOT SPILLED OVER TO MORE POLITICAL CAPITAL OR POPULARITY Harris & Vandehei." 7/15/10. “I tell you. And the promises he made in two years of campaigning turn out to be much less appealing as actual policies. tightened regulations. You can argue over whether Obama’s achievements are good or bad on the merits. And independent voters have turned decisively against the man they helped elect 21 months ago — a trend unlikely to be reversed before November. injected more competition into the education system and edged closer to a big energy bill. The reality is the opposite. just a couple months after the passage of a comprehensive health care overhaul. . wrote in The Nation that most liberals think the president is a “big disappointment. he has. Eric Alterman. HARRIS & JIM VANDEHEI. it’s very frustrating that it’s not breaking through. in a column that drew wide notice. the assumption even among some Democrats was that he was a dazzling politician and communicator who might prove too unseasoned at governance to win substantive achievements.” House Democrats are in near-insurrection after White House press secretary Robert Gibbs stated the obvious — that the party has a chance of losing the House under Obama’s watch.. and with Democratic operatives around town. covered the uninsured. who spoke on background to offer a candid take on the state of play. should decisively end the narrative that President Barack Obama represents a Jimmy Carter-style case of naive hope crushed by the inability to master Washington. even on the left. you can’t argue that Obama is not getting things done. especially after Thursday’s vote.. This is an odd reversal of expectations. when you look at these things and their scale. 7-15 (JOHN F. half-dozen reasons . as promised. here are a why Obama is perceived as failing to win over the public.com/news/stories/0710/39772. When Obama came into office. And part of it is the culture of immediate gratification. even though by most conventional measures he is clearly succeeding. Obama is still widely perceived as flirting with a failed presidency.html//gh-ag) Thursday’s passage of financial reform. The problem is that he and his West Wing turn out to be not especially good at politics or communications — in other words. But. largely ineffective at the very things on which their campaign reputation was built. To the contrary.” said a top Obama adviser. “Can you imagine if Bill Clinton had achieved even one of these? Part of it is because we are divided. pg online @ http://www. "Why President Obama loses by winning. started to wind down the war in Iraq and shifted focus and resources to Afghanistan.” But there are many other reasons for Obama’s woes.politico. Based on interviews with officials in the administration and on Capitol Hill. Yet the mystery remains: Having moved swiftly toward achieving the very policy objectives he promised voters as a candidate.

it’s very frustrating that it’s not breaking through. and with Democratic operatives around town.” But there are many other reasons for Obama’s woes.html] The passage of financial reform. His war and anti-terrorism policies are remarkably similar to those advocated by the man he blames for most the country’s problems: former President George W.com 07/15/10 [John F. By some measures. you can’t argue that Obama is not getting things done. Why President Obama loses by winning. just a couple months after the passage of comprehensive health care reform. there are a half-dozen reasons why Obama is perceived as failing to win over the public. covered the uninsured. http://www. even though by most conventional measures. “I tell you. Based on interviews with officials in the administration and on Capitol Hill. who spoke on background to offer a candid take on the state of play. wrote that most liberals think the president is a “big disappointment.” House Democrats were at near-insurrection after White House press secretary Robert Gibbs stated the obvious — that the party has a chance of losing the House under Obama’s watch. This is an odd reversal of expectations. or communications — in other words. To the contrary. Obama is still widely perceived as flirting with a failed presidency.” said a top Obama adviser. And independent voters have turned decisively against the man they helped elect 21 months ago — a trend unlikely to be reversed before November. was that he was a dazzling politician and communicator who might prove too unseasoned at governance to win substantive achievements. But especially after Thursday’s vote. Harris and Jim Vandehei. staff writers for Politico. Eric Alterman. the assumption. as promised. The reality is the opposite. You can argue over whether Obama’s achievements are good or bad on the merits. The problem is that he and the West Wing are not especially good at politics.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Winners Win Answers 156 WINNER’S LOSE—OBAMA CAN’T REGAIN POPULARITY EVEN WITH CONVINCING WIN Politico. . And the promises he made during two years of campaigning have turned out to be much less appealing as actual policies. He’s butting heads with teachers unions by enticing states to stop rewarding teachers on tenure rather than on merit. he is clearly succeeding: The flight of independents Obama sees himself as a different kind of Democrat: one who transcends ideology but is basically a centrist. “Can you imagine if Bill Clinton had achieved even one of these? Part of it is because we are divided.politico. started to wind down the war in Iraq and shifted focus and resources to Afghanistan. largely ineffective at the very things on which their campaign reputation was built. in a column in The Nation that drew wide notice. injected more competition into the education system and edged closer to a big energy bill. his self-image fits. Bush. On immigration. even among some Democrats. he stresses border security instead of amnesty for illegal immigrants. should decisively end the narrative that President Barack Obama represents a Jimmy Carter-style case of naive hope crushed by the inability to master Washington. he has. even on the left…And part of it is the culture of immediate gratification. when you look at these things and their scale. tightened regulations. When he came into office. Yet the mystery remains: Having moved swiftly toward achieving the policy objectives he promised voters as a candidate.com/news/stories/0710/39772.

The deal on judges was followed quickly by a vote to shut down a filibuster on Bolton's nomination. largely along the lines of Bush's proposals. and presidents enter into a minefield where they really must shepherd their credibility and political capital." Another senior White House official. Asked at a briefing last week about the possible "onset of lame-duck status around here. a move that backfired. but not all. particularly on an issue that was this difficult. and gave him nearly everything he asked for in an $82 billion supplemental appropriations bill to pay for war costs in Iraq and Afghanistan. and we have made significant progress." White House press secretary Scott McClellan ticked off a list of accomplishments. pushing through measures to make it harder to file class-action lawsuits against big corporations and to wipe out debts by filing for personal bankruptcy. acknowledged the perception problem. who asked to remain anonymous to offer a franker assessment. Addressing the troubled Social Security plan. "The victories have been overshadowed by partisan drama." he said. but there are rumblings. Congress passed its first budget resolution in years. The White House rejects talk of drift by pointing to such victories. "I will admit it's a challenge to shine the light on the progress. "This Congress has been in place for just over four months now. The House also rejected Bush by passing a measure easing his restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. "Second terms are treacherous. while his efforts to win passage for a Central American trade pact and an immigration guest worker program are stalled. . a presidential historian." Nowhere was there more drama than in the Senate last week. a vote that Bush and the GOP lost. who overreached in his second term by trying to pack the Supreme Court. Roosevelt.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Winners Win Answers EMPIRICALLY DENIED – BUSH’S VICTORIES DIDN’T TRANSLATE INTO CAPITAL THE WASHINGTON POST 5-31-05 157 "He's not a lame duck yet. of Bush's stalled judicial nominees to receive floor votes." said Robert Dallek. when 14 senators from both parties forged a deal without White House approval that would allow some. The Senate has also advanced a more expensive highway bill than Bush has deemed acceptable. Bush started off his second term with a string of important victories." the official said. he added: "Sometimes the legislative process isn't going to move as fast as we would all like." he said. with 50 Republicans joining most Democrats despite the threat of a presidential veto. Dallek said Bush's recent travails remind him of Franklin D.

Finally. Kuwait and Bosnia. thereby undermine confidence in and the power of the holder of the office. 221 . such as the budget deficit.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Winners Win Answers WINNERS LOSE – MULTIPLE REASONS 158 FITTS.especially a strong unitary president . it may be difficult for a president to elicit cooperative behavior from members of Congress. This makes the president even more central to the resolution of symbolic and moral disputes in government. When government actions are attributed to a party or administration. 218 The president thus may gain strength over the short run. the president may have a perverse incentive to exacerbate this process by overstating public problems and the need for action. the perception of power can be an important ingredient of power. CENTRALIZED PRESIDENCY MAY NOT EXHIBIT EFFECTIVE OR LEGITIMATE LEADERSHIP. Third. as [*890] well as in domestic areas.to take advantage of his unitary and visible position as a "focal point. PROF OF LAW @ UPENN. In the case of a president held generally responsible for a broad range of policy outcomes. the perception of presidential influence may simply exacerbate the problems of presidential visibility described above. such as Haiti. free-riding members have a clear incentive to act strategically. that is being evaluated. over time. 144 U." which can also undermine the presidency. can infect all government decisions and perceptions of governmental activity. The president may need to overstate the problem in order to generate an appropriate level of attention and thereby to garner influence. increased visibility can undermine various aspects of the president's power. As Robert Inman and I have argued. To the extent that a system exists that holds one actor responsible for the actions of others. the Mexican bailout. this device has its costs. As a result. focusing on the vacillations of presidential behavior may. especially when threatening to discipline opponents and even supporters. there is reason to believe it can undermine the support for and influence of the president in some contexts. To the extent the public considers predictability and [*891] stability to be positive values in politics and institutions. for which the president may be forced to take responsibility." especially over time. JANUARY] What are the long term effects of this perception on the president's legitimacy and power? While the consequences are obviously quite complex. the asymmetry in visibility creates an environment that is conducive to strategic behavior by other actors in government. positive and negative information about particular party members are more likely to be evened out over a series of policies. The perception of presidential power increases public scrutiny. 216 This may explain why individual members of Congress are often accused of being less concerned with collective results. he can pay a price in unrealized goals. One scandal or mistake." 217 Unfortunately. Second. Opportunities for strategic behavior can arise in a variety of situations. ranging from the placement of his children in private schools to affirmative action. one of the most important devices of a modern president is his ability to mobilize support through the bully pulpit . One negative event or action taken by an individual member does not undermine the party's "brand name. in all its complexity. 827.as the responsible actor can add a great deal of uncertainty and variation to assessments of "the government. First. 1996 [MICHAEL. REV. THE PARADOX OF POWER IN THE MODERN STATE: WHY A UNITARY. not the individual member. Over time. the ups and downs can be less equalized. but when he subsequently fails to meet heightened expectations. such as a Whitewater or Iran-Contra misstep. at the same time. including international affairs. PA. It is the party or government. viewing the president . L. 220 Yet any assumption that visibility will necessarily increase the president's influence and legitimacy is unwarranted. 219 This is not to suggest that the public perception of presidential influence necessarily undermines the president's exercise of power. As noted above.

personality being the dominant factor. PRESIDENTIAL DOMINATION FAILS – ONLY RISKS BACKLASH KERBEL. I will consider just how capital affects the basic parameters of the domestic agenda. or accept it as real but not respond as the president would wish. Regardless of the President’s personality. presidential scholars have focused on individual factors in discussing White House decisions. contributors to timing and size. whether he will be restricted to a series of limited initiatives and vetoes. capital is the central force behind the domestic agenda. not domination. as we will see in the next chapter. 103-104) . Though the internal resources are important. ASSIS PROF OF POLI SCI @ VILLANOVA. 93 (ROBERT. be it the political or personal fulfillment of a favor. STUDIES PROVE THAT PERCEIVED LEADERSHIP SKILLS DO NOT INCREASE SUCCESS IN CONGRESS SPITZER. In the past. the psychological pull of rapport with the president. P 74] But the same vantage point that gives the president numerous bargaining possibilities makes it difficult for him to dominate. Within a distinct base of support and its own agenda. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. a veritable legislative wizard. BEYOND PERSUASION. and possibly even counterproductive. not organized with the president’s wishes in mind. charismatic. Yet given low levels in presidential capital. even the most positive and most active executive could make little impact. PRESIDENT AND CONGRESS: EXECUTIVE HEGEMONY AT THE CROSS ROADS OF THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT PG. or skills. That conclusion will become essential in understanding the domestic agenda. persuasion through the pain of sanction is rare. but the reality of presidential effectiveness rests with motivation. capital remains the critical factor. or the satisfying sense that the president is willing to met one party-way. Thus it is capital that determines whether the President will have the opportunity to offer a detailed domestic program. This will not stop presidents from making threats. PG 34 ] In chapter 2. Within the white house it is the same story. A President can be skilled. Bargaining generally succeeds where domination fails. 1999 [PAUL C.. his domestic agenda will be severely restricted – capital affects both the number and the content of the President’s priorities. Others in the policy system need to be given reason to accept a presidential perspective. THIRD ED. Whatever the President’s personal expertise. but if he does not have the basic congressional strength. “THE PRESIDENT’S AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON”. charming. character. Vast and complex. Persuasion through the force of threat is not effective. PRESS. But. capital is the most important resource. determining the size of the agenda and guiding the criteria for choice.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Winners Win Answers AND LEADERSHIP SKILLS ARE IRRELEVANT – POLITICAL CAPITAL IS THE DETERMINING FACTOR FOR AGENDA SUCCESS 159 LIGHT. Capital sets the basic parameters of the agenda. PROF OF POLISCI @ STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK. the White House staff is far from an organ o f the president and. as we will short see. neither is it the whole story of presidential power. 1991 [MATTHEW. Congress may easily overlook the threat. Congress is not in a position to succumb to presidential domination.

washingtonpost.bbc. Pulitzer Prize Winner– 1/17/2010 (Washington Post Online. the White House said "this will be a vote that Democrats will talk about through November". Md. Obama comes across as a push over (I am starting to think he just is) and that's something most people don't want to see in a president. http://www. That's the president's role -. . the US Congress has finally given President Obama what he wants . but more of a radical centrist ground.html) Annapolis. After healthcare reform. Winners win only on non-partisan issues Steven Pearlstein. plus ideology. “Sweeping US financial reform passed by Senate: Analysis”.300 page bill. They concluded that none of these factors was especially powerful in explaining roll call votes but that leadership was the least important. In short.to speak for the whole country.: The funny thing is that if Obama started to show strong leadership instead of compromising. Steven Pearlstein: I agree with that. stuffed with 533 new regulations.co. and presidential leadership. The one thing my conservative friends respond the best to is someone who has strong principles and sticks to them. But the party in power may struggle to make political capital out of a 2. An Ipsos Public Affairs poll found that 38% of Americans had never heard of the bill. Not one region. Bond and Richard Fleisher also examined the explanatory power of public approval. the polling suggests the connection between arcane Washington politicking and Main St reality is simply too wide. said would ensure that Americans "never. Pearlstein: The current political disarray is a golden opportunity for Obama http://www. ever again go through what the nation has been through".the most sweeping financial reforms since the Great Depression. with one caveat: The firm ground that he needs to stake out and hold is not the left-liberal ground. while another 33% knew almost nothing about it. And he can do so with some legitimacy. he would also get more respect from the Republicans. party.Washington Post Columnist. Senator Chris Dodd. 7-15-10 (BBC News.” Winners don’t win if public doesn’t understand the win – financial reform proves Adams. Not one ideology. Bond and Fleisher found “little support for the theory that the president’s perceived leadership skills are associated with success on roll call votes in Congress. Not one party. accessed 7-15-10) After long months of debate.uk/news/business-10654128. And the reason for that is political: it is what the American public at this moment in time can accept. Eyeing the US mid-term elections. Given this apparent lack of understanding about a bill which one of its authors.com/wpdyn/content/discussion/2010/02/16/DI2010021602915. it represents another significant legislative victory for Mr Obama.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 160 A parallel quantitative study by political scientists Jon R. BBC Diplomatic Correspondent for BBC.

“Each decision is bound to hurt somebody. Nizon lost twelve Republicans in 1970. and energy. If he does. 3rd Edition p. And at least since George Gallup first began measuring public approval. “The more we seemed to learn about the domestic system. however the declines have been more severe. The other four President were force to begin repeating their domestic requests by the end of the first year in office. The first pattern might be called the cycle of decreasing influence. Light 99 Senior Fellow at the Center for Public Service [Paul C. only Lyndon Johnson was able to sustain a consistently high level of agenda activity into the second an third year’s. Declines in capital eventually bring the domestic process to a halt. the President’s Agenda: Domestic Policy Choice from Kennedy to Clinton. Unless the President is highly successful with early requests. the opportunity was closed. “the less we could do. each appointment is going to cut into support. “You have to start backtracking almost from the first day. excluding Reagan. Of the five most recent Presidents. You have to devote your energies to the old items before replacing them with your new ideas. If he doesn’t make choices. with a slight rebound at the end of the term As one Ford aide remarked. have faced a drop in House party seats at the midterm election. whether Democratic or Republican. Even Johnson recognized the problem. It is based on declines in presidential capital time. he will satisfy one group but anger three others. you have to start investing your time trying to bump them off. all President have experienced some decline in their public support over the term.. By the time we had the organization.” one Nixon aide complained. the agenda becomes dominated by the “old” business. Toward the end of each term. In the last twenty years. Johnson lost forty-seven Democrats in the House in 1966. Presidents can usually anticipate a midterm loss of party seats in Congress and a streaky erosion of public approval. while others grow. We had out best shot at the start oaf the term but didn’t have the organization to cash in. Unless the programs move off the agenda. all Presidents. .Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Winners-Win Answers Political capital will drop . 36-37] 161 The impact of resources on opportunities can be best described as a problem of policy cycles. the President must spend increasing capital just trying to unclog the legislative calendar.every legislation decreases influence. At least for the past fifty years. There’s really now way that the President can win. As one aide remarked. he will be attacked for being indecisive.” This ebb and flow of presidential resources creates two basic cycles within the domestic policy process. Certain resources decline over the term. Today the President can expect a near-linear drop in his approval rating in the first three years of office.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 162 .

cnn. the presidency is a limited office with limited resources. his political capital reserve is declining. George Bush passed his tax proposals and the No Child Left Behind law very early in his White Bush famously misunderstood this principle when he said that he was going to use the "political capital" gained in his re-election to pass Social Security reform.org/csnc/blogs/tapped_archive? month=05&year=2011&base_name=political_capital . but it’s far from sufficient. Bush was able to secure No Child Left Behind. The most famous example of that was Franklin Roosevelt's Hundred Days. it’s worth noting that approval-spikes aren’t necessarily related to policy success. President Obama believes he has a lot of political capital.com/2009/POLITICS/07/21/feehery..W. and his final year in office saw little policy success. 5/5 “Political Capital”. http://www. he was a lame duck in the eyes of the Congress.obama. http://prospect. Bush’s major domestic initiatives came before his massive post-Gulf War approval bump. To repeat an oft-made point. for liberals who want to see Obama use his political capital. [Stolarski] Indeed. President of Feehery Group. . What he failed to understand was that as soon as he won re-election. Chamber of Commerce.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Winners Lose 163 Political capital is finite Feehery.S. George W.matrix/. and perhaps he does. but the former two either came with pre-9/11 Democratic support or were Democratic initiatives to begin with. Ronald Reagan moved his agenda very early in his administration. and the Authorization to Use Military Force in the year following 9/11. [Stolarski] A president enters office with the highest popularity ratings he will ever get (barring a war or some other calamity that brings the country together). which is why most presidents try to pass as much as possible as early as possible in their administrations. BA. Writing Fellow of The American Prospect. But each day he is in office. George H. House. 5/5/11. And each time he goes to the well to pass things like "cap and trade" makes it more difficult for him to pass his more important priorities like health care. and he had no political capital. the Homeland Security Act. when it comes to domestic policy. Ford Motor Co. Political & Social Thought. a Washington-based advocacy firm for News Corp. Popularity with the public is a necessary part of presidential success in Congress. 2009 July 21. But there are other examples. They understood the principle that it is important to strike while the iron is hot. President Can’t get a win – resources are more important than popularity Boulie. and the U.

legislation such as the Clean Air Act Amendments. throughout—their administrations. Griffin -. but you need to talk to (an administration political representative) and tell him that he can’t come down to my district and campaign against me this weekend. most presidential actions cause reactions in peculiar places. confronting a Republican majority in Congress. for example. and Thurber. The trade-off issue faced the Bush administration when he advocated legislation that was more ideologically conservative and attempted to build coalitions with the more moderate Republicans and conservative Southern Democrats. faced divided party government conditions during most—or in the case of Bush. Yet. the Savings and Loan Recapitalization Act. Dover and Stewart. Presidential Studies Quarterly. The White House targeted many U. Throughout his administration. the need to build and promote his own party’s particular policies and preferences were limiting factors. in the world of trade-offs. Johnson. '2k American University. conservative Democrats routinely noted to presidential aides as represented in the following quote from one House member: I’ll consider voting with you on this bill. 30:3) [Stolarski] 164 Designing a legislative road map to success would be much less daunting if powerful presidents only had to build winning coalitions.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Winners Lose Winners lose Andres et al. Unfortunately. Bush’s own party members often met discussions with the Democratic Party leadership with apprehension and suspicion. You guys have got to understand that you can’t ask me for my vote today and then try to beat my brains in politically tomorrow. Winning in one arena may cause a major loss in another. however. that model was unrealistic because of the trade-offs facing both presidents. House districts represented by conservative Democrats as the best places to pick up additional seats. Although President Bush could have negotiated with Democratic Party members in furthering his legislative agenda. Trade-off problems for a president are not isolated to his own party.S. This was a constant struggle for President Bush and his team. Dutko Group. The most obvious example of this is the trade-off between forging majority coalitions and party building and winning elections. Presidents Bush and Clinton. President Clinton faced similar trade-offs during the last six years of his administration. and “fast-track” trade legislation required bipartisan support from Democratic Party committee chairs and rank-and-file members to generate majority support for his policies. .Griffin. On several occasions during the height of a White House lobbying push on legislation. The White House’s task during these exercises was to balance the needs of the president’s party members for consultation and attention with the demands of the majority to compromise and move legislation forward. Each could have offered legislation aimed at the median legislators’ policy position and bargained or offered other inducements to win a simple majority.

some promises have to be deferred beyond the first term. one of the foundation documents of republicanism in America. union leaders. which of course he cannot do. Obama also has a vast constituency in almost every country in the world. Obama seems to believe that by playing the all-inclusive. gays. basic institutions check other basic institutions. I however know that given the structure of American and world politics." Despite the general optimism about Obama's ability to deliver. they ask? When is he going to pull the troops out of Iraq? Civil rights groups also expect Obama to dis-establish Guantanamo as soon as he takes office to signal the formal break with Dick Cheney and Bush. or appeals to his 15 million strong constituency in cyberspace (the latent "Obama Party"). is my political beast of burden with whom every other politician in the world is unfavourably compared." No 10. and women have been loud in their complaints about being by-passed or overlooked. I expect much from Obama. many groups have already begun to complain about being betrayed. The system was in fact deliberately engineered to prevent overbearing majorities from conspiring to tyrannise minorities.D. he is fully aware of the vast stock of political capital which he currently has in the bank and he evidently plans to enlarge it by drawing from the stock held by other groups. and young college kids. The coalitions change from issue to issue. he can get most of his programmes through the Congress without having to spend capital by using vetoes. begin his stint with a vast accumulation of political capital. let alone all of it. [1-18 -. he is the proverbial "Black Knight on a White Horse. Reality will force him to make many "u" turns and detours which may well land him in quick sand. Political capital is. who for the time being. however. Where and when is Joshua going to lead them to the promised land. As a political scientist. all of whom expect him to save the One of the "realities" that Obama has to face is that American politics is not a winner-take-all system. bargain and engage in serious horse trading. Obama will. perhaps more than that held by any other modern leader. University of West Indies.Selwyn Professor of Social Science at the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies. and there is no such thing as party discipline which translated. dead and alive. but socially and geographically so. means you do what I the leader say you do. Given the problems of the economy which has not yet bottomed out. had no regrets about violating the constitutional rights of Americans if he had to do so to keep them safe. however. As James Madison put it in Federalist globe and the planet. however. Cheney has also said that he would do it again if he had to. requires groups to negotiate. a lumpy and fast diminishing asset in today's world of instant communication. Asians. They squandered it as quickly as they emptied the contents of the public vaults. in Political Science from Cornell. The safety of the republic is after all the highest law. and regions do the same. The world is full of political leaders like George Bush and Tony Blair who had visions. Other groups-sub-prime home owners. even when the President and the Congress are controlled by the same party. . Clearly. No one takes orders from the President who can only use moral or political suasion and promises of future support for policies or projects. workers in the automobile sector. He is clearly drawing heavily from the caparisoned cloaks of Lincoln and Roosevelt. to mention a few of those whose inputs were readily recognisable. It is pluralistic vertically and horizontally. Seventy-eight per cent of Americans polled believe that his inauguration is one of the most historic the country will witness.pl/article_opinion?id=161426968] Like many.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Winners Lose 165 WINNERS-LOSE FOR OBAMA RYAN 9. Many will be watching to see how Obama manages his assets and liabilities register. Jews. but who did not know how to husband the political capital with which they were provided as they assumed office. "I Trust You. threats of veto. Gays. and getting anything done politically. In fact. promised a lot. Hispanics. White women felt that they took Obama over the line. and probably meant well. Obama startled supporters when he signalled that he might do an about-turn and continue this particular policy. All are grounded in their own power bases which they use to fend off challengers. multipartisan. non-ideological card. The system is not only institutionally diverse and plural. Groups. rich white men. and the poor and unemployed generally all expect Obama to work miracles on their behalf. They also want him to discontinue the policy which allows intelligence analysts to spy on American citizens without official authorisation. Some radical blacks have also complained about being disrespected. Although Obama is fully aware of the political limitations of the office which he holds. Watching with hope would be the white young lady who waved a placard in Obama's face inscribed with the plaintive words. as did blacks generally.trinidadexpress. classes and interests check other classes and interests. is rarely ever renewable. Bush. which once misspent. it would be difficult for him to deliver half of what he has promised.com/index. Ph. expect that the promise made to them during the campaign must be kept. We note that Bush is signalling Obama that keeping America safe from terrorists should be his top priority item and that he. Part of the problem is that almost every significant social or ethnic group believes that it was instrumental in Obama's victory. http://www.

. he essentially says: If this sinks. fears and gripes about the proposed bill." said Jim Kessler. Obama Looks to the Johnson’s Model”. http://www." In sessions with Democrats. they will lose a whole lot of momentum on everything else.). Obama and his advisers remind lawmakers that the defeat of President Bill Clinton's health-care overhaul spelled electoral disaster for the party in 1994.html? hpid=topnews) "Members understand this is really the centerpiece to the president's agenda. "If this goes down. They understand he values their input and their concerns. "Now that health care's front and center in both the House and Senate. "Behind closed doors. Clinton's whole agenda went down" after the reform's defeat. vice president for policy at the moderate Third Way think tank. he should have even more of an impact." said Rep. “On Health-Care Reform. costing Democrats control of both the House and Senate. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/13/AR2009071303342. we will have trouble in 2010.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 166 Losers Lose An Obama loss on health care leads to an agenda crash Washington Post 9 (7/14.washingtonpost. who spent three days last week listening to House colleagues catalog their questions.

" But later. told Bloomberg News.comprehensive health care reform. In fact. a spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner. On Tuesday. while praising the House Democrats' overall plan in a statement.nationaljournal. That is.php) 167 Like a father frustrated with children who stayed up too late and didn't do their homework. And it provides more than enough fodder for Republicans to use over the August recess in TV and radio ads attacking Democrats in competitive districts and states as tax-and-spend liberals who want to create a government-run health care system. “Obama Returns To Find Health Care Mess”. If he does not. Democrats are increasingly worried that the recession. if they remain united in opposing the House plan. I wonder if they trust Lucy every time she offers to hold the football. Tom Harkin. job-killing tax hike (like the 'cap n' trade' national energy tax) only to watch the Senate and White House ignore it. referring to a controversial vote on a 1993 energy bill that cost many conservative Democrats their House seats the following year. the debate will have exposed a series of rifts that could be difficult for Democrats to heal in the 16 months before they again face voters . Politico reported. who on Tuesday unveiled a 1. If he does. GOP aides noted that Obama." said Michael Steel. The new taxes would raise around $540 billion over 10 years while enabling Obama to keep his campaign pledge not to raise taxes on those making $250. announcing that the deficit through the first nine months of this budget year hit a milestone in June. drain his political capital and upend the 2010 midterm landscape. the White House is going to have to weigh in.a call being made with increasing degrees of urgency from his allies in Congress. it will be a crowning achievement for the president and his party." Sen.com/njonline/ps_20090715_6922. Attacks from the newly revitalized GOP already are having an effect on conservative Democrats. Asked in the Rose Garden on Monday whether the White House should take a more prominent role in a debate he considers a defining priority for his first term. "Don't bet against us. Still. "At some point. that's only enough to pay for half of the health care plan. On the same day Obama issued his Rose Garden rallying cry. A new CBS News survey shows Obama's popularity down 11 percentage points since late April. Obama paused and smiled. "They'll vote for a massive." he said before walking back into the Oval Office. topping $1 trillion for the first time ever. Democratic leaders are increasingly on the defensive. That news didn't stop House Democrats." As polls show. Republicans have already started framing the debate. "Seems like a pretty solid indication that House Democrats are going to get BTU-ed by their liberal leadership yet again. Charles Grassley of Iowa. "We are going to make this thing happen. President Obama returned last weekend from a weeklong overseas trip.000-page bill that would create a new surtax on households making at least $350. now could bury their biggest priority -. too. "The heavy lifting will come when we get to the pay portion. which propelled Obama into office and bolstered their congressional majorities." Obama said Monday in the Rose Garden." So far. "We're going to get this done. if he'd endorse a Democratic health care plan.000 a year. the president joked with congressional Democrats in a closed-door meeting that he'd campaign next year for a key Senate Republican. his own administration placed a huge obstacle in his path. could ensure that it goes down in flames. D-Iowa. In the first real sign of struggle for this young administration. threw down his luggage and stormed back into a health care debate that now threatens to derail his top domestic priority. That's when the White House is going to have to spend some political capital. http://www. who. made no mention of tax hikes. the White House apparently prefers to let Congress get its hands dirty. however.000 a year or less.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Losers Lose Obama loss on health care derails his agenda and kills his political capital National Journal 9 (7/15. unless Obama decides to act more aggressively -. and voters' opinion of his economic performance is down 9 points in the last month.

bargaining and compromise. MANN 10. the administration believed that success would breed success—that the momentum from one The reverse was closer to the truth: with each difficult vote. UNDERSTANDING LAME DUCK STATUS THROUGH THE EYES OF THE MEDIA AND POLITICIANS] Important to the discussion of political capital is whether or not it can be replenished over a term. 2007. Governance Studies. House members who feared that they would pay a heavy price if they supported cap-and-trade legislation turned out to have a better grasp of political fundamentals than did administration strategists. But these parliamentary-like parties operate in a governmental system in which majorities are unable readily to put their programmes in place. If a lame duck President can be defined by a loss of political capital. unified. “American Politics on the Eve of the Midterm Elections” Brookings Institute -November] That perception of failure has been magnified by the highly contentious process by which Obama’s initiatives have been adopted in Congress. Republicans adopted a strategy of consistent. this paper helps determine if such capital can be replenished or if a lame duck can accomplish little. [Marissa. eschewing negotiation. can it be replaced? Light suggests that “capital declines over time – public approval consistently falls: midterm losses occur” (31).Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Winners Win Answers 168 Link outweighs the link turn on timeframe Silber 07 [PhD Political Science & Communication – focus on the Rhetoric of Presidential Policy-Making – Prof of Poli Sci – Samford. Political Difficulties” Brookings Institute -. with striking ideological differences between the parties and unusual unity within each. even on matters of great national import. The decline of capital makes it difficult to access information. The Senate filibuster has been the indispensable weapon in killing. legislative victory would spill over into the next. [William. WINNERS DON’T WIN ON CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES – THE HILL IS TOO POLARIZED. In the event. and aggressive opposition to every major component of the President’s agenda. America has in recent years developed a highly polarised party system. or discrediting all major legislation proposed by the Democratic majority. Capital can be rebuilt. [Thomas. recruit more expertise and maintain energy. WHAT MAKES A PRESIDENT QUACK?. a definition of a lame duck President must be developed. Before determining this. . Brookings. but only to a limited extent. GALSTON 10. WINNERS WIN NOT TRUE FOR OBAMA. August 30th-September 2nd. Senior Fellow. weakening.Nov 4] Second. it became harder to persuade Democrats from swing districts and states to cast the next one. Governance Studies. Prepared for delivery at the 2007 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association. If a President expends political capital on his agenda. “President Barack Obama’s First Two Years: Policy Accomplishments. slowing. Senior Fellow.

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WINNERS LOSE FOR OBAMA – LOSES THE SPIN GAME. BAKER 10. [Peter, foreign policy reporter, author of Kremlin Rising: Vladimir Putin and Russian Counter-Revolution, “Education of a
President” New York Times]

But it is possible to win the inside game and lose the outside game. In their darkest moments, White House aides wonder aloud whether it is even possible for a modern president to succeed, no matter how many bills he signs. Everything seems to conspire against the idea: an implacable opposition with little if any real interest in collaboration, a news media saturated with triviality and conflict, a culture that demands solutions yesterday, a societal cynicism that holds leadership in low regard. Some White House
aides who were ready to carve a new spot on Mount Rushmore for their boss two years ago privately concede now that he cannot be another Abraham Lincoln after all. In this environment, they have increasingly concluded, it may be that every modern president is going to be, at best, average. “We’re all a lot more cynical now,” one aide told me. The easy answer is to blame the Republicans, and White House aides do that with exuberance. But they are also looking at their own misjudgments, the hubris that led them to think they really could defy the laws of politics. “It’s not that we believed our own press or press releases, but there was definitely a sense at the beginning that we could really change Washington,” another White House official told me. “ ‘Arrogance’ isn’t the right word, but we were overconfident.” The biggest miscalculation in the minds of most Obama advisers was the assumption that he could bridge a polarized capital and forge genuinely bipartisan coalitions. While Republican leaders resolved to stand against Obama, his early efforts to woo the opposition also struck many as halfhearted. “If anybody thought the Republicans were just going to roll over, we were just terribly mistaken,” former Senator Tom Daschle, a mentor and an outside adviser to Obama, told me. “I’m not sure anybody really thought that, but I think we kind of hoped the Republicans would go away. And obviously they didn’t do that.” Senator Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the upper chamber and Obama’s ally from Illinois, said the Republicans were to blame for the absence of bipartisanship. “I think his fate was sealed,” Durbin said. “Once the Republicans decided they would close ranks to defeat him, that just made it extremely difficult and dragged it out for a longer period of time. The American people have a limited attention span. Once you convince them there’s a problem, they want a solution.” Gov. Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania, though, is among the Democrats who

grade Obama harshly for not being more nimble in the face of opposition. “B-plus, A-minus on substantive accomplishments,” he told me, “and a D-plus or C-minus on communication.” The health care legislation is “an incredible achievement” and the stimulus program was “absolutely, unqualifiedly, enormously successful,” in Rendell’s judgment, yet Obama allowed them to be tarnished by critics. “They lost the communications battle on both major initiatives, and they lost it early,” said Rendell, an ardent Hillary Clinton backer who later became an Obama supporter. “We didn’t use the president in either stimulus or health care until we had lost the spin battle.” STATISTICALLY -- WINS DON’T INFLUENCE FUTURE LEGISLATION. Bond & Fleisher 96 [Jon R. and Richard. professor in Political Science - Texas A&M and Professor in Political Science. Fordham
"The President in Legislation" p.223] Presidency-centered variables, however, provide an even weaker explanation of presidential success. We found little support for the thesis that the weakness of legislative parties increases the importance of presidential skill or popularity for determining presidential success on roll call votes. Our analysis

reveals that presidents reputed to be highly skilled do not win consistently more often than should be expected given the conditions they faced. Similarly, presidents reputed to be unskilled do not win significantly less often than expected. The analysis of presidential popularity reveals that the
president's standing in the polls has only a marginal impact on the probability of success or failure.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 ### Momentum ###

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Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Momentum Key Loss of momentum derails agenda New York Times 2/142009 (John Harwood, “Obama, With a Pile of Chips” http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/15/weekinreview/15harwood.html)

171

Presidential mojo is an elusive and ephemeral force that flows from many sources. It derives largely from numbers: the size of the election victory, the poll ratings, the breadth of partisan support in Congress. By those measures, Mr. Obama’s 53 percent popular vote majority, mid-60 percent job approval ratings, and solid House and Senate majorities compare favorably at this stage with the profile of any new president post-World War II. But the sustainability of those power gauges can be inversely related to the scale of the political challenges a president faces — sometimes exhausting his capital in the first year of a White House term. The recession and two wars facing Mr. Obama easily match the stagflation and cold war challenges that confronted Ronald Reagan in 1981, and may exceed those of any predecessor since F.D.R. Moreover, presidential momentum can drain rapidly — or replenish — depending on unplanned events, often partly or entirely outside the president’s control. The belatedly disclosed tax problems that felled Mr. Daschle, and the about-face by Senator Gregg that ended his nomination for commerce secretary, only hint at the potential for off-script disruptions, which often come in the realm of foreign policy. The alchemy that translates those ingredients into presidential success defies consistent prediction. After John F. Kennedy narrowly defeated Richard Nixon in 1960, Americans rallied behind him; his initial 72 percent job approval rating was the highest Gallup has recorded for a new president, before or since. Mr. Kennedy retained that high standing through his first 100 days, despite the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in April 1961. Yet the victories he achieved from a Democratic Congress remained modest. The rap on Kennedy was “too much profile, not enough courage,” recalled the presidential scholar Fred Greenstein. Only after he was martyred in Dallas two years later did his proposals on civil rights sweep through Congress under his less-charismatic successor, Lyndon B. Johnson.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 ### Olive Branch ###

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Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Olive Branch Answers BARGAINING FAILS – MULTIPLE FACTORS PRECLUDE

173

SPITZER, PROF OF POLI SCI @ SUNY, 1993 [ROBERT, “PRESIDENT AND CONGRESS: EXECUTIVE HEGEMONY AT THE CROSSROADS OF AMERICAN GOVERNMENT”] Although every President engages in some degree of bargaining, the technique has limitations. First, bargaining resources are limited. The president cannot afford to use bargaining or favor trading as a principal means to obtain action. If bargains appear to be frequent and explicit, it is likely that everyone in congress will want to make such deals. Like personal contact, bargains are most effective when used prudently and implicitly. Also, members of Congress may not be swayed by the bargaining option, especially if they are motivated by factors such as constituents, pressure, ideology, and party ties. . RELYING ON THE BASE ISN’T ENOUGH – PARTIES HAVE LOST THEIR POWER IN CONGRESS LIGHT, 1999 [PAUL C., “THE PRESIDENT’S AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON”, THIRD ED, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. PRESS, PG 212213]
The increased number of actors that have influence in the domestic process means that the number of individuals that the President must persuade has increased. No longer can the President turn to the Majority leader to whip congressional support. The opportunities for persuasion have fallen sharply, if only because the President is one actor among many. This problem is compounded by the changing role of the congressional parties. Presidents must be wary of relying on the parties to provide the base of support. Gone are the days of strong party leaders and powerful committee chairmen. The parties are no longer in the business of mustering support for the President’s agenda. The recent electoral problems of House Majority Leader Jim Wright, House Whip John Brademas, and a score of committee chairmen may lead to even less time devoted to party leadership. These declines in party leadership do not spell the end of the congressional parties. The party leadership in both the House and the Senate has been reinforced in the post-reform period. The Speaker of the House has greater influence over committee assignments, legislative referral, and scheduling; we can expect a similar regeneration for the Senate Republicans. Yet, the parties will never return as the once omnipotent managers of the legislative process. Bills now originate from a myriad of sources; decisions proceed on many levels. Today, the most important party function may be to coordinate the legislative process, not to mobilize blocs of votes on key issues. Party is still the basis of presidential capital; it still supplies the foundation of White House influence in Congress. Therein lies an important facet of the no win presidency. Parties now provide only a shallow base of influence in the legislative process. Presidents must still turn to the parties, but parties no longer supply the whip.

If the political damage of maximal Republican opposition is a fixed quantity -. most effective policy possible. no matter what shape a Democratic proposal takes -. Reports that African American members of Congress are increasingly dissatisfied with President Obama suggest that this has already begun to happen. which was an early compromise away from a single payer approach.if policy is orthogonal to politics -. Concessions don’t garner bipartisanship – better to fight for legislation David Roberts . which was itself a compromise from the public option idea. First. the policy will be judged by its effects on voters' lives -. In post-truth politics. They've accurately realized that all they have to do to render Democratic proposals controversial is refuse to support them.grist. http://www. If jobs do not come back and if success in Afghanistan continues to be elusive.huffingtonpost. or procedural maneuvers. but a presidency driven by compromise and pragmatism must be judged by the results it produces. or appeasement. is ephemeral.W. We live in post-truth politics: a political culture in which politics (public opinion and media narratives) have become almost entirely disconnected from policy (the substance of legislation). attempting to change perceptions by weakening policy is a category mistake.Assistant Professor in the Practice of International Politics.whether it solved the problem it was designed to solve.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Olive Branch Answers 174 Concessions result in voters’ unfavorably viewing failed results of compromises – kills agenda Lincoln Mitchell . they will not evaluate him kindly. Bush -. expanding Medicare. For Democrats shaping policy. this suggests a two-fold strategy.org/article/2010-03-30-post-truth-politics/) Republicans have quite cannily figured out how to manipulate voters' heuristics. Remember. criticizing it as socialism. But in another way. Second. So far. but for Obama this base is in danger of eroding. pragmatism without tangible results puts Obama in danger of backing himself into a corner. they'll have to deal with the optics of their proposals appearing partisan. of course. So: fight the opposition on political grounds and concurrently craft the best. This is most clear in the area of health care. judge Obama on outcomes. This obviously dims any hope of reasoned legislative compromise. A president can survive this if he still has a strong political base. in both foreign and domestic policy. it can be seen as liberating. aim for maximally effective policy and deal with the politics separately. from broad stuff like financial reform to narrow bills on jobs and energy. whether it's over partisanship. . They do not appreciably change the politics. In the end. fairly or not.com/lincoln-mitchell/keeping-the-wheels-on-the_b_392416. Obama cannot really point to any concrete and positive results. No matter what Democrats do or propose.then there is little point to policy compromises. The political controversy around a bill. back-room deals. Politically. only trends. Republicans meet it with maximal. nothing axiomatically wrong with compromise and pragmatism. There is. united opposition. The willingness of the White House to swap the expansion of Medicare in exchange for Joe Lieberman's vote on cloture reveals how far the administration has come from what many progressives hoped health care reform would look like.Republican opposition will be maximal. As a consequence. tyranny. It will pass quickly. The Huffington Post.Writer for Grist – 3/31/2010 (“Democrats should stop trying to change politics with policy concessions” http://www. on those issues that are inevitably going to be controversial. they should pull attention to issues and proposals where the political ground is already favorable. no matter what Democrats do or propose. The White House has compromised away a compromise. Swing voters will increasingly. Columbia University – 12/15/ 2009 (“Keeping the Wheels on the Obama Presidency”.html ty) Obama has also failed to pass a single major piece of truly progressive legislation.a centrist health-care bill full of ideas Republicans supported just a year ago or a cap-and-trade system like the one first implemented under George H.

creating a baseline of support for the party. Jones (Jones 1961) and David Truman (Truman 1959). First.” which political scientists may overlook but legislators do not. is the product.. This is reinforced in everyday life with their party collegues on Capitol Hill. Steven S.7. Smith . state legislatures. it pays to note a feature of party life in Congress that scholars have recognized as important: Supporting the party appears to be a default voting strategy for most legislators. Barber Conable (R-NY). Identification with party collegues created the opportunity for “peer pressure. Scholars Charles O. once the senior Republican on the Committee on Ways and Means. Ripley 1967) .2007. observed a widespread proclivity to support the party line when other significant pressures were not present.Director of the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy . Many of them have long experience working for and with their parties in their home states. studying the mid-twentieth century Congress.” Leaders exploit legislators’ predispositions by frequently appealing to party loyalty when soliciting votes (Kingdon 1973. Studies offer at least three distinct stories about the origin of this minimum level of partisanship. in the absence of other influences. Government. observes that “peer group pressure is of considerably greater significance that presidential blandishments. many arrive in Congress with a strong psychological identification with their parties. and elsewhere. “Party Influence in Congress. and Public Policy. (Steven S. A disposition to “go along” with the party position.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Concessions Answers 175 Prior political affiliation is most important: concessions have no effect.” Pg 56) Before turning to tangible incentives that party leaders can offer as incentives for cooperation.

Whipping members from ideologically diverse constituencies is tough enough with a leadership willing to broker deals. Concessions like Obama's offshore oil drilling announcement. Often these include distributive budgetary items. often taking one of two forms. This was the main way that President Clinton overcame Republican filibusters in 1993 on issues like the job stimulus package.washingtonpost. Riders attached to budget bills add these benefits needed to smooth out compromises on earlier bills. First. .assistant professor of political science at the Ohio State University and David W. but they give individual senators and representatives cover. to the extent that budget concessions are needed to build coalitions on all sorts of issues.” Pg 35. research labs. compromises will need to be struck. Brady - 176 professor of political science and business. doesn't make for a bad trade. It's easy to see this as members holding bills hostage to parochial concerns. and only when status quo policies are outside the gridlock region. To build the needed coalition for cloture or a vet override. Brokering deals and concessions makes it easier to deal with ideologically opposed parties Dylan Matthews – student at Harvard and a researcher at the Washington Post – 4/1/2010 (Washington Post “Are policy concessions worth it?” http://voices. When a policy advocate suggests a change so major that supermajorities are difficult to achieve. In these cases. I doubt there would be any more breathless cries of tyranny or socialism had Obama just signed a single-payer bill into law. may not sway voters. however. and family and medical leave. removing that tool would only make the process more difficult. But the problem isn't with voters. and targeted tax cuts. gridlock is more likely when congress is confronting deficits than when it is ignoring them or facing surpluses.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Concessions Key to Agenda Compromises are the only way to overcome filibusters and pass agenda Craig Volden . Westview Press. A smaller change was more acceptable to moderate Senators. the change will be stopped by a filibuster or veto. and Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of the Hoover Institute at Stanford University. but on other issues. 2006 (“Revolving Gridlock : Politics and Policy from Jimmy Carter to George W. A second possible compromise with these pivotal members needed to build a supermajority involves concessions not on the ideological position of the bill at hand. gridlock can be overcome only through legislative compromise. it's with Congress. and to some degree that's true. bridges. Bush. or any number of components of health-care reform. But offering a minor concession to a vulnerable senator. voter registration.com/ezraklein/2010/04/are_policy_concessions_worth_i. Quite clearly. the policy itself could be watered down. like roads.html) This is true so far as it goes. gridlock is maintained through members from divorce districts who are very responsive to the electorate and thus at odds with their fellow legislators. who can then go home and say they only voted for the bill after having fought to make it better. 2006) More often.

much presidential-congressional bargaining is implicit. Bargaining is the pre¬dominant mode. presidents follow certain modes or patterns of behavior: bargaining. Eisenhower was most reluctant to pressure Congress. or when a once-supportive member opposed him on an important issue.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Concessions Key to Agenda 177 Concessions best – arm twisting results in backlash Joseph A. but it entails something more .Prof of Political Science at University of Georgia . Congress is so large and its Power so decentralized that presid¬ents cannot bargain extensively over most bills. Johnson resorted to tactics such as deliberate embarrassment. 78 Presidents usually try to avoid such explicit bargains because they have limited resources for trading. pressure and threats. rather than a quid pro quo exchange of favors for votes. In May 1981. threats. If bargaining does not result in the approval of their proposals. presidents may resort to stronger methods. it is an intensified extension of bargaining. judicious demonstration that sustained opposition or desertion by normal supporters will exact costs strengthens a president's bargaining position . Moreover. In one sense. When gentler effort failed.2004 (The Politics of the Presidency pp199-200) On their relations with Congress. Johnson was perhaps the most frequent practitioner of arm-twisting. which involves intense. and the desire among members for these resources is keen. Pika – Professor of Political Science & International Relations at U of Delaware AND John Anthony Maltese . for example. the Reagan administration agreed to revive a costly program to support the price of sugar in exchange for the votes of four Democratic representatives from Louisiana (where sugar is a key crop) on a comprehensive budget reduction bill. and occasionally the president bargains directly with members whose support is deemed essential to a bill's passage. creates resent¬ment and hostility. In contrast.a direct threat of punishment if the member's opposition continues. and reprisals. if used often. In some instances. generalized trading in which tacit exchanges of support and favors occur. such as arm-twisting. arm-twisting. Fortunately. Still. even extraordinary. the presi¬dent may be unable or unwilling to bargain. Among modern presidents. and confrontation. Arm twisting is understandably an unpopular tactic and.

A second possible compromise with these pivotal members needed to build a supermajority involves concessions not on the ideological position of the bill at hand. research labs. 20. gridlock can be overcome only through legislative compromise. still possess leverage to tailor a package that fits certain specifications. p. and family and medical leave. Bargaining is the predominant mode. compromises will need to be struck. threats. and confrontation. arm-twisting. judicious demonstration that sustained opposition or desertion by normal .a direct threat of punishment if the member's opposition continues. for example. the change will be stopped by a filibuster or veto. To build the needed coalition for cloture or a vet override. BRADY AND VOLDEN 6. and reprisals. the president may be unable or unwilling to bargain. but it entails something more . Prof of Political Science at University of Georgia. 199-200] On their relations with Congress. generalized trading in which tacit exchanges of support and favors occur. They want public hearings on the stimulus. Often these include distributive budgetary items. but on other issues. Quite clearly. A smaller change was more acceptable to moderate Senators.BREAKS GRIDLOCK. December 18. presidents may resort to stronger methods. professor of political science and business. voter registration. if used often. In one sense. PIKA & MALTESE 4. the policy itself could be watered down. like roads. In contrast. When the new Congress convenes on Jan. Senate Democrats will still lack the 60-vote majority needed to stave off Republican delaying tactics . presidents follow certain modes or patterns of behavior: bargaining. [David W. and only when status quo policies are outside the gridlock region. CONCESSIONS ARE KEY TO THE AGENDA -. If bargaining does not result in the approval of their proposals. even extraordinary. 78 Presidents usually try to avoid such explicit bargains because they have limited resources for trading. bridges. Fortunately. Nicholas 8 (Peter. it is an intensified extension of bargaining. which involves intense.a reality that gives Republicans some confidence that they can win concessions. Eisenhower was most reluctant to pressure Congress. Lexis) 178 But Republicans in the Senate. When gentler effort failed. 6. even if it thwarts Democratic ambitions to present the bill to Obama for his signature when he is sworn into office Jan. First. rather than a quid pro quo exchange of favors for votes. Moreover. and targeted tax cuts. pressure and threats.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Concessions Key CONCESSIONS TO REPUBLICANS KEY TO THE AGENDA.. such as arm-twisting. Bush. Tribune Washington Bureau. are aimed more at appeasing interest groups than creating jobs.COMPARATIVELY THE BEST FORM OF POLITICAL WRANGLING. much presidentialcongressional bargaining is implicit. And they insist the bill be scrubbed of projects that. and Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of the Hoover Institute at Stanford University and Craig Volden. assistant professor of political science at the Ohio State University “Revolving Gridlock : Politics and Policy from Jimmy Carter to George W. Still. even with their ranks diminished. published in the Baltimore Sun. often taking one of two forms. CONCESSIONS ARE KEY TO THE AGENDA -. Arm twisting is understandably an unpopular tactic and. and occasionally the president bargains directly with members whose support is deemed essential to a bill's passage. gridlock is maintained through members from divorce districts who are very responsive to the electorate and thus at odds with their fellow legislators. Congress is so large and its Power so decentralized that presidents cannot bargain extensively over most bills. creates resentment and hostility.” Pg 35] More often. Professor of Political Science & International Relations at U of Delaware & John Anthony. in their view. or when a once-supportive member opposed him on an important issue. In some instances. When a policy advocate suggests a change so major that supermajorities are difficult to achieve. The Politics of the Presidency. and the desire among members for these resources is keen. Johnson resorted to tactics such as deliberate embarrassment. In May 1981. This was the main way that President Clinton overcame Republican filibusters in 1993 on issues like the job stimulus package. however. In these cases. [Joseph A. Among modern presidents. Riders attached to budget bills add these benefits needed to smooth out compromises on earlier bills. Johnson was perhaps the most frequent practitioner of arm-twisting. gridlock is more likely when congress is confronting deficits than when it is ignoring them or facing surpluses. Brady. to the extent that budget concessions are needed to build coalitions on all sorts of issues. the Reagan administration agreed to revive a costly program to support the price of sugar in exchange for the votes of four Democratic representatives from Louisiana (where sugar is a key crop) on a comprehensive budget reduction bill.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 *** Flip-Flips 179 .

presidents in recent years have often sought to deemphasize . surrounding such issues as gays in the military or affirmative action. The well-documented tendency of the press to emphasize the strategic implications of politics exacerbates this process by turning issues into zero-sum games. 132Second.the buck stops [*866] with the president. L. true unitariness means that he has the authority to reverse the decisions or non-decisions of others . for example. 134Unfortunately. President Clinton. the modern president's attempt to avoid or mediate issues can often undermine him personally and politically. The modern president is supposed to have a position [*867] on such matters as affirmative action. 144 U. the unitary president may be less able to rely on preexisting congressional or agency processes to resolve disputes. Eisenhower is widely reported to be the best exemplar of this "bumbling" technique.at least politically . Rev. Perhapsin response to these pressures.the list is infinite. 129 In this environment. the visibility and singularity of the modern presidency can undermine both informal techniques. reportedly "gave" the Department of Justice to the liberal wing of the Democratic party and the Department of the Treasury and the OMB to the conservatives. 128 This can deprive him of the ability to choose when or whether to address issues. Pa. his visibility and the influence of the media may also make it more difficult for him to exercise it. 135 In such circumstances. 136 Thus. To the extent that the modern president is subject to heightened visibility about what he says and does and is led to make increasingly specific statements about who should win and who should lose on an issue. or take inconsistent positions. the president must often take a position and act. the baseballstrike. his ability to mediate conflict and control the agenda can be undermined. refuse to take symbolic stands. the war in Bosnia. “THE PARADOX OF POWER IN THE MODERN STATE.their unitariness by allocating responsibility for different agencies to different political constituencies. "no politician can endure opposition from a wide range of opponents in numerous contests without alienating a significant proportion of voters. First. 133 Reagan's widely publicized verbal "incoherence" and detachment from government affairs probably served a similar function. in contrast to Congress. When public scrutiny is brought to bear on the White House. January. with Bill Clinton giving three times as many speeches as Reagan during the same period. by invoking vague abstract principles or "talking out of both sides of their mouth. 827] While the president's singularity may give him the formal ability to exercise agenda control. the president is far less able to exercise agenda control.. At least in theory. . which public choice scholars see as an advantage of presidential power.” University of Pennsylvania Law Review. each modern president has made more speeches and taken more positions than his predecessors.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 180 Flip Flops Kill the Agenda Presidents are forced to take positions – inconsistencies hurt the agenda FITTS 96 Professor of Law. Finally." presidents have attempted to create the division within their person." 130 Two types of tactics illustrate this phenomenon. University of Pennsylvania Law School [Michael A. and the newest EPA regulations . 131 Presidents Bush and Reagan tried a similar technique of giving control over different agencies to different political constituencies.

wife of Bush's predecessor. Kennedy School of Government. President Bush has gone from CO2 to 'see you later. he sent a letter to Republican senators saying he was still committed to new emission standards on the first three items. on Sept. a professor of government and the press at the Harvard University's John F. During an Oct. President George Bush." Packer said. nitrogen oxide. They cited a recent Energy Department study saying that capping carbon dioxide emissions would escalate the shift from coal to natural gas for electricity generation. "Now his opponents are going to jump up and say." Patterson said. that the government should impose on power plants mandatory emissions reductions for carbon dioxide. people should also be able to trust their government. 1 (4/16/2001 (lexis)) A high number of flip-flops 181 can bleed a president dry. Critics said broken promises are especially troublesome for Bush." Flip-flops kill the agenda . Bush's Environmental Protection Agency chief." "In less than eight weeks in office. has publicly backed the carbon dioxide restrictions. a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. During a campaign speech in Saginaw. called it "a promise made and a promise broken." Bush told supporters in Pittsburgh that "in a responsibility era.a culture that has "made flip-flopper the most feared label in American politics. "It's better to protect the consumer and avoid worsening the energy crisis. Joe Lieberman. suggesting now that CO2 is somehow A-OK. In mocking Bush's prior campaign pledge." White House aides said they believe most voters will understand the circumstances behind the decision." "If you only have a few of them. even when events change. even when it's painful . they really can get lost in everything else that's going on. 8 (6/25/08 (James. said the damage done to Bush depends on what happens in the future. CO2. "It seems in America you are stuck with the position you adopted. D-N. "That can't be good. 'This is a guy who keeps his commitments." Bush said." said Sen. environmental groups and industry. in order to claim absolute consistency." "And in a responsibility era.it’s the most destructive political label in America Rainey. however. who ran against Bush as the Democratic candidate for vice president. who promised a more straightforward approach than his predecessor." . Mich.' " Hillary Clinton said. Patterson. which is not a 'pollutant' under the Clean Air Act." Bush wrote. Thomas E. "ON THE MEDIA: Candidates Show Lack of Leadership on Iraq.. he needs only to ask his father . mercury. And since his inauguration." Daily Herald. http://www.. 26 speech titled "Responsible Leadership.com/component/option." White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said.53/) The Iraq experts I interviewed agreed that one of the most problematic barriers to a real debate is -. no new taxes" pledge." They could point to another politician. Christie Whitman. "With the help of Congress. " It's the accumulation of these razor cuts that starts the real bleeding.com_contentwire/task. "This is going to be used against him. "The president and his team have really made a 180-degree turn on their position here. Hillary Rodham Clinton. D-Conn. Sen. Staff @ LA Times. 'Oh yeah?' " Ornstein said. many cited the chemical formula for carbon dioxide. Bush outlined a clean air strategy targeting four pollutants. thus boosting prices. and carbon dioxide within a reasonable period of time. Ornstein said it may be hard for Bush to make those kind of comments in the future.. forcing a decision they say ignores the threat of global warming. fact averse but stalwart. "His Democrats said the coal companies applied pressure to Bush.heraldextra. The younger Bush's carbon dioxide pledge came in an energy policy speech.' " said Norman Ornstein. But late Tuesday. who took too long to adapt once it became clear Iraq was going sideways.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Flip Flops Kill the Agenda Flip-flops are politically devastating The Dallas Morning News. especially one who campaigned for a "responsibility era" in contrast stock-in-trade more than anything else is. If Bush has any doubt how much damage a broken promise can do. to the scandal-ridden Clinton era.61544/Itemid." Bush said. He likened broken campaign promises to "razor cuts. 29.Y. we will require all power plants to meet clean air standards in order to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide.as author and journalist George Packer said -. who hurt himself by reversing his nationally televised "read my lips. they added. and most of the attention at the time was devoted to his proposal to drill for oil in an Alaska wildlife refuge. government should trust the people.view/id. "I do not believe.

January. Unlike members of Congress or the agencies. especially its ability to mediate conflict and appear competent. He also may be exposed to a normative standard of personal assessment that may conflict with his institutional duties. the visibility and centralization of the presidency can have mixed effects. the unitary president can be prone to an overassessment of responsibility and error. University of Pennsylvania Law Review.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Flip-Flops Kill the Agenda 182 FLIP FLOPS KILL THE AGENDA. as its chief proponents and critics accurately have suggested. as well as its political illegitimacy and ultimate weakness. As a single visible actor in an increasingly complex world. the modern president often does not have at his disposal those bureaucratic institutions that can help mediate or deflect many conflicts. At the same time. once one explores the different ways in which unitariness and visibility can undermine an institution's informal influence. he often must be clear about the tradeoffs he makes. a president who will be held personally accountable for government policy cannot pursue or hold inconsistent positions and values over a long period of time without suffering political repercussions. Fitts 96 (Michael A. Lexis) Centralized and visible power. the centralization and individualization of the presidency can be a source of its power. . In short.. becomes a double-edged sword. however. Furthermore. In this context.

S. that's what Barack Obama will hope."On the issue of the war in Iraq. long identified as a strong supporter of the war. others are angry. on any particular month.org/templates/story/story.." says Harris. NPR. and if he is going to change his position. "They know that situations change. “Politicians: Flip-Flopping Or Changing Their Minds?”." Harris says McCain won't try to alter his position substantially. http://www. he said that he would be making a "thorough assessment" of the situation while he was there. Many antiwar Democrats backed Obama in key primaries and caucuses last year because they believed he would end the war as soon as possible. “Obama Said To Have Rebuffed Liberal "President Obama has been shifting gears. Harris 8. "I'm sure I'll have more information and continue to refine my policy. News & World Report Activists In Series Of "Flip-Flops. protect U. adding. Harris says that McCain. politicians change their mind. and they're willing to fight for maneuvering room. as president. and reversing some of his policies. Obama is walking a line." . Barack Obama's trip to Iraq. "we don't want politicians who look just nakedly expedient.NOT POLITICAL SUICIDE. says it is possible for politicians to change their stands without being perceived as flip-floppers.com. "knows that he's sort of exposed on this issue. most voters are not that worked up about flip-flops." He says that FLIP FLOPS DON’T HURT OBAMA. says Harris." he says. What they are looking for is strength." McCain has what is perhaps the flip side of the flip-flop question on Iraq. he says.com editor-in-chief Bryant Park Project. they're shrewd. let's have an argument about Iraq and who's been right over this past year about the surge. interests. Politico. McCain will highlight his support of the war head-on: "Rather than trying to talk his way out of the issue or downplay the issue." flip-floppers. don't look at whether the war is going well for the U. Now he says it is 'not my highest legislative priority. he hasn't paid much of a political price for it. Harris believes that there are many times when the electorate will admire politicians who change their positions: "They're flexible. Instead. the political climate. he would take the United States out of Iraq within 16 months of his election.S. however.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 AT: FLIP FLOP KILLS AGENDA A WELL-CALCULATED FLIP FLOP PROJECTS STRENGTH -.""Strength can be consistency. and root out al Qaeda insurgents." says Harris. editor-in-chief of Politico." That immediately opened him up to questions about whether he would alter his position that.” 6/1 lexis] US News Weekly's Kenneth T. Overall.""I believe that with the exception of the most ideologically committed partisans." the American public will allow politicians to change their positions.npr. "At least. Walsh 9 [Kenneth. "It can also be judgment. Walsh (5/29) writes. Chief White House correspondent -. . he has delayed any action to change the system. he says..U. but he says it depends on the issue. 'Look.php?storyId=92510153] 183 Can politicians change positions without being accused of the now familiar criticism that they are flip-flopping? Take. and the key is projecting strength. but only under the correct circumstances. "On the one hand. deciding that the war was a mistake in the first place.John Harris. The list of his fluctuations is lengthy: He once promised Planned Parenthood that his first act as president would be to sign an abortion-rights bill into law. totally transparent — they're Harris says.S. and the agility of the politician. they're willing to stand up to the extremists in their own party. These voters. When he announced at the beginning of the month that he would be making his second visit to the war-torn country." Walsh adds that Obama has adopted many of the Bush administrations antiterrorism policies and "plans to leave tens of thousands of troops behind to train Iraqis. "it will tell us about how skillful a politician he really is.' He pledged to gay activists that he would repeal the military's 'don't ask. he's going to say. for example. he thinks most Americans have already made up their minds. don't tell' policy. [John. not condemned for his flip-flops. a testament to his popularity and the willingness of Americans to give him a chance to get results. at a remarkable rate. says Harris. Instead. Obama has been praised for his flexibility. Some of them are disappointed. But so far.

and import restrictions. Reagan often changed his mind at politically opportune moments. political leaders sometimes have to follow changes in the political wind in order to stay in charge. farm subsidies. . p 181-182] rd It is not uncommon for chief executives to contradict one of their publicly stated positions rather than to pursue policies that displease important voting blocs. Ironically. Politics and Public Policy. but he shifted positions 180 degrees in order to fit comfortably on the Republican ticket in 1980. Bush had become an ardent advocate of restrictions on abortion. making adept adjustments in his positions on Social Security. public works programs. By 1995 it was often difficult to tell the difference between his policy proposals and those of the Republican Congress. By 1988. when he sought the presidency on his own.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 AT: Flip Flop Kills the Agenda 184 Political flip-flops are common – key to adapt to changing political climates. VAN HORN 1. He shifted his position somewhat in order to garner enough mainstream support to defeat Bush in the 1992 presidential elections. George Bush supported a woman’s right to choose an abortion. For much of his public career. [Carl. For much of his public career. affiliated with the John J Heldrich Center for Workforce Development @ Rutgers. 3 ed. Clinton supported policies aligned with liberal ideologies.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 *** Concessions *** 185 .

still possess leverage to tailor a package that fits certain specifications.” Pg 35] More often. compromises will need to be struck. even with their ranks diminished. This was the main way that President Clinton overcame Republican filibusters in 1993 on issues like the job stimulus package. in their view. often taking one of two forms. A second possible compromise with these pivotal members needed to build a supermajority involves concessions not on the ideological position of the bill at hand. Washington Bureau chief. Often these include distributive budgetary items. the policy itself could be watered down. Riders attached to budget bills add these benefits needed to smooth out compromises on earlier bills. and family and medical leave. They have to be built. moderate Democrats in the congressional rank and file. Nicholas 8 (Peter. gridlock is more likely when congress is confronting deficits than when it is ignoring them or facing surpluses. gridlock can be overcome only through legislative compromise. Quite clearly. bridges. When a policy advocate suggests a change so major that supermajorities are difficult to achieve. Tribune Washington Bureau. When the new Congress convenes on Jan. A smaller change was more acceptable to moderate Senators. . In his tenuous postelection condition.BREAKS GRIDLOCK. like roads. even if it thwarts Democratic ambitions to present the bill to Obama for his signature when he is sworn into office Jan. SEIB 11-16-10. and only when status quo policies are outside the gridlock region. voter registration. published in the Baltimore Sun. but on other issues. however. it might want to include this new job: bridge builder. And they insist the bill be scrubbed of projects that. 6. the change will be stopped by a filibuster or veto. and Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of the Hoover Institute at Stanford University and Craig Volden. In these cases. Bush.a reality that gives Republicans some confidence that they can win concessions. Senate Democrats will still lack the 60-vote majority needed to stave off Republican delaying tactics . Lexis) But Republicans in the Senate. are aimed more at appeasing interest groups than creating jobs. no longer linked to the comfortable Democratic majorities in Congress that served as his lifeline for two years. he needs to build bridges to three groups: Republican leaders in both houses of Congress. [David W. research labs. President Barack Obama finds himself on a political island. Brady.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 CONCESSIONS KEY – GENERIC CONCESSIONS KEY POST MIDTERM. and the White House could use a respected figure from the outside to help. “White House Renovation Calls for a Bridge Builder” Wall Street Journal] 186 As the White House fills some important vacancies in coming days. professor of political science and business. and targeted tax cuts. To build the needed coalition for cloture or a vet override. They want public hearings on the stimulus. assistant professor of political science at the Ohio State University “Revolving Gridlock : Politics and Policy from Jimmy Carter to George W. [Gerald. CONCESSIONS TO REPUBLICANS KEY TO THE AGENDA. gridlock is maintained through members from divorce districts who are very responsive to the electorate and thus at odds with their fellow legislators. Such bridges don't simply materialize. First. December 18. to the extent that budget concessions are needed to build coalitions on all sorts of issues. CONCESSIONS ARE KEY TO THE AGENDA -. and the business community. BRADY AND VOLDEN 6. 20. To exit from that island.

Ben Nelson.http://www. [Joseph A. Also making Sen. the president may be unable or unwilling to bargain. “2010 midterm election analysis” November 3 -. . Johnson was perhaps the most frequent practitioner of arm-twisting. and confrontation. or when a once-supportive member opposed him on an important issue. In May 1981. compared to only 10 Republican seats. such as arm-twisting. Johnson resorted to tactics such as deliberate embarrassment. which involves intense. the Reagan administration agreed to revive a costly program to support the price of sugar in exchange for the votes of four Democratic representatives from Louisiana (where sugar is a key crop) on a comprehensive budget reduction bill. has voted with Republicans on a number of important votes. presidents may resort to stronger methods. [Peter. [Arent Fox LLP. Professor of Political Science & International Relations at U of Delaware & John Anthony. but it entails something more . PIKA & MALTESE 4. 78 Presidents usually try to avoid such explicit bargains because they have limited resources for trading. author of Kremlin Rising: Vladimir Putin and Russian Counter-Revolution. arm-twisting. Congress is so large and its Power so decentralized that presidents cannot bargain extensively over most bills.a direct threat of punishment if the member's opposition continues. Sen. much presidential-congressional bargaining is implicit. rather than a quid pro quo exchange of favors for votes. the most prominent Republican in the administration. Bob Corker of Tennessee) who at times have strayed from their party and could face primary challenges of the kind that knocked off Utah Senator Bob Bennett in this cycle and expected GOP Senate nominee Rep. Fortunately. and who. Mike Castle in Delaware. presidents follow certain modes or patterns of behavior: bargaining. for example. and occasionally the president bargains directly with members whose support is deemed essential to a bill's passage.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Concessions Key to the Agenda 187 CONCESSIONS ARE KEY TO THE AGENDA -. but possibly easing it for Minority Leader McConnell. Eisenhower was most reluctant to pressure Congress exact costs strengthens a president's bargaining position GOP VOTES KEY TO AGENDA – CONCESSIONS KEY BAKER 10. Scott Brown of Massachusetts. Among modern presidents. generalized trading in which tacit exchanges of support and favors occur. In some instances.com/library/detail. Bargaining is the predominant mode. D-Neb. as a result.lexology. and the desire among members for these resources is keen. Still. When gentler effort failed. there are several Republicans (Orrin Hatch of Utah. pressure and threats. In .aspx? g=174db255-8105-4745-b611-16fed1acc4d5] Coloring the legislative agenda will be the fact that the President looks weaker than he did two years ago and many Democratic senators who are on the ballot in 2012 will be far less likely to toe the party line blindly. foreign policy reporter. The Democrats will have 23 seats to defend in two years. 199-200] On their relations with Congress. Arm twisting is understandably an unpopular tactic and. Olympia Snowe of Maine. creates resentment and hostility. Tide Turns Starkly” New York Times] “The president is somebody who knows he’s not going to have his way on these things. If bargaining does not result in the approval of their proposals. threats. that he needs Republicans and he has the ability to reach out to them. Prof of Political Science at University of Georgia. Moreover. The Politics of the Presidency. may stay more in the Republican camp on key votes. 2012 RE-ELECTION WORRIES MEAN DEMOCRATS HAVE TO COMPROMISE WITH THE GOP. “In Republican Victories..” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. p.COMPARATIVELY THE BEST FORM OF POLITICAL WRANGLING. it is an intensified extension of bargaining.. if used often. LEXOLOGY 10. even extraordinary. judicious demonstration that sustained opposition or desertion by normal supporters will contrast. In one sense. and one could expect that swing-state senators up for re-election may push Reid behind the scenes to compromise more with the Republicans. and reprisals. Already. Reid’s job tougher.

The former president started his political career in a relatively conservative state. Obama is no President Clinton. Clinton and later represented an aide to Mr. both Mr. who was a White House lawyer under Mr. Still. Legitimate oversight and political fishing expeditions can both take their toll. Tide Turns Starkly” New York Times] Strategists on both sides said the lessons of the past offered only limited utility. Clinton did and presides in a time of higher unemployment and deficits. Clinton and Mr. Republican of Virginia. PONNURU 11-16.Ramesh. Bush during a Congressional inquiry. Obama wields the veto pen. I think he’s already lost his re-election. Clinton at the time and today is a prime Tea Party promoter. [10 -. Neil Eggleston. McConnell. Davis said. there is hope that Republicans descend into fratricide between establishment and Tea Party insurgents. He did it in the general election of 2008 only under exceptional circumstances and with a very short record. Moreover. Davis said. and his Democratic allies in the Senate will provide a firewall against Republican initiatives. “Obama’s denigrated Boehner and McConnell by name — not very presidential. “There’s going to be a lot of posturing to the base. both sides will have to answer to partisans on the left and the right with little interest in compromise. Former Representative Tom Davis.” Mr. “Even when carefully managed. It's not clear that he is interested in "triangulating" against congressional Democrats and Republicans. which sought to pull the party rightward. “National Review: Eleven reasons 2010 is not a rerun” NPR] Seventh. Obama finding common cause with Mr. Obama has done nothing similar. Obama isn't Clinton. the Republican leaders. said it was hard to see Mr. while Mr. the two sides appear even more polarized today. senior editor @ National Review. Arkansas gave its electoral votes to Republican presidential candidates three times. NO SHIFT TO THE CENTER –GOP WILL REJECT IT. The possibility of gridlock looms.” That remains to be determined. Clinton also ran the Democratic Leadership Council. Obama has had much less experience of appealing to conservative and moderate voters. If nothing else. During his governorship. “I know President Clinton. these investigations can be distracting to senior White House officials. at least at first. “I think it’s going to be ugly. much less that he is capable of it. who as House Republican leader squared off against Mr. foreign policy reporter.” said W. “Personally.” said former Representative Dick Armey of Texas. President Clinton was an acquaintance of mine. [Peter. Boehner or Mr. And in the White House.” . Obama has not shown the same sort of centrist sensibilities that Mr. “In Republican Victories.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 CONCESSIONS FAIL: GENERIC 188 CONCESSIONS FAIL – OBAMA IS INEPT. Obama presents himself as above it all. Bush saw what can happen when the other side gets subpoena power. BAKER 10. but he can expect a rough two years. Keep in mind that at this point in his presidency Clinton had already relied on Republican votes to win a high-profile fight over trade. The Republicans may be more beholden to a Tea Party movement that abhors deal cutting. while Mr. author of Kremlin Rising: Vladimir Putin and Russian Counter-Revolution. Mr. As politically toxic as the atmosphere in Washington was in the 1990s.” Mr.

FRIEL 10. Obama cannot be so sure that MoveOn. Olsen warned that Obama could risk such a challenge from the left if he strikes deals with Republicans the way President Bill Clinton did in 1996.” Olsen said. “Divided Senate complicates Dem Agenda” CQ Today -. [Brian. etc.W. noted that both presidents who have faced serious primary challenges when seeking a second term in recent years — Jimmy Carter and George H.org/news/2010/11/04/divided_senate_complicates_dem_agenda] 189 While many Democratic senators may feel pressure from their right.November 4 -http://www. Bush — were defeated in the general election. PONNURU 11-16-10 -. Henry Olsen. “Triangulation is not going to be on the agenda. The Left was chastened after three Republican presidential terms when Clinton took office. Obama may feel pressure from his left. a political analyst at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. CQ Staff. MSNBC. senior editor @ National Review. .Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 CONCESSIONS FAIL: ANGERS THE LEFT CONCESSIONS FAIL – ANGERS THE LEFT. Obama has to deal with a larger. “National Review: Eleven reasons 2010 is not a rerun” NPR] Eighth.org. a few of his appointees resigned but there was no revolt.congress. CONCESSIONS FAIL – ALIENATES THE LEFT. His freedom of action is more circumscribed. will stay in his corner if he triangulates.. and more implacable Left than Clinton did. angrier.Ramesh. When Clinton signed welfare reform in 1996.

and even quaint. LIASSON 11-12-10. “How will Obama react to GOP gains?” Washington Post] What's striking about this is how dated. and never laying out any blueprint by which he would actually be willing to fight the Republicans. a conspicuous move to the ideological center isn't really something we should expect from Obama after the election. [Joe. editor-in-chief in Politics. As Ronald Brownstein has noted. editor of Election Central.to help. Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell signaled that Republicans may be flexible. Talking Points Memo’s politics and elections website. AFP writer. MOVING TO THE CENTER FAILS – TOO POLARIZED. SARGENT 10. it sounds. They're saying. Green thinks reaching out won't help. . even in the event of major GOP gains. "They're not talking about compromise. Republicans have little incentive to bolster a Democratic president. one of the flash points for Democrats is how far to go to accommodate the new Republican majority in the House and the expanded Republican minority in the Senate. COLLINSON 10. An influx of ideological conservatives from the Tea Party movement may push the party's leadership further to the right. “Sun sets on Obama’s era of grand reforms” AFP -. which is being dogged in what they believe. CONCESSIONS FAIL – GOP SAYS NO. 'We're going to fight for what we just campaigned on.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 CONCESSIONS FAILS: GOP SAYS NO 190 CONCESSIONS TO THE GOP FAILS – PISSES OFF THE LEFT AND THE GOP WONT’ LISTEN. consistently talking about consensus. [Greg. “Democrats split on way forward after losses” NPR] Going forward.or the political capacity -. "Democrats could take a lesson from what Republicans are doing right now. national political correspondent for NPR.October 25] Should Obama chose cooperation." ATTEMPTS TO TRIANGULATE FAIL – UNCOOPERATIVE GOP. but only strictly in their own interests. because such a gesture wouldn't really be relevant to our politics today. [Mara. it is uncertain whether his Republican foes will have the inclination -. GANDLEMAN 11-14-10. “Is the democratic party really out for the count?” Moderate Voice] But Obama’s problem will be that the party’s progressive wing will be clamoring for him to be a progressive Democrat while to rebrand himself as a different kind of Democrat he’s going to have to triangulate (which will create howls of protest from the Democratic left and could even spark a primary challenge) and show that he is working with some key GOPers (at a time when most in the GOP see that noncooperation with Obama reaps political dividends and also can be a way of avoiding a primary challenge from Tea Party movement members). [Stephen." he says. narrowing room for compromise.' What we've seen the last week or so is a president consistently talking about compromise. And with a looming general election. Washington Post journalist. which are even more polarized now than in Clinton's time.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 ### Democrats ### 191 .

was." Giffords said." Giffords said. and their demands will include policy input and not always compatible policy results. Pelosi also has the luxury of a majority large enough that “red” district members need not be pressured to take electorally perilous votes on a regular basis.pdf) A third lesson. But I'm just not sure about this bill. one that Obama already knew and that contributed greatly to success on the stimulus. Marvin Hoffenberg Professor of American Politics at the University of California. 11 Relying on congressional Democrats to do much of the stimulus drafting. in addition to the very substantial institutional tools of the contemporary speakership. Los Angeles. is the necessity of working closely with the Democratic leadership in the House and Senate and taking account of their needs and the needs of their membership. a cap-and-trade system to curb carbon emissions and his fiscal 2010 budget blueprint. like any legislative leader. Obama needs to be sensitive to the range of member political needs and policy views. "My job is not to be a rubber stamp for the president or Democratic leadership.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 192 Democrats Key to Agenda Democrats are key to the agenda. in fact.com/cq-assets/eap/static/dem-revolt1.stimulus proves Sinclair 9 (Barbara. it assured member input and consequently gave members a stake in its success.cqpolitics. John B. has to be responsive to the various factions in the party – from the Blue Dogs to the Progressive Caucus. http://www.html) The defections could cause heartburn for Democratic leaders charged with ushering through Obama's three biggest priorities: a health care overhaul. Like Giffords. "I voted for the stimulus. in discretionary spending in the nine bills contained in the omnibus measure. or 8 percent. decried by some pundits as a mistake. Obama needs Democrats to push his agenda CQ Politics 9 (3/2. Pelosi. . Still. he also has raised concerns about the mortgage bankruptcy bill. “Democratic Revolt May Slow Obama Agenda”. Pelosi was and can continue to be Obama’s most valuable congressional ally. "A lot needs to be done to help people keep their homes. Spring 2009. The president might also have trouble winning their votes for an anticipated second financial bailout package. Matheson echoed Giffords' concerns about an increase of $31 billion.ou. To be successful. she is a strong Speaker in a strong speakership with a strong team – not just her party leadership team but also Energy and Commerce Chair Henry Waxman. said party leaders would respond to recent defections by trying to slow the pace of bills to allow more time for hearings and debate.edu/carlalbertcenter/extensions/spring2009/Sinclair. Larson of Connecticut. but to be a voice for the people that elected me. but found I could not vote for the omnibus. Appropriations Chair David Obey and Financial Services Chair Barney Frank. “Barack Obama and the 111th Congress: Politics as Usual?”. chairman of the House Democratic Caucus." She faces a tough 2010 campaign in a state that will be dominated by McCain's expected re-election to his Senate seat. Extensions. http://www. such members can be given a bye so long as they do not all do it at once. a wise move. For his part. which many banks oppose.

” Bush lost his GOP congressional majority just six months into his presidency. The Politico’s national politics editor. and one that would offer Obama a unique opportunity to carry out his agenda. “Dem Congress likelyfor Obama’s term.” said former Rep. beginning with Carter. where Democrats currently enjoy a 79-seat advantage. Bush did not enjoy in their own first terms. it would give Obama a luxury that Bill Clinton and George W.politico. While the prospect of four uninterrupted years with his party in control of Congress is no guarantee of success. Charles Stenholm (D-Texas). He did not gain the benefit of a Republican House and Senate again until January 2003 — meaning nearly half of his first term took place with a divided Congress. http://www. 1. even though both began with their party in control of Capitol Hill.” Clinton had just two years of working with Democratic congressional majority before his party lost the House and Senate in the 1994 Republican landslide. It’s an advantage no president has enjoyed since Jimmy Carter. In the House. a result that has occurred just four times since 1950 — and would significantly surpass the Democratic routs in 2006 and 2008.09 (Charles. “President-elect Obama has a wonderful opportunity to do what he wants as president. Complicating matters. when a party switcher gave Democrats control of the Senate in June 2001.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Democrats Key to Agenda Democrats key to Obama’s agenda Mahtesian.” Politico. In the Senate. “Obviously the larger majority makes a lot of difference.15.com/news/stories/0109/17477. Republicans will likely need a 10seat pickup in a chamber where double-digit gains have occurred just twice since 1950. previously National Journal’s Almanac of American Politics editor. who served in Congress under five presidents. and he was reduced to declaring that “the president is still relevant. . the GOP will be defending more seats than the Democrats in 2010 and must defend four open seats — three in key battleground states after a spate of recent retirements — compared to none as yet for the Democrats. to regain control the GOP would need to pick up at least 40 seats.html) 193 Barack Obama is likely to spend the next four years with one big advantage over his recent predecessors — a first term in the White House with his party in uninterrupted control of both the House and the Senate.

It’s that trust that may be Obama and the Democrats’ most potent political tool in the legislative battles to come. “I passed health care legislation that improves access and care for 50 million people — and. Even if Obama is pushing an agenda that may not be fully embraced by the American people. They are increasingly skittish over Republican criticisms of the growing budget gap and remain fearful that if economic prospects remain clouded. For Democrats and their ambitious domestic agenda.politico. the one criticism heard perhaps more than any other from Republicans was about the cult of veneration that had developed around Barack Obama. Fewer than half of all Americans are on board with the president’s health care agenda (although they remain open to persuasion). a majority are uneasy about the burgeoning federal deficit. The most important thing for Democrats going forward will not be the latest deficit numbers but the momentum of political change they have the power to catalyze . http://www. These polling numbers suggest a yawning “confidence chasm. Obviously. But these concerns are not denting Obama’s approval ratings. Democrats will most likely pay a political price at the polls. This is one time where their political — and policy — success depends far less on the details and more on building off the perception of change and possibility represented by Obama’s presidency. Democrats must take full advantage of the Obama’s popularity — and the president must use the bully pulpit even more effectively to make the case for change. Whatever the state of the economy in 2010. “Momentum key for health care bill.. when asked the most important problem facing the country. As for Democrats. If Democrats are serious about health reform. Indeed.” Politico. According to a recent New York Times poll. which remain in the mid-60s. Once again. Democrats are in an unparalleled political position: They have a sputtering and unpopular opposition and a young and well-liked president trusted by an electorate that is hungry for change. 57 percent of the electorate views them in a favorable light. this is no time for caution.” the Democrats’ “messiah. And what if the economy starts to turn around by 2010? An improving economy combined with major health care reform would be a political game changer for Democrats. According to one recent poll. Yet congressional Democrats seem unwilling to push their advantage. Democrats seemingly have a unique opportunity to pass a robust legislative package of domestic initiatives. it is often joked. they will be vulnerable to Republican criticisms about supporting a Big-Government health care plan that grew the deficit and short-circuited the improving economy. this seems to be the case. But passage of sweeping health care legislation that insures millions of Americans would not only fulfill Obama’s campaign message of change but would also serve as an effective political counterargument. Democrats.com/news/stories/0609/23988. why adopt an incrementalist approach when the political opportunity allows for something bigger and possibly better? Unease about the deficit is even more misplaced. senior research fellow at the New America Foundation. if the economy is performing badly a year and a half from now. and voters remain dubious about the very notion that government can solve the country’s problems. the greater the concern over the deficit. But the GOP might have been on to something. The Democrats’ advantage is heightened by the growing public disapproval of the opposition party. Instead. There is today a curious disconnect between support for the president’s policy prescriptions and the popularity of the man himself.22. would Democrats prefer to go to the voters and say. “I shrunk the deficit” or would they rather say. He was the “second coming. Voter trepidation about the budget gap is in direct proportion to the state of the economy: The worse the economy. put too much focus on 10-point plans and detailed policy prescriptions. by the way. 38 percent said the economy and only 2 percent cited the deficit. 6. Republicans are actually less popular than former Vice President Dick Cheney.html) 194 Throughout the 2008 presidential campaign. voters are still inclined to blame the country’s budget woes on Obama’s predecessor.” the political ads joked.” a preening “celebrity.” Even with concerns over the deficit. With the political winds at their back.09 (Michael A. it’s all about Obama. a half-measure bill that leaves millions without access to care and fails to deliver on Obama’s pledge to change the way things are done in Washington could be the worst of both worlds.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Democrats Key to Agenda Democrats key in passing legislation due to perception of change Cohen. my opponent voted against it”? This is one argument that Cheney might have gotten right: Deficits don’t matter.

When a majority president's base is unified.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 195 Democratic Unity Key to Agenda Democratic unity key to the agenda. who had been considered the leading candidate for Obama's CIA director. http://www. BASE UNITY IS THE KEY STARTING POINT FOR ENSURING AGENDA PASSAGE Bond & Fleisher 96. That squabble took place off-stage and was totally overshadowed by Clinton's appointment.forbes. these spats could suck up precious time and political capital as Obama works to defuse them. the most potent catnip for pundits. (Jon R. And the base is frequently split. While he tries to govern from the pragmatic center on national must manage the high expectations and inevitable disappointments of his strongest supporters. At a minimum. December 3. he John Brennan. the chances of victory approach certainty. Gerstein 8 (Dan. Joe Lieberman. At worst. in the United States. In parliamentary systems.Texas A&M and Professor in Political Science. the probability of victory drops considerably. having more members in Congress who are predisposed to support the president is an advantage. unity in the party base is a key ingredient of success.com/opinions/2008/12/02/obamadefense-appointments-oped-cx_dg_1203gerstein. Witness the successful campaign the left-wing blogosphere waged to derail the nomination of Here. The commentariat will be closely watching and inflating every intra-party fight. partisan control of the legislature virtually assures victories.120) For majority presidents. "The President in Legislation" p. and Richard professor in Political Science . political communications consultant and commentator based in New York. founder and president of Gotham Ghostwriter. If the base is split. they could inflame the latent divisions in Congress and sidetrack key elements of Obama's agenda. but its members can be extremely distracting and often destructive. formerly served as communications director to Sen. Forbes. His liberal activist base may be relatively small. we can anticipate one of the trickiest tests of security. but one insufficient to guarantee victories.html) Obama's presidency. Fordham 1996. But Obama won't have that luxury once he's in office. .

In parliamentary systems. Wall Street reform. with Pelosi at the helm and her team settled in place. BASE UNITY IS THE KEY STARTING POINT FOR ENSURING AGENDA PASSAGE Bond & Fleisher 96.120) For majority presidents. But Obama won't have that luxury once he's in office. we can anticipate one of the trickiest tests of John Brennan. the probability of victory drops considerably. but there is good reason to believe that. an expression of fear and weakness. His liberal activist base may be relatively small. of course. there will no doubt be a good deal of internal conflict as the 2012 primary season All the more reason for Democrats to be as united as possible and to defend what they’ve done and what they stand for with conviction and purpose. rather. and there are quite a few Democrats who think Pelosi should have stepped down. both in the House and elsewhere. What. and it’s not clear how they’ll all get along. If the base is split. and that the midterms really were a rejection of the Democrats and their agenda. And while the Democrats. quite another to turn the House into a hyper-investigative inquisition. who had been considered the leading candidate for Obama's CIA director. partisan control of the legislature virtually assures victories. Joe Lieberman.com/opinions/2008/12/02/obamadefense-appointments-oped-cx_dg_1203gerstein. While he tries to govern from the pragmatic center on national security. particularly in the House. in the United States. Democratic unity key to the agenda. all that it had accomplished. http://www. the bailouts. essentially a self-vote of non-confidence.Texas A&M and Professor in Political Science. And.). Unity and Continuity in the House” Moderate Voice] Why is continuity important? Because the Democrats need to move forward in large part by defending their impressive record (health-care reform. That squabble took place off-stage and was totally overshadowed by Clinton's appointment. the party will be effective in opposition. Republicans will likely remain united on Capitol Hill. but its members can be extremely distracting and often destructive. Because. There is certainly diversity in the Democratic House leadership. not by making a show of throwing out those who helped guide the party to those successes. and. Changing the leadership. And the base is frequently split. (Jon R. Gerstein 8 (Dan.html) Obama's presidency. and Richard professor in Political Science . political communications consultant and commentator based in New York. there is no need to overreact and certainly no need for a purge. the most potent catnip for pundits. Fordham 1996. having more members in Congress who are predisposed to support the president is an advantage. but there are already signs of fracturing as the party gets ever more extreme and as the Tea Party acquires ever more power within the GOP. When a majority president's base is unified. after all.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 DEM UNITY KEY 196 DEM UNITY KEY IN POST ELECTION CONGRESS. failed to hang on to seats in heavily conservative districts that they won in ‘06 and ‘08. with anger and frustration directed at incumbents. they could inflame the latent divisions in Congress and sidetrack key elements of Obama's agenda. he must manage the high expectations and inevitable disappointments of his strongest supporters. Certainly. the stimulus. At a minimum. and to end up with gridlock. the chances of victory approach certainty. December 3. [Michael. these spats could suck up precious time and political capital as Obama works to defuse them.forbes. founder and president of Gotham Ghostwriter. but one insufficient to guarantee victories. formerly served as communications director to Sen. would have been an admission of failure and an act of cowardice. AT: DEM UNITY INEVITABLE/PC KEY DEM UNITY . (It’s one thing to be thoroughly obstructionist. working constructively and productively with Obama and Senate Democrats to get things done for the American people. etc. draws closer and the likely candidates jockey for position. The commentariat will be closely watching and inflating every intra-party fight. unity in the party base is a key ingredient of success. assistant editor in Politics. the result of the midterms. at the party in power. that it was abandoning what it had done. including forcing Pelosi out. Forbes. but that’s hardly Pelosi’s fault. “For Democrats. as establishment types like Mitch McConnell want. given the swing. do have some bitter lessons to learn. was not an expression of popular support for the Republicans and their agenda (which is extremist and obstructionist). as I and many others keep saying. Witness the successful campaign the left-wing blogosphere waged to derail the nomination of Here. would fresh new leadership signify? That the party was going in a different direction. STICKINGS 11-15-10. At worst. the Democrats failed to make a convincing case for themselves. or hardly hers alone. It was. a reflection of deep public discontent rooted in the still lousy economy. "The President in Legislation" p.

November 4 -http://www. Congressional sausage-making involving the President has been confusing and dispiriting for the public to watch. How can a leader who wants to use government to make America stronger not make such attempts? RE-ELECTION WORRIES AND AN UNPOPULAR PRESIDENT MEAN OBAMA CAN’T COUNT ON DEM VOTES. To take advantage of Congressional Democratic majorities that are sure to shrink.org/news/2010/11/04/divided_senate_complicates_dem_agenda] Reid could have a tough time holding his caucus together next year in support of Obama’s agenda. Humphrey Institute and Department of Political Science at the University of Minnesota. while the Democrats Most Democrats up for re-election in two years hail from states Obama won in 2008. have 23. More than that. Victor S. Obama’s White House has repeatedly caucused with Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. month by month with the Congressional leaders to assemble fragile and shifting coalitions. This happened not merely because Obama is a former Senator and thinks in legislative terms. Lawrence. but the alternative would have been for an ambitious President Obama not to try for big legislative reforms.congress. and not only because his former Chief of Staff. economic meltdown and polarized politics in Obama’s first two years” Russell Sage Foundation -. but swing-state senators from Ohio. With the president’s fading popularity no doubt contributing to several Democratic senators’ defeat. and Joan Mondale Chair for Political Studies and Director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance in the Hubert H. “Reaching for a New Deal: Ambitious governance. looking for ways to coordinate agendas and move key bills through the many hurdles that mark today’s legislative process. [Brian. is a seasoned wheeler-dealer from the House of Representatives (Bai 2010). Democrats will be defending twice as many Senate seats as Republicans. In the 2012 election cycle. “Divided Senate complicates Dem Agenda” CQ Today -. especially in the Senate. caucus members facing the voters in 2012 — particularly those in states where Obama’s public approval ratings are low — could be under intense pressure to buck the White House. they have had to work week by week. CQ Staff. SKOCPOL AND JACOBS 10.‖ the early Obama administration understandably devoted much effort to prodding and cajoling Congress in consultation with key Congressional Democrats. Missouri and Virginia. The GOP has 10 seats to protect. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard. and those from states such as Montana and Nebraska that tend to vote Republican in presidential elections. FRIEL 10. former Director of the Center for American Political Studies. [Theda. may be difficult to keep in line.October] Of necessity. Even though the watching public might not understand why Democrats spend so much time negotiating among themselves.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 197 OBAMA LEADERSHIP IS KEY TO ROUNDING UP DEMOCRATIC VOTES. Rahm Emanuel. . or why the President can’t just tell Congress to ―get it done. Obama and his White House aides new that the 111th Congress is probably their only chance to further big legislative reforms. Walter F.

the budget. Darrell West. at least in part.’ by definition it’s saying ‘liberal’ is bad..” Indeed. . the repetition of the term “moderate Democrats” to describe the members of the party advocating the most conservative positions may already be taking its toll on public perception.. http://news. Within the GOP.com/s/politico/20090711/pl_politico/24790) The answer is. immoderate. And with battles over the stimulus. because the word “moderate” operates differently within the context of each party. in an economic recession. agrees: “‘Liberal’ became a code word synonymous with bad things. but the stakes are high — particularly now that Democrats have a 60-vote majority in the Senate. The word liberal.yahoo.” he says.” and if anything. “It’s all about the politics of language. “’Moderate Dems’ squeeze Obama”. In addition. the alternative to “moderate” is “conservative” — a word that itself means “marked by moderation or caution.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 198 Moderate Democrats Key to Agenda Moderate Democrats key to Obama’s agenda Politico 9 (7/10. “Because [moderate is] often used to position against ‘liberal. it also implies generosity. can sound dangerously close to . and a lack of constraint — notions that. however — which has never really recovered from being turned into a term of derision during the Reagan years — is vulnerable to being compared with a word like “moderate” in a way that “conservative” is not. vice president and director of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. this may sound like little more than linguistic hairsplitting. notes Hattaway. sounds more prudent than “moderate” does. climate change and now health care playing out daily in the media. In addition to suggesting broad-mindedness. so Democrats devised a new way of describing themselves.

A poll in the spring of 1978 found Ted Kennedy crushing Mr. rejecting the traditional. Brown followed through on their threats and opposed him in ’80. Clinton had terrible personal relationships with some of his party’s more popular faces—specifically. Clinton. who had both competed with him in the ’92 primaries. It’s true that he barely won the party’s nomination last year. he was elected as a centrist. which were badly damaged when Mr. of course. arguing that Mr. Clinton. Still. too—with Tsongas egging him on from the sidelines. his presidency was nearly ruined by the personal and ideological fissures in his own party. Kerrey. Paul Tsongas and Bob Kerrey. viewed welfare programs with suspicion. he didn’t win power by repudiating his party’s traditions and values. This approach. Bob Casey. and welcomed clashes with his party’s old-guard establishment (hence his “Sister Souljah” diss of Jesse Jackson during the campaign). Starting in the late spring of ’93.politickerny. he proclaimed himself a “New Democrat. were actually the best thing that ever happened to Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Carter. And when Democrats suffered a bloodbath in the ’94 midterms. made it clear he’d oppose the president from the left. both to his legislative agenda and to his reelection chances. still miffed that Mr. columnist for PolitickerNY. Like Mr. Pennsylvania’s governor. this would be a good time to point out what the White House may not fully appreciate: that Mr. “It's Time for Obama to Spend Some Political Capital”. Clinton had abandoned minorities and urban issues. unions-first economic liberalism that had defined the Democratic Party. California Governor Jerry Brown.com/4277/its-time-obama-spend-some-politicalcapital) Perhaps. Jackson touted himself. But in the middle of his first year in office. Mr. too. . this dissent was lethal. Mr. and neither did many liberal interest groups and commentators. As a result. Obama is in a far different place. Obama something neither of those men ever enjoyed in their dealings with Democrats in Congress: real moral authority. Carter in a hypothetical ’80 primary match-up. Carter’s fate was worse. Carter for failing to live up to his campaign promises. put his name out there. it was about personality. who stunningly reversed his fortunes in 1995. Clinton’s controversial ’93 budget. Those ’94 midterms. who came close to single-handedly defeating Mr. faced threats of an intraparty challenge for re-nomination from the early months of his term. Unlike Mr. Clinton’s moral authority within his own party as president. He.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 199 Base Key to Agenda Base support is key. Mr. but the Democratic Party—both its leaders and its rank-and-file members—are solidly behind him and committed to his (and their) success. limited Mr. 6-30-09. Bill Bradley even toyed with the idea. To a country that had just soundly rejected Michael Dukakis and Walter Mondale. publicly flirted with running. Clinton was subject to steady talk—much of it openly propelled by his fellow Democrats—of a primary challenge in 1996. Mr. and by the end of the year the then-influential Americans for Democratic Action formally chastised Mr. don’t forget. http://www. Carter’s case. rode to office in 1992 by defining himself in opposition to his party’s liberal traditions. This gives Mr. too. Carter in five primaries in ’76. which worked great in the campaign.Clinton and Carter empirically prove Kornacki 9 (Steve. Mr. It’s probably time for him to start using it. Clinton had silenced his pro-life voice at the ’92 convention. there were several forces within the Democratic Party that in ’93 and ’94 that weren’t invested in the president’s success—and that were eager to capitalize on his failures (which proved to be many in those first two years). Old-time liberals in Congress didn’t trust him. There is grumbling from interest groups here and there.” a centrist who believed in tax cuts and free trade. From the left. but his contest with Hillary Clinton wasn’t about ideology. then. At the same time. Obama is in a vastly stronger position within the Democratic Party than the last two Democratic presidents were in their first terms—meaning that he is far better positioned to exercise clout with unruly Congressional Democrats. Mr. By late 1977. Clinton and Mr. Clinton. In Mr. Mr. whose late-starting campaign defeated Mr.

By appearing to "stand up" to the left wing. You can bet the farm on that one.with a bold move that he knew they would hate. it doesn't just have to be how to deal with Bush's legacy. with more support from the public than they would normally have." which has been a complete disaster. The only disappointing thing to them will be that Obama will not turn out to be the boogeyman they created in an effort to scare the heck out of voters. But it's going to absolutely enrage the left. But the lesson here is that Clinton started off by picking a fight with his opponents -. of course. Will he convene a commission to investigate? Will he offer blanket immunity (or even -. I think Obama is going to do the opposite. “How Will Obama Enrage The Left?” Huffington Post 12/3/08 http://www." if you will. Clinton wanted to do what was right. and listening to what he actually said. don't tell.huffingtonpost. In other words. and we wound up with "Don't ask. Which Obama will (perhaps with a show of reluctance) then sign. The left wing. Exhibit A in my thinking is the FISA bill he voted for. I could be monstrously wrong about all of this. with more "political capital" to spend on getting the rest of his agenda done. President Obama is going to make a point of picking a fight with some of his own most fervent supporters. although it will require more of a "big picture" or "long view of history" type of viewpoint.gasp! -. beholden to no special interest group of radical progressives. It's kind of doublethink. over the long run he'll be able to get better laws passed.html) I hate to rain on anyone's parade. but Obama is guaranteed to disappoint. I don't think it'll be as bad as it will first seem when it happens. If Obama removes his "lightning rod" target for the right wing early on. Taking the long view. and not of some sort of progressive icon. This will be a calculated move. without actually fully supporting a populist or liberal agenda. since he won't be doing all those things that terrify Republican donors. which leaves me wondering what he will actually do when he gets the chance. He has been a regular contributor to Arianna Huffington’s The Huffington Post since June of 2006. I think he's going to come out with some bold move that he knows the left is absolutely going to abhor. Barack Obama will likely not make the mistake Bill Clinton did when he entered office with the "gays in the military" issue.] Because I simply cannot get rid of the feeling that. with lots of compromises with political foes. the portrait of Obama I am left with is one of cautiousness and pragmatism. But it could be almost any issue. at any rate. This means Obama won't be as effective a Republican fundraising tool. That's how the news media will portray it. however. the military balked. or even if you think I'm barking up the wrong tree entirely. sometime next January or February. Because newly-inaugurated President Obama is going to pick one issue and swiftly smack the left in the face. I believe it will actually help Obama get more progressive laws passed. as it were) in how Obama is going to handle Bush's legacy. it only boosts capital Weigant 8 (Chris Weigant is a political commentator. .com/chris-weigant/how-will-obamaenrage-the_b_148246. Meaning more progressive legislation actually gets passed in the end. If Obama starts off his presidency showing strength and independence from the left. but bear with me. They will then denounce him for his outrageous action. and go ballistic in an entirely predictable fashion. The right wing won't be terribly disappointed. All of these things point to a very centrist course for an Obama administration." while urging everyone to move on? The torture question is merely the tip of the iceberg (the best bad example. [Feel free to offer your own thoughts in the comments as to what exactly this is going to turn out to be. by refusing to do what they want him to do. What Bush policies is Obama going to immediately rectify? What Bush actions will he reverse. it will mean a lot more people out there are going to give him the benefit of the doubt over time. however. And that's without even examining his cabinet choices. I have to admit) Obama will emerge from the fray even stronger politically than ever. Exhibit C is his intervention with how the Senate treated Joe Lieberman. is going to get disappointed with a short sharp shock. It will then be up to Congress to challenge him by passing laws even more sweeping than Obama asked for. And (this is the part I'm least sure about. soon after Obama enters office. Exhibit B would have to be the numerous times he reluctantly moved left. even if it takes months? We've never really gotten clear and consistent answers as to how Obama is going to handle the Bush mess. They didn't believe the cries of "Socialist!" in the election. since it will serve to calm fears from suburban Republicans and Independents that Obama is going to make too many radical changes too fast. to be sure. Call it his "Sister Souljah moment.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 200 AT: Dems Key to Agenda If Obama angers the left. since they'll have plenty to complain about for the next four-to-eight years. and will likely pay off enormous political dividends for Obama over the life of his presidency. Obama will be seen as charting his own course as a strong and independent leader. A good test case will be how President Obama handles the torture question.pardons) to get honest answers about what went on? Or will he sweep the whole thing under the rug and "look to the future and not the past. But from watching his campaign. His approval ratings will likely rise after he does so. and they're going to get more comfortable with Obama as a result.

the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary in 1987. for example) and preparing for Act Two. meaning reelection in 2012.e. but it's very early in the play. whether de facto or de jure." O'Hanlon said. Republicans underestimate him at their peril. just as Bill Clinton used Newt Gingrich and the Republicans as the foil for his 1996 reelection campaign.. “Obama’s Next Act”.the list is long. the Honeymoon Is Over" -. (Typical Washington Post headline: "For Reagan and the New Right. immigration reform. It will bear no more heavy lifting.those that come after reelection. Reagan was bitterly attacked from his right.com/wpsrv/opinions/biographies/charles-krauthammer.National Magazine Award for essays and criticism in 1984..Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 201 AT: Dems Key to Agenda Alienating democrats irrelevant to agenda – Reagan proves Charles Krauthammer . And the Democrats will pay the price for ideological overreaching by losing one or both houses. He's already moving things in the direction they want him to. federalizing higher education and "comprehensive" immigration reform (i. said that Obama has enough political capital to free him from "pleasing the left" of the Democratic Party as he presses forward with his strategy for Iraq and Afghanistan. [11/7.will require a second mandate. NO IMPACT TO ANGERING THE DEMOCRATS – THEY WON’T TURN ON OBAMA. The stimulus. a national security expert at the Brookings Institution in Washington. If you're Michael ending the war anyway. Obama sees far. And he's done much in his first 500 days. The next burst of ideological energy -. Weekly Washington Post columnist. "He can do no wrong ." . The rest of the first term will be spent consolidating these gains (writing the regulations. financial reform have exhausted his first-term mandate. Act One is over. Like Reagan. Obamacare. If Democrats lose control of one or both houses. The real prize is 2012. farther than even his own partisans. .massive regulation of the energy economy. grandly ambitious and often underappreciated by their own side. In his early years. Chicago Tribune 8. Obama is down.and that was six months into his presidency!) Obama is attacked from his left for insufficient zeal on gay rights. That's why there's so much tension between Obama and congressional Democrats. 2010 matters little. closing Guantanamo -. Lexis] O'Hanlon. amnesty) -. For Obama.html ty) The net effect of 18 months of Obamaism will be to undo much of Reaganism.. and it is a question if you're doing it in 1 1/2 . 7/16/2010 (Washington Post. 2 1/2 or 3 1/2 years. The critics don't understand the big picture. Obama will probably have an easier time in 2012. http://www. What he has left to do he knows must await his next 500 days -. "Obama to the left is what Ronald Reagan was to the right. Obama's transformational agenda is a play in two acts. he came here to do things.washingtonpost. Both presidencies were highly ideological.

The White House is frantically working to get healthcare reform back on track after missed deadlines in August. After the climate bill passed 219-212 on the afternoon of June 26. 15." targeting GOP lawmakers. immigration reform and a regulatory revamp of the financial sector. He also helped shepherd a pay equity measure and a children’s healthcare bill through Congress. Analysis: July has been disaster for Obama. A month later. Since late June — when Democrats defied conventional wisdom and passed the climate bill by their self-imposed deadline — the stubborn realities of Washington have blunted and possibly even derailed the president's signature domestic efforts. 07/27/09. Despite a number of former Democratic members and aides working in the Obama administration. much less cap-and-trade.unity key to Obama’s agenda Sam Youngman. Obama enjoyed immediate successes in office. there was a feeling that the White House could get much of its agenda through Congress in 2009. Democrats on Capitol Hill have grown bolder in defying their party leader. The Hill. But in the past few months. He now says he wants to enact healthcare reform by the end of the year. the Republicans are quick to note the obvious — Obama has comfortable majorities in both the House and Senate. Obama did score a significant victory last week on eliminating Senate funding for F-22 fighter jets.com/leading-the-news/analysis-july-has-been-disaster-for-obama-hill-dems-200907-27.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Base Key 202 Dems control Congress but worry about midterms. http://thehill.html The Obama administration. . Many centrist Democrats are worried that Republicans will have the upper hand in the 2010 elections. but the triumph was overshadowed by Democratic infighting on healthcare. signing into law his $787 billion stimulus package in just 28 days. which was flying high a month ago after pushing through a climate change bill in the House. Obama had initially said he wanted both chambers to pass legislation by the August recess and sign a bill by Oct. And while the president continues to put his critics "on notice. as unemployment rates have spiked. Hill Dems. has since been dealt a series of setbacks and is struggling to regain its footing. 1 priority of healthcare reform. there are doubts that President Obama will even achieve his No. Republicans have increasingly found traction in lambasting Obama’s agenda and fanning the flames of division within the Democratic Party.

the probability of success is still better than . and Richard. Opposing ideological coalitions are not as effective for majority presidents. especially members of their political base. the president wins about three out of four times.90. When this condition occurs. . who have the greatest predisposition to agree with the president.Texas A&M and Professor in Political Science. And the probabilities are about the same regardless of whether the party split involves only the party bases unifying against each other.90. The situation for minority presidents is different. . Thus majority presidents can increase their chances of success if they take positions that unify their partisans. If a majority president takes a position that generates a party split. then the probability of winning increases to above . professor in Political Science . only slightly better odds than under the condition of no unity. And even if unified support from one or both factions of the president’s party is countered with unified opposition from the opposition party factions. or the president's party coalition (base plus the cross-pressured faction) unifying against the opposing party coalition.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Base Key 203 Base unity ensures 90 percent passage chance Bond & Fleisher. Fordham 1996 (Jon R.113) Unified support countered by unified opposition is a more interesting condition. "The President in Legislation" p.

the kicking has hit only Republicans. Politico staff writer. 3/23/2009. His voting record in the Senate consisted of mainly party line votes.politico. At some point. So far. Little in his background suggests a willingness to confront his own party. President Ronald Reagan ignited a conservative explosion when he nominated Sandra Day O’Connor to the Supreme Court. Calm and calculating. the new president possesses a natural ability to lead and a remarkable degree of emotional intelligence. This strategy has hurt him. NAFTA. he needs to acknowledge that and confront them. When Speaker Nancy Pelosi inserted pet projects like funding for condoms (and then embarrassed herself trying to defend the idea). Not long after assuming office. Who isn’t beating up on congressional Republicans these days? More impressive would be a show of force against his own base. scant evidence has emerged that Obama wants to defy congressional Democrats. "Why Obama should confront his base. Obama glides gracefully along the surface while below his kicking never stops. Yet his unwavering support for her helped convince many Americans who hadn’t voted for him that Reagan was his own man." http://www. . Once the doors were closed. History teaches that leaders have to fight battles with their own people. a balanced budget and even a capital gains tax cut.com/news/stories/0309/20341. President Bill Clinton elevated this craft to an art form. His work with Republicans produced welfare reform. Since taking office. Take the stimulus. he taunted them that “I won” and then mocked them for listening to Rush Limbaugh.html) Two months into Barack Obama’s presidency. Obama could learn from these two presidents. In 1981. In the 1990s. But the learning curve appears steep. This episode should have warned the president: Congressional Democrats possess their own agenda. Faced with a Democratic Party in Congress that leaned left. He’s in control of himself. the president waved and smiled as he entered a Capitol Hill meeting with congressional Republicans. This was power politics. for example.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 204 A2: Base Key Standing up to the base would solidify Obama’s power Politico 9 (Kasey Pipes. And his presidential campaign mostly hid fairly stale Democratic ideas behind fresh new packaging. the country has seen a man with immense political talent. Clinton regularly looked for ways to show his independence. but it was also easy posturing. but is he in control of his party? Like a swan on water. Obama’s brand suffered.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 205 ### GOP ### .

html And that's the crux of the criticism. . We're upset with Obama because we believed his promises. then what's the point? It's not a transformative presidency when you flinch in the face of every challenge. as they say.com/2010/08/gibbs-people-who-areupset-with-obama. 2010. Obama supporters are not upset with President Obama because the supporters' own expectations are unrealistically high. pandering to them at every turn. and we thought he'd actually fight for them. Better to have loved and lost. this White House helped unify the Republicans by constantly.americablog. August 10. If anything. when the White House caved on the stimulus and showed its true colors to the Republican party. Gibbs talks about how difficult it is for the White House to get anything done in the face of a uniform Republican opposition. Except. of course.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Concessions to Republicans Increases Opposition Caving in to the Republicans unifies them 206 America Blog. http://www. But if you're not even willing to try. the GOP wasn't uniform at all in February of 2009. and unnecessarily.

could derail Obama's agenda and hopes of peeling off enough Republican politicians to get his legislation through the senate. They spurned his and have been relentlessly on the attack . 4-29-09.html) But the opposition Republican Party is fighting Obama every step of the way. roused those on the US political right into fury. and to release the shocking Bush-era memos authorising detainee abuse. http://english. and whether to hold Bush administration officials accountable. the former vice-president.their opposition could derail Obama’s plans Reynolds 9 (Rob. “Obama's breakneck 100 days”.net/news/americas/2009/04/200942512943774687. Al Jazeera. But the growing political firestorm over torture. overtures toward bipartisanship .earning Republicans the nickname "the party of no". accused Obama of endangering national security and putting the country at higher risk of attack.aljazeera. Ever quick to play the 'terrorism' card. Dick Cheney. Obama's decision to shut down the Guantanamo prison.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 207 Republicans Key The GOP is key to the agenda. senior Washington correspondent. Obama may welcome criticism from a politician as deeply unpopular as Cheney.

“It’s unfortunate. Roll Call News Online.” .C. 2009 ( Emily Pierce.html?page=2 ) Democrats said this week that they have been stunned by GOP objections to moving largely noncontroversial. But aides said they do not believe they will be able to actually confirm Harold Koh to be State’s legal counsel until late today because Republicans are objecting to a proposal to move on him more quickly. considering the GOP has prevailed on just two of 18 attempted filibusters this year. If just one Senator objects to bringing up or ending debate on a measure.” Still. which they will then criticize because we didn’t go through the regular process. even when Democrats clearly have the 60 votes needed to beat back a filibuster.com/issues/54_152/news/36276-1. http://www.) — have used time-consuming Senate rules to their advantage this year. which is noncontroversial. David Vitter (La. “That’s the narrative they want to play out: ‘Republicans are trying to delay and obstruct. with a handful of Republicans. then they’re pushing this to an omnibus appropriation. It’s hard enough to get these things done with the Senate rules. bipartisan items such as a travel promotion bill and the appropriations bill that funds Congress.” Durbin said. Democrats say GOP obstruction throughout the year threatens to eat up the time the chamber has to finish the 12 spending bills that fund the federal government. but if the minority refuses to cooperate it makes it very difficult.’” Republican Conference Vice Chairman John Thune (S. the process to break the blockade could take a week or more to resolve. Democrats.) and Tom Coburn (Okla. Jim DeMint (S.) said.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Republicans Key 208 Republicans have the ability to block even bipartisan bills Pierce. Roll Call Staff Writer.rollcall. June 25. but to the Democrats’ desire to just jam us and ram a lot of this agenda through without much deliberation. On Wednesday. “Majority Ready For a Long Year” . “If they’re going to object to the legislative [branch] appropriations bill. “I would attribute it more not to the desire of Republicans to slow things down. broke an attempted GOP-led filibuster of a lower-level State Department nominee. there’s little question that a handful of conservative Republicans — such as Sens. Republicans said they are not necessarily trying to stop Democrats from passing their agenda — and so far they haven’t.D.).

Arlen Specter described a "magic bullet" that changed America. When they won both Congress and the White House in 2008. their continued alliance with Republican obstructionists could endanger their whole party and consequently their individual careers.but it's quite another thing to cast a deciding vote against that promise when your party has all the power. putting off the promised conclusion just a little bit more.salon. No longer can they blame Republicans for stopping bills to reform healthcare. Specter is providing another history-altering magic bullet -. With Minnesota Democrat Al Franken expected to be seated soon. By leaving the Republican Party this week. The other possible outcome is actual progress. "This is Democrats' turn to govern. In command of the White House. the autocratic House of Representatives. http://www.com/opinion/feature/2009/05/01/democrats_specter/) As counsel for the Warren Commission investigating the Kennedy assassination. they have the 60 votes to override a filibuster. Democrats will have total authority to do whatever they want. when Dr.and it means we're about to find out whether their pledges were genuine. This legislative magic bullet will force Democrats to fulfill their policy promises and potentially commence an era of dominance. but whose subsequent failure to deliver exposes their dishonesty. tax. When they temporarily took back the Senate in 2001 after Vermont Sen. no excuses" -. they said George W.one Democrats will either fire off in a starting gun. Of course. He is an author. Jones' adventure did eventually end and the ark was found and opened. That reality could forge a new cohesion necessary for results -. that's one possible outcome of Specter's announcement. there's been another twist.and for an enduring majority. They have to understand that it's one thing to vote against your party's universal healthcare promise when the GOP could filibuster such a proposal -. Democrats have complete and total authority to pass whatever they want. it gruesomely melted the heads of those standing nearby as they euphorically screamed. and soon a filibuster-proof Senate majority. And at every turn. or they will fail and be annihilated at the polls. as ABC News' Rick Klein said. the five-term Pennsylvania lawmaker eliminated the last Democratic rationale for inaction: the Senate filibuster. or use in their suicide.. they insisted they still couldn't do very much because their 58 Senate votes couldn't overcome a filibuster -. They've made this pledge despite helping Republicans to deregulate the financial system and to plunge the country into the Iraq war. When they won both houses of Congress in 2006. Bush would veto their agenda -. . Four decades later as a U. a fair assertion that proved correct. Ever since the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress. right-wing and/or weak-kneed Democrats decide to keep helping Republicans make the upper chamber our nation's single most powerful obstacle to "real change. for gridlock.every time we think the quest to find the ark will be completed. It all depends on how Democrats use the magic bullet Arlen Specter just handed them. Democrats will have the 60 Senate votes needed to overcome all parliamentary obstructions. defense and trade policy. they've blamed the GOP. where he earned his bachelor's degree with honors in journalism and political science.again. "It's beautiful!" And. until 10 bought-off. and now with Specter. 60 votes become an ugly flame that sears the electoral flesh off politicians who technically have the power to act.a less believable claim considering Obama's bully pulpit. but nonetheless at least mathematically valid. Jim Jeffords' party switch. It has been like watching a 15-year version of an Indiana Jones film -. “The Democrats have no more excuses” May 1st 2009." When that happens. rather than themselves. That means.S. Democrats have guaranteed "real change" if we give them back control of government. they said the Republican House would stymie their priorities -. Sirota 2009 (David is an American political figure and commentator. in fact. newspaper columnist who is generally considered to be a political progressive. senator.a logical argument that came true. Sixty Senate votes do seem beautiful . Even the most recalcitrant Democratic senators likely comprehend that in a 60-vote environment brimming with expectations.. He went to Northwestern University. and no scapegoat to fault.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 209 Republicans Not Key Republicans don’t matter at all anymore.

com/issues/54_152/news/362761. Roll Call Staff Writer. “It’s unfortunate. but if the minority refuses to cooperate it makes it very difficult.” .” Durbin said. “Majority Ready For a Long Year” . It’s hard enough to get these things done with the Senate rules. Roll Call News Online. Democratic leaders say they are willing to keep the ch they will then criticize because we didn’t go through the regular process. Pierce.html?page=2 ) With Republicans attempting to throw roadblocks in front of almost every piece of Senate business these days.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 210 Republicans Not Key Even when republicans try to block agenda. democrats still get things done.rollcall. http://www. 2009 ( Emily Pierce. June 25.

making it difficult to "come together and launch a full-scale attack on any of them.wikipedia.wikipedia. by former House speaker Newt Gingrich that Sotomayor is a "racist" . is divided: some Republicans are working with Democrats on the healthcare package.wikipedia. Globe Staff Winner. the Republicans are foundering .com/opinio all power over the agenda Milligan.wikipedia. 2009 (Susan is a national political reporter for the Boston Globe in its Washington bureau.wikipedia." said Tony Fabrizio. where he earned his HYPERLINK "http://en. He is an author.wikipedia.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Republicans Not Key Republicans don’t matter at all anymore.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_commentator" µcommentator§. And the party. and the Sotomayor nomination process is in its early stages. undermining Republican efforts to thwart both pieces of legislation. rescinded Wednesday.wikipedia. congressional Republicans are struggling to present a unified front against a left-leaning agenda making marked progress on Capitol Hill.big business . Democrats have complete and total authority to pass whatever they want. http://www.org/wiki/Bachelor%27s_degree" µbachelor's degree§ with honors in HYPERLINK "http://en." he added. "They've got the Republicans basically rope-a-doped. they're kind of dividing and conquering. Sirota 2009 (David is an HYPERLINK "http://en.. http://www. But as an opposition party.Outnumbered by Democrats and out-shouted by personalities on the right flank of their party. while others are refusing to agree to any public health insurance plan.has largely abandoned earlier fights against a healthcare overhaul and pollution emissions standards.org/wiki/Newspaper_column" µnewspaper columnist§ who is generally considered to be a political HYPERLINK "http://en. A key part of the GOP base . But highly charged rhetoric by a few conservative commentators .salon. Neither the healthcare nor energy bills is assured final passage on Capitol Hill." .org/wiki/Journalism" µjournalism§ and HYPERLINK "http://en. both GOP and Democratic analysts say.and President Obama and Democratic allies in Congress are setting the agenda.org/wiki/Northwestern_University" µNorthwestern University§.org/wiki/Political_science" µpolitical science§. a GOP pollster. too.including the assertion. "There's never an opportunity here.boston. “The Democrats have no more excuses” May 1st 2009. HYPERLINK "http://en. June 5. She covers national government issues including the Executive branch and issues related to public policy and legislation such as campaign finance reform and education reform.org/wiki/Progressivism_in_the_United_States" µprogressive§. We're in the corner. Many GOP lawmakers are skeptical of racial preferences. “Congressional Republicans aim to present a united front”. The Boston Globe Online.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2009/06/05/congressional_republicans_aim_to_present_a_united _front/ ) WASHINGTON . and are eager to question Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor about her views on the issue. and we're getting punched.are frustrating efforts by Republicans senators to appear open and civil in their inquiry.org/wiki/Politics_of_the_United_States" µAmerican political figure§ and HYPERLINK "http://en. He went to HYPERLINK "http://en. 211 they have the 60 votes to override a filibuster.

given the high political cost the Republicans would have had to bear if they fillibustered a bill in a moment of perceived economic emergency. As it is. This is why they have tried to make a virtue out of bipartisanship as an end in itself.com/2009/02/obamas-honeymooncontinues.html) The unity and clarity of message exhibited by the Republicans this past week seemed to suggest that they have found their role as loyal opposition in minority. http://www. In the run-up to the passage of the bill in the Senate. Obama's Honeymoon Continues. everywhere we heard that 60 was the new 50. and the Republicans know it. 2/15/09 (Elvin. we shall see if their gamble paid off. Yet Republicans were complaining about a 1. Out on A Lim. Bipartisanship only became a governing keyword in the 20th century because of the frequency of divided party control over the different branches of government. Lim. This week in politics. But this may have been a higher bar than was necessary for the Democrats to cross. The truth is it is not easy being in the minority. but Republicans have an uphill battle before them. author of The Anti-intellectual Presidency and Assistant Professor of Government at Wesleyan University. The fact is 50 may well have been enough. This may be. it was the President who won.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 212 Republicans Not Key Republicans are meaningless. Democrats only need 50 votes. In 2010. Democrats are already accusing the opposition party for becoming the obstructionist party . Here’s the problem: the more Republicans made a stand against the process by which their input was stymied.elvinlim. decrying the way in which the economic stimulus bill was passed. So the wisest Republicans focused most of their attack on the process.100 page bill that nobody had perused at the same time that they were arguing that it was a bill of pork and spending. as Republicans will be branded as the obstructionist party if they use the filibuster. because accusing the Democrats for not consulting with them is a facesaving strategy on the off-chance that the stimulus package actually works. The fact is there is no need for bipartisanship when a majority exists in the Congress. the less credibility they had making a stand against the substance of the bill.

a minority of 41 or more can block passage if it uses its prerogative of extended debate.edu/carlalbertcenter/extensions/spring2009/Sinclair. Los Angeles. “Barack Obama and the 111th Congress: Politics as Usual?”. Extensions. the enactment of the stimulus plan in a form much like Obama's request and Democrats’ earlier drafts was a major victory for the young administration and its congressional allies. http://www. Marvin Hoffenberg Professor of American Politics at the University of California. Three moderate Senate Republicans were willing to deal. both of Maine. but. intense negotiations yielded agreements first on a Senate bill and then on the conference report. and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania – extracted a considerable price for their votes. Spring 2009. .ou. When Obama and congressional Democrats were unwilling to make fundamental changes to the program. The three – Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe.pdf) Because a simple majority can prevail in the House.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 213 GOP Not Key The GOP isn’t key.even unanimous opposition is irrelevant to passage Sinclair 9 (Barbara. in the end. the Senate Republican leadership decided that its interests lay in opposition as well. even unanimous Republican opposition is irrelevant to passage. In the Senate.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 214 .

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 215 ### Moderates ### .

and he might have difficulty with the crucial tasks that need to be done in a rational and systematic fashion: national security. where people have invested their savings for retirement and college.3e67046. which is looking for nonpartisan competence in dire times. helping the poor. the president needs a robust free market to support the bigger government that he and. Obama’s leadership could be fatally compromised. “Edward Achorn: Obama will need the moderates” March 10th 2009. At some point.General 216 Obama needs the moderates in order to deal with critical issues such as poverty. Brooks wrote. Ultimately.com/opinion/columnists/content/CL_achorn10_03-1009_E4DI6G4_v18. Apparently. have jumped off. think later” approach become more apparent. Wall Street financiers who supported Mr. and healthcare. “On top of that. which strongly favor refashioning America into something more like a European social democracy and less like a powerhouse of free-market capitalism. Americans can only afford the massive spending going on in Washington if they can revitalize the economy and create the wealth to pay for it. national security. particularly one who promised a more grown-up direction in Washington. laboriously consulting stakeholders and building widespread support. it appears. Plus policy measures that contradict each other — like vows to unclog the banking system of toxic mortgage debt. most prominently the radio blowhard Rush Limbaugh. At the same time. Achorn 2009 (Edward is the deputy editorial page editor of the Providence Journal. and energy issues. Meanwhile. including some of the news media. Such former Republican supporters as David Brooks and Christopher Buckley. Obama are also reportedly abandoning him.” Mr. moderate Senate Democrats are balking at the president’s tax-hike plan. “Those of us who consider ourselves moderates … are forced to confront the reality that Barack Obama is not who we thought he was. while a terrible financial crisis is making Americans hungry for leadership. who made big news when they jumped on the Obama bandwagon last year. President Obama will get much more of what he seeks — at least those things that will benefit all Americans — by returning to the approach that got him elected last November. his White House seems to be working to stir up partisan bickering.projo. boosting energy production. All this plays well with his base. http://www. Mr. but all of us should worry about the stock market. If there are wise people at the White House. But it risks losing the middle. along with a mortgage ‘cram down’ that would make that debt more toxic.” Mr. we get fresh threats of higher taxes on the most productive people in the country and a bank bailout that remains a mystery. The president’s well-regarded economic team has only succeeded in hastening the collapse of the market. it is time for them to speak up. In the final analysis. when the glow fades and the drawbacks of the “rush now. .Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Moderates Key -. Gasparino wrote of the unrest. by embarking on a strategy of demonizing critics of the administration. This is beneath the dignity of a president. his team fears that President Obama would be letting “a serious crisis go to waste” if he were to move at a more cautious pace.” Charles Gasparino of CNBC contended in a New York Post column Thursday. making sense of our health-care non-system. as people rush to convert their wealth into cash and gold rather than invest in America. Not even their mothers love Wall Street financiers. most Americans want.html) The idea seems to be to ram through as much of the left-wing wish list as possible in the immediate afterglow of his election. “The sentiment has shifted dramatically. of course.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 MODERATE DEMS KEY 217 MODERATE DEMS KEY TO AGENDA – THEY GET MODERATE GOP TO MOVE TO THE CENTER. Gannett National Writer. particularly in the Senate. this time in ways that can benefit the White House. But now they have the ability in the new Congress to nudge legislation from the Republican right toward the center. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin. Yet their importance actually may go up in months ahead.. consider rank-and-file moderates in Congress from the president's own party. particularly if the GOP ends up with only a narrow majority in the House. “White House Renovation Calls for a Bridge Builder” Wall Street Journal] Second. .October 28 -lexis] If Kristi Noem is elected to Congress by fellow South Dakotans on Tuesday. The corps of these lawmakers was ravaged by this months' election. the House of Representatives since 1992. Those that survive could be a key swing bloc between President Barack Obama's party and Republicans. MODERATE DEMS ARE A KEY SWING VOTING BLOC. SEIB 11-16-10. Washington Bureau chief. worked over the last two years to nudge legislation from the left toward the political center. [Chuck. “Noem. she would be a member of what may be the largest freshman class in If Rep. [Gerald.D. in ways that annoyed the White House. is re-elected. Herseth Sandlin embody ’10 trends” Gannett News Service -. so their numbers are down. These Democratic moderates. D-S. RAASCH 10. she would be a member of what is almost certain to be a diminished pack of centrist "Blue Dog" Democrats in the House.

with a bold move that he knew they would hate. even if it takes months? We've never really gotten clear and consistent answers as to how Obama is going to handle the Bush mess. I could be monstrously wrong about all of this. and not of some sort of progressive icon. This means Obama won't be as effective a Republican fundraising tool. the military balked. A good test case will be how President Obama handles the torture question. “How Will Obama Enrage The Left?” Huffington Post 12/3/08 http://www. Exhibit A in my thinking is the FISA bill he voted for." . but bear with me. which leaves me wondering what he will actually do when he gets the chance. You can bet the farm on that one. as it were) in how Obama is going to handle Bush's legacy. Barack Obama will likely not make the mistake Bill Clinton did when he entered office with the "gays in the military" issue. Exhibit C is his intervention with how the Senate treated Joe Lieberman. Clinton wanted to do what was right. however.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 218 AT: DEMS KEY If Obama angers the left. without actually fully supporting a populist or liberal agenda.com/chris-weigant/how-will-obamaenrage-the_b_148246. at any rate. to be sure. it only boosts capital Weigant 8 (Chris Weigant is a political commentator. The only disappointing thing to them will be that Obama will not turn out to be the boogeyman they created in an effort to scare the heck out of voters. beholden to no special interest group of radical progressives. although it will require more of a "big picture" or "long view of history" type of viewpoint. Chicago Tribune 8. The left wing. since he won't be doing all those things that terrify Republican donors. Call it his "Sister Souljah moment. sometime next January or February. I believe it will actually help Obama get more progressive laws passed. But the lesson here is that Clinton started off by picking a fight with his opponents -. it doesn't just have to be how to deal with Bush's legacy.html) I hate to rain on anyone's parade. If you're Michael ending the war anyway. I think Obama is going to do the opposite. Obama will be seen as charting his own course as a strong and independent leader. by refusing to do what they want him to do. don't tell." while urging everyone to move on? The torture question is merely the tip of the iceberg (the best bad example. Will he convene a commission to investigate? Will he offer blanket immunity (or even -. Lexis] O'Hanlon. over the long run he'll be able to get better laws passed. But it's going to absolutely enrage the left. and will likely pay off enormous political dividends for Obama over the life of his presidency." which has been a complete disaster. If Obama starts off his presidency showing strength and independence from the left. it will mean a lot more people out there are going to give him the benefit of the doubt over time. Which Obama will (perhaps with a show of reluctance) then sign. By appearing to "stand up" to the left wing. Exhibit B would have to be the numerous times he reluctantly moved left. . It will then be up to Congress to challenge him by passing laws even more sweeping than Obama asked for. NO IMPACT TO ANGERING THE DEMOCRATS – THEY WON’T TURN ON OBAMA. and go ballistic in an entirely predictable fashion. President Obama is going to make a point of picking a fight with some of his own most fervent supporters. 2 1/2 or 3 1/2 years. I think he's going to come out with some bold move that he knows the left is absolutely going to abhor. They will then denounce him for his outrageous action." if you will. with more "political capital" to spend on getting the rest of his agenda done. however. and it is a question if you're doing it in 1 1/2 . Because newly-inaugurated President Obama is going to pick one issue and swiftly smack the left in the face. soon after Obama enters office. I have to admit) Obama will emerge from the fray even stronger politically than ever. All of these things point to a very centrist course for an Obama administration. with more support from the public than they would normally have.huffingtonpost. The right wing won't be terribly disappointed. And (this is the part I'm least sure about. and they're going to get more comfortable with Obama as a result. and we wound up with "Don't ask. He's already moving things in the direction they want him to. That's how the news media will portray it. They didn't believe the cries of "Socialist!" in the election. "Obama to the left is what Ronald Reagan was to the right. Taking the long view. of course. In other words. or even if you think I'm barking up the wrong tree entirely. But it could be almost any issue. is going to get disappointed with a short sharp shock. with lots of compromises with political foes. and listening to what he actually said. but Obama is guaranteed to disappoint.. And that's without even examining his cabinet choices. said that Obama has enough political capital to free him from "pleasing the left" of the Democratic Party as he presses forward with his strategy for Iraq and Afghanistan.gasp! -. He has been a regular contributor to Arianna Huffington’s The Huffington Post since June of 2006. I don't think it'll be as bad as it will first seem when it happens. "He can do no wrong . But from watching his campaign. since it will serve to calm fears from suburban Republicans and Independents that Obama is going to make too many radical changes too fast. It's kind of doublethink. If Obama removes his "lightning rod" target for the right wing early on. His approval ratings will likely rise after he does so." O'Hanlon said.. This will be a calculated move. the portrait of Obama I am left with is one of cautiousness and pragmatism. What Bush policies is Obama going to immediately rectify? What Bush actions will he reverse.] Because I simply cannot get rid of the feeling that.pardons) to get honest answers about what went on? Or will he sweep the whole thing under the rug and "look to the future and not the past. Meaning more progressive legislation actually gets passed in the end. a national security expert at the Brookings Institution in Washington. since they'll have plenty to complain about for the next four-to-eight years. [11/7. [Feel free to offer your own thoughts in the comments as to what exactly this is going to turn out to be.

[Steven. Washington correspondent. this week's elections drove out about half of the conservative Democrats in the House.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 AT: MODERATES DEMS KEY 219 NOPE THEY ALL LOST – REMAINING DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS WILL BE UNIFIED AND PROGRESSIVE. In the Democratic Party. such as government deficits and debt. ousted by primary challenges from more conservative candidates and leaving a more conservative party behind. Gene Taylor of Mississippi. there was some small comfort in the result that most of those kicked out were moderates. leaving a more liberal party in Washington. and very few Progressive or Latino Caucus members. Many were the so-called “blue dog Democrats” from traditionally Republican districts who rode the Democratic waves of 2006 and 2008 into office but were the most vulnerable when even Independents turned red this year.” THERE’S NOT ENOUGH LEFT TO MATTER – ELECTION RESULTS. The result is a more polarized Congress. and under great pressure from such outside groups as labor unions not to make any compromises that would cut federal spending. who voted against the Democratic health care law. . The remaining Democratic lawmakers. for president in 2008 against his own party's nominee." said William Galston. “no Black Caucus members. Also. though the party lost its majority in the House of Representatives and with it its committee chairmen. All this risks driving politics farther from the American people. For them. “Extremes rule both parties. [Hilary Leila. a top policy adviser in the Clinton White House and a scholar at the Brookings Institution. opposed "cap and trade" energy legislation and voted for Sen. many of whom still stand squarely in the middle of the political road.. lost their House reelection bids. THOMMA 11-5-10. About two dozen moderate to conservative Democrats in the House of Representatives were defeated this week. particularly in the House. That could complicate efforts to solve some of the country's biggest problems. cable TV and in the blogosphere pressure the parties not to compromise. R-Ariz. particularly those Democrats on the farther left side of the spectrum. mostly from the South. “Analysis: The partisans are coming to Congress” Jerusalem Post] But some Democrats have found a silver lining to their otherwise unwelcome results. will be more liberal. Barack Obama. several moderate to liberal Republicans were turned out through the year. particularly for pay or benefits for government employees. especially as outsized voices on talk radio. As a result. John McCain. KRIEGER 11-12-10. "Bit by bit. Among the losers: Rep. House Democrats in the 112th Congress will be more progressive and more supportive of the Democratic Party and Nancy Pelosi’s agenda than any House of Representatives in recent memory. as centrists lose their seats” McClatchy Newspapers] The center may be falling out of American politics. the center in American politics is getting weaker.” as liberal blogger Deborah White wrote. White House correspondent. “In vivid contrast.

“Most Americans are not red or blue. but there are still a few of them left. “They still control the swing vote in such a narrowly divided Senate. 11-30-06. But. The recent election brought a number of new Blue Dog Democrats to the House but took a particularly hard toll on the already endangered New England Republican. “Nearly 45 percent of Americans describe themselves as moderates and I think that speaks volumes about what the people want. lost to Democratic challengers. In the Senate. If Obama's approval ratings are strong. hopes to reach over to the Republican side of the aisle on at least some issues. he’s the only Republican left in the chamber from New England. Rep. said Eric Wortman. putting the statehouse in line with the state’s entire congressional delegation. http://www. “I think you will see a rise in bipartisanship. In Massachusetts.” said Sen. “Moderates Still Wield Power in Congress” . The leadership of the House has made that clear.” said Sen. much less 60 votes.” Shays said. the coalition’s spokesman.” The slight majority in the Senate could put Republican moderates in a powerful position.” . it takes 60 votes to get any major bill passed.” Shays said. [Lauren Smith.html) With Jim Martin's loss in Georgia. Susan Collins (R-Maine). said Powell. what Maine people want: an independent voice building a political center. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine).edu/washjocenter/newswire_pg/fall2006/conn/Moderates. Republicans in the House will have less influence. MODERATES KEY -. there are more than a couple of Democrats in the chamber whose votes Obama can't take for granted. they are purple. moderate Republican Sen. Orono. and should clear 60 comfortably on key issues.com/2008/12/who-are-swing-senators. viewed as moderates on most issues. “Who Are the Swing Senators?” December 4.GENERIC 220 Moderates key to the agenda. Michael Michaud (D-Maine) is a member.” Wortman said. the line between 59 (or 58) votes and 60 was never so bright as it seemed. he should have little trouble whipping the couple of Republican votes he needs into shape.” Powell said. politicians and political experts still expect moderates to play a pivotal role in the upcoming Congress.” Shays said he would be happy to travel in New England to help rebuild the moderate wing of the party in the Northeast. Chris Shays is not only the last Connecticut Republican in the House. there will be a group of four or five senators in each party who line up just to either side of the 60-seat threshold and will find that they're suddenly very much in demand. Nancy Johnson and Rob Simmons. and cited by the New York Times. however. political science professor at the University of Maine. we now know that the Democrats will not achieve a 60-seat senatorial caucus once the 111th Congress convenes next month.SWAY THE VOTE. In practice. the Democrats and the country to have two strong parties in New England. It would be better for the Republicans. “It is not healthy for Republicans to have such a small presence in an entire region of the country.” New Hampshire’s two Republican House members. there remain enough conservative. red-state Democratic senators to deny him a simple majority on key issues. Moderate Republicans are an endangered species these days. “This is just the latest in a long line of elections in which the number of moderate Republicans has been declining in both the House and the Senate.” Because of the rules in the House which have said they will be caucusing with the Democrats. “Moderates in both parties have an important role of reaching across the aisle to get things done. “The few moderate Republicans that exist in the Senate are in an influential position. Political Analyst published in the Guardian. Conversely. Democrats will have a slim two-seat majority in combination with the two independents who “Because of the Senate rules. But the Blue Dog Coalition. a group of moderate and conservative House Democrats. the New Republic and CNN.” said Richard Powell. Charles Bass and Jeb Bradley also were defeated by Democratic challengers.bu. as well as several other quasi-moderates who either get along with Obama or are under some form of electoral pressure in their home states. a Democratic governor was elected for the first time in 16 years. of which Rep.fivethirtyeight.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 MODERATES KEY -. if Obama proves to be unpopular. Bangor Daily News 6. The state’s other two GOP representatives. allow the majority party to control the flow of legislation. In practice. In Rhode Island. The Democrats will enjoy a 31-seat majority in the House come January. http://www. “Competition makes everyone perform better.htm] Despite the ouster of many moderate Republicans in the midterm elections. who won reelection with almost 75 percent of the vote. Silver 8 (Nate. “The trend has been underway for quite some time now. “That means the moderates on both sides of the aisle will be the ones who determine whether or not legislation is approved. Lincoln Chaffee was ousted from his position.

“Barack Obama’s agenda shifts to humility. energy. They are the same ones whose names were dropped during the healthcare and financial reform debates. with Republican incumbent Norm Coleman clinging to a lead of about 300 votes as of yesterday.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 MODERATE GOP KEY MODERATE REPUBLICANS KEY. Chambliss' push to become a bulwark against Obama earned him the nickname "Mr 41" . their majorities will shrink to insignificance and their ability to force through ambitious legislation will disappear. Instead. It is important to point out that the political calculus after the midterms changes slightly for the Republicans in Congress. and Scott Brown (R-MA). but President Obama has a perfect scapegoat to blame for any lack of progress during his 2012 reelection campaign. Susan Collins (R-ME). consensus” The Australian -. Still." Duncan declared yesterday at a victory party in Georgia. A majority of 60 would have allowed them that could wreck Obama's ambitious legislative programme. While it is true that there will be fewer “moderate” Republicans left in the Congress after the midterms. the time for serious compromise is near and the outlines of a legislative bargain with moderate Republicans are on the table. Moderate Republicans key to the agenda. Senate immediately after the midterm elections. “5 things Obama should do after the midterm elections” -.S. Whether Mr Obama likes it or not. and jobs plans.” they have to appear as though they are doing something other than saying “no. in Minnesota. WHITTELL 10. Mike Duncan. is being recounted and hangs in the balance.the number of Republican senators needed to thwart a 60-seat Democrat majority .http://theloop21. there will still be a handful. [Zerlina. Whereas between 2008 and 2010 they had nothing at all to lose by going against the President’s agenda and everything to gain by frustrating his efforts to bring about promised “change. DC bureau chief for the London Times. Senator Snowe who is up for reelection in 2012 actually has an incentive to work with the President and he is in a strong position to negotiate with her. The final Senate contest. former Obama campaign staffer.” Otherwise they risk losing not only seats in Congress in 2012. Lexis) The Chambliss victory means the Democrats have 58 of the to override Republican delaying tactics such as filibusters 100 Senate seats. Meet with key Republicans in the U. MAXWELL 10. "Republicans still know how to win an election.October 30] Translation: he knows that even if Democrats manage to hang on to the Senate and the house. . political commentator. MODERATE REPUBLICANS KEY TO OBAMA’S AGENDA. Guardian 8 (December 4. Olympia Snowe (R-ME).com/politics/5-things-obama-should-do-after-the-midterm-elections] The following is a list of 5 action items that President Obama 221 should do in order to be successful under a new and more conservative Congress. [Giles.from the national Republican chairman. 1. These three at the very least should be on the President’s list of “reasonable” Senators who will hopefully not filibuster every single piece of legislation. the Georgia defeat makes that outcome less important as Obama's allies in Congress now look to build alliances with moderate Republicans on their healthcare. the Democrats will have to court Republicans to see their bills through . Washington.

. but also those districts that have been traditionally Democratic. Despite this. when two Democrats split the majority of votes in the district due to the lack of a primary election by law. PhD. Republican moderates in Congress are often associated with two factors: 1) a liberal voting record earlier in their career. district opinion and legislator ideology are not always mirror images. he turned out to be slightly more conservative than I had expected. which is Barack Obama’s home district and encompasses Honolulu. and liberal districts weed out conservative candidates.http://bshor. Now that we have nearly a year’s worth of votes behind us. but not by much. Cao won his New Orleans district after the indictment of his predecessor. I feel pretty good about that prediction. as Democratic conservatives and moderates are discovering anew in 2010. I would have predicted him to be more liberal than Lincoln Chaffee (RI) or Jim Jeffords (VT). both are related. Based purely on Djou’s voting record in the Assembly. would prove to be one of the most liberal Republicans in the US Senate. he compiled a conservative-for-Hawaii voting record. My estimate of Brown’s ideology—using our NPAT common space data–is that he is the third most liberal Republican in the Senate. Charles Djou won a unique special election in the normally very Democratic HI-1 district. in the sense that ambitious moderates choose liberal districts to run in. of the partisan leanings of a district is its Cook Partisan Voting Index or PVI score. While there.wordpress. Of course. based on his voting record in the Massachusetts state legislature. just as in 2008. Naturally. Still. I hadn’t yet written about Djou–to my regret—though he had previously served in the Hawaii State Assembly (District 47). I’ve already written a bit about Scott Brown. not very–by the standards of congressional Republicans. as polling and other data indicate a very high likelihood of a Cao loss. the first of whom endorsed a Democrat for president. and 2) a liberal district. or those with strong or longtime Democratic incumbents. It’s just that Hawaii Republicans are quite liberal. Harris School @ UChicago.com/2010/10/27/say-hello-to-the-future-fightinrepublican-liberals-and-moderates-of-the-house-class-of-2010/] Republicans. Of course. Republican liberals and moderates often find themselves in difficult electoral contests. Given how competitive Republicans are in 2010. just behind Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine. SHOR 10. for which I was vilified a bit online. even in otherwise unfriendly territory. He’s about as conservative as Scott Brown is–that is. [Boris. “Say Hello to the Future Fightin’ Republican Liberals and Moderates of the House Class of 2010” October 27 -. I estimate him in the top 10 percent of legislators for conservatism in the state. One measure.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 AT: THERE ARE NO MODERATE GOP 222 REPUBLICAN MIDTERM WINS CAME IN BLUE DISTRICTS – CONSIDERABLE MODERATE GOP CONTINGENT. in this wave election that recalls 1994. A conservative Republican in Hawaii just ain’t that conservative when you look across the country. and Charles Djou in Hawaii’s 1st District. In short. and the second of whom gave majority control of the Senate to Democrats by leaving the Republican party. My prediction after his election but before his arrival in Washington was that Brown. this has led to overclaiming by jubilant conservatives and distraught liberals–though the adjectives were then reversed–that this portends a realignment in American politics. think back to two Republicans who won special elections in deeply blue constituencies in the 111th Congress: Scott Brown in Massachusetts. Assistant Professor. among many. Yet even his sole Republican vote in favor of the Democratic health care reform legislation doesn’t appear to be enough to save him. the only Republican representative evincing a more liberal voting record than Djou is Anh “Joseph” Cao. political scientist. we should then expect a crop of moderates to emerge in the 112th Congress that will vote on the left side of the party. What do Republican inroads in traditionally Democratic areas portend for how these potential new Representatives will vote come January 2011? For a little guidance. HI-1. In fact. is D+11. In fact. look set to win not just swing districts. He was even right of center of his own party. for reasons I will describe in a later post. of Louisiana’s 2nd District. the punch line is just like that for Dede Scozzafava in New York.

Usually when a chamber like the Senate swings back to closer to 50-50 that means you'll get more moderates in swinging electorates prepared to cut a deal and cross the floor. FRIEL 10. And Democrats like Evan Bayh of Indiana who frequently voted with the Republicans saw the writing on the wall and quit politics this year in disgust. Bennett their seats and helped deny nomination to several candidates initially favored by Senate Republican leaders. Snowe of Maine. there was no need to compromise. When the democrats enjoyed a 60-40 Senate majority. Michael N. .org/news/2010/11/04/divided_senate_complicates_dem_agenda] GOP primary voters made it clear this year that they were looking for conservative bona fides in their Senate candidates.net. [Brian. research associate @ US Studies Centre @ U of Sydney.abc. And this is clearly a problem for any attempts at bipartisanship.congress.shift to the centre and you'll find you are all alone.November 4 -http://www.htm?site=thedrum] Already president Obama is being urged to "shift to the political centre" . American politics is more like a doughnut.http://www. Castle of Delaware. MODERATES CAN’T COMPROMISE – RE-ELECTION. “Divided Senate complicates Dem Agenda” CQ Today -. BARRON 11-4-10. “The Doughnut Election” ABC -. Inside American presenter on ABC NewsRadio. [John.au/news/stories/2010/11/04/3056619. CQ Staff. Scott P. But not this time. Hatch of Utah.to do as Bill Clinton did after he suffered massive losses in the 1994 mid-terms and abandon more divisive agenda items like health care and gays serving openly in the military. like former labor secretary Robert Reich.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 AT: MODERATE GOP KEY 223 REACHING OUT TO MODERATE GOP FAILS – THERE’S NONE LEFT. Such demands ultimately cost Pennsylvania’s Arlen Specter and Utah’s Robert F. including Florida Gov. Tea Party-backed freshmen Republican senators like Rand Paul from Kentucky and Marco Rubio in Florida immediately become the least likely to join with the Democrats. Brown of Massachusetts and Bob Corker of Tennessee. Charlie Crist and Rep. Republican senators who could face challenges from the right in 2012 include Olympia J. Which was just as well because there were only one or two moderate Republicans who might have ever considered a compromise. Orrin G. That pressure could make compromise with Democrats impossible. while liberals capable of bipartisandship like Russ Feingold of Wisconsin got creamed. But even some Clinton insiders. say the political centre just doesn't exist .

D.com/politics/first100days/2009/03/14/moderate-democrats-flex-clout/) Moderate Democrats in Congress who built their ranks in November's elections are nudging their party's liberal agenda to the center. New Democrats' ability to work with industry to find a middle ground on major issues is important now.foxnews. They demonstrated that two weeks ago when House leaders canceled votes on the bankruptcy loan modification bill. "Those that are advocating for purity in ideology or as a test for who's a good Democrat are going to have their heart broken. Fearing a rush by Obama and a strengthened Democratic congressional majority to impose They're also not going to get anything done. which Obama backs. a more loosely affiliated group of Democratic centrists led by Sens. The measure got back on track and passed only after the New Democrats won changes that could make it more difficult to qualify for a loan rewrite in bankruptcy." said Jeff Peck. she argued. Evan Bayh of Indiana." said California Rep. with a 58-41 working majority that includes two independents. Among recent signs of their clout: The 68-member New Democrat Coalition temporarily sidelined a measure to let bankruptcy judges rewrite mortgages. is one of their most prominent alumni. http://www. given the wave of crises that has shaken the public's confidence. and our group will be a key to making that happen. They held out for limits on court-ordered easing of mortgages. Ellen O." They can withhold them too. The group of about 15 could be a critical voting bloc as Senate Democratic leaders. former Rep. Business interests are pleased to see the moderates gaining greater prominence. this gives the key votes in both the senate and house. said she hasn't met with a banking lobbyist in months. because of the need for two middle of the road senators for 60 votes. "We've got members strategically placed throughout all the big committees. We can really deliver votes. working to add a pro-business dose of pragmatism to President Obama's plans to rescue homeowners. “Moderate Democrats Flex Their Clout” March 14th 2009. "You've got to get to 60 votes in the Senate most of the time. which she notes employs her constituents. a former Wall Street investment banker. Rahm Emanuel. their lobbyists say centrists can broker compromises. overhaul health care and revamp energy policy. and on making sure that we were competitive in the trade environment. In the process." Tauscher said.. our group is to get things done. head of the New Democrats. "A number of the New Democrats have a Ph. search for the elusive 60 votes necessary to advance most legislation beyond the minefield of procedural hurdles. the moderates took heat from liberal activists who called them "corporatists" working on behalf of banking lobbyists instead of their constituents. Tauscher. Tauscher. But she makes no apologies for her relationships with the business sector. A few centrist Senate Democrats helped slow passage of a $410 billion spending bill because of its cost. Obama told the House's band of New Democrats during a meeting last week that he considered himself one of them. On the contrary." Bayh said. because of concerns among the moderates about how it could affect homeowners struggling to make their monthly payments. "The more severe the crisis. They have massive influence as well as White House Allies. forcing Democratic leaders to bow to their demands. . according to several attendees. a move lenders were demanding. Fox News 2009 (Fox News is mainly a political news source with both online and television news. a top financial services lobbyist." In the Senate. We were go-to people on the pro-growth area and on balancing the budget. and the New Democrats have a well-deserved reputation for doing that. With close ties to industry and a keen understanding of how markets work. in the art of the doable. "Our group is not to be a counterweight to anyone or to obstruct anything. His chief of staff. They also have powerful allies in the White House.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Moderate Democrats Key 224 Moderate Democrats have the reigns of the political agenda." . the greater the desire and need for people off the Hill to find members who actually want to get stuff done. burdensome new policies with little regard for how they might affect companies' bottom lines. "This is a healthy reprise (of) what we had in the Clinton administration.. these Democrats have taken an increasingly influential and visible role in debates over federal spending and housing. Tom Carper of Delaware and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas plans to launch its own coalition in the coming weeks.

He has talked.11. Ben Nelson of Nebraska. family and national service.” a history of the DLC. fiscal restraint.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Moderate Democrats Key 225 Moderate democrats rising key force to Obama’s agenda – bipartisan efforts Dallek. they are a rising force in Washington and in the country. among other center-left policies. These centrists also tend to be more hawkish than most of their liberal congressional counterparts. for one — at arm’s length. It raised taxes on corporations and the wealthy. and his legacy of fiscal responsibility reverberates among Democratic moderates in Congress in 2009.Obama has one foot planted in the moderate camp and another squarely centered in the liberal camp . about trimming wasteful government spending. opposes the union-backed Employee Free Choice Act. Their program offered tax cuts for middle-income families. especially now that Specter has brought Democrats to the brink of a filibuster-proof majority for the first time in decades. Before Clinton’s ascendance.”)Obama is too young to have fought in these wars.html) One critical topic was largely lost amid the media’s grading of Barack Obama’s presidency at its 100-day mark. and former Sens. moderate Democrats are a rising. Clinton-like. In March. with Clinton in power. While the moderates in the Senate are only one of the Democratic Party’s constituent pieces. for the first time since the mid-1990s.09 (Matthew. more recently. they come from Republican strongholds and claim to speak for moderates and independents — or swing voters.politico. put limits on new social spending and ultimately helped cut the budget deficit and produce a budget surplus in 1998. Democratic moderates form a crucial bloc of votes that will define much of Obama’s legislative agenda. James Jones in the Cabinet is reassuring. (The DLC. while Ben Nelson has expressed disapproval of Obama’s cap-and-trade energy plan. besides.” as Clinton biographer David Maraniss put it. While eyeing Obama’s overtures to Iran and Cuba with some trepidation. In a 60-40 Democratic Senate. the newest Democratic moderate. increasingly decisive factor in American politics. Gillis Long.” who “comb their hair to the left like Kennedy and move their policies to the right like Reagan. 5. Democratic centrists. the influence of the DLC’s heirs is going to be profound. But DLC founders Al From. Specter.. hawkish Hillary Clinton and four-star Gen. the Midwest and the interior West. Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana have emerged as a formidable legislative force. the presence of Robert Gates (a Republican). former Louisiana Rep. Claire McCaskill of Missouri. It is. and the decibel-splitting debate about the GOP’s future: As Sen. following in the steps of Bill Clinton’s Democratic Leadership Council on economic issues. They are reluctant to buck the wishes of business and raise taxes on the middle class. Mark Warner of Virginia.to late-’80s. backed George W. Like Al Gore’s and Clinton’s support for the 1991 Gulf War. however. “Moderate Democrats become decisive factor. Democrats “had a president who championed . While his sweeping first budget has evoked in some memories of LBJ’s Great Society. hailed small business as America’s economic driver and held traditional interest groups — organized labor. in short. The DLC has been eclipsed by the Center for American Progress. they know. Democratic centrists in the Senate formed a moderate coalition to push for bipartisan deficit reduction. http://www. as his first 100 days as president show. Obama. he is ideologically nimble and tough to pigeonhole politically. Evan Bayh of Indiana. Bush’s 2003 Iraq war and praised Obama’s decision to send thousands of troops to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan.” Clinton helped Democrats shed their image as pro-Big-Government liberals. endorsed tax cuts for the middle class. the author of “Reinventing Democrats. Bill Clinton is the secretary of state’s spouse. Arlen Specter’s party shift shows. when Clinton and the Rev.Democrats are more cohesive politically than they were in the mid. a different era. They recall that Clinton enacted a landmark budget in 1993. Democrats “had been seen as profligate ‘tax-andspenders’”. Elected from the South.Sens. Chuck Robb of Virginia and Sam Nunn of Georgia also “sought to reorient the party toward the white middle class. The newly won power of these liberal centrists won’t necessarily trigger a fresh round of Democratic infighting. isn’t another Democratic dove in the mold of Eugene McCarthy. war in Iraq and hailed such values as responsibility. From their efforts to enact bipartisan health care reform to shaping energy and environmental legislation. One of their greatest concerns is averting a new era of exploding budget deficits.” Politico. Clinton’s presidency “marked a profound change” in the Democratic Party’s direction. Al Gore is a hero to environmentalists and anti-war activists. Jackson once quipped. Jesse Jackson battled for the party’s mind. stood for “Democrats for the Leisure Class. visiting scholar at the Bipartisan Policy Center.. argued Kenneth Baer. his speech to Congress in February highlighted his commitment to deficit reduction. vowed to withdraw deliberately from the .com/news/stories/0509/22340.

Sen. Some are pushing a new government-sponsored health insurance program. as Republicans learned in 2006. there already is a lively debate among Democrats on several of Obama's key issues. 58 percent of independents. there will be less restraint on Democrats than if the GOP were still in the game. Arlen Specter's switch from Republican to Democrat confirms it. For a country whose ideological "middle" determines so much in politics. Perhaps unnoticed by the general public. and only 30 percent of Republicans.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Moderate Democrats Key/ AT: Specter’s Switch= Lock 226 Specters party switch means nothing. according to an April poll from the Pew Research Center. enjoys a favorable job approval rating of 63 percent." Other Democratic moderates in the Senate and fiscally conservative "blue dog" Democrats in the House will have to play a tempering role. “Will Specter be the center's pivot?” April 29th 2009. The Monitor has won hundreds of journalism honors including seven Pulitzer Prizes and more than a dozen Overseas Press Club Awards. With Senator Specter quite possibly handing the Democrats the filibuster-proof 60-seat majority (that Senate race in Minnesota is still undetermined). ramping up government spending and economic and social intervention. CSM Editoral Board 2009 (Christian Science Monitor is an award-winning international news organization that covers news and feature stories globally. The Pennsylvania senator – famously independent – frankly acknowledged this shift when he said yesterday that he couldn't win a GOP primary in a state where last year. the moderates will have control of the agenda. Specter and other moderates can help Obama remember this. the question is whether the center will hold.com/2009/0429/p08s01-comv. and with a GOP boiling down to a mainly Southern and hard-line conservative essence – with all that. with a Democratic-controlled House. and those who fear it would undermine private-sector competitorsoment of economic crisis. while the White House has said it's open to other ways to get coverage for all Americans. 200. http://www. .csmonitor. he won’t be an automatic 60th vote.html) As if last year's presidential election were not proof enough. The tussle here is between those who believe such a government program would help control costs (one reason is it would not have to make a profit). The young president.000 Republicans registered as Democrats. So it's encouraging to hear Specter remark that he will "not be an automatic 60th vote. for instance. and Democrats learned in 1994. Polls leading up to President Obama's 100th day in office map out the new terrain. One-partyrule runs the danger of overreach. That solid affirmation comes from 93 percent of Democrats. The political landscape in America has shifted – from a center-conservative to a center-liberal one.

Bush's 2001 tax-cut bill.newsmax. They will get their demands on the budget. If the rule is broken.D. The demands by moderates to curb the growth of domestic agency budgets by limiting the increase for next year to inflation will face great resistance from senior lawmakers and the administration. "but at the same time get paygo statutorily put in place.html) . many of them from the South. it would trigger across-the-board cuts in other benefit programs. Under such a regimen. Opposition from the Blue Dogs likely ensures that Obama's controversial "cap-and-trade" plan to limit greenhouse gases won't advance in a fast-track budget bill that could avoid a GOP filibuster in the Senate. with Social Security exempted. which is symbolic of their political power. 9 percent increase for non-defense programs. "We're trying to be constructive in a way that allows the president to get an acceptable budget. Under cap-and-trade. a coalition of moderate and conservative Democrats. Charlie Melancon. Such a statutory pay-as-you-go system. establishing new benefit programs or making current programs more generous must be "paid for" with higher revenues or benefit cuts elsewhere. especially regarding global warming. Obama sought a $51 billion." While the group hasn't drawn any lines in the sand. and radio news." said Rep. they said that President Barack Obama's controversial bill to fight global warming should not be permitted to advance under rules that shut off the right of Senate Republicans to filibuster the measure. some of their demands are likely to be met.6 trillion budget for next year.. calling for cutting more than $40 billion from domestic programs funded by Congress each year At the same time." said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad. D-Wis. Associated Press 2009 (Associated Press is a American News service having newspapers. http://www.Conservative and moderate Democrats are flexing their muscles on Capitol Hill. a figure that's probably too high to pass. control a critical bloc of votes needed to pass the congressional budget blueprint. “Conservative 'Blue Dog' Democrats Flex Muscles as Obama Stumbles” March 19th 2009. online. are pressing for budget increases well above those sought by moderates. though the law was simply "switched off" when Congress passed President George W." was in place for years in the 1990s and early this decade. It is the first legislative response to Obama's $3. D-La. Administration allies such as House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey. legislation cutting taxes. demanding significantly lower spending for domestic programs as well as automatic budget cuts if tax cuts and new programs would increase the deficit A group of 51 so-called "Blue Dog" House Democrats released their roster of budget demands Thursday.com/headlines/conservative_democrats/2009/03/19/194047. The looming battle over how much to devote to annual domestic agency budgets is important because unlike other elements of the congressional budget plan—they are often more symbolic than substantive—the annual caps on appropriations have real impact on programs. The cost of the credits would be passed on to consumers. DN. or "paygo. The Blue Dogs. The companies can then invest in technologies to reduce emissions to reach a certain target or buy credits from other companies that already have met their emission reduction goals. "I'm going to show that we've made many adjustments in the budget in light of CBO's re-estimates. Of WASHINGTON greatest importance to the group is putting in place a legally binding "pay as you go" system governing new tax cuts and benefit programs such as Obama's health reform initiative. . the government would establish a market for carbon dioxide by selling credits to companies that emit greenhouse gases. especially with Congressional Budget Office estimates on Friday expected to show that the worsening economy with produce significantly higher deficits than predicted by Obama's budget..Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Moderates/ Blue dogs Key 227 Blue Dogs and Moderates are showing their political strength on agenda issues.

there is no constitutional way to remove contributions. While 52 or 51 — depending who you ask — Blue Dogs is a significant number. Blue Dogs seems to have suddenly jumped to the forefront on the national scene in the last few weeks. Well. People do not contribute to people that vote against them. a Democratic-controlled Senate. The Reagan years. Republicans are going to have to do something other than just vote no. It’s now the kind of legislative agenda that a few years in my career I enjoyed when what you and your district stood for actually became the law or at least moved it in the direction you wanted to. They are 52 Democrats that hold very competitive congressional seats.4 trillion was added to our debt.6 trillion was added to our debt. Q. What they are doing. It just cannot be sustained. they are the swing vote now on whether or not we’re going to pass center.8 trillion was added to our debt. You don’t have the luxury of voting no or voting yes and expecting it to be vetoed by George Bush. Rep. The approximately 50 Blue Dogs form a powerful and unified block of swing votes on any issue they see fit to influence from climate change to pay-as-you-go budgeting. you know. And that’s so important. Stenholm. very positive.) Bush 41.W. the more liberal leadership of their party. So people and political action committees are contributing to Blue Dogs in the expectation that they will vote for something that is center. Blue Dogs mainly are concerned about the fiscal concerns of our country. just to teach those Blue Dogs a lesson? That’s a question for the people to answer. And there’s a big question mark with the spending that is now going on and being proposed.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Moderates/Blue Dogs Key 228 They’re key to the agenda—they form key swing votes on every policy. are now happening. If you can find a constitutional way to do that. (George H. Randy Neugebauer in the 19th Congressional District and lost to the Republican from Lubbock. $3. sure. as we started out talking about. Q. What I was quoted in many stories on is that it should not be a shock to anyone political contributions go to people who vote like the individual entity. Could you summarize who they are and what they stand for? A.reporternews. the 19th (Congressional) District now — the old 17th (Congressional) District and the other districts that we’re talking about. a Democratic-controlled House. August 9. right of center and not too far left of center. on climate change. six or eight years. Stenholm. they tend to support those who do vote their way most of the time. then it Because there’s no question that the leadership of the House is considerably more liberal than certainly the people of Texas. they haven’t been terribly prominent in the past even after Democrats gained power. Some of the things that we talked about five years ago. Why do you think they are now? A. Business. But at the same time. a Blue Dog founder. Q. Blue Dogs have come under criticism for accepting contributions from that industry and then working to alter health care legislation.6 trillion. they’re usually one of the few Democrats that get elected in their area because their districts are basically conservative but not far right conservative and certainly not far left liberal. $1. Former Blue Dog standout and 26-year Big Country Congressman Stenholm spoke with the Reporter-News last week on everything from what the Blue Dogs stand for to the state of health care today to tomorrow’s energy needs.8 trillion was added to our debt. . labor union or any other organization that has a political action committee. Most of these seats have been occupied by a Republican in the last two. I think it would be very. If they’ve got something to get done in the future. a lobbyist who still considers himself a Blue Dog. holding the line on spending. reporter news. Clinton’s eight years. “Stenholm's 'Blue Dogs' show muscle in health plan debate”. Q. And. $5. And that is realizing that what you vote for or vote against is probably going to become law or not become law. what about when they need to get something done in the future? Will they have the political capital? A. So when you have a Democratic administration. That’s what Blue Dogs are doing now and will do for the next year and a half.com/news/2009/aug/08/no-headline---stenholm_web] WASHINGTON — Former Big Country Congressman Charlie Stenholm predicted more than two years ago that the Democrats he fondly calls “my Blue Dogs” would vault into prominence. our national debt was $771 billion. like you said. We can’t sustain it. too. on agricultural policy. But right now. Because if you vote no and something goes down that the people of your district wanted. long represented the 17th Congressional District with Abilene as a centerpiece. http://www. Today.S. Do you think they’re walking a fine line politically? They’re conservative Democrats who might be bucking. They’re bringing to heel their more liberal House leaders and bending President Obama’s ear at the White House. at some point in time. $1. gets down to the responsibility of being a legislator. he was paired with U. when I was first elected. But even those that have been occupied by long-serving Democrats as Blue Dogs. The leadership of the House has wanted to move further to the left than Blue Dogs can vote for and still keep a majority of their people with them. on health care policy. (George W. Q. The fiscally frugal group is coming into its own as shown by its members forcing negotiations on health-care reform recently in the House. it has to stand on the merits of what it is you want done. some think. four. I mean. Blue Dogs. which is the nature of the question you asked: What if Blue Dogs come out for something and liberal Democrats vote against it? Are conservative Republicans going to vote against it. After district boundaries were redrawn to favor Republicans. told the Reporter-News in January 2007 that no legislation would pass the House without the blessing of the caucus of conservative and moderate Democrats. it is $11. Chaote 2009 [staff writer. by weakening the public health care option pushed by the administration. What would you like to see them do to maintain that influence and shape the direction things are going on Capitol Hill? A. Do you think that criticism is deserved? A: Let’s take political contributions out of our political system.) Bush 43. right-of-center or left-of-center but close-to-the-center legislation on health care. And the Blue Dogs are going to be trying to change the fiscal direction. every policy. on energy policy. 10 years ago.

Democrats hope that with their expanded Senate majority and help from some moderate Republicans. a private firm that tracks Congress for institutional investors.S. a $2. "I am optimistic that if we come together to seek solutions that advance not the interests of any party. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell warned there should be no rush to judgment on what he predicted could be "the largest spending bill in history. "In the end. * Overhaul U. http://www. then we will meet the challenges of our time. . Obama plans to meet in coming days with congressional leaders of both parties to discuss his push for a stimulus package.S. 2009. Some of the cost could be covered by letting Bush's tax cuts for the rich expire next year. Republicans will not block the stimulus package.they could hit $1 trillion just for this year -. Democrats controlled Congress during the past two years. (Thomas and Richard are political journalists at Reuters." WANTED: MODERATE REPUBLICANS Despite record federal budget deficits -.reuters.S.com/article/politicsNews/idUSTRE5020XL20090103?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=0 ) 229 Expectations are high that Congress will move fast. These include ones to: * Allow the government to negotiate companies' prices for drugs covered under Medicare's health program for the elderly. Ferro & Cowan 2009 (Political Journalists at Reuters." McConnell will use what leverage he has to try to win concessions that could allow the stimulus bill to pass with bipartisan support. citing concerns about wasteful spending. said.. immigration policy by tightening border security while giving some illegals a path toward citizenship. * Reverse a U.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Moderate Republicans Key Moderate republicans are needed to allow key items on Obama’s agenda to pass. It's behind Barack Obama. Ethan Siegal of The Washington Exchange. But some Republicans are threatening to slow it down. Supreme Court decision that made it tougher for workers to sue for pay discrimination. Reuters. on the economic stimulus package. but the aspirations of all Americans. .3 trillion industry that accounts for about 16 percent of the U. The country is not behind them.Obama has plans to extend health coverage to an estimated 46 million uninsured Americans. January 3. maybe by the end of January. health care system. “ Congress Faces Historic Challenge”. or the agenda of any one group. they will be able to pass a number of measures previously stalled. economy. He is aiming for an overhaul of the U..S. but Senate Republicans routinely blocked much of their agenda with procedural hurdles known as filibusters." he said in his party's weekly radio address.

uk/2/low/americas/7919837. and the House of Representatives is also likely to pass the bill.EFCA Proves 230 Moderates are key to critical agenda issues. Employers say EFCA would do away with the secret ballot. the bill will not pass. Deveson 2009 (Max is the BBC News Website's Washington reporter. But the . Obama Diary. but it is vehemently opposed by big business.are any indication of moderates' thinking. http://news.bbc. the firm demand it. real battle will be in the Senate. and that under the terms of the act workers would be free to hold secret ballots if a third of workers in President Obama supports the measure.co. “Obama diary: The first 100 days” March 11th 2009.stm) The introduction of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) is the first shot in what could prove to be one of this year's most bruising congressional fights. The act would make it easier for unions to organise workers would indicate their preference for a union to be recognised by their employers by signing an authorisation card (the measure is also known as "card check"). If recent comments from Arkansas Democrat Blanche Lincoln . the bill is going to encounter some difficulties. if moderates from both parties baulk at it.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Moderates Key."the bill is divisive and we don't need that right now" . EFCA proves. The unions say the deck is already stacked in the employers' favour. EFCA is the American trade union movement's biggest legislative priority. and could lead to union coercion.

Hook 2009 (Janet is a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times' Washington D. members of the House and Senate who in recent years have won election from traditionally conservative and Republican areas by positioning themselves as moderate to conservative.Empirically Proven 231 Empirically Moderates have been key to hot agenda items such as the stimulus. http://articles. The question applies.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Moderates Key. The question now is whether Congress will go along.com/2009/feb/27/nation/na-obama-budgetassess27) Obama's budget plan asserts that in some areas. he argues.latimes. “Obama's budget is the end of an era” February 27th 2009.C. For instance. has covered Congress and national politics for the paper since 1995. government can do a better job than private enterprise and do it for less. his $787-billion economic stimulus package passed the Senate only after a deal was struck with conservative Democrats and three moderate Republicans. . Washington can provide loans to college students just as efficiently and at lower cost than the private lenders who dominate the field. Obama is calling for tax changes that would require high-income taxpayers to shoulder more of the load. especially on spending and the deficit. in particular. bureau. And after years of steady growth in the share of the nation's wealth owned by its most affluent citizens. to Blue Dog Democrats. Although Obama's supporters enjoy a comfortable margin in the House.

Tom Rooney (Fla.html) Obama's economic stimulus plan may have passed the House last week.believe that last week's vote was a major political faux pas by House Republicans.) The ads are tailored to highlight specific elements of the bill that House Democrats believe will resonate with voters.).) for opposing legislation that would "immediately create and save over 390. Anh "Joseph" Cao (La.) and Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va. said: "These are serious times. (No Republican voted for the legislation.) Americans United for Change. (Progressive groups may not have Gregg to kick around much longer. including National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Tex. Brian Wolff. Collins.org and the Service Employees International Union are sponsoring television commercials urging five swing-state senators -. their home districts. Obama could announce as soon as today that the Republican is his choice for commerce secretary.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Swing Voters Key 232 In the political climate post stimulus bill swing voters such as Snowe.J. Pennsylvania and Nevada asking whether the Republican senators in each state will "side with Rush Limbaugh" in opposing the bill . http://www.Susan Collins (Maine). Murkowski.H. Olympia J.) are all on the Democratic hit list.to back the bill. “House Republicans' Stand Against Stimulus Provides Fodder for Democratic Ads” February 2nd 2009. Judd Gregg (N. are being targets as key to new legislation. Christopher Lee (R-N.). Gregg.000 phone calls into the districts." The DCCC ads are the latest evidence that congressional Democrats -.000 New York jobs. which will come up for debate in the upper chamber this week. but the political fallout from the vote is just getting started." while others are tailored for specific districts. executive director of the DCCC. Several House Republican leaders will also get to hear ads in veteran Republican lawmakers. He also covers the White House for the newspaper and website. which will be accompanied by 3 million e-mails and 100. Grassley.Y. hardworking families are worried about keeping their jobs. encompasses a broad swath of new and In addition to Lee. Blaine Luetkemeyer (Mo.)." The target list for President the ads.). Bill Cassidy (La. such as one that hits freshman Rep. John Fleming (La.).and their outside allies -. a politics blog for the Washington Post. is running radio ads in Ohio. and "The Fix". not House Republicans cheering about doing nothing.they want action. a leading Democratic-aligned organization.). Witness a new national radio ad campaign sponsored by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee targteting more than two dozen Republican lawmakers for their opposition to the bill.washingtonpost. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Charles Grassley (Iowa) -. which passed 244 to 188. Snowe (Maine).) and Leonard Lance (N. Some knock the GOP members for voting against a bill that cut taxes for "95 percent of American workers.com/wpdyn/content/article/2009/02/01/AR2009020102112. health care and homes -. freshman Reps.). Brett Guthrie (Ky. MoveOn. Cillizza 2009 (Chris writes both articles for The Washington Post.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 233 ### Independents ### .

http://seattletimes. who like the idea of clean air. Republican opposition was reinforced and Democratic support weakened to the point that the Obama plan may already be doomed this year. the independent voters make up the swing vote in almost every contested election — including the presidential race.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 234 Independents Key Independents are key to the agenda. Once political independents. It is the reaction of those swing voters — or the politicians' anticipation of their shifting opinion — that drives the outcome of the big policy debates. That is why a strategy based on the early roll calls and polls is likely to fail. Because those independents are impressed when measures find prominent supporters in both parties.they make up the swing vote Seattle Times 9 (David S. this analysis ignores several potent factors. You've had an example of this already with Obama's cap-and-trade proposal for protecting the environment from carbon discharges. The crucial role of the independents will be demonstrated again and again when Congress takes up Obama's challenge to reform health care. These political independents are now as numerous as self-identified Republicans and are closing the gap on the Democrats. Though badly underrepresented in Congress. grasped that cap-and-trade would mean a big tax increase for them. 4-1009. it will continue to behoove Obama to woo Republican help — no matter how tough the odds. still. . starting with the fact that the fastestgrowing portion of the electorate consists of people who have no strong partisan allegiance. where districting rules and campaign-finance practices reinforce the two-party hegemony.com/html/opinion/2009020621_opinb12broder. Broder. Presidents who hope to achieve great things cannot for long rely on using their congressional majorities to muscle things through.html) But. “Obama will need bipartisan help to achieve his goals”. or renew arms control agreements.nwsource. immigration and other broken systems.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 235 ***Specific Senators*** .

could lose out under a cap-andtrade system or a carbon tax." Landrieu said that if the energy issue is done right. but also in a broader context. "I personally don't think it's a wise course. . "It's a mistake to shut the door on any options. worries that if only 50 votes plus Vice President Joseph Biden are needed to pass a bill. Conrad maintained his opposition to using reconciliation this year for major legislation. They argue that reconciliation . don't want to give up the chance of being able to avoid the usual Senate gridlock. rather than the 60 votes usually Democratic moderates have been couching their opposition to reconciliation with terms like "bipartisanship" and "regular order." Republicans have also warned that going the reconciliation route would poison the well for bipartisan negotiations. meanwhile. "My job here is to represent my state. but there is a concern that states like hers. House Democrats.) said in support of using reconciliation. It needs to be done in a bipartisan way.and the simple majority it requires ." he said. however.). chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. right or wrong. but said he's concerned about the potential for his state to be cast aside if only 51 votes are needed to pass a bill." but when pressed.)." But other Democrats said they were concerned that Republicans will filibuster anything Obama pushes on energy and climate change. "It's giving away the store before the negotiations begin. I think we should protect it. "That's absolutely a concern of a lot of people. said Democrats should not assume the worst of Republicans. one of the eight Senate moderates to sign the letter opposing reconciliation for climate change legislation. Jay Rockefeller (D-W. She argued Democrats should give the other side a chance to come to the table and work toward a bipartisan deal. and Emily are Staff Writers for Role Call. "That's certainly an option. using the maneuver to push through a series of expensive tax cuts and other legislation when they were in charge. One possibility being kicked around is to include reconciliation rules but saying only that they intend to use them as a last resort." he said. Sen." he added.) didn't sign the moderates' letter on reconciliation. Under reconciliation. they just oppose the Democrats. on Capitol Hill. as sort of a club to bring Republicans and waffling Democrats to the table. doesn't mean we're not going to have much luck in the next 85 days.). who also continues to float the idea of passing a second budget later this year if needed to bypass filibusters. although they haven't been squeamish in using the fast-track powers themselves. rather than divide it." he said.climate change and health care reform." Sen.would ensure Democrats can forward their top agenda items. upcoming debates on global warming and health care. "It was intended for deficit reduction. Sen." she said. and it should not be used for other things. some Senators acknowledged they want to ensure their voices are heard during required under regular order. yet he refused to rule it out. "Just because we haven't had that much luck in the last 85 days. which have massive petrochemical industries. Eight Democrats who want to water down new climate change legislation have already joined with Republicans and signed a letter opposing any attempt to use fast-track budget rules to prevent filibusters.)." said Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N. But without those fast-track rules known as reconciliation. and the recent run of near-total Republican opposition to Democratic priorities doesn't give them cause for hope. "These issues are so big and so complicated that we need to follow regular order in their development. Many of the same Democrats also oppose using those budget rules to prevent filibusters of health care legislation.D. Frank Lautenberg (D-N. "I find that the details of reconciliation have been lost on the people who advance it. "We need everyone in the room." said Rep. Senators from energy-producing states like West Virginia and Louisiana are worried new carbon taxes could be slammed down their throats. Conrad has been caught in the middle of the internecine battle. Mary Landrieu (D-La. “Centrists Flex Power of Veto” March 18th 2009. it could unify the country.J. reconciliation was not intended as a way to cram down major policy. Chris Van Hollen (Md.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Landrieu Key 236 A group of senate moderate democrats including Landrieu hold the power to key items on Obama’s agenda such as Climate Change and Healthcare. Lexis Nexis) A bloc of Senate Democratic moderates is quietly maneuvering to keep open the option of vetoing two of President Barack Obama's most ambitious agenda items this year . just 51 votes are needed to pass key budget priorities. Landrieu. And fiscal conservatives are concerned they could be left out of the room while liberal Democrats push for a series of tax hikes proposed by Obama. Roll Call is a site and newspaper for items on the agenda and general news about things going on." she said. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark." The intraparty feud has Senate Democratic leaders looking to fallback positions." said Sen. the odds of passing either of Obama's top two priorities diminishes greatly. "I'm always worried that West Virginia is going to be shut out. other Democrats could be shut out of the negotiations. Without them it is likely they won’t pass and will create a partisan environment. "Because of this contrary attitude that exists [among Republicans]. Dennis & Pierce 2009 (Steven T. where whatever we want to do. We just simply do.Va.

he said." . Lexis Nexis. She's not giving any signals on her preference. "I'm in discussions with all sides on that issue and just taking it under consideration. organized labor and business groups are waging an epic battle over legislation that would change labor organizing efforts for the first time in a half-century.) WASHINGTON -.S. Alpert 2009 (Bruce is a staff writer for the Washington Bureau. and increased Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate.5 million union members in one year would lead to the loss of 600. “Landrieu a key vote in major labor bill.25 more per hour in 2008.. David Vitter. Washington Bureau is both an online and newspaper news source with information about the latest issues on Capitol Hill. would "rebuild the middle class by giving employees a way to advocate for higher pay and better benefits. the labor bill would change the "balance of power" to unions. Rep. For now. or $1." she said. The Chamber of Commerce issued its own report." Vitter said.Napoleonville. anticipating the introduction of the House legislation as early as this week.9 percent more. Chances for enactment are much likelier than in previous years because of a new president. vice president of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry. The bill also opens the door to putting government regulators in charge of private business decisions and is clearly unfriendly to all types of private businesses. At the cross hairs are a group of three undecided Southern Democratic senators: Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor of Arkansas -.Opposing studies released --. The legislation. In the most recent election cycle. said it's little surprise that businesses want to keep the status quo -. labor unions lost only one of the 10 congressional races they focused on: the Baton Rouge district where freshman Democrat Don Cazayoux lost to Republican Bill Cassidy. --.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Landrieu Key—Labor Bill 237 Three moderate democrat senators including Landrieu. Landrieu is a past co-sponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act. by the following year. To Jim Patterson. LABI representatives and Louisiana union members are due on Capitol Hill in coming days to lobby congressional members. who is considered pro-labor. a top priority for organized labor.Vitter among GOP critics ---But Sen. the statewide business advocacy group. For example. he accused business groups of engaging in "scare tactics" to try to block enactment. or LABI. Balance of power is at stake for unions” March 9th 2009. Removing the requirement of a certification vote by secret ballot. It also would allow for a government arbitration process when a newly formed union can't reach a labor accord with management within 120 days.given that the current system has enabled them to beat back union organizing drives with "intimidation. Both sides are gearing up for a fight. Democrat Barack Obama. D. thereby increasing costs to businesses and leading to fewer jobs. saying an increase of 1. large and small. it creates an environment ripe for union intimidation and coercion and places undue pressure on employees to vote along union lines. means that workers would feel pressure to sign organizing petitions even when they "don't want to. "This bill goes against the fundamental rights of our democracy. Landrieu benefited from union support in all three of her successful runs for the Senate.000 jobs." Helene O'Brien. especially during a national economic downturn. but in her race last year she also had the backing of the U. equal to the population of Boston. said he believes the bill can be modified so it provides a fair chance for unions to organize without causing the problems predicted by business." O'Brien said. would allow workers to continue to go through the current secret ballot election or opt for a new procedure that would allow for certification when organizers obtain the signatures of a majority of employees on a union petition.Armed with competing studies and tens of millions of dollars in lobbying and campaign expenditures. child care centers and other businesses throughout the state. one of a majority of Republicans opposed to the bill. said the consequences to job creation. businesses that want to continue the secret ballot process can do so by demanding a vote when union organizers get the signatures of 30 percent of a workplace's employees.and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana. On Friday a group of labor supporters in New Orleans released a study by the liberal Economic Policy Institute that projected that union members earn 6. are the undecided senators that hold the power to decide the labor bill. he said. "By doing away with the secret ballot." Giving unions a "level playing field." "The additional money would be spent at local supermarkets. can't be overstated. R-La. than their nonunion counterparts doing identical work. --." Landrieu said. Chamber of Commerce. president of Service Employees International Union Local 21LA in New Orleans. one of a number of pro-business Democratic members on the fence on the legislation. Charlie Melancon.And both sides have released studies backing up their arguments.

He has also said that energy legislation should be separate from climate change legislation. Will I win them overall? Maybe not. He partnered with the top Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. "I may agree with them or disagree with them but what they need to know is they will never be denied access. said last week that pushing for expanded domestic oil and natural gas drilling. In an interview with Platts. especially gas. two can make a huge difference." would allow for extraction eight miles away from a rig and keep the wildlife safe. something which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada has said he wants to do. which is something Obama supports. Such an approach. Will I moderate them? That's my hope. the door is open." he said. and conservation. efficiency. But in the caucus. will be "transitional energy" to a lowcarbon future." he said. however. Recently. What I'd like to say is that voice has doubled now. if not 96 senators. his Alaskan colleague Lisa Murkowski. is that there's another ally. ANWR drilling. "There are two of us. "I think what she's very appreciative of now. Begich staked out positions on new drilling much different from other national Democrats. He added that gas can be used to convert coal-fired power plants to gas-burning. also known as "slant drilling. conservation. Begich said that Obama brought up the issue without any prompting and said that the White House would push hard for its construction. Last week Begich increased his leverage by joining with 15 centrist Democrats to form a coalition which they hope will play a major role crafting energy and climate change legislation." said Begich. and trying to get members of his caucus to moderate their stances on the issue. Begich said that reconciling the need to combat climate change with new drilling is possible because the new resources. "That's a technology I would say 98." Begich said." . McGraw-Hill “Alaska's new senator carves out pro-gas niche as Democrats position energy bills” March 30th 2009." Key areas where he and other Democrats see eye to eye are renewable power." Alaska and Louisiana are both heavily dependent on the oil and gas sector for jobs and revenue. & she is key to climate change proposals." Begich has also come out strongly in favor of the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline. That is a huge plus." Begich said. "Mary Landrieu has been the sole voice in the caucus. During the fall campaign against 40-year incumbent Republican Ted Stevens. unlike under his predecessor. "We're ground zero for climate change." he said. Lexis Nexis) Senator Mark Begich. "People are sensitive to what I'm bringing to the table and I can tell you from conversations that I've had with senators in the Democratic caucus. Obama will need Begich's vote on a range of energy priorities. Part of what I'll do is get them more educated on those elements. Such "gangs" have been used in the past to great success as brokers for major deals on a number of issues. "To me. including support for tapping the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in his state. the former Anchorage mayor said that his role will be similar to that of Senator Mary Landrieu. Landrieu has been one of the most consistent Democratic votes for the sector since she came to the Senate in 1997. they have not had these conversations before. Begich came out against Obama's plan to raise taxes on the oil and gas industry by $31 billion over the next 10 years as part of the president's budget. But Begich said that part of his job is to get Democrats to think of a "balanced energy policy" as encompassing new drilling alongside massive expansions of renewable power. adding that expanded drilling in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska is one such area. a Democrat from the major oil and gas producing state of Louisiana. hse said. Begich supports an aggressive national renewable electricity standard of 25% by 2025 as well as deep greenhouse gas cuts on par with what Obama has supported. Begich pledged that environmental groups would be welcome in his office. "I need to hear what the conflicting views are so we can find where we can craft compromise. are unfamiliar with. Begich is the first Democrat to represent Alaska in the Senate since 1981. The president has laid out 83% cuts relative to 2005 levels by 2050. and the need for mandatory carbon caps. One of his first acts in the Senate was to introduce a bill allowing for directional drilling in the expansive refuge. just like the industry. "Senators here are looking to me privately saying 'where will Mark fall on this issue?' " he said. represents a steep uphill endeavor since President Barack Obama and his Interior Secretary Ken Salazar both oppose drilling there. In a recent Oval Office meeting with the president. "I think gas is a longterm future for our country.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Landrieu Key—Climate 238 Landrieu’s holds a vital role as the sole voice of the energy caucus. is a key role he relishes taking on. the newly elected Democrat from Alaska. Duncan 2009 (Alexander is a writer for McGraw Hill.

a former governor of Arizona. http://www. It’s going to require a victory of practicality. Obama met with about 30 lawmakers for the first substantial discussion on immigration since he took office. Obama named a group to work with Congress that will be led by the homeland security secretary. but Republicans said they would support a measure only if it included an expansion of guest worker programs. McCain for paying “a significant political cost for doing the right thing. Leading the call for that provision was Senator John McCain of Arizona.” Mr. “I think the American people are ready for us to do this. who told Mr.com/2009/06/26/us/politics/26immig. Staff Writers for the New York Times. Mr. common sense and good policy making over short-term politics. “but it’s going to require some heavy lifting. Janet Napolitano.html?_r=1&ref=politics ) WASHINGTON — President Obama told a bipartisan group of lawmakers on Thursday that Congress should begin debating a comprehensive immigration plan by year’s end or early next year. The president praised Mr. Mr. “ Republicans Focus on Guest Workers in Immigration Debate”.nytimes.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 McCain Key 239 McCain is leading the republican views on the immigration bill. Obama said. Zeleney and Thompson. Obama he would have to take his “political lumps” and stand up to labor unions that oppose the idea.” In the State Dining Room. He’s a key player to get it through.” . The New York Times Onlin-Politics. 2009 ( Jeff Zeleney and Ginger Thompson. June 26.

who did not want to be identified discussing private conversations. so that it's viable in today's campaign climate. Yet.” Without that. who has placed a premium on bipartisanship. would be a logical congressional point man for Obama’s good government agenda. because I knew it would be devastating to the public financing program. After announcing his decision to opt out of the system. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin. “But he’s really going to want something that works and is fair. setting lobbying rules for government employees as well as others that reflect initiatives that were listed on an initial version of the White House ethics website. Yet a coalition of the leading reform groups wrote in a letter. participated in the by rewarding small donations like the ones that powered Obama’s record-shattering fundraising.” Craig Holman. . “I was very disappointed. Holman said. especially now as the political climate becomes more and more partisan. since Obama was able to raise many times more than the system would have provided — making it likely that future presidential candidates will try to follow his lead. http://www. His ambitious pledges to fix Washington by bolstering campaign finance. said of Obama’s move But. and The Journal Inquirer. who co-sponsored a Senate bill to overhaul the system. a lobbyist for the government watchdog group Public Citizen. though the ethics page now includes only a message that it’s being updated to reflect the executive orders. Obama’s move cost him some goodwill with the reform community. It was the first time that any of reform leaders could remember having their ideas solicited by an incoming president’s team.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 240 McCain Key McCain will be a pivotal senator to Obama’s agenda.” their “overriding priority . The new president has shown signs that he intends to brave those headwinds to push for stricter clean government laws.com/news/stories/0109/17852. Obama. He received an $84 million grant for his general election race and wound up being badly outspent by Obama. and a political and regulatory landscape that could be more hostile to stricter rules.” possibly supporting a public financing proposal that differs from the one pushed by the reform community But even if Obama offers a public financing proposal. which once counted him as a reliable champion. disclosure. “Good gov't agenda sails into headwind” January 24th 2009. His vanquished Republican rival. while they’ve had some policy conversations. Arizona Sen. he’s very interested in helping Obama” on good government issues. it’s not clear how much support there would be among Senate Republicans for a proposal from Obama.” Still. the two have not discussed working together on ethics or campaign finance reform issues. even though it could engender the ill wills of congressional leaders. they wrote “the way Washington works is not going to change.” Public financing was not included on an initial list of Obama’s ethics priorities on the White House website. that “while other issues on our reform agenda are important. McCain “would be very supportive and helpful” if Obama decided he wanted to implement a McCain proposal to take the power of recommending prospective FEC commissioners from congressional leaders. current public financing system. the adviser said. And. and give it to a new nominating panel. Obama was criticized when his presidential campaign became the first not to participate in the public financing system. The tougher job will be backing up with permanent reforms the sweeping good government rhetoric he made a centerpiece of his campaign. said a close McCain adviser. Even though Obama’s reversal on public financing “was not a happy experience for McCain. lobbying and ethics laws will likely soon collide with three complicating realities few envisioned when Obama began his presidential bid: an economic meltdown requiring a lot of political capital to address..” For instance. has reported on politics and government for The News Tribune. They responded with a host of proposals. posted on Obama’s transition website. soliciting ideas for how to make government more open and accountable and less beholden to big-money interests.politico. The Center for Public Integrity.. during his transition. Politico. John McCain. a sense that his own campaign diminished momentum for some of his top proposals. arguably provided the death knell to the program as currently configured. such as pushing for an independent watchdog agency to oversee the investigation of congressional ethics violations. the adviser said. “Obama keeps assuring us that he’s going to revisit the issue. the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. which reversed a pledge to participate if his Republican opponent did. Vogal 2009 (Kenneth P. wrote in an op-ed “I am firmly committed to reforming the system as president. The decision. Obama aides did not respond to questions about whether public financing is still a priority. He's won awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors. he reached out to the collection of good government groups. who’s influence at the agency has irked reformers. McCain. is to repair the presidential public financing system and to create a new public financing system for congressional races.html) Imposing new lobbying rules by executive order was the easy part for President Barack Obama. The Times Leader. including some that paralleled the executive orders Obama unveiled Wednesday. a leading champion of stricter ethics and disclosure laws. Those who’ve worked with him are predicting he’ll seize the chance to remake the Federal Election Commission in his image.

com/article/pressRelease/idUS204876+07-Jan-2009+PRN20090107) Senator McConnell will address the opportunities and challenges that Republicans face in 2009 and beyond and will touch on the Republican party's political prospects. such as share prices and currency rates. DC. “Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to Address Congressional Agenda at National Press Club” January 7th 2009. He will provide the latest news on the economic stimulus package. http://www. a congressional aide and an attorney. He has served in the Senate since 1985.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 McConnell Key McConnell is key to the agenda Reuters 2009 (Reuters is a UK-based. which began this month. Democrats control the House and Senate but failed to win 60 seats in the Senate. In 2009. Its main focus was on supplying the financial markets with information and trading products. he has frequently thwarted the Democratic majority's initiatives. he worked as a county executive in Kentucky. These included market data. Agriculture and Rules and Administration. research and analytics. In the new Congress. That shortfall and the large number of Republican senators will enable McConnell to retain a great deal of power over the agenda of President Obama and Democrats in Congress.reuters. And he will discuss areas where Republicans can cooperate with the Obama administration. Since becoming Republican Leader in 2007. McConnell will hold considerable sway. His speech to the National Press Club comes as the United States faces a formidable set of challenges that includes a stalled economy and two wars. As a result. Prior to his terms in the Senate. McConnell also serves on the Committees on Appropriations. as well as trading systems that allowed dealers to buy and sell such assets as currencies and shares on a computer screen instead of by telephone or on a trading floor like that of the New York Stock Exchange. . a Justice Department official. Canadian-controlled news service and former financial market data provider that provides 241 reports from around the world to newspapers and broadcasters. News reporting once accounted for less than 10% of the company's income. they are short of the number of senators needed to overcome a filibuster by the minority. McConnell is the most powerful Republican in Washington.

Obama." It was a day when Senate Democrats held a private retreat to discuss this year's agenda. is more informal. Democrats already have removed funding for family planning. Senate Democratic leaders said they hoped for passage of the bill on Friday. As only the third president to be elected directly from the Senate — after Warren Harding and John Kennedy — Obama knows the senators. counting two independents who usually vote with them. Olympia Snowe walked into the Oval Office on Wednesday to discuss her objections to a roughly $900 billion economic stimulus plan pending in the Senate. as Senate moderates worked to cut up to $100 billion in the stimulus legislation. Nelson. He donated nearly $900. Stephen Hess. President's Day. 16. complained that each job could cost about $300. Obama knows that well from his four years there. whose moderate Maine politics has made her a potential ally of both liberals and conservatives. she was surprised to find President Obama alone. a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who served in the Eisenhower and Nixon administrations. fellow Maine Republican Susan Collins and Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson to the White House to discuss their concerns. Through three decades in Congress and six presidencies. but other programs remain that have given Republicans talking points. 24." said Snowe. Sen. who wants to cut more than $50 billion.htm) WASHINGTON — When Republican Sen. The White House claims more than 3 million jobs would be created or saved under the two-year measure. he plans to address a joint session of Congress to discuss the economy and other issues. Wolf & Jackson 2009 (Richard and David are both journalists and staff writer for USA Today. On Feb.000 to Senate and House Democrats during the past four years from his political action committee. . Obama would like the final product on his desk by Feb. They want to trim the spending in the bill and target it all toward job creation.000 to create or save. "It was clear to me that he wanted to get some Republicans.com/news/washington/2009-02-04-stimulus_N. So on Wednesday. but 60 votes are needed to overcome delaying tactics. http://www. "He gets a more sympathetic audience. “Obama tries to woo moderates in Senate regarding stimulus” February 5th 2009. top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee. Chuck Grassley of Iowa." Hess said. 34 senators were beneficiaries. Although the House easily passed an $819 billion package of new spending and tax cuts last week without Republican votes. Past presidents always had staff members on hand. Obama invited Snowe. Snowe said up to $100 billion could be eliminated. Collins cited pandemic flu preparedness and cybersecurity as examples that "may be worthwhile" but don't create jobs. Democrats have a 58-41 edge. Republicans continued to criticize the stimulus package and Obama targeted senators in the middle — moderates whose votes could make the difference. On Thursday the debate continued. said Obama's Senate connections give him "a modest advantage" in wooing former colleagues. “He understands the Senate and the dynamics. the Senate is different. is working with other moderate Democrats to come up with a list that could be acceptable to party leaders.usatoday. smoking cessation and fixing up the National Mall. Snowe had never gone one-on-one in that office before. she quickly realized.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Snowe Key 242 Senator Snowe is key to republicans and her status as a moderate makes her important to new legislation. He campaigned for dozens of Democrats in 2006 before launching his own presidential bid.

8599. http://www. budgets. Snowe and Collins can expect to be lavished with even more attention from the White House.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 243 Snowe and Collins Key Snowe and Collins are key to Obama’s agenda TIME 9 (“How Maine's GOP Senators Are Key to Obama's Agenda”. for giving illegal immigrants a path to citizenship and against a ban on partial-birth abortion. provided the margin that prevented Republicans from holding Barack Obama's stimulus package hostage to a filibuster. the Democratic majority has fewer and fewer potential crossovers to choose from. They have both voted for stem-cell research. But what makes Snowe and Collins more powerful now is that they. Both sides know that the math on any close vote is likely to come down to Snowe and Collins. the environment and social issues. This is not the first time Collins and Snowe have broken ranks with their party.1878942. against a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. . 2-12-09. plus Pennsylvania Republican Senator Arlen Specter. They have often found themselves at odds with the GOP leadership on taxes. They also represent the sum total to date of Obama's claim of bipartisan support for his economic plans in Congress. are nearly the last survivors of a once common species of moderate Northeastern Republican.time. That gives each woman enormous leverage in a Senate Republican caucus whose leaders cannot afford any defections if they are to sustain a filibuster.com/time/politics/article/0.html) In the weeks and months to come. along with Specter. As the GOP's center of gravity moves to the right. They also both voted to acquit Bill Clinton after he was impeached in 1998. Those two Maine moderates.00.

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Snowe and Collins Key Snowe and Collins are key to the agenda- they have influential positions and can block a filibuster Bangor News Daily 8 (Maite Jullian, “Snowe, Collins key players across Senate aisle”, 11-8-08, http://www.bangordailynews.com/detail/92899.html)
WASHINGTON — As

moderate Republicans, Maine Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins will play a major role in the new Senate as both political parties will hunt for their votes to pass, or block, major legislation. “They are going to be very critical players in the Senate,” said former Rep. Charlie Bass,
head of the centrist Republican Main Street Partnership. “They will be in a position to police legislation.” In the 111th Congress, President-elect Barack Obama’s

legislative agenda will not face as much resistance in the Democratic-dominated House as it will in the Senate. Although the Democrats will have at least 56 seats in the Senate, they won’t have the 60 votes required to end a filibuster, a tool used by the minority to delay or block votes on legislation. If Democrats can’t find common ground with the minority leadership on a bill, they would have to reach out to Republicans. And the most likely to support them are the moderates. “They are going to be so influential,” said Douglas Kriner, assistant professor of political science at Boston University. “Since the Democrats won’t have 60 seats and because there are differences within the Democratic caucus, they’ll have to reach across the aisle.” The group of moderate Republicans went
from six to four senators after the election, Bass said. The two others are Sens. Norm Coleman of Minnesota and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, although Coleman faces a recount in his bid for re-election. In 2007, Snowe and Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana created the Common Ground Coalition, a bipartisan group whose goal is to bring members from both parties together to work on major issues. And Collins was part of the Gang of 20, a bipartisan group that worked in September on an energy bill. The

Maine senators also sit on influential committees. Snowe is a member of the Senate Finance Committee and Collins is on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Armed Services Committee. With these bipartisan records and important positions, their votes will be coveted by the Democrats.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Snowe and Collins Not Key Snowe and Collins aren’t key- Specter switching means the Democrats can overcome a filibuster without them Mother Jones 9 (“How the Far Right Handed Dems a 60-Vote Majority”, 4-28-09, https://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2009/04/how-far-right-handed-dems-60-vote-majority? page=1)

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So credit the far right's ascendancy in the modern GOP for handing Senate Democrats a 60-vote majority (pending the expected seating of Al Franken). The

Republican Party has moved dramatically rightward in the age of Obama, and allowed only did this alienate the moderate Specter (and cause him to fear for his future in the GOP); it created space for a right-wing purist
people like Newt Gingrich, Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sarah Palin to become its most vocal representatives. Not like Toomey to run and win in a primary. (Toomey recently said that Obama's agenda is so scary that "there's a real danger that capitalism is going to go on strike, because the capitalists don't know what the government is going to do next.") With

today's GOP jeering its moderates and pushing away sympathetic independents, Toomey has a winning profile. Specter switched parties to save his skin (reportedly making a deal that the Democratic Party would support him and no one else in the primary). Though Specter says he will be no rubber stamp, it will now be easier for Democrats to overcome Republican filibusters. All this has happened before. On November 9, 1994, a day after the Republicans gained
control of both the House and the Senate for the first time in decades, Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby switched to the winning side, giving the GOP 53 votes in the upper house. By the end of the next year, five House Dems and Colorado Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell had also become Republicans. Could

party-switching become contagious again? Specter's switch reduces the influence of Maine Republicans Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, who each voted for the stimulus package and who represent a state that went dramatically for Barack Obama in 2008. Once Al Franken is sworn in as the Dems' 60th vote (probably sometime in late summer), the administration will have less need for Collins and Snowe when it comes to getting around a filibuster. They'll just have to worry about keeping their own moderates in line. In his statement on Specter's switch, Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, said he "welcomed" Specter's "moderate voice" to the Dems' "diverse caucus." That seems, by some lights, an open invitation to Specter's fellow moderates Collins and Snowe. They might find it more attractive to serve in the Senate as
members of the Democrats' powerful "moderate" bloc instead of serving in an almost-powerless Republican minority that stands a good chance of losing members in 2010. The big difference between the Maine senators and Specter, however, is that he faces an election next year. Snowe's term is up in 2012. Collins isn't up until 2014, but are either willing to spend more years in the shadows after having once served in the majority? The temptation to join the party in power might prove too strong.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Spector Key

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Specter holds a key vote in senate, without him it is unlikely that new legislation will pass, empirically proven. O'Toole 2009 (James is a writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Specter to deliver key vote against unions” March 25th 2009. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09084/958098454.stm) Sen. Arlen Specter said he will vote to block a measure designed to make it easier for unions to organize workplaces. His decision, announced in a speech on the Senate floor, appears likely to leave its Democratic sponsors one vote short of the margin needed to cut off debate on a bill that has prompted a fierce lobbying tug-ofwar. Mr. Specter closed his statement offering the hope that his decision "should end the rumor mill that I have made some deal for my political advantage." The legislation, the Employee Free Choice Act, known as card check by its
In a blow to the labor movement's chief congressional priority, supporters, would make several key changes to labor laws, all designed to make it easier for unions to organize and bargain for workers. A key provision, the chief target for critics, would recognize a union's right to negotiate a contract if a majority of workers signed cards affirming their desire to be represented. That procedure could supplant the current requirement for a secret ballot election. The bill would also create an arbitration system for contracts when management and unions fail to come to agreement on a new contract. The move was inevitably viewed through a prism of speculation over next year's Senate race, one in which the veteran incumbent has once again been targeted by his party's conservative wing. The Web site Politico reported that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., reacted with the vow that, "Anyone who thinks they're burying card check because of Specter's statement in an effort to avoid a primary in Pennsylvania should not think legislation is going to go away." Business groups hailed the announcement while unions, which have been frequent supporters of Mr. Specter in the past, were sharply critical. “By voting against cloture on the EFCA, Sen. Specter will be voting to support America's small business owners," said Brad Close, vice president of the National Federation of Independent Business. AFL-CIO President John Sweeney called it "a rebuke to working people, to his own constituents in Pennsylvania and working families around the country." Mr.

Specter was the only Republican senator to vote to halt floor debate that blocked an earlier version of the bill in 2007. He said then that his vote was based not on the bill's merits but on his desire to promote a broader consideration of labor law reforms. The fiveterm senator termed the decision announced yesterday "a close call," and said it was the most heavily lobbied issue in his memory. Of the current version of the measure, he said, "The issue which has emerged as at the top of the list for me is the elimination of the secret ballot, which is the cornerstone of how contests are decided in a democratic society." He added that the bill's arbitration mandate "runs contrary to the basic tenet of the Wagner Act for collective bargaining that makes the employer liable only for a deal he or she agrees to." By his own analysis and that of

Specter's was the crucial voice on the bill's fate in the current session of Congress. For now, that decision is a no, but Mr. Specter added that he would be willing to revisit the issue later if
independent observers, Mr. other legislative means of bolstering the bargaining power of labor are unsuccessful. Last month, Mr. Specter was one of three Republicans who supported President Barack Obama's stimulus package, a move that renewed the enmity he has long faced from the conservative wing of the GOP.

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### Lobbies & Interest Groups ###

Harvard Debate Interest Groups Internals

Politics Internals 11-12

Interest groups wield clout in the political process Rosati, University of South Carolina Government and International Studies professor, 04 (Jerel A., THE POLITICS OF UNITED STATES FOREIGN POLICY, 2004, p. 445) Interest groups and social movements influence the domestic political environment and the governmental policymaking process in a number of ways. First and most well-known, groups usually “lobby” policymakers involved in the policy process. This is done by providing information and money, as well as mobilizing followers to provide support or cause political trouble. Second, the same techniques are used to influence domestic politics more generally, including the political agenda, public beliefs and behavior, and electoral politics. Third, members of some groups, especially those that are well established and have close relationships with government agencies and personnel, are consulted often by and actually participate with policymakers in the policy process. Fourth, well-established groups also tend to serve as important sources of political recruitment for official positions within government. As was discussed in chapter 5, major presidential appointees usually come from business, law, and academia. Finally, groups that are extremely active internationally, such as multinational corporations, affect U.S. foreign policy and the policymaking process because of their visibility and activities abroad. Public cynicism ensures vocal interest groups strongly influence policymaking Rosati, University of South Carolina Government and International Studies professor, 04 (Jerel A., THE POLITICS OF UNITED STATES FOREIGN POLICY, 2004, p. 441-2) Second, current political campaigning and electioneering methods are losing the interest of the American public. Many observers attribute the low voter turnouts to such things as difficult registration requirements, the demands of everyday life, and even general satisfaction with public policy. There is some truth to these explanations, but the tremendous drop in public trust of government officials and decline in citizen political efficacy since the 1960s also suggest that there are too many elections, too much politicking and manipulation, and too few concrete results for people’s lives. In other words, the public has acquired a high degree of cynicism about the nature of American politics, including party and electoral politics. If low voter turnout is explained by factors other than public satisfaction, it raises serious questions about the democratic nature of a political system in which only a minority of the citizenry participates in electoral politics. This general perception of the declining relevance of political parties and low participation in electoral politics also contributes to the growing importance of social movements and interest

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These special interests were all too happy to cynically attack the bill for including special interest concessions. in some cases at the expense of environmental interests. including NRDC. provided a consensus set of recommendations for how to craft carbon pollution limits from a diverse set of companies and non-governmental organizations. but in many cases by tweaking provisions in ways that only mattered to the companies who would be directly affected.Harvard Debate Interest Groups Internal Link Answers Politics Internals 11-12 Support from interest groups not enough to build political support for legislation Lesson 6: Getting interest groups on board is not sufficient The USCAP Blueprint for Legislative Action. 249 . and other businesses over legislative details left unresolved in the Blueprint. released in January 2009. The problem is that broader support by business trade associations did not translate into broader support by U. But the Blueprint did not address every issue and USCAP does not include all important interests. These negotiations were largely successful in broadening industry support for the proposal.S. where the Blueprint served as the basis for much of the ACES bill. The idea was to accelerate the legislative process by surfacing and trying to resolve disputes about many of the policy details that would inevitably arise in writing and moving a bill through Congress. Kerry and Lieberman spent months negotiating with utilities. senators. The hardcore business opposition was unmoved and neither was the political and ideological opposition of the Republican leadership. In the meantime there was never an effective process to engage enough senators themselves to resolve the issues essential to garnering 60 votes. oil companies. This strategy worked in the House.

com/headlines/ci_15592164+business+lobbies+obama+agenda&c d=29&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us The business lobby. which vows to spend $75 million or more on November's midterm elections. shaping the final bills to the group's liking. has railed against many of the administration's economic policies. July 25. also has struggled to pick winners in this year's primaries.com/search? q=cache:IR6U4g1wY9oJ:www. it also has sought accommodation with Democrats in the past. "Playing a critical role" Thomas Collamore. and the group has nearly doubled its lobbying and political budget since 2008. My gosh. president of the National Association of WholesalerDistributors and a longtime GOP lobbyist. we are not here to wind up in the Rose Garden as trees and shrubs for signing ceremonies of legislation that we oppose. But the chamber also has had success in blocking other pieces of Democratic legislation or. "The chamber's playing a critical role as the leading advocate for the business community in Washington." said Dirk Van Dongen. "They have in fact sought to defend and act from the principles which they believe in. lose or draw. . More than half a dozen chamber-backed GOP candidates have been defeated." While the chamber historically has favored Republicans. Thomas Donohue. cap-and-trade climate legislation and a proposed public-insurance option. "I think that's gutsy — win.Harvard Debate Business Lobbies Key Business lobby important to agenda Politics Internals 11-12 Washington Post. highlighted the group's efforts against a pro-union "card check" bill. The chamber's president and chief executive.googleusercontent. Backed stimulus package Deputy White House communications director Jen Psaki said the Obama administration still hopes to work with the group on matters on which they agree. . But the group's relationship with the Obama administration has been increasingly tense. in the case of health care reform and financial regulation." he said in a statement. 2010.denverpost. http://webcache. In addition to victories on union and environmental legislation. But she added: "It is no secret that the primary focus of the Chamber of Commerce is raising money for Republican candidates. the chamber has helped stall White House-backed legislation in the Senate that would require greater disclosure of political spending by corporations. . the chamber's senior vice president of communications." 250 .

incidentally less expensive. force that it needs to be.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 The relationship between the administration and the chamber was not always so fraught. Republican leaders at the start of Obama's term by backing the $787 billion stimulus package. with intertwined and entrenched interests. they vilified industries while embarking on an ill-advised course of government expansion. the military-industrialcongressional network actually undermines national security. And our equipment. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett fired back at "rhetoric that fails to acknowledge the important steps this administration has taken every single day to meet our shared objectives. The business group broke with. That said. massive deficits and job-destroying regulations. So. Last week. Washington Post National Security and Intelligence Reporter. frankly. the chamber castigated White House economic policies in an open letter that said: "Instead of continuing their partnership with the business community and embracing proven ideas for job creation. is assembled with components built in 44 states. some of the biggest ticket items are the least important in this world in which threats come less from states than from non-state organization. 251 . No matter what one thinks of the Gates budget. Federal campaign contributions from defense-related donors have nearly doubled since 2000. spending pressures could force the government to further transform the military into the lighter. the defense industry has spread into so many congressional districts that it's virtually impossible to shut anything down without a Hooah! battle cry from key lawmakers. more agile and." Within hours. WP. credit-card regulations and other Democratic proposals that were anathema to the chamber. several major insurers contributed up to $20 million to the chamber for anti-reform advertising. so far out-paces any adversary you have to question why were still building so much." Defense Lobby Key Defense industry controls congress – they hate plan Christian Science Monitor 4/09/09 lexis The secretary is actually up against a vast industrial-congressional complex. the state-by-state lobbying effort to make sure this does not happen (defense contractors and subcontractors are conveniently sprinkled throughout the congressional districts of the most powerful lawmakers) will be huge. The group emerged as one of the leading combatants in the battle over health care legislation. Over the decades. for instance. Defense industry lobby key – control most powerful congressional votes Priest 8 (Dana. It encourages waste. 11/13) Dana Priest: Well. as federal funds feed military lobbies that in turn feed politicians who keep the funds flowing . generally speaking.regardless. and angered. The targeted F-22 fighter jet. major tax increases. Relations quickly soured as the White House forged ahead with health care reform.

the State Department's ban on cooperation with the Russian companies can only apply to government agencies and companies. "I think the Democrats will be on good behavior. Nobody expects the Democrats.com ’07 (1/3) A New York Times article called "Heady Days for Makers of Weapons" notes that military contractors are profiting more than ever as Pentagon spending has reached record levels. December 26..000 troops in Iraq. 2006). to interfere with the lucrative deal making. Democrats want to establish their cooperation with the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. Defense lobby most powerful – controls congress Earthside. in legal terms.. the "defense" lobby. 252 . What's more.Harvard Debate Defense industry lobby key What the Papers Say." commented an analyst with JSA Securities in Newport. R. The private companies that control the lion's share of the American defense sector are not at all dependent on State Department memos.I. ’06 (8/15) But she will have to intervene soon. now in charge of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees. "as long as the war continues and we have 150. The arms-makers have one of the most powerful lobby groups in Congress." (NYT. The sanctions threaten the profits of some Politics Internals 11-12 major American corporations in the defense sector. With an eye toward 2008 elections.

it must initiate a clear and open dialogue with the Joint Chiefs of Staff – the collective heads of the US armed services. including America's 5. Over the next year. Hundreds of lives and the associated diplomatic and domestic political ramifications of a defeat will probably be part of this awakening." completed.The best we probably can hope for is a moderate conflict in which the inadequacies of JV 2O2O are obvious but the United States does not suffer disastrous defeat. and the and verify the dismantlement of the 26. 2/25/09) As any rationale for maintaining an oversized nuclear arsenal – including 450 long-range missiles on hair-trigger alert – further erodes. an end to nuclear weapons. Before the civilian leadership in the Obama administration can move toward a world without the bomb. Policymakers and the citizenry should continue to expect poor military performance and avoid--for a myriad of reasons--policies that run the risk of major war. Parameters.000 nuclear weapons stockpiled in nine countries. Guardian.400 nuclear warheads – 2. or implement at home. Opposing Military Lobby Drains Capital – they’re insanely powerful Gentry. no president – much less a Democrat with little national-security experience – will have the political capital to negotiate with the international community. ’02 (John. One crucially important community. President Obama will have the political cover to negotiate the series of multilateral treaties that will be required to account for. President Obama has a ready-made forum through which to elicit the Joint Chiefs' opinion. 12/22. Without the overt support of the Joint Chiefs. The military services have significant lobbying clout on Capitol Hill and powerful supporters in reserve and veterans organizations. the Obama administration will conduct the third congressionally mandated "comprehensive review of the nuclear posture of the United States for the next 5 to 10 years. We can but hope the cost will not be higher.200 of which remain operational." The Nuclear Posture Review legislation requires that it "be used as a basis for establishing Once the Nuclear Posture Review has been uniformed military are on the record. however. has yet to offer its expert judgment: the uniformed military. Fortunately. US Army) These reforms are unlikely to occur in the absence of a significant US battlefield defeat. the Joint Chiefs of Staff must formally acknowledge such weapons' limited utility. monitor future United States arms control objectives and negotiating positions. intensive verification regimes will be necessary for the approximately 40 countries where the fissile material required to make a bomb exists. Cont… To make the elimination of nuclear weapons a reality. Colonel.Harvard Debate Military Lobby Key Politics Internals 11-12 Opposition from military and joint chiefs drains all obamas capital Zenko 9’ (Micah. Organizations that agree on little within the Pentagon close ranks when collectively challenged. “Ban the bomb? Ask the generals”. the goal of nuclear disarmament has spread within the United States from a narrow sliver of left-leaning arms-control activists to a broader bipartisan consensus. In addition. charged with protecting the nation and providing military advice to the president. 253 .

spent roughly $7. Congress passed a defense appropriations bill that totaled more than $635 billion.Harvard Debate Defense lobby is powerful Politics Internals 11-12 Defense lobbying is strong Julian Hattem B.huffingtonpost. ramps up its military activities overseas. On a related note.A in Anthropology. these ten companies. according to a review of recently-filed lobbying records. All told. Such an increase in lobbying expenditures is partly a reflection of just how profitable the business of waging war can be.com/2010/01/21/top-defense-contractorss_n_431542. 1-21-10.S.2 million more lobbying in the fourth quarter of 2009 (October through December) than in the three months prior. "appropriations" was the most frequently cited in lobbying forms. which showed that the number of private security contractors has bulged in the wake of Obama's Afghanistan-surge announcement. and the army is stretched thin by other ventures. The massive amount of money used to influence the legislative process came as the White House announced it would ramp up military activity in Afghanistan and Congress considered appropriations bills to pay for that buildup." one longtime good-government official said of the symbiosis between contractors and the government. "We've built Rome. Each of these companies earned billions of dollars in defense contracts this past year. http://www. the largest revenue earners in the industry.S. the Congressional Research Service released a report on Thursday. it stands to reason that the contracts won't dry up any time soon. the firm Northrop Grumman moved its corporate office to the Washington D. contractors in Afghanistan make up between 22 percent and 30 percent of armed U. Shortly thereafter. 254 .C. Huffington Post. region to be closer to the heart of legislative action. As the U. Currently. forces in Afghanistan. In mid-December.html The ten largest defense contractors in the nation spent more than $27 million lobbying the federal government in the last quarter of 2009. Among the issues on which these ten firms lobbied.

" Obama said that there was wide agreement in both political parties that the way the government purchased weapons was plagued by waste. lobbyists are very active in this area." Obama said. Contractors are very good at dispersing the jobs and plants in the Defense Department widely. "I think everybody in this town knows that the politics of changing procurement is tough.U. 255 . but that defense firms were influential in Congress and had ensured industry jobs were spread across the country.S. "Because you know. http://www. but acknowledged taking on influential defense contractors would be politically "tough. President Barack Obama on March 24 renewed his vow to cut spending on costly weapons programs. Agency French Press.php?i=4005316&c=AME&s=TOP]KLS WASHINGTON .defensenews.com/story.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 Defense Contractor Lobbies Key Defense contractors have massive political clout AFP 8 [March 25." Obama said at a news conference.

Harvard Debate Defense Lobby Key Politics Internals 11-12 Defense industry controls congress – they hate plan Christian Science Monitor 4/09/09 lexis The secretary is actually up against a vast industrial-congressional complex. The private companies that control the lion's share of the American defense sector are not at all dependent on State Department memos. to interfere with the lucrative deal making. What's more. Defense lobby most powerful – controls congress Earthside. The sanctions threaten the profits of some major American corporations in the defense sector. So. in legal terms. No matter what one thinks of the Gates budget. The targeted F-22 fighter jet.regardless. Nobody expects the Democrats. force that it needs to be. Defense industry lobby key – control most powerful congressional votes Priest 8 (Dana. The arms-makers have one of the most powerful lobby groups in Congress.. R. It encourages waste. That said. for instance.. "as long as the war continues and we have 150." (NYT. the State Department's ban on cooperation with the Russian companies can only apply to government agencies and companies. frankly. December 26. Defense industry lobby key What the Papers Say. WP. the "defense" lobby. With an eye toward 2008 elections. 256 . the military-industrialcongressional network actually undermines national security. the defense industry has spread into so many congressional districts that it's virtually impossible to shut anything down without a Hooah! battle cry from key lawmakers. the state-by-state lobbying effort to make sure this does not happen (defense contractors and subcontractors are conveniently sprinkled throughout the congressional districts of the most powerful lawmakers) will be huge. is assembled with components built in 44 states. generally speaking. spending pressures could force the government to further transform the military into the lighter. Washington Post National Security and Intelligence Reporter.000 troops in Iraq. ’06 (8/15) But she will have to intervene soon. now in charge of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees. with intertwined and entrenched interests. so far out-paces any adversary you have to question why were still building so much.I. some of the biggest ticket items are the least important in this world in which threats come less from states than from non-state organization. Democrats want to establish their cooperation with the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. 11/13) Dana Priest: Well.com ’07 (1/3) A New York Times article called "Heady Days for Makers of Weapons" notes that military contractors are profiting more than ever as Pentagon spending has reached record levels. more agile and. Federal campaign contributions from defense-related donors have nearly doubled since 2000. "I think the Democrats will be on good behavior. Over the decades. 2006). as federal funds feed military lobbies that in turn feed politicians who keep the funds flowing ." commented an analyst with JSA Securities in Newport. And our equipment. incidentally less expensive.

Harvard Debate Defense Lobby Key Politics Internals 11-12 Opposition from military and joint chiefs drains all Obama’s capital Zenko 9’ (Micah." completed. President Obama has a ready-made forum through which to elicit the Joint Chiefs' opinion. Hundreds of lives and the associated diplomatic and domestic political ramifications of a defeat will probably be part of this awakening. Parameters. President Obama will have the political cover to negotiate the series of multilateral treaties that will be required to account for. charged with protecting the nation and providing military advice to the president.400 nuclear warheads – 2.200 of which remain operational. The military services have significant lobbying clout on Capitol Hill and powerful supporters in reserve and veterans organizations. has yet to offer its expert judgment: the uniformed military. however. monitor future United States arms control objectives and negotiating positions. no president – much less a Democrat with little national-security experience – will have the political capital to negotiate with the international community. US Army) These reforms are unlikely to occur in the absence of a significant US battlefield defeat. or implement at home. including America's 5. In addition. the goal of nuclear disarmament has spread within the United States from a narrow sliver of left-leaning arms-control activists to a broader bipartisan consensus. Over the next year. 2/25/09) As any rationale for maintaining an oversized nuclear arsenal – including 450 long-range missiles on hair-trigger alert – further erodes.000 nuclear weapons stockpiled in nine countries. Without the overt support of the Joint Chiefs. Before the civilian leadership in the Obama administration can move toward a world without the bomb. Policymakers and the citizenry should continue to expect poor military performance and avoid--for a myriad of reasons--policies that run the risk of major war. Fortunately." The Nuclear Posture Review legislation requires that it "be used as a basis for establishing Once the Nuclear Posture Review has been uniformed military are on the record. We can but hope the cost will not be higher. an end to nuclear weapons. One crucially important community. Opposing Military Lobby Drains Capital – they’re insanely powerful Gentry. it must initiate a clear and open dialogue with the Joint Chiefs of Staff – the collective heads of the US armed services. 12/22. intensive verification regimes will be necessary for the approximately 40 countries where the fissile material required to make a bomb exists. Cont… To make the elimination of nuclear weapons a reality. “Ban the bomb? Ask the generals”. Organizations that agree on little within the Pentagon close ranks when collectively challenged. Colonel. 257 . the Joint Chiefs of Staff must formally acknowledge such weapons' limited utility. ’02 (John.The best we probably can hope for is a moderate conflict in which the inadequacies of JV 2O2O are obvious but the United States does not suffer disastrous defeat. Guardian. the Obama administration will conduct the third congressionally mandated "comprehensive review of the nuclear posture of the United States for the next 5 to 10 years. and the and verify the dismantlement of the 26.

is how do we reform our procurement system so that it keeps America safe and we're not wasting taxpayer dollars?" The review of the defense budget would need to be "more disciplined than we have been in the last several years.Obama threatening veto. http://www.defensenews. no matter the worthiness of an individual project. Defense contractors no political clout. Defense Secretary Robert Gates strongly opposes the program. http://www.the pet projects members of Congress slip into the federal budget. By one estimate. either.7 billion. Petersburg Times 5/14 [2010." It isn't a question of money. He reiterated that his administration had identified possibly $40 billion in savings through a reform of the procurement system. "Even the Pentagon doesn't want more F-22s. a niche. public. but its manufacturers. silver-bullet solution required for a limited number of scenarios. there may have been some justification for earmarks . Nobody has been better at securing earmarks than Young. "Where the savings should come in. And the Times' Alex Leary reported last month that in this fiscal year more than $10 million in Young earmarks went to defense 258 .000 awards worth about $1. The argument was that elected representatives know the needs of their state and district best. are lobbying aggressively to keep them in the defense budget. they are succeeding. But that was trumped long ago by the excesses and the indefensible projects.php?i=4005316&c=AME&s=TOP]KLS He said spending on benefits for veterans would increase under his proposed budget. the House ban on earmarks for for-profit companies would have cut about 1. "Frankly. in effect. His 41 earmarks this year were more than any other House member and worth more than $90 million.html] KLS The F-22 stealth fighter jets may no longer be needed." he said.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 AT: Defense Contractors Obama on a mission to reduce defense contractor’s political clout AFP 8 [March 25. Lockheed Martin and Boeing. regulation. So far.com/story." said Danielle Brian. but he and Defense Secretary Robert Gates would focus on saving money by changing the way weapons programs are managed and approved. and I have been working with Secretary Gates on this and will be detailing it more in the weeks to come." Brian said. saying that "the F-22 is. McCain is leading the charge and President Obama is threatening to veto the entire defense authorization bill over it." "This is not about national security. Gates opposed Huffington Post 6/16 [2010. Lexis] KLS Once upon a time. Such spending based on seniority and political clout sends the wrong message to voters. His total over three years is $323 million." Obama said.com/2009/07/16/defensecontractors-lobby_n_233843. Agency French Press. This vote decides whether there will be reform in Washington or not. Defense contractors no longer influential. This is not about partisan politics -. perception St.hearings.Sen. executive director for the Project On Government Oversight (POGO). according to Taxpayers for Common Sense. "if my topline were $50 billion higher I would make the same decision.huffingtonpost. "This is about breaking the cycle of a corrupt military industrial complex.

the earmark ban is a convenient election-year ploy that may wind up being temporary. But the perception of a conflict is hard to ignore even for someone with Young's reputation for fairness and integrity. Young's earmarks have long benefited area defense contractors and other Tampa Bay interests. a former long-time aide to Young. and voters should demand that the next Congress not slide backward. Of course. 259 . and he has not been shy about defending the practice.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 contractors whose lobbyist is Doug Gregory. Yet it is a step in the right direction. An ethics panel cleared Young and a half-dozen other House members after investigating the relationship between earmarks secured by another now-closed lobbying firm and campaign contributions. But last week even the veteran congressman acknowledged that change was inevitable.

March 4. Such corrective action may include modifying or canceling such contracts in a manner and to the extent consistent with applicable laws. and to formulate appropriate corrective action in a timely manner. Politics Internals 11-12 http://washingtonindependent. “In this time of great challenges.) legislation to create new procurement oversight positions at the Pentagon. the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Obama went further in remarks at the White House. “The days of giving defense contractors a blank check are over. if necessary. and creating processes for ongoing review of. and the heads of such other agencies as the Director of OMB determines to be appropriate.Obama opposed Ackerman 9 [Spencer. this has applications far beyond the Pentagon. regulations. particularly calls out the Defense Department: I hereby direct the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). in collaboration with the Secretary of Defense. near and dear to the services. even if it’s written in bureaucratese. Government-wide guidance to assist agencies in reviewing. the Joint Strike Fighter in the Air Force — all of these programs.Harvard Debate AT: Defense Contractors Defense contractors have no political sway. ‘ 260 . have run massively over budget. American national security reporter. “I recognize the real choice between investments that are designed to keep the American people safe and those that are designed to make a defense contractor rich.” He also lent support to Sens. If I was a lobbyist for Lockheed or Boeing. the Littoral Combat Ship in the Navy. inefficient.” Obama said. to rein in outsourcing of “inherently governmental activities”. cancel wasteful contracts outright. the Director of the Office of Personnel Management. I’d be dialing my contacts in the Pentagon and the Hill to figure out what the prospective damage to my company was. calling it a “false choice” to say that protecting the country requires acquiescence to Pentagon waste. and policy. existing contracts in order to identify contracts that are wasteful. And then I’d come up with a strategy to fight this forthcoming Office of Management and Budget review. or not otherwise likely to meet the agency’s needs. 2009. and with the participation of appropriate management councils and program management officials.” he said.com/32399/if-youre-a-defense-lobbyist-it-might-be-time-to-panic] KLS Obama today issued a memorandum to the heads of all the executive departments agencies directing them to restrict no-bid contracts.) and former presidential rival John McCain’s (R-Ariz. The crucial paragraph. to develop and issue by July 1. Carl Levin (D-Mich. and to. the Administrator of General Services. Future Combat Systems in the Army. But the list of big-ticket defense items that have experienced huge cost overruns is a long one. [My emphasis] Clearly.

the "defense" lobby. Nobody expects the Democrats. spending pressures could force the government to further transform the military into the lighter. What's more." commented an analyst with JSA Securities in Newport. Organizations that agree on little within the Pentagon close ranks when collectively challenged. So. Washington Post National Security and Intelligence Reporter. 12/22. Colonel. to interfere with the lucrative deal making. With an eye toward 2008 elections." (NYT. force that it needs to be. so far out-paces any adversary you have to question why were still building so much. The arms-makers have one of the most powerful lobby groups in Congress. some of the biggest ticket items are the least important in this world in which threats come less from states than from non-state organization. US Army) These reforms are unlikely to occur in the absence of a significant US battlefield defeat. the State Department's ban on cooperation with the Russian companies can only apply to government agencies and companies.. Policymakers and the citizenry should continue to expect poor military performance and avoid--for a myriad of reasons--policies that run the risk of major war. Parameters. now in charge of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees.000 troops in Iraq. WP. ’02 (John. Hundreds of lives and the associated diplomatic and domestic political ramifications of a defeat will probably be part of this awakening. Defense industry lobby key What the Papers Say.Harvard Debate Defense Lobby Key Politics Internals 11-12 Defense industry lobby key – control most powerful congressional votes Priest 8 (Dana.I. 2006). Democrats want to establish their cooperation with the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And our equipment. We can but hope the cost will not be higher. 11/13) Dana Priest: Well. The military services have significant lobbying clout on Capitol Hill and powerful supporters in reserve and veterans organizations. 261 . December 26. the state-by-state lobbying effort to make sure this does not happen (defense contractors and subcontractors are conveniently sprinkled throughout the congressional districts of the most powerful lawmakers) will be huge. "as long as the war continues and we have 150. frankly. Defense lobby most powerful – controls congress Earthside. Opposing Military Lobby Drains Capital – they’re insanely powerful Gentry. incidentally less expensive.The best we probably can hope for is a moderate conflict in which the inadequacies of JV 2O2O are obvious but the United States does not suffer disastrous defeat. more agile and. The sanctions threaten the profits of some major American corporations in the defense sector. The private companies that control the lion's share of the American defense sector are not at all dependent on State Department memos. That said. R. generally speaking.com ’07 (1/3) A New York Times article called "Heady Days for Makers of Weapons" notes that military contractors are profiting more than ever as Pentagon spending has reached record levels. "I think the Democrats will be on good behavior. in legal terms.. ’06 (8/15) But she will have to intervene soon.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 262 .

But its power goes beyond the farm bill. Markey (D-Mass.story) Yet the Politics Internals 11-12 nation's real power brokers are in plain sight. the global warming bill”.200-page bill to fight climate change to the House floor today. What does that have to do with farming? Not a lot.0. “The farm lobby vs. Although agriculture plays a key role in global warming -. and livestock generate hefty emissions of climate-altering methane -. It would do this by capping emissions and allowing polluters to trade carbon credits. Which is why. 263 . from holding up the bill to wrestseed money for his constituents under the theory that heading off global catastrophe is only worthwhile if agribusiness can profit from it. greenhouse gas emissions 17% below 2005 levels by 2020. That didn't stop Rep. The farm lobby demonstrates its awesome might every few years with the passage of a new farm bill. Collin C. it's hard to pass any legislation even tangentially related to farming without the support of a bipartisan bloc of lawmakers from Midwestern states. trade relationships and in many cases raising consumer prices for agricultural goods. chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. which invariably shovels billions in corporate welfare to agribusiness while damaging U.Harvard Debate Agriculture Lobby Key Agriculture lobby key LA Times 9 (6/26. when congressional Democrats bring their sweeping 1. Peterson got what he wanted. amid amber waves of grain: the farmers. Henry A.).S. http://www.latimes. the farm lobby's loamy thumbprints will be all over it. Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) and Edward J. investing in clean energy development.the bill largely ignores such issues. Peterson (D-Minn.clearing forest land for farms eliminates trees that absorb carbon. The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 from Reps.com/news/opinion/la-ed-climate262009jun26. and boosting energy efficiency and renewable power. regulating cleaner fuels.S.5647633.) is an ambitious effort to cut U.

" Not one of those principles addressed fuel or energy costs.241 per year that cap-and-tax will add to the average household's energy bill and another $1. too. these lobbyists seem more concerned about "being at the table" than whether the deal they strike will hold up. according to the Heritage Foundation's Center for Data Analysis. http://www.200-page bill? Now ag lobby compromisers want the Senate to hold hearings to examine how these special provisions will work and "the effects of the complete bill on the industry. and National Farmers Union — agreed on nine "Principles for Greenhouse Gas Legislation.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 Agriculture Lobby Not Key Agriculture lobby not key after cap and trade failure Denver Post 9 (7/13. Maybe these agriculture lobbyists will understand that when they're out of a job. on the day of the vote. National Cattlemen's Beef Council. The agriculture compromise resulted in a 300-page amendment released at 3 a. How many congressmen (or lobbyists) read the amendment or the 1. Worse still. WaxmanMarkey's threat to farmers and ranchers isn't limited to the carbon emissions of trucks. but agriculture lobbyists seem just as clueless as the lawmakers who think milk and bread come from the grocery store. The EPA's analysis sees little upside for agriculture.com/opinion/ci_12822243) However.m. That's in addition to $1. 264 . Avoiding regulation that doesn't exist is much easier than expecting special treatment from regulators when the agriculture vote no longer matters. agriculture lobbyists agreed to create a new bureaucracy in exchange for promises that bureaucrats won't regulate agriculture and might even pay farmers for carbon sequestration and tree planting. Yet Waxman-Markey will increase electricity rates by an estimated 90 percent and gas prices by 58 percent. Farmers recognize those costs. anticipating declining crop production due to higher input costs and fewer acres for livestock grazing if landowners are paid to plant trees instead. National Corn Growers Association. tractors and flatulent livestock. “Agriculture lobby blew it on cap and trade”.738 per household in lost spending power as energy costs inflate prices of essential goods and services. boys and girls. a dozen ag lobbying organizations — including the National Association of Wheat Growers. the economic illiteracy of the agriculture lobby is embarrassing. Simply put." It's a little late for that now. These "principles" were naïve from the get-go.denverpost. In March. All of this adds up to a rotten deal for agriculture and for everyone who consumes what we produce.

they started advocacy groups. http://www.com/wpdyn/content/article/2009/05/15/AR2009051503667. had worked closely with technology vendors. generated research to show the potential for massive savings and met routinely with lawmakers and other government officials. the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. researchers and other allies in a sophisticated. 265 . But it was more than a political victory for the new administration.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 Healthcare Lobby Key Health lobby key after stimulus success Washington Post 9 (5/16. With financial backing from the industry.html? nav=rss_email/components) The inclusion of as much as $36.5 billion in spending to create a nationwide network of electronic health records fulfilled one of Obama's key campaign promises -. A Washington Post review found that the trade group. “The Machinery Behind Health-Care Reform”.washingtonpost. It also represented a triumph for an influential trade group whose members now stand to gain billions in taxpayer dollars.to launch the reform of America's costly health-care system. decade-long campaign to shape public opinion and win over Washington's political machinery.

wsj. Ignagni.only more deftly and with more muscle -. In 1993 a number of insurance giants cut ties with their trade group. Health-care lobbying has been turned on its head: The new cabal of Democratic lobbyists does not exist to protect the industry from Congress. a meeting of health-care lobbyists is better described as a reunion of Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus's former aides. or at least outrun. the Health Insurance Association of America (HIAA). These days. and be spared a public option (which would decimate her industry).com/article/SB124718217595120225. and others are back in Washington convinced they can outsmart. pledging that drug makers would cough up $80 billion to narrow a gap in Medicare drug coverage. Its CEO? Ms.html? mod=googlenews_wsj) Namely that. The doctors are next. the party made clear that companies that did not hire Democratic lobbyists would not get a hearing in Washington. The ruling party is now seeing the fruits of its bullying. handled properly. While the rump HIAA was running its Harry & Louise ads.and the titans of the private sector are rambling straight into the ambush.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 Healthcare Lobby Not Key Democrats have health lobby under their thumb WSJ 9 (7/10. Mr. Ignagni believe that in return she'll get a mandate to require all Americans to carry insurance (which her members will supply). After retaking the House in 2006. The giants were in line to suck up these customers. Democrats are letting Ms. the American Hospital Association's Rick Umbdenstock. Democrats are employing the same tactic this time -. in return for assurances it wouldn't be worse. Ignagni were running with the Clintons to craft a regulation to the big insurers' liking. Democrats have complemented their smiling encouragements with behind-the-scenes threats. The old hands of the Clinton health fight know there never was uniform opposition to the government plan. promising to squeeze $2 trillion in costs out of the system. http://online. Representing many HMO biggies was a one-time AFL-CIO employee named Karen Ignagni. It exists to present Democratic ultimatums to business. The insurers have today reunited under a group called America's Health Insurance Plans. Tauzin came along. He's been led to think Washington will forgo its plans to allow drug reimportation or give him a hand on generics. along with Billy Tauzin. Democrats are happy to let them think so. others like Ms. industry groups can be played like banjos. Cigna and others were salivating over Clinton proposals to pay for insurance for millions of uninsureds. head of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. She. Prudential. the politicians. The industry's calculation is that by cutting deals. The hospital groups this week agreed to $150 billion in future Medicare and Medicaid cuts. Plenty of bigger players figured they could craft the regulations for bigger profits. They didn't appreciate the grousing of smaller association members who opposed regulations that would crowd them out. The insurers came first. “Democrats Hoodwink the Health Lobby”. 266 . it can set the terms of its contributions to "reform" and even wangle upsides. also seeking guarantees on Medicare payments.

the oil industry spent about $50 million to $60 million a year on lobbying. they're ramping up their operations. The industry spent $44. It ramped up lobbying in 2006. http://www.5 million lobbying Congress and federal agencies in the first three months of this year.com/article/20090619/NEWS01/906190329/0/rss01favic on. when Democrats retook Congress.theadvertiser. and they've got money to spend. according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. “Energy lobby cranks up”. From the late 1990s through the first half of this decade. who runs the energy program at watchdog group Public Citizen. on pace to shatter last year's record. Last year's total of $129 million was up 73 percent from two years earlier. and further as President Barack Obama took office. That's a faster clip than any other major industry." said Tyson Slocum.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 Energy Lobby Key Energy lobby pushing efforts now AP 9 (6/19. "They're under attack. "They're in much better position than other industries to draw upon financial resources for their lobbying effort. training their gusher of profits on Washington to fight new taxes on drilling and slow efforts to move the nation off fossil fuels. Only the drug industry spent more." 267 .ico/Energy-lobby-cranks-up) Oil and gas companies have accelerated their spending on lobbying faster than any other industry.

which has promised ethics rules that may block lobbyists from certain jobs. Companies and interest groups are competing to snap up Democrats. lexis) So did Frank L.much more difficult for Republicans than in past transitions. Bowman. trade associations and lobbying firms to hire their fellow Republicans -. ''This is rather unique -.the effort by Republican lawmakers and operatives to pressure companies. the outgoing Bush administration hemorrhages resumes. and their party retreats to its lowest ebb of power since the election of President Jimmy Carter 32 years ago. Just a Turnover”.'' All were casualties of a broad shake-up of the lobbying world set off by the Democratic ascendance in Congress and at the White House.'' said Eric Vautour. the retired admiral and Republican-leaning chief of the nuclear energy lobby. No Downturn.the tasseled loafer is on the other foot. a former Reagan administration official who recruits former officials for lobbying jobs.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 Energy Lobby Not Key Energy lobby has little influence due to recent shakeup NYT 8 (11/25. Republican lobbyists are feeling the demand for their services plummet as struggling businesses slash their lobbying budgets. And scarcity has added to their value because so many well-connected Democrats are angling for jobs in the Obama administration. 268 . “For Lobbyists. citing ''this period of dramatic change in Congress and the White House. After eight years of the so-called K Street Project -.

Mary Beth Maxwell will join the administration as senior advisor after serving for years as the executive director of the labor coalition American Rights at Work.wsj.com/washwire/2009/04/24/obama-pick-marks-a-victory-for-laborunions/) Labor unions scored a victory today when the President Barack Obama named a top labor advocate to serve in a key position in the Labor Department. Obama’s tough anti-lobbyist employment policy. Maxwell will be replaced by the organization’s current board chairman David Bonior and deputy director Kimberly Freeman. labor believes that it can still prevail. American Rights at Work is the leading labor coalition pushing Congress to enact the Employee Free Choice Act. Therefore. a measure that would make it easier for workers to join labor unions. she was not a registered lobbyist. In the administration.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 Labor Lobby Key Labor lobbies prevalent in Obama’s administration despite lobbyist ban WSJ 9 (4/24. she was not precluded from serving in the administration by Mr. a group that is working to improve the lives and jobs of workers. “Obama Pick Marks a Victory for Labor Unions”. The legislation suffered a setback earlier this year when several senators who voted for it in the past reversed course and said they would oppose it this year. Support for the legislation “is as strong as ever.” said Bonior. Although Maxwell had spent much of her time advocating for the Employee Free Choice Act. 269 . However. Maxwell will work with the White House Task Force on Middle Class and Working Families. a former senior House Democrat. http://blogs.

) is about as committed a government reformer as you can find. "Had these people who are advocates not been doing this over the last eight years. “Obama’s Anti-Lobbyist Policy Causing Unintended Harm”. Instead." One progressive lobbyist said that a coworker was given an opportunity to move from statelevel to federal-level work . Not only would the economy be worse. But that's just the problem. The last official numbers. She said there has been a recent "uptick in calls from groups" asking about the rules surrounding registration." said one public-interest advocate. however.html) Barack Obama made no secret of his feelings for "Washington lobbyists" during the campaign and vowed that they wouldn't be staffing his White House. In the past. said the liberal lobbyists: It's counterproductive to Obama's long-term agenda to discourage people from entering into the field of progressive advocacy.com/2009/03/05/obamas-anti-lobbyistpoli_n_172244." A spokeswoman for the Secretary of the Senate. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. I could have easily not registered. Obama's new policy changes the calculus." said Landis. He said that he spends too much of his time lobbying and so can't make the deregistration argument for himself. Several lobbyists said that when the new policy was announced. things would be worse. The lobbyist registry was created to make the practice more transparent. "The Bush administration would have gotten more of their way. 2008.926 registered lobbyists on the list. it would be unfortunate if the new landscape resulted in less advocacy from nonprofits on important issues. has led to a number of consequences that Obama could never have intended. if I'd have known two years ago that there would be this policy in place. Lobbyists who for years have fought for workers' rights. affecting anyone who'd been a registered lobbyist in the last two years. "If the rules are made clear now and kept. She then looked deeper into the question and reported back that she "spoke to another person who handles these issues and regrettably. leading folks to deregister as federal lobbyists or consider other employment while they wait out the policy's required two-year separation from lobbying. the safety net would be worse. 270 . human rights. there was no reason not to register if there was a slim chance that the law might require it." said Feingold. And the last thing you want is to not have people on the front lines to defend the things that this administration wants to put into place. The rise of deregistrations undermines that purpose. Everyone who can deregister is deregistering. "There are more questions from groups specifically about whether or not they need to register. "Heaven help us that there's never another antiworker. While he said that "reasonable accommodations" should be made. environmental protection. from Sept. http://www. a horde of their coworkers deregistered. She deregistered in November so that she'd eventually be clean enough to work in the administration. "Frankly. showed 13. several progressive lobbyists explained." said one labor lobbyist. for instance. The implementation of that rule. said that the office's forms and database aren't set up to tabulate deregistrations. Eliminating lobbyists from consideration drains the pool of progressive talent that the White House needs at a time when agencies and departments are severely understaffed. anti-poor-people administration. where lobbyists register. she said. she is getting questions about deregistering. for those of us who agree with their positions. Groups and individuals are confused and concerned. if they think they're going to be discriminated against in terms of future employment.something she'd wanted for years . barely has any deputies as the economy continues to spiral out of control. unsuccessfully. Sen. which advises nonprofit groups on the regulations that govern lobbying. it's clear that. but my gut tells me there will be. pay-equity for women. consumer protection and other items on the Obama agenda have found the doors to the White House HR department slammed shut. he backed Obama's policy. 30.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 Labor Lobby Not Key Obama ban on lobbyists in administration forcing labor lobbyists to leave lobby to contend for administration jobs Huffington Post 9 (3/5. to Obama's." he said.but is now reluctant for fear of getting the scarlet L around her neck. "There is now a cottage industry of deregistration. he's considering leaving his job to wait out the two years.huffingtonpost. Kelly Landis is a spokeswoman for the Alliance for Justice. and I think by and large the president does. Russell Feingold (D-Wisc. people can plan their conduct accordingly in the future." said one nonprofit lobbyist who served in the Clinton administration and has applied.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 Environment Lobby Key Environmental lobby particularly strong with Obama’s agenda Conca 9 (Ken. despite its reactive habits." One important don't is to avoid confusing the better and baser natures of American environmentalism. America's environmental policy debate must above all else avoid archaic terms of reference. and its growing corporate ties. Spring. 271 . a final element of the to-do list is that it be accompanied by a strong commitment to a principled set of "don'ts. Watching this battle was a reminder of the powerfully effective role the environmental lobby may still play. professor of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland. a handful of green organizations launched a campaign that forced the Bush administration to list the polar bear as a threatened species— opening a back door for climate action by forcing a management plan for habitat protection. Recently. Dissent. Project Muse) As it emerges from its decades-long slumber. its Beltway ossification. “An environmental agenda for Obama”. Thus.

while the oil hounds still had its long-sought prize on the table for the taking. the leasing was to begin by March 23.org/environment/140297/how_much_has_changed_obama_ad ministration_deals_series_of_anti-environmental_blows/) As the clock approached midnight for the Bush administration.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 Environment Lobby Not Key Obama unaffected by environmental lobby AlterNet 9 (Environmental news site. “How Much Has Changed? Obama Administration Deals Series of Anti-Environmental Blows”. Enter Salazar with a maneuver that is typical of the Obama approach to environmental politics: Instead of killing the drilling plan outright. Salazar merely extended the analysis period for six months. http://www.alternet. The environmental lobby was given a procedural crumb. 272 . 5/29. his Interior Department put forward a rule opening 300 million acres of coastal waters to oil drilling. According to the hastily prepared decree.

the top recipient of military contracts most years. They are more like huge corporations with high-powered lobbying arms and cozy connections with important politicians. according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. are on the verge of demolishing the chief threat to their monopoly—school vouchers for low-income families in the District of Columbia. and in places like D. Beltway bandits.500 in federal taxpayer money to some low-income district parents to use on private or religious schools. But the image of the hard-working self-sacrificing teacher is not the proper symbol for the teachers unions in this country. school voucher program after next school year. which don’t want competition from private schools. and federal lobbying records show they use this clout. for the most part. The top five lobbying firms. are not well paid.C. combined. $5.8 million in the last cycle—with nearly every AFT dime going to Democrats.washingtonexaminer. While there are legitimate doubts about the educational results of the D. Take defense contractors. “Teachers unions say 'jump. These contributions give the unions clout.27 million. it will be another triumph for a nearmonopoly that has lined the coffers of nearly every member of Congress and deployed an army of lobbyists throughout Washington. Public school teachers. voucher program. When the House passed the $410 billion omnibus appropriations bill this week—funding the normal operations of government for the next seven months—it included a provision that effectively would end the D. http://www. the voucher program is in Congress’s crosshairs because of the lobbying efforts and campaign contributions of the teachers’ unions.C. than the top two defense contractors.html) Teachers unions. Theirs is a noble undertaking.com/opinion/columns/TimothyCarney/Teachersunions-say-jump-Congress-says-how-high-40384837. defense contractors. Both of the teachers unions gave more than any oil company.' Congress says 'how high?'”. 273 . The top two teachers unions—AFT and the National Education Association—spent more combined. They still spent less than the American Federation of Teachers. through their allies in the Democrat-controlled Congress. spent more on politics than any other defense firm in the 2008 elections.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 Teacher Unions Key Teachers’ unions have monopoly in Congress Washington Examiner 9 (2/26. If they win in the end and kill this program. Lockheed Martin. which provides $7. and the NEA and AFT combined gave more than the top four oil companies combined. which shelled out $2. influential industries—most of them pale in their influence efforts compared to the teachers unions. didn’t equal the AFT and the NEA in federal contributions in the 2008 cycle. they do dangerous and difficult work with inadequate support.C.

Obama’s embrace of merit pay won’t go over well among a group that often provides key funding and foot soldiers for Democratic campaigns. there is no excuse for that person to continue teaching.“Good teachers will be rewarded with more money for improved student achievement. “Obama takes on teachers’ unions”. I’m going to do it with you. “I reject a system that rewards failure and protects a person from its consequences. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Washington. Obama proposed spending additional money on effective teachers in up to 150 additional school districts. and is unfair to those who work in disadvantaged areas where it can be harder to boost student performance.S.” Instead. rather than collaborate.” he said in a wideranging education speech before a meeting of the U. or two chances. But polls show the policy is overwhelmingly supported by the public. and still does not improve.” he told the business group.yahoo. http://news.Harvard Debate Teacher Unions Not Key Obama takes on teachers unions Politico 9 (3/10. or three chances. Obama did lavish praise on the profession – going off script at one point to note that his sister is a teacher – but his remarks offered as much tough love. We can afford nothing but the best when it comes to our children’s teachers and to the schools where they teach. The stakes are too high. President Barack Obama Tuesday for the first time confronted a powerful constituency in his own party: teachers’ unions.com/s/politico/20090310/pl_politico/19824) Politics Internals 11-12 After weeks of pleasing Democrats by overturning policies set by the previous administration. “Let me be clear: if a teacher is given a chance.” The White House didn’t specify how the president would like to see poor-performing teachers removed from the classroom. fulfilling a campaign promise that once earned him boos from members of the National Education Association. another proposal that may rankle a profession that prizes tenure. 274 . and asked to accept more responsibilities for lifting up their schools. Obama confronted the powerful bloc of his own party – one in ten delegates at the Democratic National Convention in 2004 belonged to teachers unions – with unambiguous language. In addition to rewarding good teachers. Teachers’ unions say merit pay causes teachers to compete against each other. Gone were such assurances from the campaign where he would frequently say of merit pay: “I’m not going to do it to you. and it offers Obama a chance both to burnish his reformer credentials and point to a split from party orthodoxy. Obama also said he’ll seek to push out those who aren’t getting results.

which I luckily reskimmed recently. I do not think we have to focus on this meeting any longer in order to understand what the US administration thinks about Turkey. I realized that Obama has enough reasons for worrying about the Israeli lobby in the US and for calming it down. key leaders of the Lobby’s major organizations lent their voices to the campaign for war. the main driving force behind the Iraq war was a small band of neoconservatives. “The Israel Lobby and U. Foreign Policy. Kenes 6/28/10(Bulent. including placing friendly regimes. along with the Palestinian Authority." they wrote: “Pressure from Israel and the [proIsrael] Lobby was not the only factor behind the decision to attack Iraq in March 2003. professor of political science at the University of Chicago. The Israel lobby backs US presence in the Middle East – They have many interests in keeping the US there. Instead. as well as ‘friends’ of America like the Saudi royal family and Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak. 2. the influential Zionist monthly. Gordon’s statements -. has been for years editor of Commentary. Norman Podhoretz. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. but it was critical. In the Sept. but after seeing Gordon’s statements to the AP news agency. director of the Institute for Historical Review “Iraq: A War For Israel” March)AQB The role of the pro-Israel lobby in pressing for war has been carefully examined by two prominent American scholars. a prominent Jewish writer and an ardent supporter of Israel. Weber 8(Mark. Some Americans believe that this was a war for oil. Walt.” Who were the groups Gordon was trying to appease? I am sure it was no one but Israel and the powerful and decisive Israeli lobby in the US that Gordon was trying to calm by issuing guarantees to them. whether headed by Arafat or one of 275 . 2002 issue he wrote: “The regimes that richly deserve to be overthrown and replaced are not confined to the three singled-out members of the axis of evil [Iraq.were. many with close ties to Israel’s Likud Party.” Important members of the pro-Israel lobby carried out what professors Mearshiemer and Walt call “an unrelenting public relations campaign to win support for invading Iraq. it seems.S. At a minimum. and Stephen M. Walt. Their message was: “Relax. In addition. [15] In an 81-page paper. Remembering the arguments in the book. "The Israel Lobby and U. Obama will talk to Erdogan within this framework. Iran. The Turkish Press “Will Obama Be Able To Resist ‘The Lobby’?”)AQB I do not know what the details of the Erdogan-Obama meeting were or what mood dominated it. North Korea].” For some Jewish leaders.which I believe can be considered strange in terms of established diplomatic practice and diplomatic courtesy as they came just before the meeting of the leaders of the two countries -. The Israel lobby has a very strong influence on Capitol Hill – Not even Obama will be able to resist. Foreign Policy” (2008). intended to appease certain groups outside Turkish and US public opinion about the potential course of the meeting.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 Israel Lobby 1. so as to make Saddam look like an imminent threat. the war was motivated in good part by a desire to make Israel more secure… Within the United States. professor of international affairs at Harvard University.S. Mearsheimer. John J. but there is hardly any direct evidence to support this claim. the Iraq war is part of a long-range effort to install Israel-friendly regimes across the Middle East. coauthored by John J. A key part of this campaign was the manipulation of intelligence information. the axis should extend to Syria and Lebanon and Libya.

276 . Buchanan. has been blunt in identifying those who pushed for war: [16] “We charge that a cabal of polemicists and public officials seek to ensnare our country in a series of wars that are not in America’s interests.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 his henchmen. the well-known writer and commentator. and bellicosity.” Patrick J. hubris. We charge that they have alienated friends and allies all over the Islamic and Western world through their arrogance. and former White House Communications director. We charge them with colluding with Israel to ignite those wars and destroy the Oslo Accords. We charge them with deliberately damaging US relations with every state in the Arab world that defies Israel or supports the Palestinian people’s right to a homeland of their own...

“The method in Israel's madness”)AQB Let's survey Israel's possible motivations. Escobar 6/9/10(Pepe.as its success pre-empted Israel's pleas for a military strike on Tehran's nuclear facilities. No one in Washington openly supported the settlements.in Obama's own terms .Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 Israel Lobby Israel has plans for the middle east – It will use the Israel Lobby to sabotage Obama if it doesn’t get what it wants. Benjamin Netanyahu. brandishing the Israel lobby's enormous sway over the US congress and media. it used the last months of George W.represents the key bridge between the West and the Muslim world.to join the new President to try to restart the West's engagement with the Islamic world. Israel chose the latter. Sullivan 6/15/10(Andrew.and that means using the Israel lobby in Washington to sabotage US President Barack Obama's half-hearted attempts at finding any sort of agreement with Tehran over its uranium-enrichment program. called Obama's bluff . by asking the Israelis to suspend new construction of illegal settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. and to prove to the world that the US was returning to its pre-Bush role of seeking a two-state solution. The Australian “Israel not the country I once loved”)AQB Israel had a choice . In Gaza. 277 . Obama turned the other cheek. Israel wants a weak Turkey . the Prime Minister. The Israeli lobby has already established dominance over Obama. Not to mention that Turkey . this seemed like a way to change the atmosphere. The Asia Times. Everyone understood this constant provocation was a source of bitterness and distrust. a visit by VicePresident Joe Biden turned into a fiasco as new construction was approved in East Jerusalem the day he arrived. let alone their growth. He simply urged a new start to the peace process. 19 years old. or to sour the atmosphere and make Obama's job much harder. stable relations with its neighbors. Iran. key regional power now with good. Turkey is key for the US: 70% of all supplies for US troops in Iraq go through the Incirlik base in Turkey.out of the loop both in the Middle East and the European Union (EU). was killed by four Israeli bullets fired at close range into the head. Turkey is an emerging. A key Israeli motive to attack the humanitarian flotilla was to send a "signal" to Turkey about the Brazil and Turkey-mediated Iran nuclear fuel-swap deal . Getting talks going by temporarily staunching this open wound was a legitimate request by Israel's ally and donor of $US3 billion ($3. Turkey has troops fighting the US war in Afghanistan. An unarmed US citizen. would benefit by Israel's further alienation of the Arab world. But the new Israeli government refused to play ball. Bush's term to make a point.and exulted in his humiliation of the young American presidency. as he often does. There was no freeze. It was followed by the brazen Mossad assassination in Dubai and then the military raid on a flotilla of ships headed to break the embargo on Gaza. After Gaza. Even as the Israeli government knew that its main enemy. Au contraire. Israel wants conflict between Washington and Tehran .5bn) a year in aid.

most of the key individuals and institutions in the lobby have sided with Israel when there was a dispute. professor of political science at the University of Chicago. It seems clear that individuals like Abraham Foxman. It is too late. In fact. This is sometimes referred to as the issue of dual loyalty. dual loyalty—and this is no problem as long as the interests of the other country are in synch with America's interests." A more sophisticated approach. Israel's supporters have striven to shape public discourse in the United States so that most Americans believe the two countries' interests are identical. there is the matter of choosing between Israel and the United States. Thus far. but that term is a misnomer. Not only is there now open talk about clashing interests. but knowledgeable people are openly asking whether Israel's actions are detrimental to U. because they will have to side either with Israel or the United States when the two countries' interests clash. This situation is very dangerous for the lobby. acknowledges that there will be differences between the two countries. who heads the Anti-Defamation League. keep the differences behind closed doors and away from the American public.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 Israel Lobby The Israel lobby will help Israel “thwart” Obama if he risks Israel’s interests in the Middle East. Americans are allowed to have dual citizenship—and in effect. “The attack on the Gaza relief flotilla jeopardizes Israel itself”)AQB Israel's troubled trajectory is also causing major headaches for its American supporters. and that could lead to a wicked backlash against Israel's supporters as well as Israel. and organizations like AIPAC are primarily concerned about Israel's interests. President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu have had two big public fights over settlements. which is reflected in an AIPAC-sponsored letter that 337 congresspersons sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in March. however. which sometimes means shortchanging U. Mearsheimer 6/30/10(John.S. however. 278 ." In other words. to quell the public debate about whether Israel's actions are damaging U. The lobby has been scrambling to discredit this new discourse. First. either by reasserting the standard argument that Israel's interests are synonymous with America's or by claiming that Israel—to quote a recent statement by Mortimer Zuckerman. Both times the lobby sided with Netanyahu and helped him thwart Obama. is likely to become more apparent to more Americans in the future. For example.S. it is likely to grow louder and more contentious with time. a key figure in the lobby—"has been an ally that has paid dividends exceeding its costs. but argues that "such differences are best resolved quietly. not America's. For decades. interests.S. This changing discourse creates a daunting problem for Israel's supporters. interests. in trust and confidence. That situation is changing. The real problem is not dual loyalty but choosing between the two loyalties and ultimately putting the interests of Israel ahead of those of America. security. The lobby's unstinting commitment to defending Israel.

S. or unwilling to risk their careers by speaking out. politicians seem blissfully ignorant of where this is headed. “The attack on the Gaza relief flotilla jeopardizes Israel itself”)AQB Israel is facing a bleak future. and the lobby will remain influential enough over the next decade to protect Israel from meaningful U. but the majority of political commentators and virtually all U. Neither the Palestinians nor any of Israel's immediate neighbors are powerful enough to deter it. and many Israelis view the Palestinians with contempt if not hatred. pressure. The political center of gravity in Israel has shifted sharply to the right and there is no sizable pro-peace political party or movement. Voices challenging this tragic situation have grown slightly more numerous in recent years. yet there is no reason to think that it will change course anytime soon.S. professor of political science at the University of Chicago. Moreover. Mearsheimer 6/30/10(John. 279 . it remains firmly committed to the belief that what cannot be solved by force can be solved with greater force. Remarkably.Harvard Debate Israel Lobby Politics Internals 11-12 The Israel lobbies power will remain intact for at least another decade – No politician will risk their job speaking against Israel’s interest in the middle east. the lobby is helping Israel commit national suicide while also doing serious damage to American security interests.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 AT: Israel Lobby No Link . but upon examination.S. and pro-Democratic PACs. For example. A number of cases are often used as examples of the supposed power of the Israel lobby to defeat incumbents who dare challenge U. to assume that members of Congress so stridently support the policies of the Israeli government because their careers would be at stake if they did otherwise. administrations backing Indonesia's brutal quarter-century occupation of East Timor. For example. No Link . professor of politics at the University of San Francisco “IS THE ISRAEL LOBBY REALLY THAT POWERFUL?”)AQB THERE IS LITTLE QUESTION that mainstream and conservative Jewish organizations have mobilized considerable lobbying resources. During this period. pro-feminist. policy towards the Middle East should somehow be more enlightened than it is towards other third world regions where the United States has strategic interests. pro-environmentalist. Congress has played a limited. Unfortunately.S. were also defeated that year.S. Illinois Republican Congressman Paul Findley was indeed targeted by pro-Israel PACs in his unsuccessful re-election bid in 1982. the majority of the most outspoken congressional supporters of the Israeli government are from some of the safest districts in the country and need no support from pro-Israel PACs or Jewish donors in order to be re-elected. 280 . Zunes 3(Stephen. occupy. particularly one associated with a small ethnic minority. financial contributions from the Jewish community. to have so much influence. however. Indeed. Zunes 3(Stephen. At times. and recent decades have seen international relations become increasingly the prerogative of the executive branch. support for Israeli policies. role in foreign policy decisions.It’s impossible to assume that the Israel lobby can control the vast spectrum of American politics. but he was also targeted by pro-union. Not surprisingly.The Israel lobby is mostly hype – Most members of congress aren’t die-hard supporters of the lobby. Indeed. the United States government is perfectly capable on its own of supporting allied governments that invade. no Moroccan-American lobby has been needed to convince the United States to support Morocco's thirty-year occupation of Western Sahara. and no IndonesianAmerican lobby was responsible for successive U. Blaming the Israel lobby also assumes that U. who were not targeted by pro-Israel PACs. these cases prove to be less clear cut than they are often presented to be. and citizen pressure on the news media and other forums of public discourse in support of the Israeli government. a number of other Republican incumbents from the Midwest. and oppress weaker neighbors without a domestic ethnic lobbying group somehow pulling the strings. colonize. Congress only rarely plays a crucial role in the development of America's foreign policy. It is wrong. Findley represented a rural district when farm prices were low and was running in an off year election as the nominee of the incumbent party in the White House. and largely reactive. they have even created a climate of intimidation against those (myself included) who speak out for peace and human rights and support the Palestinians' right of self-determination. it is naive to assume that foreign policy decision making in the United States sufficiently pluralistic enough for any one lobbying group. professor of politics at the University of San Francisco “IS THE ISRAEL LOBBY REALLY THAT POWERFUL?”)AQB In any case.

professor of politics at the University of San Francisco “IS THE ISRAEL LOBBY REALLY THAT POWERFUL?”)AQB The Israel lobby appears powerful because its agenda largely corresponds with perceived American strategic priorities. there is a tendency to project our own failings through a usually subconscious anti-Semitism. we instead complain that Jews are "moneygrubbing. While the lobby may certainly make things more challenging for those of us working for a more enlightened U." Similarly. Middle East policy in such a dangerous and selfdefeating direction.S. President Reagan in 1981 over the AWACS sale to Saudi Arabia. professor of politics at the University of San Francisco “IS THE ISRAEL LOBBY REALLY THAT POWERFUL?”)AQB A lobby may appear a lot more powerful than it really is if there is not an effective counter-lobby.S. policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict be any more enlightened than U. for example." However. the myth of an all-powerful Israel Lobby is so pervasive that it has scared off funding for progressive organizations that could conceivably challenge it. But popular movements for peace and justice have overcome such obstacles before. policy toward Israel and Palestine. policy is not only bad for the Palestinians. President Carter in 1978 following Israel's first invasion of Lebanon. policy. international law.S. rather than successfully organizing to change U.S. In many respects. Rather than making the effort to overcome our own timidity. we adopt this fatalistic attitude that the Israel lobby is too powerful to overcome. Throughout most of the 1950s and 1960s. Protestant backgrounds. who are currently bearing the brunt of it. which are routinely at odds with moral and legal concerns. Current U. would U. the forces pushing America's policy toward Israel and Palestine are even more powerful and entrenched. Zunes 3(Stephen. President Eisenhower in 1956 during the Suez crisis.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 AT: Israel Lobby The Israel Lobby doesn’t actually have dominant influence in Congress. U. policy on Israel-Palestine. and the first President Bush in 1991 in regard to the proposed loan guarantees for Israeli settlements.S.S.S. No Link . once President Nixon. Central America or Southern Africa? Furthermore. policies have been in recent decades regarding conflicts in. it is inaccurate to blame them for the overall direction of U. arms control. but ultimately for Israel and the United States as well. Zunes 3(Stephen. For those of us with white. it was widely assumed in Washington that there could never be diplomatic relations between the United States and Communist China because of the supposed power of the proTaiwanese "China lobby.S. and nonproliferation? If AIPAC and its allied PACs did not exist. presidents have taken on the lobby directly when they believed it was in America's interest to do so and have generally won handily--for example. And therein lies the hope of creating a popular movement strong enough to overcome the powerful interests that have until now led U. when and in what region has the United States ever consistently pursued policies that have supported human rights." Rather than getting our own financial house in order.The Israel lobby only seems powerful because Israel’s interests and ours have coincided. we instead complain that Jews are "pushy. Secretary of State 281 . Indeed. While it is true that the lobby pushes the United States to support policies that conflict with basic standards of human rights and international law and that undercut arms control and nonproliferation efforts.

" there was little the pro-Taiwan lobbyists could do about it. if there ever came a time when those in power in Washington decided a major shift in policy toward Israel was necessary.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 Kissinger and other national security elites realized it was in the national interest to open up to "Red China. 282 . Similarly. they could effect one as well.

when in fact it is really just beginning. Resonates at Home. checking the political breezes.where.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 AT: Israel Lobby The Israel Lobby is losing power to opposing lobbies. To give it up is a political risk. Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder.not because AIPAC pushes any less. Perhaps some are even tempted by the lure of absolutism: If you are fighting an enemy that's absolutely evil. the reality is that the most crucial decisions will be made in the White House. the White House has its finger up. Yes. It's easy enough to understand why Netanyahu and his cabinet ministers keep saying publicly that they'll never give in to U. Yet it's one that the Netanyahu government is willing to take. It's controversial from the Israeli side because the public there largely supports the wall project.S. Groups like J Street. Chernus 9(Ira. and all the other encouraging signs of Israel concessions. It's harder to understand why these reports of progress. and the rules of the game itself are changing accordingly. The public words are invitations to all of us to work harder than ever to push the administration in the direction of peace and justice. But whatever the appeal of seeing Israel as immune to all pressure. They certainly won't be made in the offices of AIPAC. pressure.S.S. They want to minimize their political risk. not in Jerusalem or anywhere else. and (as a recent Washington Post headline put it) "Netanyahu's Defiance of U. is pushing more. and Americans for Peace Now are real players in the political game for the first time. On the Middle East as on health care reform. are so widely overlooked by peace and justice activists. But at both ends its clout is weakening -. Polls Show Resistance to Settlement Freeze. Brit Tzedek. the more pleasure we may get in waging that battle. The more evil the enemy in a moral battle. And let's face it. What Howard Dean knows about health care is equally true for the Israel-Palestine conflict: We should not let public words fool us into think that the battle is over. especially the Jewish-American peace movement. according to all indications. The most important new rule is that the team that pushes hardest can win. but because the peace movement. side because completing the wall might mean that Israel is defining permanent borders. it's a political mistake. In this case. then you must be absolutely good." But the words that count most are the ones exchanged among the diplomats behind the scenes -. “Israel Not As Powerful As You May Think” August 20)AQB It's controversial from the U. though more on Capitol Hill than at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. Perhaps the belief in Israeli intransigence heightens the sense of Israeli evil. the right-wing "pro-Israel" lobby does carry weight in Washington. some progress is being made toward compromise by Israelis as well as Arabs. Peace activists are most effective when they have an accurate assessment of the political realities they are dealing with. 283 .

it serves as a means of getting those who really have the power off the hook by diverting the blame to a convenient scapegoat. and explain how it is not the administration's fault. professor of politics at the University of San Francisco “IS THE ISRAEL LOBBY REALLY THAT POWERFUL?”)AQB THERE IS SOMETHING QUITE CONVENIENT and discomfortingly familiar about the tendency to blame an allegedly powerful and wealthy group of Jews working behind the scenes for the overall direction of an increasingly controversial U. Indeed.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 AT: K of Israel Lobby The concept of the all powerful Israel is based on anti-Semitic rhetoric. "U. that U.S. is very powerful has permitted top U. observed how "The belief that the Jewish lobby . advantage. but that policy makers must operate within the constraints imposed by powerful domestic pressures molding congressional decisions. policies.. Organski.F. government off the hook. 284 . like similar exaggerated claims of Jewish power at other times in history. Another noted professor of international relations. leaders see as working to U.S. A. diplomats will routinely blame the Israel lobby in order to get the U.S. but the way in which this exaggerated view of Jewish power parallels historic anti-Semitism should give pause.S. policy makers to use 'Jewish influence' or 'domestic politics' to explain the policies . a regretful sigh." He goes on to note how when Arab leaders have raised concerns about U. Zunes 3(Stephen.K. This is not to say that everyone who expresses concern about the power of AIPAC is an anti-Semite...S. officials need give only a helpless shrug. policy." My interviews with half a dozen Arab foreign ministers and deputy foreign ministers have revealed that indeed U..S. policies they would pursue regardless of Jewish opinion on the matter.S.S.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 285 .

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 ### Theory ### 286 .

Their model of debate trains us to ignore crucial issues. They can always demand more specificity. and trains us to account for broader context . this is just a bad ‘no link’ argument without any evidence.it forces up-to-date research on current issues. Arbitrary standard. Aff conditionality is a VI even if they kick the argument because it makes negative strategy impossible.politics is key to being neg. why we have sanctions on Cuba. 287 . Amounts to re-planning in the 2AC. which is important education. Political calculations explain why we got the health care bill we did. We read links and internal links which prove that an inevitable result of passing the plan will be to [ explain DA ]. And those real policy-makers have to factor in politics every day. 6.there is no single ‘USFG’ – there are only actors within it. Turns their ‘logical policy maker argument’ . The politics DA is good for debate. It’s their job to prove that we ought to affirm the plan – not that we should imagine ourselves as the government.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 A2: Intrinsicness 1. We need generic DAs to counter big topics and tremendous aff flex. Intrinsicness is a voting issue. If they can’t prove otherwise. They say that the plan will inspire a shift in overall doctrine – but that relies on assessing political conditions precisely as much as the DA. Their advantage isn’t intrinsic. 5. creates a moving target and makes it impossible to be neg. and ag subsidies. 3. 2. The DA is intrinsic. The judge shouldn’t pretend to be the USFG. The judge should be an academic assessing the status quo. Bad model of decision-making. . 4. If this argument justifies doing anything the USFG can do to solve a problem it gives them leeway to fiat out of all neg args. that it has to be intrinsic enough. Their argument amounts to a reasonability claim. Creates moving goalposts.

should is the present tense -Takes out solvency.the bottom of the docket is not guaranteed to ever get addressed. In the 107th Congress. Caplan] A very small number of bills introduced actually become law.the affirmative gets infinite prep time to write the most strategic plan. however. allowing this choice to occur in the 2AC compounds the abuse. Most recently.every alternative to immediacy is arbitrary. This means that just over 4% of the bills introduced in the 107th Congress actually became law. Once a bill has been introduced. the first session. Of these. This includes bills that may have passed both the House and the Senate but were never finalized and sent to the President for his signature.delaying plan implementation kills all negative ground -No logical limit. At any point when Congress is in session. Once a Congress adjourns. http://www.pdf.Harvard Debate A2: Bottom of the Docket Politics Internals 11-12 The affirmative must defend immediate unconditional implementation of the plan -key to negative ground. and will adjourn before the end of 2004.org/pdfs/Advocacy_Tools. it is alive and may be considered at any time during the Congress. bills that passed one house (either the House or the Senate) but not the other.the Aff will never get passed NAACP 07 [NAACP WASHINGTON BUREAU FACT SHEET: What happens to bills when the Congress ends?. Each Congress is comprised of two sessions. which is comprised of the second year. which ran from 2001 to 2002. which encompasses the first year. all bills that have been introduced in either the House or the Senate that have not made it through the entire legislative process and signed into law are dead. and the second session. bills that were the subject of committee or subcommittee hearings but were never considered by either house. 288 . vote negative on presumption Vote Neg on Presumption. 8948 bills were introduced in the US House and Senate.allowing revisions after they have heard our strategy unlimits -Non topical. In the United States.every disad relies on a temporally sensitive uniqueness argument. the 108th Congress began on January 7. at the end of its two-year cycle. 2003. a “Congress” or congressional term lasts two years.naacp. October 18. and bills that never got more action after being introduced. a sitting member of Congress may introduce legislation: members of the House of Representatives introduce bills in the House and Senators introduce bills in the Senate. This legislation can cover almost any issue conceivable. 377 laws were enacted.

Harvard Debate A2 Vote NO Politics Internals 11-12 1.no perception das because we have to pretend we’re in congress 3. No neg ground . not against start 289 . Takes away the possibility for the negative to get the status quo – we should always get it because of the resolution 2. this is stupid – a vote negative is against the aff. politics DAs are good – key to education about political process – agent cps are net worse for the aff 4.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 290 .

rarely do bills pass with a unanimous vote. Least amount of fiat good. which would be 51 votes in the Senate. which is key to neg ground b. and that’s enough to let us have a debate on the plan. Letting the aff fiat that it passes with unanimous support takes away the DA. 291 . ensuring a link because the plan would trigger debate. A 51-49 split is more realistic than a unanimous vote. Most real world. especially on issues that do not have momentum – like their inherency indicates. this is not likely to happen now.Harvard Debate AT – No Link – Plan Passes Unanimously Politics Internals 11-12 ___ Counter-interpretation: Least Amount of Fiat – Fiat means that the aff passes with the least amount of fiat necessary to do the plan. The aff already gets to fiat that a plan passes when it wouldn’t normally pass. a.

you can’t just rely on camp files -Real world knowledge. all debaters will have the opportunity to vote and can use the skills they learn from politics to make critical decisions about political affiliation 292 .most people won’t go into poverty law.time sensitive uniqueness forces constant updates.Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 Politics Disads Good Politics disads are good for debate -education.they are the only way to introduce current events and international affairs into stale domestic topics -encourages research.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 293 .

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 294 .

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 295 .

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 296 .

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