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Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11

. ### 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 Doesnt Get Blamed..........................................................................................................14 Obama Doesnt 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 Dont Link Insulated Ext.................................................................................................28 Courts Dont Link Cover Ext......................................................................................................29 Courts Dont Link Cover Ext......................................................................................................30 Courts Dont Link Cover Ext......................................................................................................31 Courts Dont Link -- Cover............................................................................................................32 Courts Dont Link -- Cover............................................................................................................33 Courts Dont Link to PtxNo blame............................................................................................34 Courts Dont Link to PtxNo blame............................................................................................35 Courts Link Less to Politics than Congress...................................................................................36 Courts Link Less to Politics than Congress...................................................................................37 Courts Link to PtxNot Insulated................................................................................................38 Courts Link to PtxBlame...........................................................................................................39 Courts Link to PtxBlame...........................................................................................................40 Courts Link to PtxBlame...........................................................................................................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

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11

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

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11

### 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

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11

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

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11

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: Specters 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 KeyLabor Bill...........................................................................................................237 Landrieu KeyClimate...............................................................................................................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

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11

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

### Spin/Blame ###

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Obama gets blame Obama gets blamed for issues concerning spending empirics Washington Post 7/15 (Ezra Klein, 7/15/11, " Sides: Default will hurt Obama ", http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezraklein/post/sides-default-will-hurt-obama/2011/07/11/gIQApy42FI_blog.html)

For one, 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. See Mark Blumenthal's thorough rundown of the polls. Second, during

the 1995 shutdown, Clinton's popularity went down during this time although this fact seemingly cannot penetrate the conventional wisdom. See my earlier post. Yes, the polls also weren't kind to Gingrich and the GOP, but it is hard to claim that Clinton benefited in the eyes of voters. There is certainly no evidence that I know of that the shutdown helped re-elect Bill Clinton. It's interesting that McConnell thinks that, if only because it appears to guide his actions now. But I don't think it's true. Finally, even though this fight over the debt ceiling is unusual, I have a hard time imagining that Obama is going to emerge unscathed if the ceiling isn't lifted and the economy suffers. After all, incumbent politicians are punished by voters for a thousand trivial things, even losses in college football games. I am hardpressed to imagine that voters will suddenly exonerate Obama from possible economic disruptions and simply blame the GOP. To be clear, I don't think either party would come out of a debt ceiling meltdown smelling like roses. But let's not pretend that Obama will somehow avoid that. Or put it this way: what if the meltdown led to, say, 1-2 months of bond rating markdowns, stock market convulsions, disruptions of key government services, and wall-to-wall media coverage of the same? What happens to Obama's approval rating in that time? My bet is that, just as with Clinton in 1995, it goes down. Obama gets blamed for bad policies AP 7/15 (7/15/11, " Obama's hands-on negotiation a political necessity ",
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jEh84nbuj_Ei28mJcPHMRq5ka28A?docId=3d2adbdbf71e456593f0198494d7dc15) The White House says

Obama is the one who has shown leadership and willingness to compromise.

Faced with steadfast GOP opposition to tax increases, he asked Republican leaders directly what "shared sacrifice" they were offering. At another point, he used a Republican icon to congratulate himself for his deep involvement in the talks, insisting that Ronald Reagan never spent as much time as he has haggling with lawmakers over policy details. "Obama

has got to get this done," Lichtman said. "Even if people blame the Republicans in Congress, he's the president. And if things go rotten on his watch, he pays for it. This is his moment. And he knew it was going to be trouble, because Republicans have very little incentive to make a deal." Further spending is blamed on Obama Spokesman Review 7/16 (7/16/11, " Obama's history lesson ", http://www.spokesman.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. 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. Hoover and the Great Depression are inseparable in the annals of history. So as

President Obama continues to play chicken with the pending debt crisis before us, he should heed this warning. He can blame Speaker Boehner, Eric Cantor, the Tea Party or whoever he chooses. But when the United States credit rating falls, we default on our debt and the subsequent collapse of our economy, history will only blame Obama. History is the only true measure of leadership, or the lack thereof. Obama Gets Credit/Blame

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. Politico 9. [2-13-09 -- http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0209/18827.html]
The Washington climate, which led to a party-line vote on the stimulus, has big political implications: It means that Obama will have sole ownership -- whether that means credit or blame -- for all the massive changes in government he envisions over the coming year.

PRESIDENTS ARE THE FOCAL POINT OF POLITICS THEY GET THE CREDIT/BLAME. CNN Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer 4/28/02
Bruce Morton, Cnn Correspondent: Networks will often air whatever the president says, even if he's praising the Easter Bunny. Blitzer: Competing for face time on the cable news networks. Stay with us. Blitzer: Welcome back. Time now for Bruce Morton's essay on the struggle for balanced coverage on the cable networks. Morton: The Democrats have written the three cable news networks -- CNN, Fox and MSNBC -- complaining that the Bush administration gets much more coverage than elected Democrats. They cite CNN, which they say, from January 1 through March 21, aired 157 live events involving the Bush administration, and 7 involving elected Democrats. Fox and MS, they say, did much the same thing. The coverage gap is certainly real, for several reasons. First, since September 11, the U.S. has been at war in Afghanistan, so the president has been an active commander in chief. And covering the war, networks will often air whatever the president says, even if he's praising the Easter Bunny. Plus, the White House press secretary's briefing, the Pentagon's, maybe the State Department's. Why not? It's easy, it's cheap, the cameras are pooled, and in war time, the briefings may make major news. You never know. But there's a reason for the coverage gap that's older than Mr. Bush's administration. In war or peace, the president is a commanding figure -one man to whose politics and character and, nowadays, sex life, endless attention is paid. Congress is 535 people. What it does is complicated, compromises on budget items done in private, and lacks the drama of the White House. There's a primetime TV show about a president. None about the Congress. If a small newspaper has one reporter in Washington, he'll cover two things, the local congressional delegation and, on big occasions, the White House. So the complaining Democrats have a point, but it's worth remembering that coverage of a president, while always intense, isn't always positive . You could ask the Clintons. 9 Presidents will always get more coverage than Congresses. They're sexier. But it won't always be coverage they like.

PRESIDENCY IS THE FOCAL POINT OF POLITICS PRESIDENT GETS THE CREDIT OR THE BLAME, DESERVED OR NOT Rosati 4. [Jerel A., University of South Carolina Government and International Studies professor THE POLITICS OF
UNITED STATES FOREIGN POLICY, 2004, p. 80] Given the popular image of presidential power, presidents

receive credit when things are perceived as going well and are blamed when things go badly. Unfortunately, American politics and the policy process are incredibly complex and beyond considerable presidential control. With so many complex issues and problems to address the debt problem, the economy, energy, welfare, education, the environment, foreign policy this is a very demanding time to be president. As long as presidential promises and public expectations remain high, the presidents job becomes virtually an
impossible task. Should success occur, given the lack of presidential power, it is probably not by the presidents own design. Nonetheless, the president the person perceived to be the leader of the country will be rewarded in terms public prestige, greater power, and reelection (for him or his successor). However, if the president is perceived as

of

unsuccessful a failure this results not only in a weakened president but one the public wants replaced, creating the opportunity to challenge an incumbent president or his heir as presidential nominee.

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, University of South Carolina Government and International Studies professor, 04 (Jerel A., THE POLITICS OF UNITED STATES FOREIGN POLICY, 2004, p. 309-11) The third pattern to consider is that Congress is the ultimate political body within the U.S. government. Members of Congress are political animals who are preoccupied with their institutional status and power, their electoral security, and how they are perceived within and beyond the Washington beltway. They tend to be obsessed with reelection and are constantly soliciting funds from private contributors for reelection campaigns. A preoccupation with reelection also makes them overly sensitive to public perceptions, political support, political trends, and their public images. If the public and their constituents are interested in an issue and have staked out a position, members of Congress tend to reflect the dominant public mood. If the public is uninterested, members of Congress have more freedom of action; yet they are constantly pressured by the president, executive agencies, congressional colleagues, special interest groups, and their constituents.

Zero sum nature of politics ensures president is assigned political blame Fitts, Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, 96 (Michael, The Paradox of Power in the Modern State, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, January, 144 U. Pa. L. Rev. 827, Lexis, accessed 7-8-09, 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, his ability to mediate conflict and control the agenda can be undermined. The modern president is supposed to have a position on such matters as affirmative action, the war in Bosnia, the baseball strike, and the newest EPA regulations, the list is infinite. Perhaps in response to these pressures, each modern president has made more speeches and taken more positions than his predecessors, with Bill Clinton giving three times as many speeches as Reagan during the same period. In such circumstances, the president is far less able to exercise agenda control, refuse to take symbolic stands, or take inconsistent positions. The well-documented tendency of the press to emphasize the strategic implications of politics exacerbates this process by turning issues into zero-sum games.

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

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Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 President Gets the Blame PRESIDENT WILL GET THE BLAME

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FITTS, PROF OF LAW @ UNIV OF PENN, 1996 [MICHAEL, UPENN LAW REVIEW P.827, LN] On the one hand, there can be no doubt that presidents make numerous mistakes for which they are and should be held politically and legally accountable. On the other hand, as the single most powerful actors in government, they may be subject to excessive scrutiny, overestimation of casual responsibility, and criticism, regardless of what they do or say or any structural changes in the system. PRESIDENT GETS THE BLAME NEUSTADT, PROF @ HARVARD UNIV., 1990 [RICHARD, 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, or governors, or national committeemen, or private citizens, or foreign governments. There are no generic differences, no differences in kind and only sometimes in degree. 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; power is a give-and-take. Like our governmental structure as a whole, the executive establishment consists of separated institutions sharing powers. The President heads one of these; cabinet officers, agency administrators, and military commanders head others. Below the departmental level, virtually independent bureau chiefs head many more. Under mid-century conditions, federal operations spill across dividing lines on organization charts; almost every policy entangles many agencies; almost every program calls for interagency collaboration. Everything somehow involves the President. But operating agencies owe their existence least of all to one another- and only in some part to him. Each has a separate statutory base; each has its statutes to administer, each deals with a different set of subcommittees at the Capitol. Each has its own peculiar set of clients, friends, and enemies outside the formal government. each has a different set of specialized careerists inside its own bailiwick. Our Constitution gives the President the takecare clause and appointive power. Our statues give him central budgeting and a degree of personnel control. All agency administrators are responsible to him.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 President Gets the Blame THE PRESIDENT WILL GET BLAMED

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

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 A2: Obama Controls Spin Independent media prevents Presidents from controlling the spin

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

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Obama Doesnt Get Blamed Republicans get blame for spending crisis Obama trying to compromise National Journal 7/15 (7/15/11, " Cook: Blame Republicans for Debt Crisis ", http://www.nationaljournal.com/columns/cookreport/cook-blame-republicans-for-debt-crisis-20110714)

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Republicans dont seem to understand the symbiotic relationships in this negotiation. Democrats hate entitlement cuts just as much as Republicans despise tax hikes. Likewise, just as Republicans dislike defense cuts, Democrats dislike domestic spending cuts. Yet, both are necessary. If Republicans expect Democrats to go along with entitlement cuts, the GOP has to be willing to go along with some revenue increases. If Republicans expect Democrats to swallow deep hits to domestic spending, the GOP has to swallow deep hits to defense. Instead, 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, and the United States will probably avoid default. But the business community and the financial markets will see no sign that Washington is committed to fiscal sanity. The eventual deal will give them little reason for confidence in the countrys political leadership and economic future, and they will likely keep sitting on the cash in their corporate coffers. The current equation seems to be: Big Hopes and Big Talk = Small Cuts and No Progress. Republicans want to stand on their principles, while Democrats are required to compromise on theirs. Republicans will be able to smugly walk away from the table knowing that they didnt give an inch, but President Obama may well come out the winner. 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. Washington will not succeed in bending the deficit and debt curve, and Obama will be able to blame Republicans for their unwillingness to meet Democrats halfway.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Obama Doesnt Get Blamed Obama will blame Republicans to get re-elected Asia Times Online 7/18 (7/18/11, " Obama could stir a Tea Party crisis ",
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/MG19Dj01.html) President Barack Obama's

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best hope of re-election lies in provoking Republicans to force the United States into technical default, engineering a brief but severe financial crisis in order to appear as crisis-manager-in-chief. The Tea Party movement may be marching into a political ambush, 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. The now unpopular president then would assume the role of national savior in time of crisis. 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. But there are bad reasons. The standard scenario was rehearsed July 15 on the Financial Times' Alphaville blog, [1] which notes that "the United States runs a monthly fiscal deficit totaling $124bn, and that there are almost $60bn of T-bills maturing in the two weeks after August 2, all requiring redemption payments. (Plus a $20bn coupon payment on August 15 - Fitch has said this would be the trigger for restricted default, if missed.)"

Technical default is likely, and so perhaps, as the rating agencies have threatened, is permanent loss of America's AAA rating. The bigger danger lies in the "vast role Treasuries serve as collateral - a role which usually sees
them safely locked up in the day to day operation of the money markets, but which we already know is vulnerable to a sell-off - a Lehman, 2008style margin spiral - in

the event of the debt ceiling remaining in place. You'd hardly wait for ratings agency downgrades." The market for repurchase agreements (short-term loans against bonds) amounts to $4 trillion globally. If banks, hedge funds and others who borrowed against bonds had to put up more collateral because Treasuries were in trouble, they would have to sell huge volumes of securities into a falling market. That is what happened after the Lehman failure in 2008. Just how that might transpire is up to the central banks. 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. 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. In that event, the Obama administration would declare an emergency, summon bankers
to Washington for crisis-management sessions, slash every form of spending except for coupon payments on Treasuries, and so forth.

Markets would swoon over the uncertainty. And the president would be on television denouncing the lunatics who brought things to this point. Congress would pass emergency legislation, markets would snap back, and Obama would declare himself a national savior. Obama, meanwhile, would play the populist against the banks, demanding tougher government controls, consumer protection, 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, supposedly to help poor people buy homes). No good crisis should go to waste, Rahm Emanuel said. As Stanley Kurtz documented in his 2011 book Radical-in-Chief [2], Obama is a socialist of pure pedigree, trained by socialists from his university days and promoted by a nexus of socialist foundations in Chicago throughout his political career. He passed up an opportunity to nationalize American banks in
March 2009, when Paul Krugman, Simon Johnson and other leftist economists urged him to do so. Evidently he thought that a compromise with Wall Street would benefit the economy and improve his chances of re-election. That did not pan out, and Obama

has nothing to lose by running against Wall Street. A new financial crisis would give him the opportunity to do so. If I were an Obama speechwriter, here's what I would put on the teleprompter after a federal default, as stock markets tanked and individuals cashed out their money market funds: My fellow Americans, the Republican party has been in the pocket of the big banks for too long. After the last Republican administration led the country into the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, you elected me to restore the balance in favor of working people. Now the Republicans have pushed America into yet another crisis, and again we are faced with the danger of depression.

Obama Will Push the Plan

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Only Obama involvement gets plan passed General Hamel et. al, 09 Michael A., Lt. General (retired), USAF (3/10/10, The Committee for US Space Leadership,
MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT: Americas Leadership in Space, http://spacepolicyonline.com/pages/images/stories/Memo_For_the_President_March_10_20091.pdf)

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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, so too mastery of space will be a defining feature of the 21st century. Loss of our strategic advantage in space would have acute consequences, both symbolic and substantive, on U.S. standing in the world and erode capabilities crucial to the nations security and prosperity in the decades ahead. We know the formula for success

in space. It takes the right skills, hard work, and effective management, starting at the top. Strong White House leadership is essential to putting the national space enterprise on an effective new course, which in turn will be highly supportive and synergistic with your broader agenda, priorities, and goals for the nation. Nearly fifty years ago, a new
President challenged America to become the world leader in space, to send Americans to the moon and return them safely to Earth within a decade. America succeeded in achieving President Kennedys vision, and the nation has benefited beyond imagination from meeting that challenge. America is at a new crossroads, 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. Plan requires presidential involvement means Obama gets the blame Marcia Smith 11 Smith is President of the Space and Technology Policy Group, LLC, which specializes in news, information and analysis
of civil, military and commercial space programs and other technology areas. From March 2006-March 2009, Ms. Smith was Director of the Space Studies Board (SSB) at the National Research Council (NRC), Last Man on Moon and Space Policy Expert Dismayed at State of U.S. Human Spaceflight Program 5/25 http://spacepolicyonline.com/pages/index.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, John F. Kennedy and the Race to the Moon, emphasizing that JFK was not a space visionary, but a President coping with Cold War realities. In his op-ed for the Orlando Sentinel today, Logsdon suggested that JFK

could be a role model for President Obama in remaining closely involved in space program decisions. "If President Obama hopes for a positive space legacy, he needs to emulate John Kennedy; without sustained presidential leadership, 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," Logsdon wrote. Executive Controls Space Policy Obama Push Is Required G. Ryan Faith 10 G. Ryan Faith is an independent technology consultant and Adjunct Fellow for Space Initiatives at the Center for
Strategic and International Studies, (CSIS). President Obamas Vision for Space Exploration (part 2) 4/26 http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1616/1 One thing that President Obama can learn from the fate of his predecessors plan for space exploration is that continued, periodic

political support at the Presidential level is of great importanceor is perceived to be within the space communitybecause of the sentiment that the national space exploration program is a tool to be used by and within the prerogative of the executive. Should international cooperation play a greater role in American plans in the near future, engagement by the President and State Department on behalf of NASA will be quite valuable.

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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 presidents 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 presidents 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 dont vote based on capital its 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 isto wit, an institution with an enormous status quo bias, thats 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 countrys population. But that only adds up to 22 Senatorsyou 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 electionsits 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.

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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.

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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 - 2005
(Invest or Spend?:Political capital and Statements of Administration Policy in the First Term of the George W. Bush Presidency, http://a-s.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 presidents 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 ### Courts ###

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Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11

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

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

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11

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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. 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 Thats 2AC Guertz. 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, PROF OF POLI SCI @ FLORIDA INTL UNIV, 2001, [JOHN, CONGRESS CONFRONTS THE COURTS, PG.] So there clearly are circumstances in which the Court can effectively legislate, although unless it reads the public mood carefully, 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 courts authority. One further development of the past half-century or so demands our attention, however, because it has implications for the long-term authority of the Court and the integrity of the American political system as a whole. 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. Since Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 a whole slew of other political issues have fallen into the lap of the court affirmative action, abortion, gay rights issues that touch a sensitive chord in multiethnic, multicultural America. This, together with the increasing ability of national interest groups associated with these issues to promote their objectives in federal court, has meant that the judiciary has had to address these extremely explosive issues whether it wants to or not, as seen with the prolonged reaction to the Courts 1973 Roe v Wade decision legalizing abortion. 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- fairly secure in the knowledge that the Court will take the political opprobrium for rejecting them. 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, buck passing to the judiciary has also been unhealthy for the court and the relationship between the branches. 2) At best, they win that the president gets the backlash because he appointed the judiciary. But, since Bush left a permanent mark on the current court, and Obama has appointed 0 justices, hell get the [blame / credit] for all the decisions thats Lithwick

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

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Courts Dont Link Insulated Ext. No link the public ignores court action Chris Deeney, Ipsos News Center, January 10, 2006 [Most Americans Cant Name Any Supreme Court Justices, Says FindLaw.com Survey, http://www.ipsosna.com/news/pressrelease.cfm?id=2933] (PDAF0728)

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In spite of broad, high-profile news coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court in the past year, 57 percent of Americans cant name any current U.S. Supreme Court justices. According to a new national survey conducted by FindLaw.com, the leading legal Web site, only 43 percent of American adults can name at least one justice who is currently serving on the nations highest court <continued>. In a way its not surprising that most members of the public cant name a single Supreme Court justice, says constitutional historian Stephen Presser, a professor at Northwestern University Law School. The average citizen probably doesnt view the judicial role as being as important as the role of Congress, which in effect makes the laws, or the president, who administers the laws. The reality is that who sits on the Supreme Court makes a big difference as to what happens to us as a nation. As such, the public ought to be paying more attention to the Supreme Court and the battles over the nomination of justices. Courts are insulated from politics no link Michael L. De Shazo, JD/BCL Candidate May 2005 @LSU, Louisiana Law Review Fall, 2004 65 La. L. Rev. 507 As former Chief Justice John Marshall so famously stated in Marbury v. Madison, "[i]t is emphatically the province and duty of the of the judicial department to say what the law is." 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, such a position conflicts with the intentions of the Framers. 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. 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.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Courts Dont Link Cover Ext Obama wont get the blame the court is still controlled by unbendable conservatives Washington Monthly 9 Tipping Back the Scales, Rachel Morris - Jul 11, 2009 <http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2009/0903.morris.html>

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the Justice Department with Bush loyalists was the crass echo of a project that began nearly twenty-five years ago. When Edwin Meese became
Schlozmans ham-fisted quest to pack attorney general in 1985, he aimed to change Americas legal culture so that Ronald Reagans 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. The cronyism and ineptitude that pervaded the Justice Department in the past eight years may
long after he left the White House. Meese turned machine, have dealt this project a mortal blowthanks to the Schloz, a stint in the Bush DOJ will probably not be considered a stepping stone to greater things. But even

if the conservative legal movement advances no further, its successes will reverberate for years to come. Republican appointees now comprise more than 60 percent of appeals court judges, with majorities on ten of the thirteen appellate courts, while Democratic appointees control just one. Many of these Republican appointees are not moderates or pragmatists, but talented, unbendable conservatives. 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, both Reagan DOJ alumni.
more consistently conservative in their rulings than those appointed by Eisenhower, Nixon, or Ford. Already

Obama shielded from court action due to Republican obstruction Roll Call 9 (Capitol Hill Newspaper, 6/25, Dont Blame Democrats for Republican Obstruction of Obamas Judicial Nominees, http://www.rollcall.com/news/36303-1.html) Republican leaders have promised her a fair shake. But behind the smiles, they seem, as confided to Roll Call by an unnamed Senate Republican leadership aide, on the same page with right-wing advocacy groups who demand a rejectionist strategy for Sotomayor and all of President Barack Obamas judicial and other law-related nominees: delay, obstruct, strain for excuses to paint candidates as extreme and, wherever possible, block confirmation. The filibuster threat keeps popping up. Indeed, Obamas first appeals court nominee, Indiana District Judge David Hamilton, is already being quietly filibustered, after all Judiciary Committee Republicans voted against reporting to the Senate floor his
nomination for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.I dont think anybody wants to filibuster Judge Sotomayor, Senior Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah) frowns, implicitly suggesting retaliation if her hearing is not pushed off past the August recess, but sometimes [that is] the only way you can make sure things are fair. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

has repeatedly refused to rule out a

filibuster for Sotomayor.

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Courts Dont Link Cover Ext. COURTS SHIELD POLITICIANS ROSENBERG, PROF OF POLI SCI @ U OF CHICAGO, 1991 [GERALD, HOLLOW HOPE P 34-35] Finally, court orders can simply provide a shield or cover for administrators fearful of political reaction. This is particularly helpful for elected officials who can implement required reforms and protest against them at the same time. This pattern is often seen in the school desegregation era. Writing in 1967 one author noted that court order is useful in that it leaves the official no choice and a perfect excuse. While the history of court-ordered desegregation unfortunately shows that officials often had many choices other than implementing court orders, 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 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. Thus, Condition IV; Courts may effectively produce significant social reform by providing leverage, or a shield, cover, or excuse for persons crucial to implementation who are willing to act. Court action provides political cover for politicians no backlash GRANT 03 Professor, William S. Boyd School of Law, UNLV [Douglas L., Interstate Water Allocation Compacts, University of Colorado Law Review, winter]
Just as states would have negotiated few, if any, boundary and water compacts if the matter were left to the pleasure of the state in possession, a state advantaged by an old water allocation compact negotiated under different circumstances would have little, if any, incentive to renegotiate if left to its pleasure. 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. Rather than face highly unpredictable apportionment litigation, 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. 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, in part, "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, there is always uncertainty in litigation." 405
renegotiating the compact. Furthermore,

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

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Courts Dont Link -- Cover COURTS ARENT PERCEIVED THE PRIVACY OF RULINGS AND LACK OF MEDIA COVERAGE PRECLUDE POLITICAL BACKLASH FRANKLIN, PROF POLI SCI @ UNIV OF WISCONSIN, 1995 [CHARLES, CONTEMPLATING COURTS]

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Very few people have direct contact with the Supreme Court and its decisions. Journalists may cover the Court, and lawyers may read some of its decisions, but the vast majority of Americans encounter the Supreme Court indirectly, through the media or perhaps conversation. 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. One of the peculiarities of the Supreme Court as an institution is that it is high episodic and mostly private. Except on the days when it hears oral argument and the days when it hands down a decision, there is literally nothing to watch. The justices meet in private and they talk to themselves in private. Political scientists tell us this is a crucial time of negotiations and decision making (Baum 1992; Murphy 1994) but because it is private, It is invisible to the media. In contrast, even before it takes a vote, Congress holds hearings, committee and subcommittee meetings, and floor debates; and party leaders and other members make statements, visit the White house, and appear on television interview shows. In comparison to the Supreme Court, Congress is a veritable hotbed of activity. The President is even more visible. Given these differences in institutional structure and practice, it is not surprising to find that the Supreme Court is much less frequently covered in the media. The consequence of this is nonetheless important. As one of the three branches of the federal government, 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.

COURTS SHIELD POLITICIANS ROSENBERG, PROF OF POLI SCI @ U OF CHICAGO, 1991 [GERALD, HOLLOW HOPE P 34-35]
Finally, court orders can simply provide a shield or cover for administrators fearful of political reaction. This is particularly helpful for elected officials who can implement required reforms and protest against them at the same time. This pattern is often seen in the school desegregation era. Writing in 1967 one author noted that court order is useful in that it leaves the official no choice and a perfect excuse. While the history of court-ordered desegregation unfortunately shows that officials often had many choices other than implementing court orders, 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 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. Thus, Condition IV; Courts may effectively produce significant social reform by providing leverage, or a shield, cover, or excuse for persons crucial to implementation who are willing to act.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Courts Dont Link -- Cover CONGRESS CAN SHIFT THE BLAME TO THE COURTS
STACK, PROF OF POLI SCI @ FLORIDA INTL UNIV, 2001, [JOHN, CONGRESS CONFRONTS THE COURTS, PG.]

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So there clearly are circumstances in which the Court can effectively legislate, although unless it reads the public mood carefully, 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 courts authority. One further development of the past half-century or so demands our attention, however, because it has implications for the long-term authority of the Court and the integrity of the American political system as a whole. 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. Since Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 a whole slew of other political issues have fallen into the lap of the court affirmative action, abortion, gay rights issues that touch a sensitive chord in multiethnic, multicultural America. This, together with the increasing ability of national interest groups associated with these issues to promote their objectives in federal court, has meant that the judiciary has had to address these extremely explosive issues whether it wants to or not, as seen with the prolonged reaction to the Courts 1973 Roe v Wade decision legalizing abortion. 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- fairly secure in the knowledge that the Court will take the political opprobrium for rejecting them. 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, 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. Assuming, generously, that everyone dealing with this mess has the best intentions, there are still inevitable political barriers that thwart a solution. We know Congress's problem: Even if members wanted to do more, their constituents will only let them tinker on the margins. We don't know the White House's problem, except the fact that President Clinton chooses to stay as far away from the matter as he can. The local government is guided by the imperative of self-interest. Only the courts can break the political gridlock. A court can give everyone political cover, especially when it comes to spending money. Given a choice, most people wouldn't have wanted to pay for Congress screwing up the savings and loan industry, either, but it was the law. Courts tell the government to fix inequities on government property all the time, often at great cost -- whether it's cleaning up nuclear waste or seeing to the rights of Native Americans. Why should Congress's District of Columbia be any different?

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Courts Dont Link to PtxNo blame

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

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Courts Dont Link to PtxNo blame Public doesnt think about Court in the same way as President/Congress Valerie Hoekstra, Professor of Political Science at Arizona State University, Public Reaction to Supreme Court Decisions, 2003, p. 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, most people simply do not think about the Court in the same way they think about Congress or the President. To some extent, this must be true. The Court is fundamentally different: it has less visibility since the justices do not campaign for office; and, it conducts its business differently from the other two branches. 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. The simple fact is that all three institutions create policy, often on some of the most contentious issues of the day. All three branches must make choices- choices that will undoubtedly please some and anger others. Once a policy or decision is made public, it has the potential to affect support for that particular institution.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Courts Link Less to Politics than Congress Supreme Court insulated from politics- Congress and President arent

36

Elliot Slotnick and Jennifer Segal, Professor of Political Science at Ohio State University and Professor of Political Science at the University of Kentucky, Television News and the Supreme Court: All the News Thats Fit to Air?, 1998, p. 4 Third, the work of the justices involves primarily the interpretation of law and the Constitution and takes place in a court of law. The implications and public perceptions of such work are many, including the notion that these interpreters be fair and unbiased, neutral in their application of law, treating all who come before them equally; that they do not engage in haggling and do not succumb to the opinions and pressures of outsiders; that they rely on their training in the law to guide them to the best answers to the problems with which they are faced. 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. Moreover, and again related, justices are specialists who speak a language that the average American does not. Typically, 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). Thus, 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, 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, for example, Casey, 1974). In part for these reasons, as well as for jounalistic rasons, to which we turn below, the appeal and justification for studying media coverage of the court have been less than for the other institutions.

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- dont arouse the public to the same degree as Congress and the President John Bohte et. al, Professor of Political Science at University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee, American Journal of Political Science, October, 1997, p. 1227 (JSTOR) Of course,media coverage of the Court, when compared to the presidency and Congress, is episodic, selective, and less intense (Danielian and Page 1994, 1063-5: Graber 1993, 290-1). As a result, the media may provide the Court with an unreliable link to the public, presumably weakening the Court's ability to affect the intensity of national concerns. If newspapers or television outlets pay limited attention to the Court, the Supreme Court's decisions will unlikely be able to dominate what the public views as important. Indeed, Rosenberg (1991), upon analyzing media coverage of civil rights and abortion issues, raised fundamental questions about the Court's ability to shape national debates over important issues. He argued that the Supreme Court's ability to activate and lead public opinion, and thus the direction of legal change, pales in significance when compared to the pervasive, more powerful influences of the events and incidents that make up what he calls the "tide of history." 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, 1074; Franklin and Kosaki 1995: O' Gallaghan and Dukes 1992), the two policy domains where the Court has been especially active over the past 45 years or so. Filtered by media coverage, there are reasons to expect that the Supreme Court has a weak hand in moving issues onto the systemic agenda and holding them there. Media attention to Court decisions is less intense and more irregular than attention to the presidency and Congress. This means that the Court's concerns are unlikely to arounse the public to the same degree as presidential pronouncements or congressional activites. It is also possible, as Rosenberg argues, that the Court's voice regarding major controversies cannot be heard over the rush of history. 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. 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.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Courts Link to PtxNot Insulated

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Courts arent entirely isolated from politics. Fliter 2009 (John is a Professor of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland- College Park, Prisoners Rights:
The Supreme Court and Evolving Standards of Decency, 2001, p. 35)
We observe that the

quality factor requires the court to adjust a fee on the basis of results of the work performed. Quality in this sense includes efficiency. If the attorney achieves good results with a minimum time expenditure, the total award may be increased to reflect efficiency and benefit to the client.... Conversely, emphasis on the objective quantity of time spent should not shield wasteful or inefficient logging of hours from scrutiny, and the court should reduce the compensation when that practice occurs. Similarly, hours spent on purely clerical matters, easily delegable to nonprofessional assistants, should not be valued at legal service rates. 557 F. 2d at 1019. 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. The court noted that there was, in reality, only one fund for both the class and attorneys fees. 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. The court of appeals determined that the district court had properly required public disclosure of the basis for the fees, even though the defendant had agreed to the amount: A reasonable solution, 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. Only after court

approval of the damage settlement should discussion and negotiation of appropriate compensation for the attorneys begin. This would eliminate the situation found in this case of having, in practical effect,
one fund divided between the attorney and client.

Our Filter evidence is possibly the most qualified person to talk about courts and congressional policy interacting. Best 2009 (Bradley is a lawyer who graduated from The University Of Mississippi School Of Law , Prisoners Rights:
The Supreme Court and Evolving Standards of Decency, 2001, p. 35)

Fliter lists twenty decisions in prisoners' rights cases, each of which he argues bear the markings of strategic interaction. The Court's decision in HARMELIN v. MICHIGAN (1991) is among those listed in Table 7.1. At the initial conference vote in Harmelin, Justices Rehnquist, Blackmun, O'Connor, Scalia, Kennedy, 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. Later, at the time of the final vote on the merits, Justice Blackmun abandoned the conservative majority and voted to reverse the Michigan Supreme Court's decision. Oddly, Fliter offers no explanation for Blackmun's decision to join Justices White, Marshall, and
Stevens in dissent. He refers to no specific mode of strategic interaction plausibly linked to Blackmun's vote-switch. I do not dispute that the final vote on the merits in HARMELIN v. MICHIGAN can be analyzed and explained in a strategic framework. It is possible that the outcome in this case is an example of a majority opinion author's (i.e., Scalia) refusal to accommodate a centrist viewpoint. Further, Scalia may have strategically calculated the consequences of losing Blackmun's vote, knowing that a minimum winning coalition could be maintained following a single-vote switch. Considering the model formulated by Wahlbeck, Spriggs, and

Maltzman, Fliter might have guessed that the ideological distance between Scalia and Blackmun or the size of the conference majority made accommodation unlikely. Either explanation would have fit nicely with a strategic model of decision making. Although his account of strategic interaction as a key independent variable in prisoners' rights decisions is, at times,
problematic, I find Fliter's book to be nothing less than successful. 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.
The depth and clarity of Fliter's analysis exceeds that presented in most constitutional law casebooks. Moreover. PRISONERS' RIGHTS is certain to prove equally insightful for scholars working the areas of criminal justice and judicial behavior.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11

39

Courts Link to PtxBlame Supreme Court tied to party politics-its a political court Tushnet 2009 (Mark is a Professor of Law at Georgetown Law School, A Court Divided: The Rehnquist Court and the
Future of Constitutional Law, 2005, p. 11)

So the Rehnquist Court is a political court. For scholars, tying the Supreme Court to party politics is not all that new. The standard view of the Warren Court, for example, is that it worked in conjunction with the Democratic Party to implement a New Deal/Great Society vision of the Constitution. The Rehnquist Court resembles the Warren Court in implementing a constitutional vision associated with the nations dominant political party. What makes its story more complicated (and interesting) is that the Republican Party has remained a coalition of economic and cultural conservatives. 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. But their actual accomplishments have been meager because they have been thwarted, not by activist liberals or by Democrats but by Republicans uneasy about the Republican cultural agenda. Supreme Court decisions affect the President Wrightsman 2009 (Lawrence is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Kansas, The Psychology of the
Supreme Court, 2006, p. 15)

Decisions by the supreme court can affect not only the lives of ordinary citizens but also that of the president. Interestingly, when, in the last half-century, presidents have had their decisions or choices reviewed by the Court, they have generally come out the loser. When President Truman issued an executive order seizing private steel mills in 1952, so as to prevent an impending strike that would harm the United States efforts in the Korean War, the Supreme Court ruled the action improper because Congress had not provided authorization (Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. et al. v. Sawyer, 1952). When President Nixon refused to respond to a request from the Watergate special prosecutor, Leon Jaworski, for White House tapes, the Supreme Court-in unanimous decision-ruled hat the president immunity and the executive privilege were not unconditional (United States v. Nixon, 1974). The president was ordered to relinquish the tapes, and they were found to contain statements linking him to a White House conspiracy to obstruct justice. Within only three weeks of the announcement of the Courts decision (which came on July 24th, 1974), Nixon resigned the presidency. President George W. Bush found, in June 2004, that his administrations decision to detain foreign-born terrorist suspects without review was rejected by the Court, in 6 to 3 decision (Rasul v. Bush,
2004).

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Courts Link to PtxBlame Courts link--Bushs political capital inextricably bound to the success or failure of Roberts and Alito proves Davis 1994 (Richard is a Professor of Political Science, Brigham Young University, Albany Law Review, Fall, 1994, p.
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. If we define "personal beliefs" in strictly ideological terms and if we focus exclusively on Supreme Court Justices,

40

[*610] then our answer is straightforward enough: personal beliefs affect who the President will nominate and whether the Senate will confirm his choice. A great deal of research demonstrates this point, and the empirical analyses we report throughout this Article - updated to include the appointments of John G. Roberts and Samuel Alito - merely serve to reinforce the point. n1 But this is not the end of the story. While it is true that ideology has always played some role in judicial appointments, its importance seems to be increasing with time.
As we show in Part II, the degree to which candidates share the political values of their nominating President is higher now than it was just three decades ago. And as we demonstrate in Part III, although Senators of today - no less than those of yesterday - attend to the nominees' qualifications, ideological compatibility now takes precedence. Whether this is a positive or negative development is a matter of contention. That it is entirely rational is far less so. As we show in Part IV, when Presidents seek out candidates who share their political values, they are often rewarded with Justices who entrench those values into law - at least in the short term. II. Ideology and

When faced with the opportunity to make his first two appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court, President George W. Bush was hardly lacking acceptable candidates.
Presidents

If he wanted to follow in the path of his immediate predecessors and nominate a candidate with federal judicial experience, he could have chosen from among the nearly 270 judges sitting on the U.S.

Courts of Appeals. n2 Had he looked to the states - a la Ronald Reagan with his appointment of Sandra Day O'Connor - the pool would have been even larger: sitting on state high and appellate courts were over 1300 justices and judges. n3 The President also could have turned to elected officials with law degrees - as did Eisenhower with his appointment of Earl Warren - thus increasing the number of possible nominees by hundreds, if [*611] not thousands. Then, there are attorneys working in private firms. This was the route President Richard Nixon took when he selected Justice Lewis F. Powell to replace Justice Hugo Black. But no President, neither Bush nor any of his predecessors, considers each and every man and woman occupying these positions. Instead, their advisors create lists of candidates from which to choose n4 - and from these lists,

Presidents typically focus on candidates most likely to advance their own political goals. n5 Sometimes the emphasis on politics has centered on partisan aims, with the idea being that Presidents try to exploit judicial appointments to advance their own interests or their party's electoral interests. n6 In other cases, politics have been primarily about policy, or the idea that Presidents seek to nominate judges and Justices who share their ideological commitments. n7 In some cases the two goals electoral interests and ideology - are difficult to separate. But that is not always true. For instance, take Nixon's nomination of William Rehnquist. It is hard to make the case that with

this appointment Nixon had much on his mind other than ideology. Sure, the President was interested in - perhaps obsessed by - making appointments that would enhance his and his party's appeal to Southerners. But the Arizonian-by-way-of-Wisconsin Rehnquist hardly fit the bill. Yes, the President talked about appointing "strict constructionists" to the bench. But, according to an internal memo, 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 - the latter two groups having been the principal beneficiaries of the Supreme Court's "broad constructionist" reading of the [*612] Constitution.'" n8 How did Nixon know that Rehnquist would fit the definition of a conservative judge? Among other indicators, the fact that it was none other than Rehnquist who wrote the memo. n9 Quite different were Dwight Eisenhower's motivations for appointing William J. Brennan. Unless commentators of the day knew something that Eisenhower did not, the President could hardly have believed that Brennan shared his ideology. 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. n10 Motivating Eisenhower instead were electoral considerations. Because Brennan was a Catholic and a Democrat, the President believed the appointment would help his chances for reelection. n11 At one time in our nation's history, it seems possible, even likely, that the Eisenhower-type partisan-electoral considerations trumped ideology. Consider the crucial role that geography once played in Supreme Court appointments. n12 Of George Washington's first six appointments, n13 two [*613] hailed from the East, n14 two from the Mid-Atlantic, n15 and two from the South. n16 This was no coincidence. During his presidency, Washington wrote the following: ""In the appointments to the great offices of the government, my aim has been to combine geographical situation, and sometimes other considerations.'" n17 He echoed the sentiment in 1799 when he claimed, ""It would be inexpedient to take two of the Associate Judges from the same state. The practice has been to ... disseminate them through the United States.'" n18 Though the "practice" to which Washington referred originated with him, he was not wrong to deem it as such. Washington's successor, John Adams, may be best known for his efforts to pack the Court with good Federalists, but he certainly did not ignore geographic considerations. When James Wilson of Pennsylvania died in 1798, the President was determined that his replacement hail from Virginia, "since that state had no member on the bench." n19 And so it went. In one way or another, at least through much of the nineteenth century, President after President adhered to the norm of [*614] geographic diversity that Washington had established. This much is not contested, but why geography played such a dominant role is open to speculation. n20 Surely one explanation is that Presidents used geography to appeal to elected officials and voters - that is, to achieve partisan-electoral ends. Taft provides an example when he exploited appointments to appeal to voters in New Jersey, as well as to break up the solid Democratic South. n21 If this was so, Taft was hardly the last to launch a so-called "Southern Strategy" via appointments to the Court. n22 After Taft, Hoover's failed nomination of John Parker of North Carolina was perceived by Progressives and liberal Democrats as a Republican Southern Strategy n23 - though, again, it was Richard Nixon who was most explicit about his intent to make Republican inroads into the region. At a news conference held in 1969, Nixon declared that the Court should be regionally and ideologically balanced, and he made good on this claim by nominating Clement Haynsworth of South Carolina and G. Harrold Carswell of Florida. n24 Only [*615] after the Senate rejected both - and Nixon "clearly laid to rest" any lingering "geographic imperative" with his nomination of a second Minnesotan, Harry Blackmun - was he able to succeed in appointing a Southerner, Lewis Powell of Virginia. n25 Since the Nixon years, however, the role of geography has been minimized. n26 We could say the same of several other characteristics associated with partisan-electoral considerations, such as religion (think Eisenhower's appointment of Brennan), 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, and more recently, Bush to appoint Alito - ideology. n27 In both instances, and virtually all in between, Presidents sought out candidates whose judging would reflect their political values. This is not to say that emphasis on the nominees' ideology is a recent development - quite the opposite. 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, so too did many of their predecessors. Surely, both George Washington and John Adams wanted to appoint judges attached to a Federalist philosophy, and just as clearly, Thomas Jefferson hoped to rid the judiciary of most of them. Thus, Justices appointed mostly or even exclusively for electoral reasons - the Brennans and the Powells - are the exceptions. The rule now is that Presidents name Justices who share their political ideology. If Presidents could put themselves on the bench, they would; however, they cannot, so they find the closest possible surrogates.
the President.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Courts Link to PtxBlame Supreme court issues are directly related to politics, and have significant effects on the president, it can build or kill his political capital. Davis 1994 (Richard is a Professor of Political Science, Brigham Young University, Albany Law Review, Fall, 1994, p.
Lexis Nexis)

41

White became the fifth Justice to retire since 1986 and his retirement commenced another search for a replacement. Most of the previous nominees during this period had faced potentially difficult confirmation struggles. Same party control of both the White
On March 19, 1993 Justice Byron White announced his retirement from the United States Supreme Court. House and the Senate diminished that prospect to some extent. And President Clinton's eventual announcement of a nominee potentially acceptable to a bipartisan coalition in the Senate avoided another prolonged battle. However, the question of whether the process

has been transformed by recent controversial nominations still remains. Recent nominees have been subjected to interest group and press examination of not only their public records, but also their private lives. Two had their video rental
selections examined (Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas). 2 The possible homosexual orientation of another became the subject of press discussion (David Souter). 3 One nominee's beard was criticized (Bork). 4 Another's past marijuana [*1062] use while teaching law was exposed (Douglas Ginsburg). 5 Still another was the object of a sexual harassment charge ultimately left publicly unresolved (Thomas). 6

And one nominee's personal background was almost remarkable precisely because it seemed to include no odd quirks (Anthony Kennedy). 7 Reportedly, two potential nominees under serious consideration for the Byron White vacancy withdrew their names during the process. 8 While Mario M. Cuomo, widely considered the front runner for the
appointment, cited his desire to continue to serve as governor of New York. 9 Richard Riley, Secretary of Education, also bowed out despite White House attempts to recruit him. 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. It has become almost conventional wisdom that Supreme Court nominees possess some character flaw that will emerge in the confirmation process and seriously jeopardize, if not fatally damage, their chances of earning confirmation. The players in the process only wait for it to emerge.

The private lives of these public figures have become standard fare during the introduction of nominees to the public. 11 Nominees to the Court today are expected to undergo a scrutiny not known to their counterparts of an earlier era. 12 Expectations have been raised, perhaps to a level uncomfortable for many potential candidates. [*1063] s This development today is hardly unique to Supreme Court nominees. Presidential candidates now endure microscopic investigation
of some aspects of their private lives. 13 Cabinet nominees sometimes face similar scrutiny. 14 However, it is new for nominees to the Supreme Court. Until recently, the Supreme Court nomination process had been one of the last vestiges of an earlier era. To a great extent, nominees had been accorded a measure of respect provided the Justices themselves. But this is no longer true. Private character is not the only object of scrutiny; the ideology of the nominee has acquired a greater role in the nomination process. 15 Interest groups scour the nominee's record to determine whether the Justice-to-be heeds or strays from their agenda. 16 The Senate openly considers the nominee's ideological leanings. 17

The byproduct of this examination procedure has been the nomination of stealth candidates - nominees who have a short public record, particularly on issues of concern to interest groups. During the Reagan and Bush administrations, the most successful nominees were those lacking any previous publicly-stated position on abortion. 18 The nomination process has become an exhaustive journey for nominees through a maze of press and interest group scrutiny and public disclosure. The stakes for nominees are great - a seat on the Supreme Court or lasting infamy due to the
characterizations which stuck to the nominee during the process. 19 In the case of Clarence Thomas, the nominee received both. 20 The stakes are also high for other participants in the process. The Senate's role, long pendulum-like in its shift from sycophancy to ag [*1064] gressiveness, at this point in history leans more toward the latter. 21 The advice and consent role now includes at least several weeks of staff investigations, committee hearings and voting, and floor debates and voting. Moreover, the pressures felt by senators no longer emanate primarily from the legal community and only indirectly from constituents. Senators now face lobbying from constituents who have mobilized to affect the result. 22 Although the nomination of Ruth Bader Ginsburg may be viewed as an exception to this rule, it remains to be

The stakes in the outcome are also high for the White House. In an era of plebiscitarian presidencies, the President's power rises or falls based on single high-profile events. 24 In the United States, popular approval
seen whether the process in this case is an indication of a trend or an aberration.
23

ratings correspond to no-confidence votes in parliamentary governments. Although the President does not fall from power,

the President may lose so much political capital that a mortal wound on his presidency is inflicted. Moreover, 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. Thus, confirmation struggles have become major battlegrounds for Presidents. Since 1968, six of fifteen nominees have been rejected by the Senate or
have withdrawn in the midst of controversy. 25 The ability to gain confirmation has become a major objective of Presidents in the wake of these rejections. In the case of President Clinton, the nomination was particularly intended to help stop the flow of bad press from administration mistakes, scandals, and failed nominations. 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. 27 The White House undertakes an aggressive task of selling the nominee to the Senate and to the nation. 28 Since self-presentation of the nominee to the mass public becomes far more critical, the White House makes intensive efforts to prepare nominees not only for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings but also for all appearances before

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11


the press. 29 The process also has been ratcheted up for the press as well.

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Supreme Court nominations are major news stories designed to capture public interest for several weeks or months. Public interest soars when the nominee is controversial.
Combined, 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.
30

Public interest seemed to justify network decisions to preempt large blocks of previously scheduled programming. An estimated thirty million viewers watched the first night of that second round of Thomas hearings. 31 Also in the case of the Thomas confirmation, the media became news. 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. 32 One of the journalists, Nina Totenberg, publicly defended her role and participated in an on-air verbal clash with Senator Alan Simpson of Wyoming. 33 After the confirmation vote, both Totenberg and

Newsday reporter Timothy Phelps resisted a Senate Special Prosecutor's efforts to discover the source of their reports.

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The events of a Supreme Court nomination process also have had a spill-over effect into other aspects of American life. For example, the Thomas nomination provided new impetus for a discussion of sexual harassment. [*1066] The electoral process also has
been affected. During the 1980s and early 1990s, presidential campaigns featured debates over who would control the direction of the Supreme Court. In 1988, Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis attempted to link the Bush campaign to the failed Bork nomination. The Thomas nomination was widely viewed as helping launch the "Year of the Woman" and aiding women candidates in the 1992 elections. 35

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, Obama's Supreme Move to the Center, http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,1818334,00.html)

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When the Supreme Court issues rulings on hot-button issues like gun control and the death penalty in the middle of a presidential campaign, 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 while Barack Obama may be ranked as one of the Senate's most liberal members, 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. On
Wednesday, after the Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty was unconstitutional in cases of child rape, Obama surprised some observers by siding with the hardline minority of Justices Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito. At a press conference after the decision, Obama said, "I think that the rape of a small child, six or eight years old, is a heinous crime and if a state makes a decision that under narrow, limited, well-defined circumstances the death penalty is at least potentially applicable, that that does not violate our Constitution." Then Thursday, after Justice Scalia released his majority opinion knocking down the city of Washington's ban on handguns, Obama said in a statement, "I have always believed that the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to bear arms, 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, effective safety measures. The Supreme Court has now endorsed that view." John McCain's camp wasted no time in attacking, with one surrogate, conservative Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, calling Obama's gun control statement "incredible flip-flopping." McCain advisor Randy Scheunemann was even tougher in a conference call Thursday. "What's becoming clear in this campaign," Scheunemann said, is "that for Senator Obama the most important issue in the election is the political fortunes of Senator Obama. 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, but McCain's team may be more afraid of Obama's shift to the center than their words betray. 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." national security, social issues and economics. His position on the child rape death penalty case, for example, is in line with his record in Illinois of supporting the death penalty. He is on less solid ground on the gun ban as his campaign said during the primary that he believed the D.C. law was constitutional. A top legal adviser to Obama says both cases are consistent with his previous positions. "I don't see him as moving in his statements on the death penalty or the gun case," says Cass Sunstein, a former colleague of Obama's at the University of Chicago. Sunstein says Obama is "not easily characterized" on social issues, and says the Senator's support for allowing government use of the Ten Commandments in public, in some cases, is another example of his unpredictability on such issues. On the issue of gun control, he says Obama has always expressed a belief that the Second Amendment guarantees a private right to bear arms, as the court found Thursday. But Obama's sudden social centrism would sound more convincing in a different context. 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, Obama has consistently moved to the middle. He hired centrist economist Jason Furman, known for defending the benefits of globalization and private Social Security accounts, to the displeasure of liberal economists. On Father's Day, Obama gave a speech about the problem of absentee fathers and the negative effects it has on society, 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." Last week, after the House passed a compromise bill on domestic spying that enraged liberals and civil libertarians, Obama announced that though he was against other eavesdropping compromises in the past, this time he was going to vote for it. Whether Obama's new centrist sheen is the result of flipflopping or reemphasizing moderate positions, the Supreme Court decisions have focused attention again on the role of the court in the campaign season. McCain himself is vulnerable to charges of using the Supreme Court for political purposes. Earlier this month, when the court granted habeas corpus rights to accused terrorist prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, McCain attacked the opinion in particularly harsh language, though advisers say closing the prison there is high on his list of actions to rehabilitate America's image around the world. Liberals are hoping that

despite Obama's moderate response to the Supreme Court decisions, the issues alone will rally supporters to him. "What both of these decisions say to me is that the Supreme Court really is an election-year issue," says Kathryn Kolbert, president of People For the American Way. "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," she says. 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.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 AT: Courts Shield Election Year COURT DECISIONS DURING ELECTION YEARS ARE POLITICALLY DIVISIVE MEERNIK, UNIV OF NORTH TEXAS, 1995 [JAMES, POLITICAL RESEARCH QUARTERLY, PG47-8]

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

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### Executive Orders ###

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Executive Orders Links CONGRESS WILL USE LEGISLATIVE VETOES AND SURVEILLANCE LIGHT, 1999 [PAUL C., THE PRESIDENTS AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON, THIRD ED, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. PRESS, PG 213

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First, Congress seems ever ready to impose statutory constraints on the Presidents domestic discretion. Starting with the Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, Congress has shown a willingness to apply legislative sanctions to the Presidents domestic agenda. For example, Congress increasingly relies on the legislative veto to supply oversight of executivebranch implementation. From 1970 to 1977 there was a threefold increase in the number of bills containing some form of the legislative veto. Despite presidential protests, Congress continues to use the veto to ensure proper administration. This statutory surveillance has made its mark on the presidential policy process. According to one Carter domestic aide, The aura here is of congressional suspicion. They dont trust much of anything we do. Whatever our intentions, Congress suspects the worse. We are at a disadvantage from the start. A second Carter aide confirmed, Its not all bad for Congress to take a close look at our programs. What has become a problem is the assumption that the President will always mislead. We have swung full circle from the 1960s. Then everything the president did was good. Now everything seems to be bad.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Executive Orders Links CONGRESS WILL CHALLENGE PRESIDENTIAL POLICY LIGHT, 1999 [PAUL C., THE PRESIDENTS AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY
TO CLINTON, THIRD ED, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. PRESS, PG 208

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Beyond the changes in the balance of power and membership, Congress has also increased the basic resources of competition. The creation of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), coupled with the expansion of the Congressional Research Service and the General Accounting Office has added to the legislative information base. Assuming information is one ingredient of initiation, Congress has increased both the quantity and the quality of the supply. The Congressional Budget Office in particular, has become an important source of competing information, whether against the President or the executive branch. Under its mandate, CBO has broad powers of analysis and review it has become a valuable source of preliminary staff work on potential congressional programs. Furthermore, Congress has more than doubled the number of staff members in the House and senate. Personal staffs as well as committee staffs have steadily expanded. This influx of new staff eventually leads to a greater emphasis on policy initiation legislators increasingly use the staffs to develop new ideas, and the staffs are more than willing to comply. The personalized nature of the new staff system provides ample incentives for committee and subcommittee chairmen to hire activists, whether liberal or conservative. These staffs in turn see regards in the initiation of major programs that compete directly with presidential priorities. As Congress has expanded its information base, it has increased its capability to use that information for policy competition. Congress now has both the will and the expertise to challenge the Presidents domestic leadership. [continues] Second, executive action is often viewed as a short-term solution. Even when Presidents use executive orders to accomplish major policy goals Kennedys equal opportunity orders, for example the staff recognized the need for eventual legislative action. The Kennedy staff interpreted the civil rights orders as a product of the legislative stalemate. According to one assistant, The President had to issue the orders. We just could not justify moving a major bill in 1961. We understood that we couldnt make any long term impact with the orders, but that was about all we could do. The White House staffs viewed legislative action as having greater impact and legitimacy. Once again, Nixons administrative Presidency serves as an example As one HEW officer suggested, The Presidents decision to dismantle the OEO (the Office of Economic Opportunity_ and tighten welfare regulations simple didnt have the same force as legislation. Executive action is easier to fight and easier to undermine. The career civil service is not inclined to agree with executive action if the executive action doesnt agree with them.

XOs are politically unpopular- they link to the counterplan Stone 3/29 [Daniel, Staff Writer, 2010, Newsweek, Lexis] KLS Jackson knew that threatening to act by executive fiat wouldn't be popular. But she also knew it would get people's attention, and maybe prod Congress to act. She says that she would prefer to go through--instead of around--Congress. "You can definitely cut emissions through regulation, but a much more efficient way is through legislation," she says. For one thing, Congress could sugarcoat a carbon-cutting bill with tax cuts and other incentives, making it easier to get industry on board.

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### Agencies ###

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Yes Blame for Agency Action

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AGENCY ACTION IS CONNECTED TO THE PRESIDENT. Cohen and Collier 99 (Jeffrey E. and Ken, professors of political science at Fordham and Kansas, 1999 Presidential Policymaking:
An End of Century Assessment, p. 42) In his study of the agenda-setting process, Kingdon finds that respondents

cite the president and his administration as perhaps the most important actor with agenda influence. As Kingdon states, "there is little doubt that the president remains a powerful force in agenda setting, particularly compared to other actors." Moreover, 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. When they speak, it is for the administration and the president. Thus, the president has
many "voices".

NO POLITICAL COVER PRESIDENT GETS THE BLAME. Lewis 3 (David E., prof. politics and public affairs @ Princeton, 2003 Presidents and the Politics of Agency Design, p. 4)
Agency design determines bureaucratic responsiveness to democratic impulses and pressure, particularly those channeled through elected officials like the president. It can determine the success or failure of modern presidents in
meeting constitutional and electoral mandates. One of the central concerns of presidency scholars beginning with Richard Neustadt (1960) has been increasing public expectations of presidents (Lowi 1985; Skowronek 1993). The

president is held accountable for the success or failure of the entire government. When the economy is in recession, when an agency blunders, or when some social problem goes unaddressed, it is the president whose reelection and historical legacy are on the line. AGENCY ACTION CAUSES MASSIVE CONGRESSIONAL BACKLASH. MARKEY 90. [Edward, Democratic Congressman from MA, Congress to Administrative agencies: creater, overseer, and partner Duke
Law journal -- Nov -- lexis]

Both the Reagan and Bush administrations have witnessed great confrontations between Congress and administrative agencies. The great battles of this time have been characterized by instances of rigid adherence to an ideological agenda by administrative agencies, which in turn has created countervailing pressures for rigidity by a Congress that views its legal mandates under attack. When Congress is faced with the direct and heavy-handed undermining of its intent -- whether expressed clearly [*982] or ambiguously -- Congress must respond in the strongest fashion possible. Congress has responded with heightened use of the most prominent weapons in the congressional arsenal: oversight hearings, strongly-worded letters, and press conferences. The difficult process of legislation becomes even more hazardous when Congress and the executive branch are controlled by competing parties.

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Yes Blame for Agency Action Congress still weighs in on agency action Lovell 2k (Assistant Professor of Government, College of William and Mary, George, 17 Const. Commentary 79)
It is true that members

of Congress do not cast "yes" or "no" votes on particular rules created by agencies, but they do quite often need to go on record with "yes" or "no" votes that make agency activities possible. Legislators must cast votes to establish executive branch agencies and to give those agencies the authority to make regulatory decisions. The democratic controls created by such votes weaken over time. (Most of the voters who voted for the legislators who passed the Agricultural Adjustment Act are now dead). 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, and circumstances sometimes force members to cast additional votes on particular programs. Since no regulatory program can operate without being created and continually authorized by Congress, there is nothing about delegation that prevents an unhappy electorate from holding members of Congress accountable for regulatory power exercised by the agencies. The President is held accountable for all agency decisions, even those they have no control over. Shane 95 (Peter M., Dean and prof. Law @ Univ. Pittsburgh, 1995 Political Accountability in a System of Checks and Balances: The Case of Presidential Review of Rulemaking, Arkansas Law Review) The reason for the insignificance of the transparency argument is that, even without plenary power to second-guess all bureaucratic policy makers, the President may well be held generally and properly accountable for overall bureaucratic performance in any event. That is because voters know the
President has appointed all key policy makers and the most important managers of executive affairs. The President's value structure is likely to dominate the bureaucracy even if he is not formally able to command all important policy decisions. Professor Abner Greene has recently catalogued a series

of

reasons why this is so: OMB reviews virtually all agency budgets; the Attorney General controls most agency litigation; the President's support may be critical to an agency in its negotiations with Congress. For these reasons, 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. Cohen and Collier 99 (Jeffrey E. and Ken, professors of political science at Fordham and Kansas, 1999 Presidential Policymaking: An End of Century Assessment, p. 42) In his study of the agenda-setting process, Kingdon finds that respondents cite the president and his administration as perhaps the most important actor with agenda influence. As Kingdon states, "there is little doubt that the president remains a powerful force in agenda setting, particularly compared to other actors." Moreover, 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. When they speak, it is for the administration and the president. Thus, the president has many "voices".

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Yes Blame for Agency Action Empirically proven- agencies have caused political backlash Kosar, government analyst, 05 (Kevin, CRS Congressional Report, http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL32750.pdf)
Controversies recently have arisen over certain executive branch agencies expenditures of appropriated funds on public relations activities, some of which have been characterized as propagandistic.

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Generally speaking, there are two legal restrictions on agency public relations activities and propaganda. 5 U.S.C. 3107 prohibits the use of appropriated funds to hire publicity experts. Appropriations law publicity and propaganda clauses restrict the use of funds for puffery of an agency, purely partisan communications, and covert propaganda. No federal agency monitors federal public relations activities, but a Member or Committee of Congress may ask the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to examine an agencys expenditures on public relations activities with a view to their legality. Any effort to reform current statutory restrictions on agency public relations activities will face three challenges: tracking public relations activities by agencies, defining propaganda, and enforcing laws against agency use of funds for publicity experts and propaganda. Political visibility virtually guarantees that the president will be associated with plan Fitts, 96 (Michael, prof. of law UPenn, 19 Univ. Penn L. Rev, 1996, p.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, his ability to mediate conflict and control the agenda can be undermined. The modern president is supposed to have a position on such matters as affirmative action, the war in Bosnia, the baseball strike, and the newest EPA regulations, the list is infinite. Perhaps in response to these pressures, each modern president has made more speeches and taken more positions than his predecessors, with Bill Clinton giving three times as many speeches as Reagan during the same period. In such
circumstances, the president is far less able to exercise agenda control, refuse to take symbolic stands, or take inconsistent positions. The well-documented tendency of the press to emphasize the strategic implications of politics exacerbates this process by turning issues into zero-sum games.

Presidents are the focal point of governmental policies CNN 02 (Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer transcripts, 4-28-02, http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0204/28/le.00.html) Bruce Morton, Cnn Correspondent: Networks will often air whatever the president says, even if he's praising the Easter Bunny. Blitzer: Competing for face time on the cable news networks. Stay with us. Blitzer: Welcome back. Time now for Bruce Morton's essay on the struggle for balanced coverage on the cable networks. Morton: The Democrats have written the three cable news networks -- CNN, Fox and MSNBC -- complaining that the Bush administration gets much more coverage than elected Democrats. They cite CNN, which they say, from January 1 through March 21, aired 157 live events involving the Bush administration, and 7 involving elected Democrats. Fox and MS, they say, did much the same thing. The coverage gap is certainly real, for several reasons. First, since September 11, the U.S. has been at war in Afghanistan, so the president has
been an active commander in chief. And covering the war, networks will often air whatever the president says,

even if he's praising the Easter Bunny. Plus, the White House press secretary's briefing, the Pentagon's, maybe the State Department's. Why not? It's easy, it's cheap, the cameras are pooled, and in war time, the briefings may make major news. You never know. But there's a
reason for the coverage gap that's older than Mr. Bush's administration. In war or peace, the president is a

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11


commanding figure

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

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Yes Blame for Agency Action

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

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Agency Action Links to Congress

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Budget approvals means plan is politically perceived About.com, 07 (online encyclopedia, 2-14-07, http://uspolitics.about.com/od/thefederalbudget/a/budget_process.htm) The budget process begins the first month in February, when the President submits his proposal to Congress. This step in the process is governed by the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921. The Act also established the Bureau of the Budget which, since 1970 (Nixon Administration), is known as the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). OMB is the largest and arguably the most powerful group in the Executive Office of the President. OMB is also responsible for
overseeing management and budgets of executive branch agencies as well as advising the President on a variety of issues. The President's proposed budget includes extensive supporting documentation to make the case for White House spending - and saving - priorities.

Agencies link- budget approvals have to go through Congress US Code, No Date (TITLE 31 > SUBTITLE III > CHAPTER 35 > SUBCHAPTER II > 3512, http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/31/3512.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. (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; (B) a summary of the most recently completed financial statements (i) of Federal agencies under section 3515 of this title; and (ii) of Government corporations; (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; and (ii) of Government corporations; (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 97255); (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, and a summary statement of the efforts underway to remedy the noncompliance; and (F) any other information the Director considers appropriate to fully inform the Congress regarding the financial management of the Federal Government.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Agencies Shield Agencies are seemingly defying Obama and taking blame Salem News 9 (1/23, Does Obama Have Control of the DEA?, http://www.salemnews.com/articles/january232009/obama_dea_1-23-09.php)

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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. "I would not have the
Justice Department prosecuting and raiding medical marijuana dispensaries; it is not a good use of our resources," then Presidential Contender Obama said, on August 21st 2007. The group Americans for Safe Access reports that on Thursday, the Drug Enforcement Administration, still mostly comprised of officials from the Bush Administration, raided a medical cannabis dispensary in South Lake Tahoe, California. "They

did so knowing full well that President Obama has repeatedly pledged to end federal threats, arrests, and prosecutions of patients and their providers in medical cannabis states," the ASA's George
Pappas said. 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. Obama said in September 2007, that he believes when it comes to offenders, "they become more locked into crime from being in prison." We have included video below of President Obama making the quoted statement above, and more. Why

is the DEA so intent on carrying on what many call "thuggish behavior"?

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Agencies Shield AVOIDS POLITICS SHIELDS THE LINK. Schoenbrod 93 (David,- professor of law at NYU Power Without Responsibility pg. 95-96)

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Second, presidents must take personal responsibility for laws embodied in statues that they sign, but they can shift some of the blame for agency laws to the agency. Shifting blame is easy when as independent agency has made the law, because the leaders of such agencies do not serve at the presidents pleasure. Presidents also often avoid substantial political losses they might sustain for the unpopular action of appointees who do serve at the presidents please by taking no position on what the agency has done or even by expressing some disagreement. Indeed, even incumbent presidents try to run against the government. 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. Third, delegation enhances the presidents ability to use his staff to do casework. It thereby allows the president as well as legislators to particularize constituents perceptions of costs and benefits. President Reagan and Bush made much of separation of powers --- but usually to defend executive powers from congressional encroachment and never to prevent Congress from delegating its legislative power to the executive branch. Delegation does not change the cast of officials who participate in lawmaking: legislators, agency heads, the president, and their staffs. But delegation does allow legislators and the president to shift to the agency blame for the costs of complying with the laws, blame for the failure to deliver promised regulatory benefits, and blame for the delay, complexity, and confusion that the process causes. Delegation also increases the opportunity for legislators and the president to do politically valuable casework.

AGENCY ACTION SHIELDS LINK -- DELAYS OPPORTUNITY FOR BLAME. Schoenbrod 93 [David,- professor of law at NYU Power Without Responsibility pg. 95]
The president, who of course influences the design of legislation through recommendations and vetoes, has

When legislators shift blame or credit to an agency, they shift it to presidential appointees. The incentives for legislators to delegate might appear to be disincentives for the president. However, three factors work to attract the president to delegation. First, 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. For instance, the 1970
different incentives from legislators. Clean Air Act was structured so that the EPA administrator would deal with states failures to adopt plans only after the 1972 election.

INDEPENDENT AGENCIES PROVIDE POLITICAL COVER FRIEDEN 92. [Jeffry, Economic Integration and the Politics of Monetary Policy in the United States, Occasional Paper Series, 93-2,
October 1992, http://www.cappp.ucla.edu/papers/cappp932.txt] For all intents and purposes, Congress virtually neglected monetary and exchange rate policy for nearly forty years after the New Deal reforms. [50] A number of reasons for this might be adduced. 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. Not only could the agency pursue welfare-improving policies without having to pay attention to political pressures, but Congress was provided with an ideal scapegoat to avoid direct blame. In this view the Fad was in fact implementing true Congressional preferences, just in a way that protected Congress from responsibility for unpopular monetary policies.[51

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### Vetoes ###

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Vetoes Link Less VETOES REQUIRE FAR LESS POLITICAL CAPITAL THAN POLICIES LIGHT, 1999 [PAUL C., THE PRESIDENTS AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON, THIRD ED, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. PRESS, PG 113114 ]

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Proposals involve a greater commitment of presidential resources than do vetoes. Since vetoes span a very limited time period, the President can concentrate what little capital he has on the specific battle. Proposals, however, involve a much larger investment; the commitment may last several years. According to one Nixon assistant, it is much easier to turn to the veto. You dont have to devote too much energy over too long a time. At the most the battle will last two weeks. Coalitions for vetoes are easier to build. As one Ford aide noted, putting together 34 like-minded senators of 147 representatives isnt as difficult as it may seem. It is a hell of a lot easier than pulling a majority into place. All you have to win is one House. Nor does the veto require a number of successive tests. It demands a single coalition for a single vote whereas a propose often demands multiple coalitions across multiple decisions, the veto requires only an intensely focused effort at a specific moment. It is a very cheap alternative with temporary impact.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Vetoes Link VETOES CAUSE CONGRESSIONAL BACKLASH LIGHT, 1999 [PAUL C., THE PRESIDENTS AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON, THIRD ED, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. PRESS, PG 111112 ]

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Several trends emerge from table 9. Most important, there is considerable variation in the proportional amount of presidential opposition. All Presidents oppose congressional action at one time or another, but few use the veto as an exclusive tool of policy. According to one Johnson assistant, It is inevitable that the President will use the veto at some point. Its the best method to show the Congress he means business. Yet, the veto also engenders congressional hostility; for that reason, it is not the most effective means to accomplish policy goals. Consider the reaction of a Ford assistant: The veto strategy had certain costs. Each veto crippled future opportunities for success; each veto eroded the Presidents already limited base of support. No President can afford to veto twenty-five bills a year, not in the 1970s at least. Its too damn much, and Congress wont stand for it.

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### Covert/Secret ###

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 A2: Covert Passage NOTHING IS COVERT PLAN WOULD BE LEAKED AS A PRESIDENTIAL PRIORITY LIGHT, 1999 [PAUL C., THE PRESIDENTS AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON, THIRD ED, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. PRESS, PG 5 ]

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Within the nesting set of items both in accordance with the Presidents program and the subject of White House attention, there is a final set of items that are central presidential requests. These are the Presidents personal priorities, the ideas discussed and refined in the Oval Office. These are the items that absorb the Presents time and expend the greatest resources. They are uniquely presidential. An administration may choose to identify the agenda in a public statement, as Kennedy did in a press conference scarcely two weeks following his election. An administration may underscore its agenda in a major address to Congress, as Nixon did when he announced his Six Great Goals in his 1971 State of the Union message. In other years and other administrations, the agenda might not be openly publicized, but it is always known to the key participants. The executive staff knows, the press knows, and the Congress knows.

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### Political Capital ###

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Controversial policies drain capital

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Pushing through controversial legislation burns political capital Mark Seidenfeld, Associate Professor, Florida State University College of Law, Iowa Law Review, October 1994 In addition, the propensity of congressional committees to engage in special-interest-oriented oversight might seriously undercut presidential efforts to implement regulatory reform through legislation. On any proposed regulatory measure, the President could face opposition from powerful committee members whose ability to modify and kill legislation is well-documented. 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. The President's ability to focus media attention on an issue, his power to bestow benefits on the constituents of members of Congress who support his agenda, and his potential to deliver votes in congressional elections increase the likelihood of legislative success for particular programs. Repeated use of such tactics, however, will impose economic costs on society and concomitantly consume the President's political capital. At some point the price to the President for pushing legislation through Congress exceeds the benefit he derives from doing so. Thus, a President would be unwise to rely too heavily on legislative changes to implement his policy vision. Pushing controversial issues kills Obamas political capital Joe Weisenthal, 7-21-2009 http://www.businessinsider.com/another-bad-poll-for-obama-2009-7
The last 10 days have seen a spate of fresh polls all showing the same thing -- that the President's honeymoon period is coming to an end, and that he doesn't have unlimited political capital. He is, after all, human, and despite the mindblowing ineptitude of the Republican opposition, political warfare hurts. The bad

polls are coming just as (or maybe because) the President is really digging into the politically charged healthcare debate. 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, according to a new Public Strategies Inc./POLITICO poll. Just as Obama intensifies his efforts to
fulfill a campaign promise and reach an agreement with Congress on health care reform, the number of Americans who say they trust the president has fallen from 66 percent to 54 percent. At the same time,

the percentage of those who say they do not trust the president has jumped from 31 to 42. But the news is also bad for the GOP. A series of high-profile affairs, the political suicide of Sarah Palin, and a broad display of sheer buffoonery at the Sotomayor hearings ("Wait, just to clarify, have you now or have you ever used the term 'wise Latina'?") hasn't helped their brand. So the President takes a hit, but they gain nothing.

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Controversial Policies Drain Capital


Controversial policies drain political capital Burke, University of Vermont political science professor, 9 (John P., Presidential Studies Quarterly 39.3 (Sept 2009), The Contemporary Presidency: The Obama Presidential Transition: An Early Assessment, p574(31). Academic One; 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. At the same time, he also sought to tamp down public expectations for quick results on the economy. Early--and ambitious--actions were taken, but as he cautioned in his inaugural address, "the challenges we face are real" and they "will not be met easily or in a short span of time." His initial political capital seemed high. But was the right course of action chosen? The decision was made to embrace a broad range of policy reforms, not just to focus on the economy. Moreover, it was a controversial agenda. 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. The question that remains is whether his political capital, both in Congress and with the public, will bring him legislative--and ultimately policy--success. Good transition planning is propitious, but it offers no guarantees. Still, without it, political and policy disaster likely awaits. So far, President Obama seems to reside largely on the positive side of the equation. But what the future might portend remains another matter.

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Unpopular action ensures backlash against the president politicians are emboldened when they smell blood in the water Stolberg, New York Times, 3 (Sheryl Gay, 9-13-3, New York Times, Democrats Find Some Traction On Capitol Hill, p. A1, Lexis) "A presidential speech, instead of boosting support, is followed by a seven-point drop and suddenly the atmosphere changes," said Thomas Mann, a scholar at the Brookings Institution who follows Congress. "Republicans, who have been reluctant to get off the reservation, now say, 'Wait just one minute.' And Democrats have all the more reason to be unified." Ross K. Baker, a political scientist at Rutgers University, agreed. "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, and on the part of the opposition to be more aggressive," Professor Baker said. "It's the blood-in-the-water syndrome."

Legislation Costs capital


Any and all legislation costs political capital Ryan 09 January 18 2009 "Obama and political capital," Trinidad Express, http://www.trinidadexpress.com/index.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. It is pluralistic vertically and horizontally, and getting anything done politically, even when the
President and the Congress are controlled by the same party, requires groups to negotiate, bargain and engage in serious horse trading. No one takes orders from the President who can only use moral or political suasion and
promises of future support for policies or projects. The

system was in fact deliberately engineered to prevent overbearing majorities from conspiring to tyrannise minorities. The system is not only institutionally diverse and plural, but socially and geographically so. As James Madison put it in
Federalist No 10, one of the foundation documents of republicanism in America, basic institutions check other basic institutions, classes and interests check other classes and interests, and regions do the same. All are grounded in their own power bases which they use to fend off challengers. The coalitions

change from issue to issue, and there is no such thing as party discipline which translated, means you do what I the leader say you do.

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Obama must focus on only key issues, anything else distracts him from his agenda Huffington Post 9 (10/27/09, " What Do We Want? Change! When Do We Want It? Ten Minutes Ago! ", http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dan-vickrey/what-do-we-want-emchangee_b_335932.html) Since the election, Obama has set in motion many policies that have changed the trajectory of US foreign and domestic policy. He passed a plan to stave off an economic landslide, put additional troops into Afghanistan, put health care reform in motion, announced that he would close Gitmo and stopped torture as a policy. 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, 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.
when he announced he was going to spend some of his "political capital" he felt he earned after the 2004 re-election. Presidents have only so much political capital and they had best use it wisely. This is

For the millions of Americans with television ADHD, 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, vowing to get in shape, sticking to a budget are things that take time to adjust to and see results. The President and the Nation are no different. The economic stimulus, health care, 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. These days that option is a luxury. This week gay rights activists are up in arms about Obama's silence on the policy of "don't ask, don't tell." Really? While I think this policy is absurd, 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, race, sexuality or anything else for that matter, I think most of us would agree that this is not an issue that is quite as urgent as the ones he has tackled. I think we can all rest assured that it is still on the to do list. George Bush educated the nation to a real truth in U.S. politics

a plain fact in politics. Obama has made an investment in these issues, any one of which could define his presidency. He must now follow them through to the end if for no other reason than to claim MORE of that coveted capital. Sure, I can see issues such as Business Regulations and Climate Change cropping up in the near future (and rightfully so), but first things first. These fights are already on the table and they must be resolved to move further ahead. Nothing breeds success like success. Those who question the President now on issues of the Economy-War-Health Care and Gay Rights should look closely at his intent. 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. Obama also strikes me as someone who un
derstands that these issues are tough fights that will take time. It takes hard work and patience to find success. The Health care debate is in its 3rd quarter, Afghanistan in the 2nd Stimulus in the 2nd and gays in the military on deck. For those on the left who are now critical of his Afghan policy, what did you expect? He campaigned on making this war his priority, and for better or for

. We as a nation need to acknowledge the seriousness of the problems that confront us. 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. The Obama administration cannot do it alone, it is after all still a Nation "of the people and for the people." Even Mother Teresa didn't cure the world's ills in four years.
worst he has followed through by initially sending extra troops and now reevaluating U.S. interests there after a questionable Afghan election. For all others, relax, and let's remember where we started -- with eight years of George Bush -- and take it one step at a time

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Their ev is just a blog post, not peer reviewed and solely in the context of Supreme court nominations Dickinson concludes neg Dickinson, , 2009 (Matthew, professor of political science at Middlebury College. He taught previously at Harvard University, where
he also received his Ph.D., working under the supervision of presidential scholar Richard Neustadt, We All Want a Revolution: Neustadt, New Institutionalism, and the Future of Presidency Research, Presidential Studies Quarterly 39 no4 736-70 D 2009) Small wonder, then, that initial efforts to find evidence of presidential power centered on explaining legislative outcomes in Congress. Because scholars found it difficult to directly and systematically measure presidential influence or "skill," however, they often tried to estimate it indirectly, after first establishing a baseline model that explained these outcomes on other factors, including party strength in Congress, members of Congress's ideology, the president's electoral support and/or popular approval, and various control variables related to time in office and political and economic context. With the baseline established, one could then presumably see how much of the unexplained variance might be attributed to presidents, and whether individual presidents did better or worse than the model predicted. Despite differences in modeling assumptions and measurements, however, 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, 97-106). As Richard Fleisher, Jon Bond, and B. Dan Wood summarized, "[S]tudies that compare presidential success to some baseline fail to find evidence that perceptions of skill

To some scholars, these results indicate that Neustadt's "president-centered" perspective is incorrect (Bond and Fleisher 1990, 221have systematic effects" (2008, 197; see also Bond, Fleisher, and Krutz 1996, 127; Edwards 1989, 212). 23). In fact, the aggregate results reinforce Neustadt's recurring refrain that presidents are weak and that, when dealing with Congress, a president's power is "comparably limited" (Neustadt 1990, 184). The

misinterpretation of the findings as they relate to PP stems in part from scholars' difficulty in defining and operationalizing presidential influence
(Cameron 2000b; Dietz 2002, 105-6; Edwards 2000, 12; Shull and Shaw 1999). But it is also that case that scholars often misconstrue Neustadt's analytic perspective; 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. Neustadt writes from the president's perspective, but without adopting a president-centered explanation of power. Nonetheless, if Neustadt clearly recognizes that a president's influence in Congress is exercised mostly, as George Edwards (1989) puts it, "at the margins," his case studies in PP also suggest that, within this limited bound, presidents do strive to influence legislative outcomes. But how? Scholars

often argue that a president's most direct means of influence is to directly lobby certain members of Congress, often through quid pro quo exchanges, at critical junctures during the lawmaking sequence. Spatial models of legislative voting suggest that these lobbying efforts are most effective when presidents target the median, veto, and filibuster "pivots" within Congress. This logic finds empirical support in vote-switching studies that indicate that presidents do direct lobbying efforts at these pivotal voters, and with positive legislative results. 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" (1998,153-54). Similarly, 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, 125-36). In his study of presidential lobbying on key votes on important domestic legislation during the 83rd (1953-54) through 108th (2003-04) Congresses, Matthew Beckman

shows that in addition to these pivotal voters, 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). These lobbying efforts are correlated with a greater likelihood
that a president's legislative preferences will come to a vote (Beckmann 2008, n.d.). In one of the most concerted efforts to model how bargaining takes place at the individual level, Terry Sullivan examines presidential archives containing administrative headcounts to identify instances in which members of Congress switched positions during legislative debate, from initially opposing the president to supporting him in the final roll call (Sullivan 1988,1990,1991). Sullivan shows that in a bargaining game with incomplete information regarding the preferences of the president and members of Congress, there are a number of possible bargaining outcomes for a given distribution of legislative and presidential policy preferences. These outcomes depend in part on legislators' success in bartering their potential support for the president's policy for additional concessions from the president. In threatening to withhold support, however, members of Congress run the risk that the president will call their bluff and turn elsewhere for the necessary votes. By capitalizing on members' uncertainty regarding whether their support is necessary to form a winning coalition, 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. "Hence, the

skill to bargain successfully becomes a foundation for presidential power even within the context of electorally determined opportunities," Sullivan concludes (1991, 1188).
Most of these studies infer presidential influence, rather than measuring it directly (Bond, Fleisher, and Krutz 1996,128-29; see also Edwards 1991). Interestingly, however, although the vote "buying" approach is certainly consistent with Neustadt's bargaining model, none of his case studies in PP show presidents employing this tactic. 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 what he does to boost his mastery in any instance" (Neustadt 1990, 4). For Neustadt, whether

a president's lobbying efforts bear fruit in any particular

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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). 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. "Reputation, of itself, does not persuade, but it can make persuasions easier, or harder, or impossible" (Neustadt 1990, 54).

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Ideology doesnt outweigh presidential success dictates votes Lebo, 2010 (Matthew J. Lebo, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Stony Brook University, and Andrew O'Geen, PhD
Candidate, Department of Political Science, Stony Brook University, Journal of Politics, The Presidents Role in the Partisan Congressional Arena forthcoming, google) Keeping this centrality in mind, we

use established theories of congressional parties to model the presidents role as an actor within the constraints of the partisan environment of Congress.
We also find a role for the president's approval level, a variable of some controversy in the presidential success literature. Further, we are

the presidents 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. Specifically, 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, 2005), 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. 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.

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Studies prove issues spilloverthe president is key. Eshbaugh-Soha, M. (2008). Policy Priorities and Presidential Success in Congress. Conference Papers -- American Political Science Association, 1-26. Retrieved from Political Science Complete database.
Presidential-congressional relations are a central topic in the scientific study of politics. The literature is clear that a handful of variables strongly

Of these variables, party control of Congress is most important (Bond and Fleisher 1990), in that conditions of unified government increase, while conditions of divided government decrease presidential success, all else equal. The presidents
influence the likelihood of presidential success on legislation. approval ratings (Edwards 1989) and a favorable honeymoon (Dominguez 2005) period may also increase presidential success on legislation. In addition, presidential speeches that reference policies or roll-call votes tend to increase the presidents legislative success rate (Barrett 2004;

In their landmark examination of presidential success in Congress, Bond and Fleisher (1990, 230) identify yet another condition that may facilitate presidential success on legislation when they write that the presidents greatest influence over policy comes from the agenda he pursues and the way it is packaged. Moreover, the policies that the president prioritizes have a major impact on the presidents relationship with Congress. Taken together, these assertions strongly suggest that the policy content of the presidents legislative agendawhat policies the president prioritizes before Congress should be a primary determinant of presidential success in Congress.
Canes-Wrone 2001; Eshbaugh-Soha 2006).

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Capital determines agenda above all else Light 99 Senior Fellow at the Center for Public Service (Paul, the Presidents Agenda, p. 34)
In chapter 2, I will consider just how capital affects the basic parameters of the domestic agenda. Though the internal resources are important contributors to timing and size, capital remains the cirtical factor. That conclusion will become essential in understanding the domestic agenda.

Whatever the Presidents personal expertise, character, or skills, capital is the most important resource.
In the past, presidential scholars have focused on individual factors in discussing White House decisions, personality being the dominant factor.

even the most positive and most active executive could make little impact. A president can be skilled, charming, charismatic, a veritable legislative wizard, 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 Presidents priorities. Thus, it is capital that determines whether the President will have the opportunity to offer a detailed domestic program, whether he will be restricted to a series
Yet, given low levels in presidential capital, of limited initiatives and vetoes. Capital sets the basic parameters of the agenda, determining the size of the agenda and guiding the criteria for choice. Regardless of the Presidents personality, capital

is the central force behind the domestic agenda.

Capital is key it outweigh ideology, party support, or concessions Light 99 Senior Fellow at the Center for Public Service (Paul, the Presidents Agenda, p. 2425) Call it push, pull, punch, juice, power, or clout they all mean the same thing. The most basic and most important of all presidential resources is capital. Though the internal resources time, information, expertise, and energy all have an impact on the domestic agenda, the President is severely limited without capital. And
capital is directly linked to the congressional parties. While there is little question that bargaining skills can affect both the composition and the success of the domestic agenda, without

the necessary party support, no amount of expertise or charm can

make a difference.
disadvantages to the table.

Though bargaining is an important tool of presidential power, it does not take place in a neutral environment. Presidents bring certain advantages and

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

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Political Capital Key Political capital is key- its empirically proven Schier 9 (Steven E., professor of political science at Carleton College, Understanding the Obama Presidency, The Forum, Vol. 7, Issue 1, http://www.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi? article=1283&context=forum) In additional to formal powers, a presidents informal power is situationally derived and highly variable. Informal power is a function of the political capital presidents amass and deplete as they operate in office. Paul Light defines several components of political capital: party support of the president in Congress, public approval of the presidential conduct of his job, the Presidents electoral margin and patronage appointments (Light 1983,
15). Richard Neustadts concept of a presidents professional reputation likewise figures into his political capital. 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, 185). In

the wake of 9/11, George W. Bushs political capital surged, and both the public and Washington elites granted him a broad ability to prosecute the war on terror. By the later stages of Bushs troubled second term, beset by a lengthy and unpopular occupation of Iraq and an aggressive Democratic Congress, he found that his political capital had shrunk. Obamas informal powers will prove variable, not stable, as is always the case for presidents. Nevertheless, he entered office with a formidable store of political capital. His solid electoral victory means he initially will receive high public support and strong backing from fellow Congressional partisans, a combination that will allow him much leeway in his presidential appointments and with his policy agenda. Obama probably enjoys the prospect of a
happier honeymoon during his first year than did George W. Bush, who entered office amidst continuing controversy over the 2000 election outcome. Presidents

usually employ power to disrupt the political order they inherit in order to reshape it according to their own agendas. Stephen Skowronek argues that presidents disrupt systems, reshape political
landscapes, and pass to successors leadership challenges that are different from the ones just faced (Skowronek 1997, 6). Given their limited time in office and the hostile political alignments often present in Washington policymaking networks and among the electorate, presidents

must force political change if they are to enact their agendas. In recent decades, 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. The

presidency has more powers in the early 21st century but also faces more entrenched coalitions of interests, lawmakers, and bureaucrats whose agendas often differ from that of the president. 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.

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Call it push, pull, punch, juice, power, or clout they all mean the same thing. The most basic and most important of all presidential resources is capital. Though the internal resources time, information, expertise, and energy all have an impact on the domestic agenda, the President is severely limited without capital. And capital is directly linked to the congressional parties. While there is little question that bargaining skills can affect both the composition and the success of the domestic agenda, without the necessary party support, no amount of expertise or charm can make a difference. Though bargaining is an important tool of presidential power, it does not take place in a neutral environment. Presidents bring certain advantages and disadvantages to the table. Perhaps the best way to illustrate the impact of capital is to compare Kennedys early legislative failures with Johnsons eventual victories. According to the Congressional Quarterly Almanac, Johnson secured passage of 60 percent of his legislative proposals in 1965, while Kennedy secured pass of only 27 percent of his in 1963. Was Johnsons success due to some change in the Presidents prerogatives? Was it due to his abilities as a legislative broker? The answer to both questions is no. Neither institutional prerogatives nor bargaining skills explain Johnsons dramatic success. Johnsons higher degree of success paralleled the increase in his political resources following the 1964 election. Johnsons greater impact was the result of the massive increase in House Democrats, particularly from Northern liberal districts. Johnson went from 263 Democrats in the Eighty-seventh Congress to 294 in the Eighty-eighth. Moreover, the northern Democratic bloc, Johnsons base of support, grew from 152 seats in 1964 to 194 in 1965. Finally, whereas Kennedy was elected to office by 49.7 percent of the vote, Johnson returned to office in 1965 following a landslide. The increases in both electoral margin and congressional support assured a greater degree of success for Lyndon Johnson. Hence, Johnsons success stemmed from dramatic shifts in presidential capital. Though Johnsons skills might have stretched his scarce resources, the basic explanation for the change lies in his increased external resources, in his political capital. Though power may remain undefined in the presidential literature, among the presidential staffs it is generally understood to be equal to the Presidents party support in Congress. For more White House aides, capital is defined as the number of votes the President can generate in Congress at any one time on any given issue. As such, capital responds to the Presidents public approval and electoral margin. However, the base of presidential capital is always the number of party seats the President has in Congress. Throughout the following discussion, it should be remembered that capital is only a word some aides used it frequently; others sued a variety of other terms. Its attractiveness rests on the image of a fixed amount of influence expend over time. It should be remembered that this definition is restricted to the domestic agenda a restriction with heavy legislative content; the definition would certainly change in foreign affairs.

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

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In chapter 2, I will consider just how capital affects the basic parameters of the domestic agenda. Though the internal resources are important, contributors to timing and size, capital remains the critical factor. That conclusion will become essential in understanding the domestic agenda. Whatever the Presidents personal expertise, character, or skills, capital is the most important resource. In the past, presidential scholars have focused on individual factors in discussing White House decisions, personality being the dominant factor. Yet given low levels in presidential capital, even the most positive and most active executive could make little impact. A President can be skilled, charming, charismatic, a veritable legislative wizard, 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 Presidents priorities. Thus it is capital that determines whether the President will have the opportunity to offer a detailed domestic program, whether he will be restricted to a series of limited initiatives and vetoes. Capital sets the basic parameters of the agenda, determining the size of the agenda and guiding the criteria for choice. Regardless of the Presidents personality, capital is the central force behind the domestic agenda. POLITICAL CAPITAL KEY LIGHT, 1999 [PAUL C., THE PRESIDENTS AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON, THIRD ED, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. PRESS, PG 132 A second, more attractive explanation for party differences is political capital. Though goals are critical in the initial stages of the search for alternatives, capital is the primary factor in defining the scope of presidential requests. Goals shape the direction of agenda requests, while capital affects the size. Though Nixon and Ford may have had some preference for smaller scale programs, given their political situation in Congress, neither President had much choice.

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

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Political Capital Key CAPITAL IS CRITICAL TO AGENDA SUCCESS LIGHT, 1999 [PAUL C., THE PRESIDENTS AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON, THIRD ED, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. PRESS, PG 10 ]

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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. The internal resources involve at least four separate entities time, information, expertise, and energy; the external resources flow from congressional support, public approval, and electoral margin. Without these requisite resources, presidential bargaining has no impact on domestic outcomes. Furthermore, these resources rise and fall over the term, creating two distinct policy cycles The cycle of decreasing influence appears as time, energy, and congressional support drop. The cycle of increasing effectiveness enters as information and expertise grow. Both cycles have a dramatic influence on the Presidents agenda.

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At: Political Capital Key CAPITAL NOT KEY TO THE AGENDA LIMITED IMPACT. SKOCPOL AND JACOBS 10. [Theda, Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard, former Director
of the Center for American Political Studies, Lawrence, Walter F. and Joan Mondale Chair for Political Studies and Director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance in the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute and Department of Political Science at the University of Minnesota, Hard Fought Legacy: Obama, congressional democrats, and the struggle for comprehensive health reform Russell Sage Foundation -- October] Although presidential

power is widely credited with dictating public policy, the truth is that presidential influence over domestic law making is quite limited. Presidential speeches (as in the case of Obamas nationally televised September address to restart health reform) can influence the agenda of issues for DC insiders and all Americans. 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 practice, Obama and his aides were often little more than frustrated witnesses to Congressional maneuvers and delays. POLITICAL CAPITAL IS IRRELEVANT -- EMPIRICALLY PROVEN. Bond & Fleisher 96. [Jon R. and Richard, professor in Political Science - Texas A&M and Professor in Political Science. Fordham 1996. "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.

PRESIDENTIAL CAPITAL ISNT SIGNIFICANT PARTY SUPPORT AND DIVISIONS ARE KEY Bond & Fleisher 96. [Jon R. and Richard, professor in Political Science - Texas A&M and Professor in Political Science. Fordham 1996. "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. We would add: neither does skilled presidential leadership or popularity with the public. In
fact, 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. Our findings indicate that members

of Congress provide levels of support for the President that are generally consistent with their partisan and ideological predispositions. Because party and ideology are relatively stable, facing a Congress made up of more members predisposed to support the president does increase the likelihood of success on the floor. There is, however, considerable variation in the
behavior of the party factions. As expected, cross-pressured members are typically divided, and when they unify, they unify against about as often as they unify for the president.

Even members of the party bases who have reinforcing partisan and ideological predispositions frequently fail to unify for or against the president's position. Our analysis
of party and committee leaders in Congress reveals that support from congressional leaders is associated with unity of the party factions. The party bases are likely to unify only if the party and committee leader of a party take the same position. But party and committee leaders within each party take opposing stands on a significant proportion of presidential roll calls. Because

members of the party factions and their leaders frequently fail to unify around a party position, there is considerable uncertainty surrounding the outcome of presidential roll calls.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 PC Key to Dem Unity

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Political capital key to Dem unity- must threaten retaliation Lincoln Mitchell - Assistant Professor in the Practice of International Politics, Columbia University - 6/18/ 2009 (Time for Obama to Start Spending Political Capital, The Huffington Post, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lincoln-mitchell/time-for-obama-to-start-s_b_217235.html ty) This strategy, however, will not be fruitful for much longer. There are now some very clear issues where Obama should be spending political capital. The most obvious of these is health care. The battle
for health care reform will be a major defining issue, not just for the Obama presidency, but for American society over the next decades. It is imperative that Obama push for the best and most comprehensive health care reform possible. This will likely mean not just a bruising legislative battle, but one that will pit powerful interests, not just angry Republican ideologues, against the President.The legislative struggle will also pull many Democrats between the President and powerful interest groups. Obama must make it clear that there will be an enormous political cost which Democrats who vote against the bill will have to pay. Before

any bill is voted upon, however, is perhaps an even more critical time as pressure from insurance groups, business groups and doctors organizations will be brought to bear both on congress, but also on the administration as it works with congress to craft the legislation. This
is not the time when the administration must focus on making friends and being liked, but on standing their ground and getting a strong and inclusive health care reform bill.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Political Capital Finite POLITICAL CAPITAL IS LIMITED AND PLAN FORCES AGENDA BATTLES LIGHT, 1999 [PAUL C., THE PRESIDENTS AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON, THIRD ED, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. PRESS, PG 2 ]

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The Presidents domestic agenda also reflects the allocation of resources, which often are fixed and limited. As a President moves through the term, each agenda choice commits some White House resources time, energy, information, expertise, political capital. Each agenda item also commits some policy options, whether federal funds or bureaucratic energy. 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. This growing pressure has placed greater emphasis on the agenda as a topic of political conflict. Policy-makers increasingly turn to the agenda for the first battles over the distribution of scare resources. Given the ever-tightening policy options, this pressure will not abate in the near future.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Political Capital Finite

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

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Political Capital Finite PLAN WOULD FORCE AN AGENDA TRADE OFF BECAUSE OF LIMITED INTERNAL RESOURCES
LIGHT, 1999 [PAUL C., THE PRESIDENTS AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON, THIRD ED, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. PRESS, PG 25-26 ]

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Presidential Limits. Even if Congress could handle every item, the White house policy process itself places certain limits on the domestic agenda. Though recent scholars have complained about the size of the presidential staff, the White House policy process can accept only a limited number of items at a time. The President needs time to make decisions; the staff needs information to draft specific proposals. Basically, the Presidents internal resources demand limits on choice. According to a Nixon domestic aide, nothing ever happens overnight. When you enter office, it looks as if the skys the limit. After a month, you find that the gears dont mesh. We could only concentrate on a couple of problems at a time. There were a lot of bodies, but only a few could be involved in the critical decisions.

AGENDA SIZE IS LIMITED PLAN WOULD RISK ANGERING THE LIAISON OFFICE
LIGHT, 1999 [PAUL C., THE PRESIDENTS AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON, THIRD ED, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. PRESS, PG 53-54 ] Congressional Limits . Presidents face several structural limits on agenda size, but the congressional calendar involves the greatest institutional restrictions. Though Congress can act quickly during a crisis, most legislation must pass through a series of decision points en route to enactment. According to john Kennedy, the process contains a number of hurdles: It is very easy to defeat a bill in the Congress. It is much more difficult to pass one. To go through a subcommittee-.. and get a majority vote, the full committee and get a majority vote, go to the Rules Committee and get a rule, go to the Floor of the House and get a majority, start all over again in the Senate, subcommittee and full committee, and in the Senate there is unlimited debate, so you can never bring a matter to a vote if there is enough determination on the part of the opponents, even if they are a minority, to go through the Senate with the bill. And then unanimously get a conference between the house and Senate to adjust the bill, or if one member objects, to have it go back through the Rules Committee, back through the Congress, and have this done on a controversial piece of legislation where powerful groups are opposing it, that is an extremely difficult task (transcript of television interview, in Public Papers of the Presidents, 1062, pp. 892,894). Kennedys complaint came long before the rise of subcommittee government and the increased complexity within the legislative process. Past Presidents and their staffs have been sensitive to the demands of the congressional process. The liaison office always walks a tight line, one Nixon officer suggested. if you press too hard, youre likely to anger the committees. They have a heavy work load and wont take too much White House pressure. But if you dont press hard enough, the Congress will put your agenda on the back burner.

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A2: No Trade-Off/Spillover Obama has a finite supply of political capital and needs to be careful of how he is spending it. New York Times 2-14-09 (John Harwood, Obama, With a Pile of Chips page 1, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/15/weekinreview/15harwood.html? pagewanted=1)
WASHINGTON It is not too early to ask whether President Obamas robust supply of political capital has begun to dissipate. Predecessors with bigger victory margins have lost it this quickly. 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. But political insiders scorned his extended post-election passivity presidents werent inaugurated until March then including a Caribbean yacht cruise while the Great Depression festered. By early February, the president-elect was in political trouble, Jonathan Alter wrote in The Defining Moment, his history of F.D.R.s first 100 days. And then Roosevelt executed a leadership tour de force that lifted the nations spirits, swept his New Deal agenda through Congress and durably transformed the federal role in American society. In other words, it may not be too early to ask whether Tom Daschles tax problems, Judd Greggs ideological misgivings, Wall Streets catcalls and the near-complete Republican rejection of Mr. Obamas economic stimulus package add up to the depletion of his momentum. But it is too early to answer with much confidence. 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. Obamas 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 presidents 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. Having lost the popular vote to Al Gore, George W. Bush entered the White House with far less political capital than Kennedy. 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. Four months later, the 9/11 attacks gave him enough standing eventually to take the nation to war against Iraq. By 2008, the difficulties of that endeavor had helped wipe out his influence with the public, Congress and both political parties. Entering office in 1993, Bill Clinton occupied a kind of middle ground in presidential sway. He ousted the incumbent, George H. W. Bush, in 1992, but split the change vote with Ross Perot. An early furor over gays in the military drained away some of his political energy, as did the upending of his first two choices for attorney general. Later that year Mr. Clinton managed to win narrow approval of his economic plan, but his universal health care initiative collapsed, and discontented voters turned the House and Senate over to Republicans in 1994. One lesson for new presidents, in the words of Howard Paster, a Clinton White House lobbyist: Congress swallows better in small bites. Yet the crisis presidents to whom Mr. Obama is most appropriately compared dont have the luxury of serving bite-size initiatives. In 1981, 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. Reagan had great momentum, and even greater momentum after he came back from being shot, recalled his speechwriter Ken Khachigian. Still, there was resistance. In Roosevelts case, 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; the Emergency Banking Act swept through the House by voice vote. In the whirl of action Roosevelt moved to end Prohibition by prodding Congress to legalize beer, which Mr. Alter called one of the least appreciated elements of how F.D.R. changed the countrys psyche.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 A2 No Spillover Obama thinks our link is true even if it is false.
O'Neill 2009
(President -- O'Neill Associates, http://www.mytwocensus.com/tag/michael-j-oneil/) I think this says something very revealing, but far more about the Obama administration than about Bob Groves. I have no doubt whatsoever what Bobs private counsel would be if asked about whether applying estimation principles to the Census would increase its accuracy. Indeed, his scientific judgment on this matter is

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this new position mirrors the Obama administrations approach to dealing with many controversial matters. 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. It would not matter that as a matter of scientific certainty, such claims would be wrong; they could score political points in making the
already a matter of public record. But what is interesting here is how charge. (This is the type of technical issue that is difficult to explain to a statistically lay audience; many intelligent people simply wont understand it.) Obama looks willing to forgo the congressional seats, perhaps a dozen or so, Democrats would gain in order to avoid this political distraction and pursue higher priorities. He has

This strategic retreat resembles the back-burnering of issues such as gun control and gays in the military. Each has been delayed out of a fear that it could be divisive and derail his core agenda, especially the economy and health care reform. To pursue key objectives, he has been willing to delay action on other issues that could distract or dilute his mandate. While he has pursued many initiatives, he has carefully avoided those with the explosive potential to blow up the broader agenda. And an attempt to use estimation for reapportionment has that potential. While the scientific merits are indisputable, getting the public to understand such arcane statistical principles is a lost cause. The Obama administration has concluded that it is simply not worth the political capital to try.
bigger fish to fry.

Political capital key to agenda and spills-over 107th Congress proves.


Lee 2005
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.

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.
Therefore, the presidents use of foreign policy is a spend maneuver, whereas his domestic policy is an invest maneuver.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 A2 No Spillover Issues are zero-sum -- Press ensures it.
Fitts 1996
(Law Prof -- Penn, 144 U. Pa. L. Rev. 827)

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While the president's singularity may give him the formal ability to exercise agenda control, which public choice scholars see as an advantage of presidential power, his visibility and the influence of the media may also make it more difficult for him to exercise it. When public scrutiny is brought to bear on the White House, surrounding such issues as gays in the military or affirmative
action, the president must often take a position and act. 128 This can deprive him of the ability to choose when or whether to address issues. Finally, the unitary president may be less able to rely on preexisting congressional or agency processes to resolve disputes. At least in theory, true unitariness means that he has the authority to reverse the decisions or non-decisions of others - the buck stops [*866] with the president. 129 In this environment, "no politician can endure opposition from a wide range of opponents in numerous contests without alienating a significant proportion of voters." 130 Two types of tactics illustrate this phenomenon. First, presidents in recent years have often sought to deemphasize - at least politically - their unitariness by allocating responsibility for different agencies to different political constituencies. President Clinton, for example, 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. 131 Presidents Bush and Reagan tried a similar technique of giving control over different agencies to different political constituencies. 132 Second, by invoking vague abstract principles or "talking out of both sides of their mouth," presidents have attempted to create the division within their person. Eisenhower is widely reported to be the best exemplar of this "bumbling" technique. 133 Reagan's widely publicized verbal "incoherence" and detachment from government affairs probably served a similar function. 134 Unfortunately, the visibility and singularity of the modern presidency can undermine both informal techniques. 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, his ability to mediate conflict and control the agenda can be undermined. The modern president is supposed to have a position [*867] on such matters as affirmative action, the war in Bosnia, the baseballstrike, and the newest EPA regulations the list is infinite. Perhapsin response to these pressures, each modern president has made more speeches and taken more positions than his predecessors, with Bill Clinton giving three times as many speeches as Reagan during the same period. 135 In such circumstances, the president is far less able to exercise agenda control,

The well-documented tendency of the press to emphasize the strategic implications of politics exacerbates this process by turning issues into zero-sum games. 136 Thus, in contrast to Congress, the modern president's attempt to avoid or mediate issues can often undermine him personally and politically.
refuse to take symbolic stands, or take inconsistent positions.

Vote switching is real ideology is minimal.


Bond & Fleisher 1996

Professor in Political Science - Texas A&M & Professor in Political Science - Fordham (Jon R. and Richard The President in Legislation) pg 54
Minority presidents, on the other hand, can frequently build working majorities composed of their partisan base and like-minded members of the opposition. While

the effects of ideology are limited for several reasons. First, most members of Congress are pragmatic politicians who do not have views and preferences at the extremes of a liberal-conservative continuum. Because the typical
political values shared between the president and members of Congress provide an important linkage source, American voter is not strongly ideological, most representatives' electoral self-interest is probably best served by avoiding ideological extremes. As noted above,

many votes that may be important to the president do not involve ideological issues. Distributive or "porkbarrel" programs, for example, typically do
ideology is a less important voting cue for moderates than it is for ideological extremists (Kingdon 1981, 268). Second, not produce ideological divisions. 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. Presidents who attempt to tamper with these programs are likely to find few friends in Congress, as President Carter discovered

ideological voting blocs are relatively informal coalitions composed of individuals who have similar values.
when he opposed several water projects in 1977, and as President Reagan discovered when he vetoed the highway bill in 1987. Finally, The "conservative coalition" of Republicans and southern Democrats, for example, appears on certain votes and sometimes has a significant influence on the outcome of floor votes (Shelley 1983; Brady and Bullock 1980; Manley 1973). But this coalition of conservatives has no formal organization with elected leaders to serve as a communication and information center. Although there are several ideologies.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Political Capital Not Key Political capital isnt key- concentrated interests can block reform Yglesias 9 (Matthew, senior editor at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, The Limits of Political Capital, 6-15-09, http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2009/06/thelimits-of-political-capital.php)
I think the answer to the puzzle is simply that political that the

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capital is a pretty misleading metaphor. The fact of the matter is Senate is what it isto wit, an institution with an enormous status quo bias, thats 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 countrys population. But that only adds up to 22 Senatorsyou 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 electionsits 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. The American presidency is a weird institution. If Barack Obama wants to start a war with North Korea and jeopardize the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, its not clear that anyone could stop him. If he wants to let cold-blooded murderers out of prison, its completely clear that nobody can stop him. But if he wants to implement the agenda he was elected on just a few months ago, he needs to obtain a supermajority in the United States Senate.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Political Capital Not Key POLITICAL CAPITAL ISNT ENOUGH MULTIPLE FACTORS PRECLUDE PRESIDENTIAL LEADERSHIP IN CONGRESS

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LIGHT, 1999 [PAUL C., THE PRESIDENTS AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON, THIRD ED, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. PRESS, PG 1112 ] In the final chapter, I will take a deeper look at recent changes which have altered the domestic agenda process. The Presidency of the 1980s is quite different from the Presidency of the 1960s. The political and economic costs of domestic programs have escalated, with no corresponding increase in the Presidents ability to absorb the inflation. At least five explanations arise. First, 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. Second, Congress has become more complex. 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. Though there are fewer single obstacles to passage of the Presidents program, there are many more potential dead ends and delays. Third, as Congress has become more competitive and complex, the congressional parties have weakened. The dispersion of congressional power has, in turn, reduced the Presidents potential influence over domestic legislation. As we shall see, party is no longer the gold standard of presidential influence. Unfortunately, Presidents must still cling to their party as the source of their political capital. Fourth, Presidents must now conduct domestic policy under increasing congressional and media surveillance. I will suggest that this atmosphere of suspicion has reduced the opportunities for effective presidential leadership in domestic policy. Finally, and perhaps most important, the basic issues that fuel the domestic policy process have changed since 1960. We have witnessed the rise of a new group of constituentless issues, issues that generate remarkably little congressional support and considerable single-interest-group opposition. Energy, social-security financing, welfare reform, and hospital-cost control are all examples of a new generation of constituentless issues. Separately these five trends have created difficult problems for the Presidents agenda. Together they have contributed to the rise of a No Win Presidency in domestic affairs. We will return to the concept of a No Win Presidency in chapter 9. For now, it is important to note that the domestic policy process continues to shift. In the few short years since Kennedy and Johnson occupied the Oval office of the Presidency has undergone a dramatic era of change. As one Johnson aide remarked, This office is nothing like it sued to be. It might look similar, but the relationships have all changed. Lyndon wouldnt like it one bit.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Political Capital Not Key PRESIDENTIAL INFLUENCE ON CONGRESSIONAL LEGISLATION IS LIMITED BY MULTIPLE FACTORS LIGHT, 1999 [PAUL C., THE PRESIDENTS AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON, THIRD ED, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. PRESS, PG 2526 ]

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

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Political Capital Not Key POLITICAL CAPITAL IS IRRELEVANT BUREAUCRACY PRECLUDES INFLUENCE LIGHT, 1999 [PAUL C., THE PRESIDENTS AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON, THIRD ED, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. PRESS, PG 210211

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Obviously, subcommittee government is not all pain for the President. There are fewer single obstacles to the Presidents agenda. Carter did not have to deal with an entrenched House Rules Committee as Kennedy did, as Johnson did. But despite fewer blockades, Carter ran into more participants. The power of one chairman or committee to forestall legislative action feel between 1960 and 1980, but the power of many smaller coalitions increased. The greater number of access points leads to a new brand of legislative stalemate; inaction caused by the process itself. With the dispersion of congressional power, Presidents are increasingly limited in their ability to concentrate influence at key decision points. There are simply fewer opportunities for intense lobbying. Presidential influence is often a blunt instrument the new congressional policy process demands a surgeons skill. According to one Carter aide, The big question is where to put your energy. 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. 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. Congress has removed one major obstacle but has developed many smaller hurdles. The 1980 elections only complicated the process further. The Reagan administration must now deal with a Democratic majority in the House and a new Republican majority in the Senate. The staff changes, committee restructuring, and legislative turnover in the Senate serve to confuse an already complex system. Now more than ever, the President needs to understand the system.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Political Capital Not Key THE PRESIDENT IS IRRELEVANT SUBCOMMITTEE GOVERNMENT AND DISPERSION OF POWER MEANS HE CANT INFLUENCE POLICY LIGHT, 1999 [PAUL C., THE PRESIDENTS AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON, THIRD ED, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. PRESS, PG 211212

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Declining Influence. The post-Watergate period has witnessed a steady drop in the Presidents potential influence over domestic policy. Once again, a primary explanation rests on subcommittee government and the dispersion of congressional power. There are fewer opportunities for the kind of personalized leadership made famous by Lyndon Johnson; there are more actors with congressional influence in direct competition with the Presidents domestic agenda. As one Johnson assistant reflected, in 1965, there were maybe ten or twelve people who you needed to corral in the House and Senate. Without those people, you were in for a tough time. Now, Id put that figure upwards of one hundred. Believe it, 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. The erosion of congressional parties only compounds the problem. Once the gold standard of presidential influence, parties have been the major victims of the dispersion of House and Senate power. Presidents can not rely on party as the one potent route to success. Carters sizable Democratic majorities did not guarantee more than fleeting consideration. Unlike Johnson in 1965, Carter was unable to convert his party numbers into firm support. As Gerald Ford suggests, I loved the congress, and I have nothing but the warmest feelings toward the House of representatives. I developed many friends, Democrats and Republicans. Its a great institution. Its the finest legislative body in the world. But I think its effectiveness, its capability of doing the job, has degenerated in the last five or ten years, for a variety of reasons. And the net result is that it has developed certain characteristics that are detrimental in doing the job thats needed and necessary to solve some of our problems The Congress has disintegrated from the position of responsibility and how it can operate. No longer do we have the capability of the Speaker of the house, or the minority leader, to get their troops, so to speak, to follow the Democratic Party policy, on the one hand, or the Republican Party policy on the other. They go off in 10 different directions. They seem to follow the public surveys rather than party philosophy. And the net result is no leader in the Congress, Democrat or Republican, can say, my party is going to follow this party position. They just cant get the troops to do what I think the public wants them to do under our two-party system (PBS, Every Four Years, transcript, January-February 1980, p.36).

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

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Flip-flops destroy the agenda Goddard, 9 (Taegan, Creator Political Wire, (One of the Most Widely-Read and Influential Political Web Sites on the Internet), "Does
Obama Practice a Different Kind of Politics?", CQ Politics, 3-19, http://innovation.cq.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, Iraq troop withdrawals and taxing employer healthcare benefits, it seems he is in for tough fights on all fronts. # Taegan Goddard: That's a great question. I think Obama

spends some of his political capital every time he makes an

exception to his principles -- such as hiring a lobbyist to a key position or overlooking an appointee not paying their taxes. Policy reversals such as the ones you note burn through even more of this precious
capital.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Flip Flop Kills Agenda FLIP FLOPS KILL THE AGENDA. Fitts 96 (Michael A., University of Pennsylvania Law Review, January, Lexis)

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Centralized and visible power, however, becomes a double-edged sword, once one explores the different ways in which unitariness and visibility can undermine an institution's informal influence, especially its ability to mediate conflict and appear competent. In this context, the visibility and centralization of the presidency can have mixed effects. As a single visible actor in an increasingly complex world, the unitary president can be prone to an overassessment of responsibility and error. He also may be exposed to a normative standard of personal assessment that may conflict with his institutional duties. At the same time, the modern president often does not have at his disposal those bureaucratic institutions that can help mediate or deflect many conflicts. Unlike members of Congress or the agencies, he often must be clear about the tradeoffs he makes. Furthermore, 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. In short, the centralization and individualization of the presidency can be a source of its power, as its chief proponents and critics accurately have suggested, as well as its political illegitimacy and ultimate weakness.

FLIP FLOPS DRAIN POLITICAL CAPITAL CLINTON PROVES. Cohen 99 (Jeffrey E., Professor of Political Science at Fordham University, Presidential Responsiveness and Public Policy-Making, p.68,
Available via Google books)

A president cannot, without good reason, alter his policy stance. And even if he has good reason to change his policy position on an issue, he may have to bear some costs from doing so. The public and other political elites may view him as waffling, indecisive, uncommitted, and/or duplicitous. This seems very much to be one of the major charges against Bill Clintons presidency. After abandoning his campaign promise of a middle-class tax cut because of budget deficit pressures, Clinton
reoffered a tax cut in the wake of the devastating 1994 midterm elections, in which his party lost control of Congress. From being publicly cool toward the North American Free Trade pact during his presidential election campaign, he became an ardent promoter of that policy once in the Oval Office. From these, and many other occasions, Clinton has developed an image of a waffling politician, one who is forever changing his mind, perennially trying to stake out the most popular position with the public and not necessarily a president

who is able to lead.

Flip Flops Kill Obamas Capital JAMAICA OBSERVER 9. [1/27 -- http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/html/20090126T2000000500_145308_OBS_THE_DAWNING_OF_A_NEW_ERA_FOR_AMERICA_.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. But he

is starting out with great political capital. However, 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. People expect him to govern on behalf of all Americans. As he himself stated, there is no blue America or red America but the United States of America. He must remain true to his core values and allow integrity to be his watchword. FLIP-FLOPPING CREATES POLITICAL BACKLASH GOLDSTEIN, 1999 (DAVID, THE KANSAS CITY STAR, DEC. 23, PG. L/N) The political flip-flop. It's a staple of the campaign season and a time-honored tool to adjust to changing political circumstances. But beware of the possible fallout. Former President George Bush learned that after reneging on his "read my lips, no new taxes" pledge in 1988. 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. "It didn't help him any," said Ron Kaufman, a former political director in the Bush White House. "If a candidate is perceived to be less than genuine or perceived to be hypocritical, it hurts.

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Obamas 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. His new book, "Arsenal of Democracy, 6-23-09 (Julian, CNN News, Commentary: Is Obamas honeymoon over? http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/06/23/zelizer.obama.honeymoon/)
June has been rough for President Obama. After experiencing enormous success during his first months in office, some of his political vulnerabilities have started to emerge. As Republicans begin to think about the 2010 midterm elections and moderate Democrats decide how they should vote on Obama's most ambitious initiative, health care, the White House must prevent these weaknesses from becoming debilitating. The first vulnerability is the tension between the left and center of the Democratic Party. Since his election, President Obama has struggled to navigate the divisions that exist between the liberal base of the party, who were the core of his early support, and moderate Democrats, who were also instrumental to his victory. At first, the administration relied on good will and political capital from the election to overcome conflicts, 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. But the tensions are becoming more pronounced and more difficult to resolve. The president has disappointed gay rights activists for not fulfilling promises they thought he had made on the issue of gay rights. Last week, they expressed their frustration with the Department of Justice's legal brief supporting the Defense of Marriage Act, a law that prohibits same-sex partners from receiving marriage benefits and protects states that don't recognize same-sex marriages. Obama failed to calm the storm even when he extended some employment benefits to the same-sex partners of federal workers. 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. These kinds of left-center tensions will intensify when Congress delves into the final negotiations over health care this summer. Progressive Democrats insist that without a public insurance option health care reform will fail in the long run. Several Democratic moderates have been pushing alternatives that fall far short of that goal. The second vulnerability is the deficit. When Republicans have turned away from cultural issues and toward economics, they have been finding more success at attracting the interest of independents and moderates. 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. To be sure, this is not a home run issue for the GOP. 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. Moreover, deficits have a poor track record in terms of being a winning campaign issue. There have not been any presidential candidates or major midterm elections in recent history that hinged on anti-deficit arguments. Many presidents, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, survived while growing the deficit. Polls have shown the public is also notoriously fickle about how much weight it gives to the deficit as an issue, and is often misinformed about the actual size of the deficit. Nonetheless, warning about rising deficits has been an effective tool for weakening the political strength of an incumbent administration. Regardless of the economics of the issue, with some respected economists saying short-term deficits don't matter, many Americans perceive the budget deficit as a symbol for whether a president is keeping federal spending under control. While Republicans might not take back Congress by focusing on the deficit, they can erode Obama's political standing and make it more difficult for him to pass legislation. Finally, there is the economy. The irony for Obama is that as the economy has stabilized, it has become a greater source of political danger. Without an immediate crisis, voters are not as panicked and don't feel as desperate for federal assistance. A growing number are more comfortable criticizing the administration's economic policies. Some Republicans have picked up on this and have asked why the U.S. needs to spend the stimulus money if the recession is almost over. At the same time, Obama is in a double bind: Most experts agree that we will have a fragile economy in the foreseeable future, so voters won't be happy either. If there is any new dip in the economy, the public will blame President Obama rather than President Bush. This is exactly what
happened with the recession in 1937, which FDR's opponents called the "Roosevelt Recession," using the downturn to diminish the number of New Deal liberals in the House and Senate in 1938. Does this mean Obama is finished? Not at all. The same polls that reveal vulnerabilities show

a candidate who was once seen as invincible is now seen as potentially vulnerable. This is when the sharks start to circle in American politics. The revelation of weakness gives Republicans, as well as unhappy Democrats, more confidence to challenge the White House. 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. If the problems are not contained, they can also become the foundation for the Republican campaign for Congress in 2010.
that Obama is still extremely popular with the public and most evidence suggests that he has good standing with congressional Democrats. But in recent weeks

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

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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 Dont 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 hes 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, hes 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, hes 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 administrations 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. Hes 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 Ladens 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 NASAs 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 hes in office, Obamas 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]

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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 DONT 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,

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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 womans 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 ###

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OBAMAS AGENDA IS FINITE FOCUS IS KEY PLAN DERAILS THE AGENDA. CSMonitor 9. [March 12 lexis] The Obama administration itself has not hidden the fact that it sees a limited window to enact its agenda, almost like a game of "beat the clock." 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. But, there's only so much a White House and Congress can accomplish, given the deliberative nature of the process, 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, columnist, A climate plan in peril? Boston Globe -http://www.boston.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. An agenda crowded with critical items - an

economy in recession, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the continuing mortgage meltdown, healthcare - awaits our newly elected leaders. There are only so many priorities that an administration and Congress can focus on, and they will need to make choices on how to use their initial honeymoon period and their finite supply of political capital.

PRESIDENTIAL FOCUS KEY AGENDA PLAN TRADES OFF. ANDRES 00. [Gary, president for legislative affairs in the Bush Administration, Presidential Studies Quarterly, September -- lexis] The constraint of "time" is another trade-off the White House mustmanage. Members of Congress regularly criticize the White House for only being able to focus on one single issue at a time, a trait common to the White House legislative office that routinely works this way during major legislative battles, focusing its attention to winning a key vote on the House or Senate floor, and disposing of it before moving on to another project. Congress, with its diverse committee system
and decentralized power structure, processes a variety of issues simultaneously. A typical legislative day might find two or three keyissues on the floor, leadership meetings about the agenda for the following week, and a half a dozen critical markups in committees. Given all the issues Congress can present to the president and the limited number of hours in a day or week, it

is critical how the White House prioritizes. The White House must decide which issues to get involved with and which to ignore or delegate to others within the administration. The resolution of these choices and the trade-offs ultimatelyshape the White Housecongressional agenda.

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lecturer/PhD Candidate in political science @ A&M, Polarized Politics: Congress and the President in a Partisan Era, ed Bond and Fleisher p 110] In addition, the White House wants to ensure that its proposals compete favorably with other proposals on the agenda. If presidents

cannot focus Congresss attention on their priority programs, the programs will get lost in the complex and overloaded legislative process. Moreover, presidents and their staff have the time and energy to lobby effectively for only a few bills at a time, and the presidents political capital is inevitably limited. As a result, presidents wish to focus on advancing their own initiatives rather than opposing or modifying the proposals of others. Thus, 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.

Focus key to passing the presidents agenda. EDWARDS AND BARRETT 00. [George & Andrew, distinguished professor of political science @ A&M, assistant
lecturer/PhD Candidate in political science @ A&M, Polarized Politics: Congress and the President in a Partisan Era, ed Bond and Fleisher p 110] In addition, the White House wants to ensure that its proposals compete favorably with other proposals on the agenda. If presidents

cannot focus Congresss attention on their priority programs, the programs will get lost in the complex and overloaded legislative process. Moreover, presidents and their staff have the time and energy to lobby effectively for only a few bills at a time, and the presidents political capital is inevitably limited. As a result, presidents wish to focus on advancing their own initiatives rather than opposing or modifying the proposals of others. Thus, 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.

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

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

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

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For now, the White House should have as little to do as possible with the various legislative products. Let the committees absorb the blows of the bad weeks. Let the early coalitions present themselves. Let the Republicans show their strategy in the mark-up sessions . Let the CBO score all the different options. Let the legislature familiarize itself with different revenue options. Wait. Wait and wait and wait. Wait until Congress has pushed this as far upfield as it's able. Then open up the White House. Then have Obama on TV. Then have Rahm on the phone with legislators . Then take Olympia Snowe for a ride on Marine One. The White House can exert explosive force on a piece of legislation, but it can only do so effectively for a short period of time. That was the mistake Clinton White House made in 1994. By the time their legislation was near reality, administration officials were so deeply involved that they couldn't add external momentum . It is not a
mistake that Rahm Emmanuel, who watched it all happen firsthand, means to repeat.

Focus Link Not True For Obama Herald Times, 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. The number of press conferences, policy speeches, cross-country and international travels on top of new initiatives to bolster financial markets has been mind-boggling. Obama said he would close down Guantanamo Bay, and the process is under way. He said he would extend health care to children, and he has signed into law a program that will provide more than 11 million children with health care. He said he would assess the situation in Iraq and provide a plan to bring our troops home safely. He said he would reverse many of George W. Bush's executive orders on stem-cell research and did that, too. One astute political observer recently told me that Obama reminds her of an octopus with eight arms, all doing different things, but each done with agile efficiency .

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### Bipartisanship ###

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BIPART KEY TO AGENDA. JACOBY 11-4-10. [Tamar, President, ImmigrationWorks USA, Immigration reform is still doable CNN] In a lopsided Congress, where one party has a supermajority or close, there's little or no incentive to compromise -- you can pass almost anything you want without making nice, 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. Neither party will have much to show for itself if it does not find ways to work across the aisle. 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.

BIPART KEY TO AGENDA. COLLINSON 11-15-10. [Stephen, AFP writer, 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. Obama returned from Asia to reverberating aftershocks of mid-term elections which dealt Democrats a crushing defeat and handed Republicans the House of Representatives -- and the means to halt his reform program. Flying into Washington on Air Force One on Sunday, after a trip that circled the globe, Obama reflected on the meaning of the election defeat two weeks ago, and promised to do more to honor his previous vows to reach across the aisle. He said that early in his term, 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. BIPART IS KEY TO OBAMAS AGENDA. GALSTON 10. [William, Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, Brookings, President Barack Obamas First Two Years: Policy
Accomplishments, Political Difficulties Brookings Institute -- Nov 4]

The outcome of the November 2010 election has fundamentally changed the political dynamic for at least the next two years. It will no longer be possible for President Obama to advance his agenda with support from only his own party. Instead, he will be forced either to negotiate with an emboldened Republican House majority or endure two years of confrontation and gridlock. (As Newt Gingrich discovered in 1995, the same logic applies in reverse: it is no easier to run divided government from Capitol Hill than from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.) Choosing the path of negotiation over confrontation would require a change of substance as well as tone. The president would have to give the
federal budget deficit and national debt a far more central place in his policy agenda. Here the obstacles to agreement across party lines are formidable, although the findings of his bipartisan fiscal commission, due out in December, may assist him in making a shift to a more fiscally conservative position. It helps that the co-chairs of the commission, Democrat Erskine Bowles and Republican Alan Simpson, are determined to break the current gridlock, in which conservatives refuse to consider raising taxes while those on the left stoutly resist cuts in social programs.

BIPART KEY TO AGENDA SPILLS OVER Zelizer 9 (Julian, Prof Public Affairs @ Princeton, CNN, 1/13)
Obama will have to define himself in relation to his predecessor, but in this case by demonstrating clearly to the public what he will do differently, rather than the same, as President Bush. And, finally, 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 .

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Bipart key despite 60 seat majority Washington Post 9 (7/9, Senate Democrats Still Seeking GOP Support, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/08/AR2009070803884.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. In short, Tuesday's seating of Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) did little to change the balance of power in the chamber. Democrats have a large enough majority to pass bills without any GOP support, but they are grappling with internal divisions on key issues such as health care, climate change and union organizing. In addition, 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, which then-Sen. Obama made a cornerstone of his 2008 campaign. 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. Moreover, two members of the Democratic caucus, Sens. Edward M. Kennedy (Mass.) and Robert C. Byrd (W.Va.), have not cast a vote in months. It is not clear whether the health of either elder statesman -- Kennedy, 77, has brain cancer, and Byrd, 91, is battling the effects of a staph infection incurred during a hospitalization in May -- will allow them to participate in any key matter before the Senate. In welcoming Franken to Capitol Hill this week, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) sounded a conciliatory note. "Democrats aren't looking at Senator Franken's election as an opportunity to ram legislation through the Senate," he said Monday. "In turn, Senate Republicans must understand that Senatorelect Franken's election does not abdicate them from the responsibility of governing. That is why we have and will

continue to offer Senate Republicans a seat at the table. 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.' " Bipart key to get moderate Democrats on board with agenda Huffington Post 9 (7/9, Wyden Urges Dems To Keep Trying For Bipartisan Approach To Health Care, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/09/wyden-urges-dems-tokeep_n_228711.html) In an interview this week with the Huffington Post, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) 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. He would not comment directly on news that Senate Majority
Leader Harry Reid had urged the Committee's Chairman, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) to drop efforts to attract Republican support. But he also didn't hide his own preferences. "I'm

committed to the priority that the president laid out," said Wyden. "I think the president got it right. 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." Asked whether he would support cloture on health care legislation that he would ultimately oppose -- so
as to preempt a Republican filibuster -- Wyden was noncommittal. "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," he said. While Democrats both inside and outside of government say they expect Wyden ultimately to support the health care legislation put forth by the party, his most recent round of

comments are likely to cause anxiety among progressives. The senator is one of a handful of Democrats whose thoughts on key components of reform have been difficult to pin down.

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Key agenda issues such as healthcare and the economy, are issues where Obama needs bipartisanship, he doesnt want to proceed even if he can without bipartisanship because of the way Bush passed legislation. Balz 2009 (Daniel J. is a journalist at The Washington Post, where he has been a political correspondent since 1978. Balz has
served as National Editor, Political Editor, White House correspondent and as the Washington Posts Texas-based Southwest correspondent. In 1999, he received the American Political Science Association award for political coverage. Washington Post, Health-Care Reform Will Test Obama's Resolve June 21st 2009. Lexis Nexis.)

As the legislative debate over health care intensifies on Capitol Hill, there is growing clamor for President Obama to step in. White House officials believe it's wiser to wait, but at some point the president will have to make clear what he'll accept and what he won't. For Obama, a handful of big decisions awaits. They include cost and coverage, revenue and savings, a public option or not, and the cost vs. the desirability of bipartisan agreement. Those decisions, all inextricably linked, probably will determine whether he succeeds where other presidents have failed. Cost and coverage suddenly became a more central issue after the Congressional Budget Office
issued new estimates last week. The goal of reform advocates long has been a plan that moves the country to universal coverage. Earlier assumptions put the price tag in the neighborhood of $1 trillion over 10 years. The CBO shattered those assumptions, though their numbers were based on incomplete plans. A preliminary estimate of the Senate Finance Committee's draft bill put the price tag of universal coverage at $1.6 trillion over 10 years. That was considerably more than anyone anticipated and forced the committee to delay work on the bill. The cost of the incomplete plan drafted by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee was pegged at about $1 trillion over 10 years, but the CBO said that would still leave 30 million (rather than the current 46 million) people without coverage. Three House committees put forward their plan for universal coverage on Friday but, tellingly, without an estimate of its cost. The new numbers make the choices more difficult. Will Obama insist on a plan that achieves the goal of universal coverage? If he doesn't, can he hold liberal Democrats and constituencies to support a measure that falls short? If he does, how will he pay for it? Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, argued that every step in the direction of holding down the overall budgetary cost of a reform plan means additional costs to individual workers. "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," he said. Obama is committed to accomplishing health-care reform without increasing the deficit. Even at a cost of $1 trillion, that means cutting costs and raising revenue. One challenge will be finding real savings, but taxes present Obama with even more difficult choices. His biggest political call will be whether to accept proposals to tax a portion of health-care benefits for workers with high-end, employersponsored health insurance. As a candidate, Obama spent millions of dollars attacking Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for proposing such taxes. Now, as president, Obama is being encouraged to accept some version of McCain's idea. Breaking the campaign promise would come at a potentially significant cost. Organized labor opposes those taxes, which they say would hit many of their workers hard. But the Senate Finance Committee has been moving in that direction. Giving in on that provision may be the price that Obama and the Democrats pay for maintaining the support of Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking Republican on the Finance Committee. There are other smaller tax increases possible, but whether they would amount to enough overall revenue is questionable. Obama proposed limiting the tax deduction on charitable contributions for the wealthiest Americans. That has little support in Congress, though the administration still pushes it. Another choice will be whether Obama supports a mandate requiring individuals to buy insurance. As a candidate he opposed the idea, arguing that he could achieve near-universal coverage with subsidies for low-income families to buy insurance. But proponents of universal coverage disagree. Another factor is that, by requiring everyone to buy insurance, the private insurers have more incentive to support a reform package because they will have the potential for tens of millions more customers. Reversing his earlier opposition to the individual mandate may be an easy call. The issue that has drawn most attention recently is whether a health-care package should include a public insurance option. Obama strongly favors

one, and liberal groups favor it even more strongly. But Republicans are unalterably opposed. To gain anything approaching bipartisan agreement, Obama may have to accept a diluted version of a public plan. Sen. Kent Conrad (DN.D.) has proposed using cooperatives rather than putting the federal government in charge, and his idea has attracted sympathetic attention. 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. Without the competitive pressure of a public plan, they fear that private insurers will be less likely to constrain costs.

No one knows how far Obama is prepared to go on this controversial issue. Finally, there's the question of bipartisanship. Most Republicans appear dug in, unwilling to compromise on much at this point. But Grassley continues to work with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), and his support is potentially very valuable. Without Grassley, Obama might also lose a few moderate Democrats, although the more intransigent the Republicans, the more likely even moderate Democrats may be to support their president. Obama was critical of President George W. Bush for trying to enact major legislation with a bare Republican majority. 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. They also know they face six or eight weeks of legislative sausagemaking that will keep the outcome in doubt. For now, the administration is giving Congress time and space to find consensus. Ultimately, the president will have to make his choices clear.

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Bipartisanship key to Obamas agenda Broder, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and professor at the University of Maryland, 4.10.09 (David S., twice-a-week political columnist for The Washington Post, Obama will need bipartisan help to achieve his goals, The Seattle Times, editorial, http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2009020621_opinb12broder.html)
WASHINGTON It looks like perfect political symmetry party-line voting in Congress on the first key pieces of Barack Obama's agenda, matching a deep partisan divide within the electorate in judging his performance as president. But, for reasons that require a little explanation, 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. First, the data that shouts that I am wrong. 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. It defines the spending priorities and the tax limits, along with many of the policy innovations that will be fleshed out in later legislation. This year, not a single Republican in the House or Senate voted for the Democratic budget resolution and not a single Democrat endorsed the Republican substitute. The Republicans denounced the deficit-spending envisaged by the Obamaendorsed budget and decried the Democrats' habit of voting down every Republican amendment, as if none of the GOP ideas could possibly have any merit. Democrats, for their part, called Republicans "the party of no," 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. As for the voters, 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. 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. At a comparable point in their first terms, the gaps for George W. Bush and Bill Clinton were only 51 and 45 points, respectively. A separate Pew poll found that since January, the percentage of voters who think that Democrats and Republicans in Washington are bickering more than usual has grown by 14 points, with a similar trend on the question of whether the country is more politically divided than in the past. By large margins, majorities now answer "yes" to both questions. 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. But, still, this analysis ignores several potent factors, starting with the fact that the fastest-growing portion of the electorate consists of people who have no strong partisan allegiance. These political independents are now as numerous as self-identified Republicans and are closing the gap on the Democrats. Though badly underrepresented in Congress, where districting rules and campaign-finance practices reinforce the two-party hegemony, the independent voters make up the swing vote in almost every contested election including the presidential race. 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. You've had an example of this already with Obama's cap-and-trade proposal for protecting the environment from carbon discharges. Once political independents, who like the idea of clean air, grasped that cap-and-trade would mean a big tax increase for them, Republican opposition was reinforced and Democratic support weakened to the point that the Obama plan may already be doomed this year. The crucial role of the independents will be demonstrated again and again when Congress takes up Obama's challenge to reform health care, immigration and other broken systems, or renew arms control agreements. Because those independents are impressed when measures find prominent supporters in both parties, it will continue to behoove Obama to woo Republican help no matter how tough the odds. Presidents who hope to achieve great things cannot for long rely on using their congressional majorities to muscle things through. That is why a strategy based on the early roll calls and polls is likely to fail.

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Partisan ship derails Obamas agenda Wall Street Journal 7/21/2009 (Fred Barns, executive editor of the Weekly Standard The Obama Agenda Bogs Down http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124804492049963557.html ty) It usually doesn't happen this quickly in Washington. But President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats are finding that the old maxim that what goes around, comes around applies to them, too. Less than six months into his term, Mr. Obama's top initiatives -- health-care reform and "cap and trade" energy legislation -- are in serious jeopardy and he has himself and his congressional allies to blame. Their high-pressure tactics in promoting and passing legislation, most notably the economic "stimulus"
enacted in February, have backfired. Those tactics include unbridled partisanship, procedural short cuts, demands for swift passage of bills, and promises of quick results. With large majorities in Congress and

an obsequious press corps, Mr. Obama was smitten with the idea of emulating President Franklin Roosevelt's First 100 Days of legislative success in 1933. Like FDR, Mr. Obama tried to push as
many liberal bills through Congress in as brief a time as possible. He made a rookie mistake early on. He let congressional Democrats draft the bills. They're as partisan as any group that has ever controlled Congress, and as impatient. They have little interest in the compromises needed to attract Republican support.

As a consequence, what they passed -- especially the $787 billion stimulus -- belongs to Democrats alone. They own the stimulus outright. That makes them accountable for the hopes of a prompt economic recovery now being dashed. With the economy still faltering and jobs still being lost, Mr. Obama's credibility is sinking and his job approval rating is declining along with the
popularity of his initiatives. Republicans, who had insisted the stimulus was wasteful and wouldn't work, are being vindicated.

Partisan derails his agenda campaign promises New York Times 7/21/2009 (Sheryl Gay Stolberg, A Defining Moment Nears for President http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/22/us/politics/22obama.html)
Mr. Obama came into office promising a more bipartisan Washington tone, which he has so far been unable to achieve. 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, said Tom Daschle, the former Senate Democratic leader, who remains a close adviser to the White House on health issues. Because hes made it such an issue, and because he has invested so much personal time and effort, this will, more than stimulus and more than anything he has done so far, be a measure of his clout and of his success early on. And because it is early on, it will define his subsequent years. On the Republican side, one question is whether Mr. Obama will succumb to the temptation to turn health care into a partisan fight, even as he tries to court the opposing party. He is, after all, still a popular

new president confronting an unpopular Republican Party, and so it would be easy for him to demonize Republicans as obstructionists who want to stand in the way of progress.

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PARTISANSHIP SPILLS OVER ON SECURITY POLICY SPECIFICALLY. COHEN 1. [WILLIAM, counselor @ CSIS and former Secretary of Defense, Washington Quarterly -- Spring -- lexis] Finally, a more bipartisan approach to the formulation of national security policy specifically can only occur with a less partisan approach to political discourse generally. Social and political observers
alike have chronicled an absence of civility in the public sphere and increasing hostility in the political sphere. Debate too often gives us a way to diatribe, and practical problem-solving to rhetorical finger-pointing. 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. At other times such as during the national debate on the CTBT incendiary

rhetoric is used to inflame core constituencies, gain political advantage, scorched earth tactics may be chauvinistically satisfying, but they only diminish the trust and respect among policymakers that is essential to responsible and reason compromise.
or to humiliate or embarrass ones opponents. Such

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Obama will have to define himself in relation to his predecessor, but in this case by demonstrating clearly to the public what he will do differently, rather than the same, as President Bush. And, finally, 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 .

BIPART KEY TO OBAMA AGENDA. News and Observer 8. [11/7, Lexis]


Such a move toward bipartisanship may be challenged by those who think the Bush partisans have some payback coming. But if Obama can rise above that instinct, he will have taken some important initial steps in bringing a muchdivided country together, and in easing the way for his ambitious agenda to clear the Congress. If the people are ready, and they
have signaled resoundingly that they are, then Republican and Democratic leaders need to be ready as well.

BIPART KEY TO THE AGENDA DEMS ALONE NOT ENOUGH. West 8. [11/7 -- Darrell, Vice President and Director of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, CQ Transcripts, 2008, Lexis]
I mean, we

do have a Democratic president, a Democratic House, and a Democratic Senate, but I want to remind people: We had exactly the same situation in 1993 and '94, and President Clinton was unable to get a single vote on health care reform, which was the centerpiece of his domestic agenda. President Carter faced some of the same problems in the 1970s. So I don't think anyone should feel complacent about the ability to get things done because Democrats have big majorities, because it still is going to be very difficult and very challenging to get Congress to pass legislation that needs to be passed. I mean, for
years, our political system has been stalemated along issues such as immigration, health care reform, climate change, Social Security, and trade. There's been extensive political polarization that has turned our politics into shouting matches. And so, at the beginning of his administration, I think Obama needs to focus on measures where he can secure bipartisan support and start to rebuild public confidence in government. This is what Ken was referring to, I guess, as the Reagan model.

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PARTISANSHIP SPILLS OVER ON SECURITY POLICY SPECIFICALLY. COHEN 1. [WILLIAM, counselor @ CSIS and former Secretary of Defense, Washington Quarterly -- Spring -- lexis] Finally, a more bipartisan approach to the formulation of national security policy specifically can only occur with a less partisan approach to political discourse generally. Social and political
observers alike have chronicled an absence of civility in the public sphere and increasing hostility in the political sphere. Debate too often gives us a way to diatribe, and practical problem-solving to rhetorical finger-pointing. 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. At other times such as during the national debate on the CTBT incendiary

rhetoric is used to inflame core constituencies, gain political advantage, or to humiliate or embarrass ones opponents. Such scorched earth tactics may be chauvinistically satisfying, but they only diminish the trust and respect among policymakers that is essential to responsible and reason compromise.

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AT: BIPART/CONCESSIONS KEY CONCESSIONS FAIL CAUSE REPUBLICANS TO UNDERMINE OBAMA AGENDA. Parry 8 (Robert, former writer for the Associated Press and Newsweek who broke the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s, Baltimore Chronicle, November 11, http://baltimorechronicle.com/2008/111108Parry.shtml) Barack Obama seeks a new era of bipartisanship, 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. Instead the Republicans pocketed the Democratic concessions and pressed ahead with possibly the most partisan assault ever directed against a sitting President. The war on Clinton included attacks on his past life in Arkansas, on his wife Hillary, on personnel decisions at the White House, and on key members of his administration. The Republicans also took the offensive against Clintons reformist agenda, denying him even one GOP vote for his first budget and then sabotaging Hillary Clintons plan for universal health insurance. MODERATE GOP NOT KEY DEMOCRATIC UNITY IS CRUCIAL. Walter 8 (Amy, Staff Writer, National Journal, November 18, http://www.nationaljournal.com/njonline/ol_20081117_2769.php) But what does "working across the aisle" really mean? In the Senate, retirements and election losses have substantially reduced the number of Republican moderates. Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins,
George Voinovich, Arlen Specter and, of course, McCain are the only obvious potential allies Obama will have on the GOP side. Of the 19 Republicans up in 2010, just six -- including Voinovich and Specter -- sit in states Obama won. If Obama is counting on McCain to help broaden that coalition, it's worth asking why. After all, this is a guy who campaigned heavily on his "maverick-ness" and ranted against the corrupting influence of Washington insiders. Team player he was not. Even so, he, like Obama, ended the campaign with high approval ratings and has more political capital than your typical defeated nominee.

Obama's potential GOP allies in the House may be an even

smaller bunch. There are only five Republicans who sit in districts that John Kerry won four years ago: Mike Castle (Del.-At Large),
Mark Kirk (Ill.-10), Jim Gerlach (Pa.-06), Charlie Dent (Pa.-15) and Dave Reichert (Wash.-08). (Note: We are using 2004 stats since we won't have presidential vote by congressional district data for some time). Given Obama's strong showing in places like Neb.-02 (where GOP Rep. Lee Terry sits) and New Jersey (home to freshman Rep. Leonard Lance in N.J.-07), this list of Republicans sitting in putatively Democratic seats will grow -- but probably not by much.

For all the talk of bipartisanship, the reality is that there just aren't that many Republicans left to work with. Herding them may not be Obama's biggest problem. Now, about corralling expectant Democrats ... BIPART FAILSSTRONG PARTISAN LINE KEY TO WIN SUPPORT KUTTNER 8. [Robert, political commentator and author of "Obama's Challenge: America's Economic Crisis and the Power of a
Transformative Presidency." December 15, http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/12/the_post_postpartisan_presiden.html]

Here is an easy prediction: When President Obama reaches that hand of bipartisanship across the aisle, he will find that the Republicans bite it. Of course, it is smart politics to pick off Republicans for a progressive agenda wherever possible. Splitting the Republicans is much better than splitting the difference. By January,
when Congress takes up the emergency stimulus bill, unemployment will be heading toward double digits, and state and local governments will be slashing public services. In that emergency climate, Obama may well get some Republicans to cross over and vote for a Democratic plan.

But that strategy is not being bipartisan. It is being an astute partisan. 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. This economic emergency and its political opportunity is no time to compromise for the sake of hollow unity. If Obama can win over a few Republicans for a progressive program, great. If he put can Republicans in the position of haplessly opposing popular and urgently needed legislation, so much the better. By the end of his first year, either Obama will have put the economy on the path to
recovery based on a progressive program that represents a radical ideological shift; if he achieves that, he will have done it with precious little Republican support. Alternatively,

much of his program will have been blocked by Republican filibusters enabled by a few conservative Democratic allies.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 A2: BIPART KEY BIPART IMPOSSIBLE ZERO CHANCE FOR BIPARTISANSHIP FEWER MODERATES AND REELECTION WORRIES. KNOLL 10. [Benjamin, Assistant Prof of Govt @ Centre College, researcher focused on public opinion and voting behavior of the
American public, Prospects for bipartisanship in the 112th Congress Novemver 7 -http://informationknoll.wordpress.com/2010/11/07/prospects-for-bipartisanship-in-the-112th-congress/]

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It would be nice if the results of last Tuesdays election prompted our political leaders to seek common ground, put aside their differences, and do whats best for the future of the country. But its not going to happen. Why? For several reasons, including these two: 1. There are fewer moderate members of Congress now. Most of the Democrats who were swept out of office last week were moderate Democrats from conservative districts. Ideologically speaking, the average Democrat in the House is now much more liberal than the average Democrat in the last Congress. And because of the election of a number of Tea Party Republicans, the average Republican is now going to be much more conservative. The two parties in Congress will now be even more ideologically polarized, if such a thing were possible. 2. Its election season. Again. But not for 2010; for 2012. Yep, the 2012 presidential campaign began last Wednesday morning. Politically speaking, Republicans have very little incentive to provide President Obama with any sort of legislative victory, as it would only aid his reelection chances in 2012. Thus, they will be even less likely to want to compromise than they were before last weeks election, making the prospects for bipartisan accomplishments on any substantive piece of legislation very, very unlikely. DECLINING MODERATE NUMBERS MEAN ATTEMPTS AT BIPART FAIL. BARRON 11-4-10. [John, Inside American presenter on ABC NewsRadio, research associate @ US Studies Centre @ U of Sydney,
The Doughnut Election ABC -- http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/11/04/3056619.htm?site=thedrum] Already president Obama is being urged to "shift to the political centre" - 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.

But even some Clinton insiders, like former labor secretary Robert Reich, say the political centre just doesn't exist - shift to the centre and you'll find you are all alone. American politics is more like a doughnut. And this is clearly a problem for any attempts at bipartisanship. When the democrats enjoyed a 60-40
Senate majority, there was no need to compromise. Which was just as well because there were only one or two moderate Republicans who might have ever considered a compromise. 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. But not this time. 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. 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.

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

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Bipart Not Key Bipartisanship not key with 60 seat majority Wisconsin News 9 (Democrats have votes, but need backbone, http://www.wiscnews.com/bnr/opinion/457290, Aly)

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Good things dont come easily. It took 239 days, but the Minnesota Supreme Court finally declared Al Franken the winner over Norm Coleman. And suddenly Democrats

have 60 votes in the Senate and no more excuses. For six months, weve heard nothing but complaining from Democrats: Our hands are tied, they insisted. We cant deliver a public plan
option for health care, or pass the Employee Free Choice Act, or repeal the Pentagons Dont Ask, Dont Tell policy, or do anything else we promised to do if re-elected because we dont have 60 votes. We have to compromise with Republicans, instead. That

excuse was phony, of course. Senate rules require only 51 votes to pass legislation, not 60. Democrats should never have allowed Republicans to pretend otherwise. We remember what happened under Republican control of the
Senate. When Democrats planned to filibuster a few of Bushs judicial appointments, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist threatened to drop the "nuclear option," outlawing the filibuster forever. Once

Democrats took over, however, Republicans began demanding a filibuster on every single Senate vote. And, instead of challenging Republicans, Democrats meekly went along. But now, phony or not, that lame excuse no longer exists. Al Franken is No. 60. That gives Democrats more political clout than at any time since 1978. They control the House, the Senate, and the White House and Barack Obamas approval rating is pretty high. Democrats will never have a better opportunity. The big question is: Will they take advantage of it? Indeed, for
Democrats, this is the moment of truth: Will they stand up or bend over? Are they able and willing to lead? If not, they should get out of the way and make room for others who will. Imagine

what it would be like were Republicans given 60 votes in the Senate. Do you think, for a moment, theyd seek bipartisan solutions? Hell, no. Before you could say
"Point of Order," they would have privatized Social Security, gutted Medicare, overturned Roe v. Wade, outlawed labor unions, and forced prayer in public schools. Compromise be damned! Well, whats good for the goose is good for the gander. Now

is the time for Democrats to seize the moment. Forget bipartisanship. Forget the need for compromise. Forget that those obstructionist Senate Republicans even exist. Let Mitch McConnell whine all he wants. Who cares what Chuck Grassley says about the public plan option? The truth is, Democrats dont need Republican votes anymore. Its time for Democrats to pull together, flex their muscle, and deliver their promised agenda: a strong
climate bill; the Employee Free Choice Act; immigration reform; repeal of Dont Ask, Dont Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act; and, most important, universal health care with a public plan option, but without a tax on health care benefits.

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### Public Popularity ###

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Public Popularity Key Popularity key to the agenda Jeffrey E. Cohen, Professor of Political Science, Fordham University, 18/07/2011 Presidential Rhetoric and the Public Agenda, American Journal of Political Science, http://www.jstor.org/stable/2111759

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Popular presidents may have more impact over public opinion than unpopular ones. Popularity may lend credence and weight to what the president says, increasing his leverage over public opinion (see the studies cited above). To test this notion, I created a weighted popularity variable, multiplying presidential emphasis on the
three policy areas by presidential popularity at the time of the president's speech. The weighted popularity variables strongly correlated with the original presidential-emphasis variables, with correlations from .89 to .94. With these high intercorrelations it is difficult to disentangle the separate effects of presidential emphasis from popularity-weighted emphasis. In an attempt to do so, I ran three equations for each policy area, one each containing either the emphasis or popularity-weighted- emphasis variable and the third containing both. Comparison of the R2's with an F test (Pindyck and Rubinfeld 1981, 116-126) produced equivocal results. Popularity-weighted

emphasis for foreign- and civil- rights policy shows very slight impact beyond non-weighted emphasis, while no impact was found for economic policy. In all, 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. Cohen, Professor of Political Science, Fordham University, 18/07/2011 Presidential Rhetoric and the Public Agenda, American Journal of Political Science, http://www.jstor.org/stable/2111759, [Stolarski] Presidential influence over the public's policy agenda is a function of his resources and the public's receptivity to his influence attempts. Some presidential resources are constant across presidents-associate with the office, rather than individual occupants. For instance, all presidents have easy access to the mass public. The office is highly prestigious, and the glow of prestige shines on all its occupants. No other politician or office is accorded such a role; none can compete effectively with the president in terms of prestige, status, media access, public attention and interest. Other presidential resources are more variable. They may include experience and preparation for the job, ability to articulate positions, and possession of other political skills. Perhaps the most important variable resource is popularity, whose possession may enhance the president's credibility with the public, thereby increasing his ability to influence public opinion

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

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Popularity key to the agenda Christine Gibb, Illinois Wesleyan University, 09 Presidential Success in Congress: Factors that Determine the President's Ability to Influcence Congressional Voting, Res Publica - Journal of Undergraduate Research, http://digitalcommons.iwu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1145&context=respublica&seiredir=1#search=%22presidential%20popularity%20agenda%20success%22, [Stolarski]
Out of Neustadts theory of president-centered power of persuasion emerged the widely upheld theory of presidential success in Congress being attributed to president-centered reasons. This theory claims that the presidents public approval

provides leverage with Congress (Bond, Fleisher and Wood 2003, 92). Neustadt states that good popularity among the electorate does not necessarily guarantee victory for the president, but that it would provide a leeway (Neustadt 1962). Although leeway does not guarantee government action, it does encourage it. Other times, a presidents high popularity is seen as a confirmation of his mandate. 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. Along with this idea, 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, 95). A bad popularity rating, on the other hand, could have more widespread consequences, according to Neustadt and his followers. According to Neustadt, public disapproval increases resistance from members of Congress and leaves the president with his opportunities diminished [and] his freedom for maneuver checked (Neustadt 1962, 90). The theory that popularity influences presidential success, while debated by some, has gained wide support. Past research designs have analyzed the extent to which the presidents leadership skills and popularity with the public influence Congress to do something it otherwise would not have done
(Bond, Fleisher and Wood 2003, 105). It has been found by some that popularity has no significant impact on legislative success but that it may influence other factors, which may in turn influence success in Congress (Marshall and Prins 2007). For example, 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). Less popular presidents, on the other hand, may attempt to champion only the more popular bills. Others, such as Bond, Fleisher, and Wood, have acknowledged that popularity is an accepted influence on

presidential success, although they believe that it has only a marginal effect (Bond, Fleisher and Wood 2003, 95).

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Obamas agenda depends on public support David Paul Kuhn, Chief Political Correspondent for RealClearPolitics, 7/23/09 Obama's Public Support Cracking at 6 Months Real Clear Politics, http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/07/23/obamas_public_support_cracking_at_6_mo nths_97574.html, [Stolarski] Obama has legislative victories: the $787 billion economic stimulus package, new government regulation of tobacco products, the expansion of children's health insurance and legislation that makes it easier to win pay-discrimination lawsuits. But the stimulus was a consequence of the recession, not
Obama. And none of that legislation was either hard won, or a central tenet of his campaign. Obama's greatest ambitions remain ahead, especially health care reform--which he had hoped to sign into law before the August recess. The tick tock is growing louder. A president's influence in Congress is directly tied to the perception of his public

support. That bully pulpit is also traditionally strongest during the first year in office. Next year
Congress will face midterm elections. At that point, policy becomes only that much more political and legislative victories that much more difficult.

Popularity key to the agenda SPITZER Prof of Poli Sci, State University of New York, 93 [Robert J., President and Congress: Executive Hegemony at the Crossroads of American Government] [Stolarski] An important empirical study of the relationship between the Presidents public standing and presidential support in Congress concluded that the two are inextricably linked. Presidents who manage to satisfy public expectations are rewarded by high and stable public support. In turn, public support translates directly into success for the President in Congress. According to the data analysis of political scientists Charles Ostrom, Jr., and Dennis Simon, the cumulative rate of roll-call victories [for the President in Congress] will decline by three points for every tenpoint drop in [public] approval. In turn, Presidential effectiveness in the legislative arena is an important component in maintaining public support. Naturally, many of the factors that influence the Presidents standing are beyond direct control, such as the onset of a sharp economic downturn at the start of an administration. But Ostrom and Simon conclude that a shrewd President can influence public support and that the typical long-term decline in a Presidents public standing is by no means inevitable.

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AND POPULARITY IS KEY TO POLITICAL CAPITAL AND PROVIDES AN INCENTIVE FOR COOPERATION BAKER AND ONEAL, ARKANSAS SCHOOL FOR MATHEMATICS AND SCIENCES, DEPT OF POLI SCI @ UNIV OF ALABAMA, 2001 [WILLIAM AND JOHN, PATRIOTISM OR OPINION LEADERSHIP? THE NATURE AND ORIGINS OF THE RALLY ROUND THE FLAG EFFECT, JOURNAL OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION, OCTOBER, JSTOR]
The importance of public approval and support to presidential success is well documented. Both Abramson, Aldrich, 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, whereas Marra and Ostrom (1989) demonstrated that the presidents public approval ratings play a role in the distribution of congressional seats. Presidential popularity has also been linked to presidential success in congressional roll call votes (Edwards 1980), the success of presidential policy initiatives (Rivers and Rose 1985), and congressional reactions to presidential vetoes (Rohde and Simon 1985). 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). Although not binding, Crespi (1980, 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, therefore, of his ability to govern effectively. Quite simply, 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, whereas unpopular presidents may be more vulnerable to congressional recalcitrance and investigations.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Public Popularity Key to Agenda POPULARITY IS CRITICAL TO AGENDA SUCCESS EISENSTEIN AND WITTING , DEPT OF HISTORY AND POLI SCI @ PURDUE UNIV, 2000 [MAURICE AND MARIE, TIME AND THE LIFE CYCLE OF PRESIDENTIAL APPROVAL: A RESEARCH NOTE, SOCIAL SCIENCE JOURNAL, EBSCOHOST]

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

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Public Popularity Key to Agenda POPULARITY CONVINCES WAVERING CONGRESS MEMBERS TO SUPPORT THE PRESIDENT WAYNE AND EDWARDS, 1997 [STEPHEN AND GEORGE, PROF AT GEORGETOWN AND PROF AT TEXAS A&M, POLITICS AND POLICY MAKING, PG. 323]

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The impact of presidential approval on presidential support occurs at the margins of coalition building, within the confines of other influences. No matter how low a presidents standing in public polls or how close it is to the next election, the president still receives support from a substantial number of senators and representatives. Similarly, no matter how high approval levels climb or how large a presidents winning percentage of the vote, a significant portion of the Congress may still oppose his policies. 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. Approval gives a president leverage, not control. = POPULARITY KEY TO POLITICAL CAPITAL CNN INSIDE POLITICS 2-15-1997 If a presidents approval ratings are high, as Clintons are right now, he has clout. But if his approval ratings drop, he loses clout. Even members of his own party will abandon him as republicans did George Bush and as Democrats did Bill Clinton in 1994. POPULARITY INCREASES CONGRESSIONAL RESPONSIVENESS TO PRESIDENTS PRIORITIES PATTERSON, 1996 [THOMAS E., PROF OF PRESS AND POLITICS, HARVARD U, JULY, 546 ANNALS 97, PG. L/N] The presidency is particularly affected by a hypercritical press. Much of the presidents authority derives not from constitutional grants of power but from the public force that is inherent in the presidents position as the only official chosen by the whole nation. When the presidents public approval ratings are high, Congress is more responsive to presidential leadership. When approval ratings are low or in decline, which has now become the norm, congressional resistance intensifies.

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Popularity key to the agenda approval ratings allow legislation to be passed Feldmann, staff writer of the Christian Science Monitor, 3.11.09 (Linda, Is Obama Taking too Much? Christian Science Monitor, http://features.csmonitor.com/politics/2009/03/11/is-obamataking-on-too-much/) All the while, the nation remains gripped by its worst economic crisis in decades, and with no end in sight, 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, almost like a game of beat the clock. As long as Obamas 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. But, theres only so much a White House and Congress can accomplish, given the deliberative nature of the process, and even members of Obamas own party are raising warning flags about the magnitude of the new presidents agenda. 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, to embrace a solution commensurate with the problem, and to do whatever it takes to persuade Congress and the people to accept it, wrote William Galston, a former senior adviser to President Clinton, in The New Republic.

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Public Popularity Key to Agenda Public popularity is key- it makes it easier for Democrats to support him Sinclair 9 (Barbara, Marvin Hoffenberg Professor of American Politics at the University of California, Los Angeles, Barack Obama and the 111th Congress: Politics as Usual?, Extensions, Spring 2009, http://www.ou.edu/carlalbertcenter/extensions/spring2009/Sinclair.pdf) Whether the stimulus bill was even in danger of losing significant public support is unclear; but Obama's efforts meant he got the credit when the bill passed to strong public acclaim. A February 10
Gallup poll found that 59 percent of the public favored the stimulus bill while 33 percent opposed it; furthermore, support had increased after Obama went on the road to sell the program. Obama himself maintained

his high approval ratings with the American people and the proportion approving of Congress increased significantly. 7 Voters approved
of the job congressional Democrats are doing by 46 percent to 45 percent and disapproved of the GOPs performance by 56 percent to 34 percent, according to a February 17-18 poll conducted by Fox News/Opinion Dynamics. 8 By

using the bully pulpit effectively, Obama makes it easier for congressional Democrats to support his initiatives and for the congressional leaders to deliver for him legislatively. 9 When the president attempts to build public support for his
agenda by going to the people, 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. However, when

the president's efforts allow members to do what they would like to do anyway, their response is likely to be quite different. And if a few Republicans do, in fact, feel constituency pressure, any resentment is likely to be considered a reasonable price to pay for their occasional votes.

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Presidents don't have mandates. They have agendas. If a president has enough votes in Congress to get that agenda passed, and can do so without hurting his party's chances in the next election , it doesn't matter if he won the election by two percentage points or 20. He's going to do what he wants to do, and nothing's going to stop him.

EMPIRICALLY NOT KEY TO POLITICAL CAPITAL. Norquist 2 (Grover, The American Enterprise, September 1, Lexis)
President Bush's

approval rating has remained above 70 percent forten months. Far from being an asset, these approval ratings are a liability that has hurt his agenda. Immediately after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Democrats feared and Republicans hoped that Mr. 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. Both Republican hopes and Democratic fears went unfulfilled. On November 6, only 55 days after September 11, the GOP lost control of the governors' mansions in Virginia and New Jersey. 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. 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 POPULARITY IS NOT KEY TO THE AGENDA. LIGHT 99. [Paul, Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service, New York University; Founding Director, Brookings Center for Public Service; Senior
Adviser, National Commission on the Public Service; Senior Adviser, Brookings Presidential Appointee Initiative The Presidents Agenda: Domestic Policy Choice from Kennedy to Clinton, p. 27]

. Public

approval can be used to sway congressional votes, but with only limited success. "Everyone has a poll," one aide noted. "You can find any number of groups which can present a poll to support a given proposal. Depending upon how you word the questions and how you select the sample, you can get a positive result. Congress is fairly suspicious of polls as a bargaining tool, and public approval ratings are too general to be of much good." Public opinion is important over the term; it affects both midterm losses and the President's chances for re-election. Yet, public opinion is not easily converted into direct influence in the domestic policy process. Most often it is an indirect factor in the congressional struggle. Presidents cannot afford to ignore public opinion, but in the closed world of Washington politics, the party comes into play virtually every day of the term. Party support thereby becomes the central component of the President's capital. POPULARITY DOESNT AFFECT AGENDA BUSH AND CLINTON PROVE. Light 99 (Paul, The Presidents Agenda: Domestic Policy Choice from Kennedy to Clinton, p. 280)
Although party seats remain the gold standard of a President's political capital, the Bush/Clinton years suggest that public approval may be increasingly irrelevant to agenda influence . Twenty years ago, the trends in public approval seemed mostly
immutable. Presidents started their terms at the peak of their approval and slid steadily downward. But for an occasional bump due to a foreign policy crisis, approval seemed to be governed by a coalitionof-minorities phenomenon. Each decision angered some small number of presidential enthusiasts, slowly eroding approval in each successive poll. Having held for every President since 1960, the trend changed direction under both Bush and Clinton . Bush had the roughest ride. His approval ratings started out at barely 50 percent, rose steadily for the next two years to the 70 percent range, fell twenty points in the wake of the 1990 midterm elections, rose again to unprecedented heights after the Gulf War, and fell again by nearly fifty points as the economy slowed prior to the 1992 election. His approval was so volatile

that it is not clear how he could have harnessed it as a source of legislative advantage, 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. Clinton's
ratings followed a more orderly course, but again in the opposite direction from previous Presidents. Having won the Presidency by a plurality of just 43 percent, his approval started out in the mid 50 percent range, fell by roughly twenty points, then began a slow but steady saw-tooth rise back into the mid 50 percent range by 1996. His approval continued upward through 1997 and early 1998, rising even despite allegations regarding his relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. By February 1998, Clinton's approval stood at 71 percent, a gain of nine points over a single month. According to a panel survey by The Pew Research Center for the People & The Press, 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. Among all respondents, roughly half said they did not like the President personally, but 70 percent liked his policies (Pew Research Center, 1998a, p. 1).

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LIGHT, 1999 [PAUL C., THE PRESIDENTS AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON, THIRD ED, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. PRESS, PG 241 The notion that political capital shapes the Presidents policy proposals is confirmed in table 20, which summarizes the overall Reagan agenda (see table 2, page 42, for the KennedyCarter data). As table 20 suggests, Reagan trails his Democratic predecessors in total proposals per year. No matter his focusing skill, Senate Republican majority, personal popularity, or considerable social grace, Reagan could only do so much, particularly working within the bounds of the No Win Presidency.

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Popularity Not Key to Agenda PUBLIC APPROVAL CANT HELP PRESIDENTS ONLY HURT THEM
LIGHT, 1999 [PAUL C., THE PRESIDENTS AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON, THIRD ED, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. PRESS, PG 28] Public Approval and Electoral Margin. Public opinion is a valuable tool in fashioning congressional support. As noted above, seats do not guarantee support. Support comes only if both Congress and the President benefit. Though public approval cannot create vast gains in Congress, the absence of public approval eventually undercuts potentials for success. One Carter aide summarized the paradox as follows; When Eisenhower was on top of the polls, he couldnt move. Even though he was one of our most popular Presidents, he just didnt have enough strength in Congress. Public opinion couldnt create was the electorate hadnt given him party control of the House and Senate. In our case, we had the congressional seats. We had the potential support. But, where Eisenhower had the public approval, we had nothing. Our public ratings started to drop fairly quickly, and Congress started to back off. We had the seats, but we didnt have the public approval. Do you see the point? Public opinion cant help you, but it sure as hell can hurt you.

POPULARITY ISNT ENOUGH PARTY SUPPORT IS KEY TO PASSAGE


LIGHT, 1999 [PAUL C., THE PRESIDENTS AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON, THIRD ED, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. PRESS, PG 208 It is entirely possible, of course, that going public cheapens the public approval it creates. Approval created through constant campaigning may not equal approval earned through presidential performance. popularity is like ice cream, suggests Kernell, in that the more of it one consumes, the less satisfying the next helping will be. Beyond some point, the value of additional increments of support will diminish sharply (p.201). Although Kernell rightly argues that the point of diminishing returns will vary with a Presidents leadership style and transient political circumstances, the point of diminishing returns is also tightly linked to party support on capitol Hill. Party seats remain the gold standard for presidential agenda-setting. Short-term gains in presidential approval can make the influence of those seats more liquid perhaps, but it cannot convert a Republican seat into a Democratic seat unless that approval creates coattails in the next election. The impact of party seats is apparent in two ways. First, unified government increases the odds that the President s agenda will dominate the legislative agenda. To paraphrase Edwards and Barrett, when Presidents belong to the majority party 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. Second, unified government increases the odds that the Presidents initiatives will actually pass. When the President and Congress are from the same party, according to Edwards and Barretts data, 52 percent of the Presidents initiatives and only 16 percent of congressional initiatives become law. When the President and Congress are from different parties, the numbers even out, 27 percent for the President and 25 percent for Congress. In this regard, Clintons downfall came in the 1994 mid-term election when Democrats squandered their majority.

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

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Popularity Not Key to Agenda PRESIDENTIAL POPULARITY HAS NO EFFECT ON CONGRESS

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LELOUP AND SHULL, 1999 [LANCE AND STEVEN, PROF AND CHAIR OF THE DEPT OF POLISCI AT WASHINGTON STATE UNIV. AND RESEARCH PROF OF POLISCI AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW ORLEANS, PRESIDENT AND CONGRESS, PG.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. During war, the public tends to rally around the flag, boosting approval of the president and enhancing his influence. The presidents popularity tends to increase when the United states is involved in some military action or national security crisis. Following the decisive victory over Iraq, President Bushs public approval ratings were the highest ever recorded.

Research has shown, however, that the boost to popularity is often short-lived and down not necessarily translate into increased domestic success. More enduring is the link between the state of the economy and
public approval of the president. Inflation, unemployment, and poor economic performance damages public approval ratings. Eisenhower, Reagan and Bush all popular presidents saw their approval ratings bottom out around the time unemployment peaked.

How much presidential popularity affects success in Congress has been increasingly challenged by empirical research that suggests the impact is marginal at best.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Popularity Not Key POPULARITY CANT OVERCOME PARTISAN OPPOSITION BOND AND FLEISHER, 1990 (JON R. AND RICHARD, PROF OF POLISCI AT TEXAS A&M, PROF OF POLISCI AT FORDHAM U, THE PRESIDENTS LEGISLATIVE AGENDA, PG.289)

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We will use the estimates from the 1980 study to estimate the substantive effects of public approval. The regression model estimates (Bond and Fleisher 1980, 75) indicate that, ceteris paribus, if a presidents popularity declines by the relatively large amount of 25 percent, presidential support scores of members of the presidents party will decrease by an average of 6.75 percent and those of the opposition will increase by an average of 4 percent. These figures are relatively small, and except when the expected vote is very close, the effect on the probability of victory is likely to be marginal. Moreover, a change in popularity of 25 percent over the course of a four-year term is common, but changes from month to month are seldom greater than 5 percent. Thus while popularity with the public might influence congressional support indirectly over the course of the term by increasing party unity, it cannot overcome the basic partisan and ideological predispositions of members of Congress. POPULARITY IS A RESOURCE THAT CAN BE USED TO BOOST THE AGENDA BRODY, 1991 [RICHARD, PROFESSOR AT STANFORD, ASSESSING THE PRESIDENCY: THE MEDIA, ELITE OPINION AND PUBLIC SUPPORT] The standing of the president with the American people has come to have a political life of its own. A presidents popularity is said to be a political resource that can help him achieve his program, keep challengers at bay, and guide his and other political leaders expectations abut the presidents partys prospects in presidential and congressional elections. A political fact with consequences as important as these will be attended by political elites and is worth of our close attention.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Popularity Not Key Popularity not key to agenda. Detroit News 5 (January 23, Lexis)

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Presidents don't have mandates. They have agendas. If a president has enough votes in Congress to get that agenda passed, and can do so without hurting his party's chances in the next election , it doesn't matter if he won the election by two percentage points or 20. He's going to do what he wants to do, and nothing's going to stop him.

EMPIRICALLY NOT KEY TO POLITICAL CAPITAL. Norquist 2 (Grover, The American Enterprise, September 1, Lexis)
President Bush's

approval rating has remained above 70 percent forten months. Far from being an asset, these approval ratings are a liability that has hurt his agenda. Immediately after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Democrats feared and Republicans hoped that Mr. 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. Both Republican hopes and Democratic fears went unfulfilled. On November 6, only 55 days after September 11, the GOP lost control of the governors' mansions in Virginia and New Jersey. 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. 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 POPULARITY IS NOT KEY TO THE AGENDA. LIGHT 99. [Paul, Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service, New York University; Founding Director, Brookings Center for Public Service; Senior
Adviser, National Commission on the Public Service; Senior Adviser, Brookings Presidential Appointee Initiative The Presidents Agenda: Domestic Policy Choice from Kennedy to Clinton, p. 27]

. Public

approval can be used to sway congressional votes, but with only limited success. "Everyone has a poll," one aide noted. "You can find any number of groups which can present a poll to support a given proposal. Depending upon how you word the questions and how you select the sample, you can get a positive result. Congress is fairly suspicious of polls as a bargaining tool, and public approval ratings are too general to be of much good." Public opinion is important over the term; it affects both midterm losses and the President's chances for re-election. Yet, public opinion is not easily converted into direct influence in the domestic policy process. Most often it is an indirect factor in the congressional struggle. Presidents cannot afford to ignore public opinion, but in the closed world of Washington politics, the party comes into play virtually every day of the term. Party support thereby becomes the central component of the President's capital.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Popularity Not Key to Agenda Pol Cap more outweighs Boulie, BA, Political & Social Thought, Writing Fellow of The American Prospect, 5/5 Political Capital, http://prospect.org/csnc/blogs/tapped_archive? month=05&year=2011&base_name=political_capital, 5/5/11, [Stolarski]
Unfortunately, political

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capital isn't that straightforward. As we saw at the beginning of Obama's presidency, the mere fact of popularity (or a large congressional majority) doesn't guarantee support from key members of Congress. For Obama to actually sign legislation to reform the immigration system, provide money for jobs, or reform corporate taxes, he needs unified support from his party and support from a non-trivial number of Republicans. Unfortunately, Republicans (and plenty of Democrats) aren't interested in better immigration laws, fiscal stimulus, or liberal tax reform. Absent substantive leverage -- and not just high approval ratings -- there isn't much Obama can do to pressure these members (Democrats and Republicans) into supporting his agenda. Indeed, for liberals who want to see Obama use his political capital, it's worth noting that approval-spikes aren't necessarily related to policy success. George H.W. Bush's major domestic initiatives came before his massive postGulf War approval bump, and his final year in office saw little policy success. George W. Bush was able to secure No Child Left Behind, the Homeland Security Act, and the Authorization to Use Military Force in the year following 9/11, but the former two either came with pre-9/11 Democratic support or were Democratic initiatives to begin with. To repeat an oft-made point, when it comes to domestic policy, the presidency is a limited office with limited resources. Popularity with the public is a

necessary part of presidential success in Congress, but it's far from sufficient.

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### Presidential Leadership Turns ###

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Presidential Leadership Turns International Action Action on liberal international issues defines Obama by action, which builds political capital Westen 9 [Drew Westen, Psychologist and neuroscientist; Emory University Professor Leadership, Obama Style, and the Looming Losses in 2010: Pretty Speeches, Compromised Values, and the Quest for the Lowest Common Denominator 12/20/09]

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The president's biggest success has been on the international stage: He's not George W. Bush, and he's eloquent to boot. 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 -- mostly. But that international community is just starting to learn that his eloquence doesn't always have much behind it. Am I being too hard on the president? He's certainly done many good things. 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. Bush (e.g., 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, if it ever happens), and there's a lot he hasn't done that every other Democrat who ran for president would have done. Obama, like so many Democrats in Congress, has fallen prey to the conventional Democratic strategic wisdom: that the way to win the center is to tack to the center. But it doesn't work that way. You want to win the center? Emanate strength. Emanate conviction. Lead like you know where you're going (and hopefully know what you're talking about). People in the center will follow if you speak to their values, address their ambivalence (because by definition, on a wide range of issues, they're torn between the right and left), and act on what you believe. FDR did it. LBJ did it. Reagan did it. Even George W. Bush did it, although I wish he hadn't. But you have to believe something. I don't honestly know what this president believes. But I believe if he doesn't figure it out soon, start enunciating it, and start fighting for it, he's not only going to give American families hungry for security a series of half-loaves where they could have had full ones, but he's going to set back the Democratic Party and the progressive movement by decades, because the average American is coming to believe that what they're seeing right now is "liberalism," and they don't like what they see. I don't, either. What's they're seeing is weakness, waffling, and wandering through the wilderness without an ideological compass. That's a recipe for going nowhere fast -- but getting there by November.

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Only Taking a decisive stance like the plan allows Obama to control his own party, and especially the swing moderates Westen 9 [Drew Westen, Psychologist and neuroscientist; Emory University Professor Leadership, Obama Style, and the Looming Losses in 2010: Pretty Speeches, Compromised Values, 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 lead us out of it, not to run from it. It's his job to make the tough decisions and draw lines in the sand. But Obama really doesn't seem to want to get involved in the contentious decisions. They're so, you know, contentious. He wants us all to get along. Better to leave the fights to the Democrats in Congress since they're so good at them. 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. He got "float like a butterfly" in the morning but never made it to "sting like a bee." Do you think Americans ought to have one choice of health insurance plans the insurance companies don't control, or don't you? I don't want to hear that it would sort of, kind of, maybe be your preference, all other things being equal. Do you think we ought to use health care as a Trojan Horse for right-wing abortion policies? Say something, for God's sake. He doesn't need a chief of staff. He needs someone to shake him until he feels something strongly enough not just to talk about it but to act. He's increasingly appearing to the public, and particularly to swing voters, like Dukakis without the administrative skill. And although he is likely to squeak by with a personal victory in 2012 if the economy improves by then, he may well do so with a Republican Congress. But then I suppose he'll get the bipartisanship he always wanted. [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. When it comes to policies, 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 -- like allowing regressive abortion amendments to be tacked onto a health care reform bill -- get some stones. Make your case to the American people, make it evocatively, and draw the line in the sand. That's how you earn people's respect. That's the only thing that will bring Independents back.

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### Winners-Win ###

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Winners Win
Winners-Win THOMASSON 3 3 11 former editor of Scripps Howard News Service.
[Dan K. Thomasson, Thomasson: Obama must be more decisive, aggressive, http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/mar/03/thomasson-obama-mustbe-more-decisive-aggressive/]

Obama must be more decisive, aggressive


Who in the world is advising President Barack Obama? If the answer to that is no one, then the question becomes why not and the obvious reply to that would be because he doesn't want any, which puts a whole different light on the situation. Confused? If you are, it's probably no more than the White House seems to be on a variety of issues. Moving into the last half of his first term and facing the rigors of being elected to a second in less than two years, this president shows none of the aggressive decisiveness at home or abroad promised in his miraculous campaign of two years ago. Now his focus seems strictly on 2012. His foreign policy is almost incoherent. His responses to the Middle Eastern turmoil have been sluggish and uncoordinated, often leaving those charged with carrying it out, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, at their wits' end. 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. The war in Afghanistan becomes less defensible daily. Iran is scary and Pakistan is no better considering the feuding between U.S. and Paki intelligence forces.

Domestically, Obama is beset by enormous deficit problems and a House Republican majority that wants to exploit his weaknesses. And while the national debt is not of his making, he has done little the last two years even to emphasize its seriousness. He opened this year by submitting a plan for ultimate resolution that even he admitted was inadequate.
He has done little or nothing to interrupt the flow of guns from here to Mexican drug cartels, paying only lip service to helping solve the carnage they cause and infuriating besieged Mexican officials. Problems like Social Security, Medicare and immigration apparently are off limits. His economic spokesmen deny entitlements have an impact on short-term debt reduction.

Obama obsessively spent enormous political capital on overhauling health care despite the opposition of a majority of Americans. With the courts now threatening to pick apart his masterpiece on constitutional grounds in a tidal wave of suits launched by
financially strapped states, the president moved to take some of the heat off. He offered a "compromise" to complaining governors that is as shameless an act of political pandering as Washington has seen in some time. 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, which critics quickly pointed out was highly unlikely even under the best political circumstances. This is a president who more than most needs all the good help he can get. He majored in charisma and minored in political realities. Voters reacted passionately to him despite a rsum that would have placed him in middle management in most private corporations. No one seemed to mind that he had served only two years in the Senate. Voters ignored the fact that he got there because the leading candidate, a Republican, self-destructed and withdrew, leaving the opposition unable to field a viable alternative. He also was a member of the Illinois Legislature. For us to believe that this utter lack of experience could be overcome quickly is foolish. And before someone cites an Ivy League education as an indicator that Obama's inadequacies are just superficial and easily resolvable, remember that George W. Bush went to Yale and look where that took us. There is still time for the president to step up to the promise of his campaign, to carry out in style all those pledges so

eloquently handed down before and after Grant Park.

Empirics prove Obama can get wins


Ben , Jr. has held top positions in government, law and business. He is the author of High Performance with High Integrity, March 23, 2010, (The Atlantic, No Presidential Greatness Without Spending Political Capital, http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/03/no-presidential-greatness-without-spending-political-capital/37865/)

Heineman, 10

Only in recent months, when he was willing to make it his personal issue and to spend significantly from his store of political capital, was President Obama able to achieve victory in the bitter congressional battle over health care reform. Presidential greatness is combining policy and politics to win significant victories that have a major impact on the trajectory of national life. 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.

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Winners Win
Winners Win Mason 10 [Jeff, covers the White House for Reuters, covering Barack Obama 26 March, Obama's health win could boost foreign policy, http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N26180856.htm]
WASHINGTON, March 26 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's

domestic success on healthcare reform may pay dividends abroad as the strengthened U.S. leader taps his momentum to take on international issues with allies and adversaries. More than a dozen foreign leaders have congratulated Obama on the new healthcare law in letters and phone calls, a sign of how much attention the fight for his top domestic policy priority received in capitals around the world. 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, they said. But the perception of increased clout, after a rocky first year that produced few major domestic or foreign policy victories, could generate momentum for Obama's agenda at home and in his talks on a host of issues abroad. "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," said Stephen Hadley, former national security adviser to Republican President George W. Bush. "It shows political strength, and that counts when dealing with foreign leaders." 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, nuclear nonproliferation and other foreign policy goals. "It sends a very important message about President Obama as a leader," Rhodes told Reuters during an interview in his West Wing office. "The criticism has been: (He) sets big goals but doesn't close the deal. So, there's no more affirmative answer to that criticism than closing the biggest deal you have going."

Winners win New York Daily News 10 (Andrea Tantaros, 1/14/10, " On the anniversary of his inauguration, President Obama is on the wrong side ... ", http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2010/01/14/2010-0114_on_the_anniversary_of_his_inauguration_president_obama_is_on_the_wrong_side_of_h.htm l)
Soon, it will be the one-year anniversary of Barack Obama's inauguration. I remember that day, when a self-assured, idealistic icon who oozed bravado spoke of choosing "hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord." The world watched as President Obama made history. Twelve months later, he's still making history, albeit for the wrong reasons. Americans are more divided and discontented than ever. As a nation, we're less hopeful and filled with fear. One year later, the man who waxed optimistic is gone. He has been replaced by an unsure, demure and heavily weathered commander in chief. Recordhigh approval ratings have plummeted. Though he's only at the beginning of his second year in office, it appears as if he's at the end of his seventh. That charisma and ability to comfort is missing. Candidate Obama used to elicit tears and provoke fainting. He had the unique magic that generated serenity and euphoria. But now, when Americans were scared and needed assurance after
an attempted terror attack on Christmas Day, Obama was nowhere to be found. To date, with an economy still strangled, we've heard little from him that could help calm us. Gone is his confidence. His agenda has faced national pushback and congressional gridlock, and his policies - a $787 billion stimulus and billions more to bail out Wall Street - have given him little to show for it. In the absence of George W. Bush, Obama is without an enemy to help define him. Though he has tried repeatedly, he can't credibly blame his predecessor anymore. Hope, he has quickly realized, is not a strategy unless you can produce working solutions. And change is not easy, even with total party control of government. 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). Both

are big reasons that his agenda is failing, and his inability to rein them in, as well as their respective caucuses, has only emboldened the rank and file and cost him valuable political capital. If Obama has any chance of reassuming the helm, he must do it quickly.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Winners-Win Winners Win-Democrat Specific SARGENT 8 23 10 Washington Post Political commentator [Greg Sargent,

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

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Winners Win Winners-win HALLORAN 11 18 10

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joined NPR in December 2008 as Washington correspondent for Digital News (Liz Halloran, 11/18/10, "How Obama Can Still Push His Agenda", http://www.npr.org/2010/11/18/131414490/how-obama-can-still-push-hisagenda)

It's gut-check time for President Obama.


In the two-plus weeks since his party's disastrous showing in the midterm elections, Obama has been caricatured on the cover of a conservative magazine branding himself with a "loser" hand gesture. He has been urged by two old-time Democratic pollsters frequent antagonists to "unite" the country by declaring himself a one-termer. His trip to Asia ended in a failed attempt to seal a trade deal with South Korea. 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. It's a complicated new world for the still-ambitious midterm president, 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, but decidedly more hostile to the big ideas the commander in chief prefers. "Obama and his advisers must make a strategic decision, partly based on their understanding of how the Republicans will respond, and partly based on what the public expects," says Joseph Pika, co-author of The Politics of the Presidency and a historian at the University of Delaware. The White House should understand both: Republican leaders have vowed publicly to deny the president any wins going into the 2012 presidential campaign, a recipe for Capitol Hill gridlock. And the public made clear on Nov. 2 that it wants an agenda that focuses on jobs and the economy. In that there is peril, and promise. Transformation Or Triangulation? - Stanley Renshon, presidential historian Obama is not without strategic advice on the way forward, including from liberals pushing him to grab hold of his executive authority and run with it, and others urging him to steer a moderate, don't-rock-the-boat course. But Obama is a complicated man, a politician who has to accommodate his self-view as a transformational leader with the new rules of the political road ahead, says presidential historian Stanley Renshon. "On one hand, he has to make a straightforward, strategic political analysis that says you have to find common ground going forward as limited or as robust as that may be," says Renshon, a City University of New York political science professor and psychoanalyst. "But on the other side of the ledger is the psychology of a man who subscribes to the 'great man' theory of leadership. His icon is Lincoln, and he also aspires to be the moral center of American policy." Transformational leaders, Renshon says, "don't do school uniforms." That reference harks back to an element of President Clinton's agenda after the Democrats' 1994 midterm drubbing. Clinton, at the time, pursued the politics of "triangulation," 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.

The Clinton Model


Former Clinton Chief of Staff John Podesta, who now heads the liberal Center for American Progress, says he sees real possibilities in the ways of his former boss. One of the best ways for the president to achieve results, Podesta says, is though robust exercise of executive authority. Clinton used his to protect wide swaths of federal land, provide for medical privacy, connect schools to the Internet, and wage a national campaign against teen pregnancy "all, I would say, without the help of Congress," Podesta said. In the current economic crisis, Democratic strategists like Podesta are urging the president to create a narrative of reining in spending by working with agency chiefs to identify savings. And to take an active role in writing regulations that would implement the health care overhaul legislation. Pika, the author and historian, however, warns that there is a downside to pursuing what he characterizes as an "administrative" strategy to achieve the president's goals. "Will the public view this as being cooperative or confrontational?" Pika asks. "It looks an awful lot like the latter to me, and the president has recently been interpreting the public's preference as for more of the former more efforts at cooperation." Cooperation could be possible, some strategists say, on issues such as Afghanistan, where Obama has found GOP support before, and perhaps on energy policy, where he has the potential to find common ground with Republicans, much as Clinton post-midterms forged agreement with Republicans on overhauling welfare policy. The influence of new Tea Party-fueled GOP members of Congress and their

small-government mandate, however, may complicate compromise for both Obama and Republicans.

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Winners Win
Winners Win Green 10 [professor of political science at Hofstra University, David Michael Green, 6/11/10, "The Do-Nothing 44th President ", http://www.opednews.com/articles/The-Do-Nothing-44thPresid-by-David-Michael-Gree-100611-648.html]
Moreover, there

is a continuously evolving and reciprocal relationship between presidential boldness and achievement. In the same way that nothing breeds success like success, nothing sets the president up for achieving his or her next goal better than succeeding dramatically on the last go around. This is absolutely a matter of perception, 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. Bush. The political teams surrounding these presidents understood the psychology of power all too well. They knew that by simultaneously creating a steamroller effect and feigning a clubby atmosphere for Congress and the press, they could leave such hapless hangers-on with only one remaining way to pretend to preserve their dignities. By jumping on board the freight train, they could be given the illusion of being next to power, of being part of the winning team. And so, with virtually the sole exception of

Spending Political capital gives more Political Capital- Great Presidents in the past are empirical proof Heineman Jr., has held top positions in government, law and business. He is the author of High Performance with High Integrity (Harvard Business Press, 2008). Mar 23 2010 Ben W. Heineman JR., No Presidential Greatness without spending Political Capital, http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/03/no-presidential-greatness-without-spendingpolitical-capital/37865/ Only in recent months, when he was willing to make it his personal issue and to spend significantly from his store of political capital, was President Obama able to achieve victory in the bitter congressional battle over health care reform. Presidential greatness is combining policy and politics to win significant victories that have a major impact on the trajectory of national life. 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. There have been two great Democrat presidents since FDR--Harry Truman and LBJ. Both came to
office through the death of a president; both could have run for a second elected term; both declined to do so because they were extremely unpopular; but, part of their unpopularity was due to courageous decisions which required large expenditure of personal capital and which

Truman, now considered by historians as one of our most momentous presidents, has an astounding list of major decisions by his name: the dropping of the atomic bomb; the formation of the UN and NATO; the adoption of the Marshall Plan; the formulation of the Truman Doctrine and the strategy of "containing" the Soviet Union; a willingness to oppose Communist aggression in North Korea (and to fire General Douglas MacArthur); the issuance of executive orders desegregating the Armed Forces, the civil service and government contracting; recognition of the state of Israel; and promotion of the Fair Deal (which was only a mixed success but which expanded social security, the minimum wage and federal housing support). To be sure, Truman's unpopularity was also due to scandals,
changed the course of history.
a war weary nation and vicious debates about who lost China. But his historical standing today is owed, in no small part, to his political courage and willingness to use up the political capital of the presidency on issues of major import. Similarly, LBJ was one of our greatest domestic presidents. Under his leadership from 1964-66, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Medicare, Medicaid, the War on Poverty and a path-breaking elementary and secondary education act. Johnson had the courage to spend political capital on great tasks even though he, of all people, knew that his initiatives, especially on race, would split the Roosevelt coalition, drive away Southern whites, weaken the Democratic Party and put his own reelection in jeopardy. After Lincoln, 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. To be sure, Johnson's unpopularity also stemmed, in important part, from his prosecution of an increasingly divisive war in South Vietnam and from a complex, domineering personality that his oleaginous rhetoric could not conceal. Yet, his place in history is secure because of courageous domestic decisions which weakened him politically. By contrast, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, the other two Democratic presidents prior to President Obama, are unlikely (even in light of more even-handed views of historians a generation from now) to enter the pantheon of greatness. President Carter's fundamental problem, oddly enough, was that he recklessly spent presidential capital in his first year in office--on reforming water projects, energy reform, welfare reform and numerous other initiatives--with limited or no success. By the end of 1977, his apolitical approach, and his serial failures, had dramatically diminished his reputation in Washington and seriously eroded his popularity in the nation. 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. By contrast, President Clinton tried one major domestic initiative early in his administration--health care--and, after being defeated on that, was either on the defensive or advanced a minimalist, safe agenda. With the Republican take-over of Congress in 1994, Clinton had to fight a rear guard action until the 1996 election. Then the Lewinski scandal and impeachment consumed much of the administration's energy, and Dick Morris's "triangulation" meant that Clinton took few significant political risks. Never has there been a president with as much political and policy talent, who presided over a booming economy (due, only in small part, to public policy) but whose major accomplishments were so slender. 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. The saga of President Obama is but 14 months old. 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. And, of course, it is far, far too soon to make any meaningful judgments about his tenure. But, after a first year of aloofness from the political fray of health care, Obama's willingness, since the Massachusetts senatorial election to push his chips

take a huge political gamble, and win a major legislative victory (with uncertain short-term political consequences) echoes decisions of his great Democratic predecessors, Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson.
on the table,

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Winners-Win Winners Win- Healthcare proves Kranish and Milligan 2010 (Michael and Susan, Staff writers, March 23, 2010, Bolder Obama may press other big parts of
agenda http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2010/03/23/health_care_win_gives_obama_advantage_but_gop_vows_to_resist/? page=2) It

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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, said Daniel Weiss, an expert on climate change at the liberal Center for American Progress
Action Fund. 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. Weiss believes that health

care passage will strengthen the presidents hand on climate change, particularly if his poll numbers go up in the coming days. In politics, success breeds success. So instead of depleting political capital, it can replenish it. That is what advocates of immigration reform are hoping. Yesterday, the Rev. Jim Wallis, an evangelical Christian who supports the reform effort, met with officials at the White House, urging them to take advantage of the momentum from health care passage. In the meantime, Wallis said, 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. The country needs to know we are together, Wallis said.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Winners-Win AND POLITICAL CAPITAL IS PERISHABLE SPENDING IT CREATES THE PERCEPTION OF STRONG LEADERSHIP ORNSTEIN, 2001 [NORMAN, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE, 5-15, http://www.aei.org/events/eventID.281/transcript.asp]

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

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The cycle is not a new one: The president announces a daring initiative, Washington recoils, and doom is predicted, but a steadfast president prevails and the weeks of anxiety and trembling are forgotten. President Reagan went through this, and proved that tenacity pays off. In 1981, his tax cut (three time bigger than Bush's in 2001) was called a budget-buster, an inflation-spiker, and a wild and reckless gamble. Much of Washington was rattled, even White House aides and GOP leaders in Congress. But Reagan didn't flinch, his tax bill passed, and by 1984 the economy was booming with lower inflation, falling interest rates, and plummeting joblessness. Had Reagan blinked and settled for less, he'd probably have been a one-term president.

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Losers dont necessarily lose- can still get big agenda items after a loss Weisberg 5. (Jacob Weisberg, Editor, Bush's First Defeat: The president has lost on Social Security. How will he handle it? Slate, March 31, 2005, http://www.slate.com/id/2115141/)
This means that Bush is about to sufferand is actually in the midst of sufferinghis first major political defeat. After passing all his most important first-term domestic priorities (a tax cut, an education-reform bill, domestic security legislation, another tax cut), 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. It's precisely what happened to Bill Clinton, when Congress rejected his health-care reform proposal in 1993. As

the Clinton example shows, such a setback doesn't doom an administration. 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.

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Not true for Obama Galston 10 (William, Senior Fellow for Governance Studies Brookings Institution, President Barack Obamas First Two Years: Policy Accomplishments, Political Difficulties, 11-4, http://www.brookings.edu/papers/2010/110 4_obama_galston.aspx)
Rather than doing this, President Obama allowed himself to get trapped in legislative minutia, even as the country remained mired in a kind of economic slump that most Americans had never experienced and could not understand. Their reaction combined confusion and fear, which the president did little to allay. Ironically, 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. He paid a steep political price for his failure. From the beginning, the administration operated on two fundamental political premises that turned out to be mistaken. The first was that the economic collapse had opened the door to the comprehensive change Obama had promised. As incoming Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel famously put it, you never want a serious crisis to go to waste. In fact, as Emanuel himself came to realize, there was a tension between the steps needed to arrest the economic decline and the measures needed to actualize the presidents vision of fundamental change. The financial bailout and the stimulus package made it harder, not easier, to pass comprehensive health reform. Second, the

administration believed that success would breed successthat the momentum from one legislative victory would spill over into the next. The reverse was closer to the truth: with each difficult vote, it became harder to persuade Democrats from swing districts and states to cast the next one. In the event, 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. The legislative process that produced the health care bill was especially damaging. It lasted much too long and featured side-deals with interest groups and individual senators, made in full public view. Much of the public was dismayed by what it saw. Worse, the seemingly endless health care debate strengthened the view that the
presidents agenda was poorly aligned with the economic concerns of the American people. Because the administration never persuaded the public that health reform was vital to our economic future, the entire effort came to be seen as diversionary, even anti-democratic. The health

reform bill was surely a moral success; it may turn out to be a policy success; but it is hard to avoid the conclusion that it wasand remainsa political liability. Indeed, most of the Obama agenda turned out to be very unpopular. Of five major
policy initiatives undertaken during the first two years, only onefinancial regulatory reformenjoyed majority support. In a September 2010 Gallup survey, 52 percent of the people disapproved of the economic stimulus, 56 percent disapproved of both the auto rescue and the health care bill, and an even larger majority61 percentrejected the bailout of financial institutions.[v] Democrats

hopes that the people would change their minds about the partys signature issueuniversal health insuranceafter the bill passed were not fulfilled. (It remains to be seen whether sentiment will change in coming years as provisions of the bill are phased inthat is, if they survive
what will no doubt be stiff challenges in both Congress and the states.)

Winners Win Answers Political capital is drained long before it is renewed Grist, 7-28, 10, http://www.grist.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. I'm sure this seemed like a good idea at the time. Healthcare reform was popular, was seen as an issue that the public cared about on a personal level, and was expected to unite Democrats from all regions. White House officials and Congressional leaders reassured environmentalists with their theory that success breeds success. A quick victory on healthcare reform would renew Obama's political capital, some of which had to be spent early on to push the economic stimulus bill through Congress with no Republican help. Healthcare reform was eventually enacted, but only after an exhausting battle that eroded public support, drained political capital, and created the Tea Party movement. Public support for

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

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OBAMA DISPROVES THE WINNERS WIN THEORY HE HAS ACHIEVED SOME LEGISLATIVE SUCCESS BUT THIS HAS NOT SPILLED OVER TO MORE POLITICAL CAPITAL OR POPULARITY

Harris & Vandehei. 7-15 (JOHN F. HARRIS & JIM VANDEHEI, "Why President Obama loses by winning," 7/15/10, pg online @ http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0710/39772.html//gh-ag) Thursdays passage of financial reform, just a couple months after the passage of a comprehensive health care overhaul, 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. Yet the mystery remains: Having moved swiftly toward achieving the
very policy objectives he promised voters as a candidate, Obama is still widely perceived as flirting with a failed presidency. Eric Alterman, in a column that drew wide notice, wrote in The Nation that most liberals think the president is a big disappointment. 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 Obamas watch. And independent voters have turned decisively against the man they helped elect 21 months ago a trend unlikely to be reversed

before November. This is an odd reversal of expectations. When Obama came into office, 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. The reality is the opposite. You can argue over whether Obamas achievements are good or bad on the merits. But, especially after Thursdays vote, you cant argue that Obama is not getting things done. To the contrary, he has, as promised, covered the uninsured, tightened regulations, started to wind down the war in Iraq and shifted focus and resources to Afghanistan, injected more competition into the education system and edged closer to a big energy bill.
The problem is that he and his West Wing turn out to be not especially good at politics or communications in other words, largely ineffective at the very things on which their campaign reputation was built. And the promises he made in two years of campaigning turn out to be much less appealing as actual policies. I tell you, its very frustrating that its not breaking through, when you look at these things and their scale, said a top Obama adviser, who spoke on background to offer a candid take on the state of play. Can you imagine if Bill Clinton had achieved even one of these? Part of it is because we are divided, even on the left. ... And part of it is the culture of immediate gratification. But there are many other reasons for Obamas woes. Based on interviews with officials in the administration and on Capitol Hill, and with Democratic operatives around town, here are a

why Obama is perceived as failing to win over the public, even though by most conventional measures he is clearly succeeding.
half-dozen reasons

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WINNERS LOSEOBAMA CANT REGAIN POPULARITY EVEN WITH CONVINCING WIN Politico.com 07/15/10 [John F. Harris and Jim Vandehei, staff writers for Politico, Why President Obama loses by winning, http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0710/39772.html] The passage of financial reform, just a couple months after the passage of comprehensive health care reform, 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. Yet the mystery remains: Having moved swiftly toward achieving the policy objectives he promised voters as a candidate, Obama is still widely perceived as flirting with a failed presidency. Eric Alterman, in a column in The Nation that drew wide notice, 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 Obamas watch. And independent voters have turned decisively against the man they helped elect 21 months ago a trend unlikely to be reversed before November. This is an odd reversal of expectations. When he came into office, 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. The reality is the opposite. You can argue over whether Obamas achievements are good or bad on the merits. But especially after Thursdays vote, you cant argue that Obama is not getting things done. To the contrary, he has, as promised, covered the uninsured, tightened regulations, started to wind down the war in Iraq and shifted focus and resources to Afghanistan, injected more competition into the education system and edged closer to a big energy bill.
The problem is that he and the West Wing are not especially good at politics, or communications in other words, largely ineffective at the very things on which their campaign reputation was built. And the promises he made during two years of campaigning have turned out to be much less appealing as actual policies. I tell you, its very frustrating that its not breaking through, when you look at these things and their scale, said a top Obama adviser, who spoke on background to offer a candid take on the state of play. Can you imagine if Bill Clinton had achieved even one of these? Part of it is because we are divided, even on the leftAnd part of it is the culture of immediate gratification. But there are many other reasons for Obamas woes. Based on interviews with officials in the administration and on Capitol Hill, and with Democratic operatives around town, there are a half-dozen reasons why Obama is perceived as failing to win over the public, even though by most conventional measures, 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. By some measures, his self-image fits. His war and anti-terrorism policies are remarkably similar to those advocated by the man he blames for most the countrys problems: former President George W. Bush. Hes butting heads with teachers unions by enticing states to stop rewarding teachers on tenure rather than on merit. On immigration, he stresses border security instead of amnesty for illegal immigrants.

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"He's not a lame duck yet, but there are rumblings," said Robert Dallek, a presidential historian. Dallek said Bush's recent travails remind him of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who overreached in his second term by trying to pack the Supreme Court, a move that backfired. "Second terms are treacherous, and presidents enter into a minefield where they really must shepherd their credibility and political capital," he said. Bush started off his second term with a string of important victories, 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. Congress passed its first budget resolution in years, largely along the lines of Bush's proposals, and gave him nearly everything he asked for in an $82 billion supplemental appropriations bill to pay for war costs in Iraq and Afghanistan. The White House rejects talk of drift by pointing to such victories. Asked at a briefing last week about the possible "onset of lame-duck status around here," White House press secretary Scott McClellan ticked off a list of accomplishments. "This Congress has been in place for just over four months now, and we have made significant progress," he said. Addressing the troubled Social Security plan, he added: "Sometimes the legislative process isn't going to move as fast as we would all like, particularly on an issue that was this difficult." Another senior White House official, who asked to remain anonymous to offer a franker assessment, acknowledged the perception problem. "I will admit it's a challenge to shine the light on the progress," the official said.

"The victories have been overshadowed by

partisan drama." Nowhere was there more drama than in the Senate last week, when 14 senators from both parties forged a deal without White House approval that would allow some, but not all, of Bush's stalled judicial nominees to receive floor votes. The deal on judges was followed quickly by a vote to shut down a filibuster on Bolton's nomination, a vote that Bush and the GOP lost. The House also rejected Bush by passing a measure easing his restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, with 50 Republicans joining most Democrats despite the threat of a presidential veto. The Senate has also advanced a more expensive highway bill than Bush has deemed acceptable, while his efforts to win passage for a Central American trade pact and an immigration guest worker program are stalled.

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

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LIGHT, 1999 [PAUL C., THE PRESIDENTS AGENDA: DOMESTIC POLICY CHOICE FROM KENNEDY TO CLINTON, THIRD ED, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV. PRESS, PG 34 ] In chapter 2, I will consider just how capital affects the basic parameters of the domestic agenda. Though the internal resources are important, contributors to timing and size, capital remains the critical factor. That conclusion will become essential in understanding the domestic agenda. Whatever the Presidents personal expertise, character, or skills, capital is the most important resource. In the past, presidential scholars have focused on individual factors in discussing White House decisions, personality being the dominant factor. Yet given low levels in presidential capital, even the most positive and most active executive could make little impact. A President can be skilled, charming, charismatic, a veritable legislative wizard, 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 Presidents priorities. Thus it is capital that determines whether the President will have the opportunity to offer a detailed domestic program, whether he will be restricted to a series of limited initiatives and vetoes. Capital sets the basic parameters of the agenda, determining the size of the agenda and guiding the criteria for choice. Regardless of the Presidents personality, capital is the central force behind the domestic agenda. PRESIDENTIAL DOMINATION FAILS ONLY RISKS BACKLASH KERBEL, ASSIS PROF OF POLI SCI @ VILLANOVA, 1991 [MATTHEW, BEYOND PERSUASION, P 74] But the same vantage point that gives the president numerous bargaining possibilities makes it difficult for him to dominate. Persuasion through the force of threat is not effective, and possibly even counterproductive; persuasion through the pain of sanction is rare. Congress may easily overlook the threat, or accept it as real but not respond as the president would wish. Within a distinct base of support and its own agenda, Congress is not in a position to succumb to presidential domination. Within the white house it is the same story. Vast and complex, the White House staff is far from an organ o
f the president and, as we will see in the next chapter, not organized with the presidents wishes in mind. This will not stop presidents from making threats, but the reality of presidential effectiveness rests with motivation, not domination. Others in the policy system need to be given reason to accept a presidential perspective, be it the political or personal fulfillment of a favor, the psychological pull of rapport with the president, or the satisfying sense that the president is willing to met one party-way. Bargaining generally succeeds where domination fails. But, as we will short see, neither is it the whole story of presidential power.

STUDIES PROVE THAT PERCEIVED LEADERSHIP SKILLS DO NOT INCREASE SUCCESS IN CONGRESS SPITZER, 93 (ROBERT, PROF OF POLISCI @ STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK, PRESIDENT AND CONGRESS: EXECUTIVE HEGEMONY AT THE CROSS ROADS OF THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT PG. 103-104)

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

ideology. And he can do so with some legitimacy.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Winners-Win Answers Political capital will drop - every legislation decreases influence. Light 99 Senior Fellow at the Center for Public Service [Paul C., the Presidents Agenda: Domestic Policy Choice from Kennedy to Clinton, 3rd Edition p. 36-37]

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The impact of resources on opportunities can be best described as a problem of policy cycles. Certain resources decline over the term, while others grow. The more we seemed to learn about the domestic

system, one Nixon aide complained, the less we could do. We had out best shot at the start oaf the term but didnt have the organization to cash in. By the time we had the organization, the opportunity was closed. This ebb and flow of presidential resources creates two basic cycles within the domestic policy process. The first pattern might be called the cycle of decreasing influence. It is based on declines in presidential capital time, and energy. Presidents can usually anticipate a midterm loss of party seats in Congress and a streaky erosion of public approval. At least for the past fifty years, all Presidents, whether Democratic or Republican, have faced a drop in House party seats at the midterm election. Johnson lost forty-seven Democrats in the House in 1966; Nizon lost twelve Republicans in 1970. And at least since George Gallup first began measuring public approval, all President have experienced some decline in their public support over the term. In the last twenty years, however the declines have been more severe. Today the President can expect a near-linear drop in his approval rating in the first three years of office, with a slight rebound at the end of the term As one Ford aide remarked, Each decision is bound to hurt somebody; each appointment is going to cut into support. Theres really now way that the President can win. If he doesnt make choices, he will be attacked for being indecisive. If he does, he will satisfy one group but anger three others. Declines in capital
eventually bring the domestic process to a halt. Toward the end of each term, the President must spend increasing capital just trying to unclog the legislative calendar. Unless the President is highly successful with early requests, the agenda becomes dominated by the old business. Of the five most recent Presidents,

excluding Reagan, only Lyndon Johnson was able to sustain a consistently high level of agenda activity into the second an third years. The other four President were force to begin repeating their domestic requests by the end of the first year in office. Even Johnson recognized the problem. As one aide remarked, You have to start backtracking almost from the first day. Unless the programs move off the agenda, you have to start investing your time trying to bump them off. You have to devote your energies to the old items before replacing them with your new ideas.

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Political capital is finite Feehery, President of Feehery Group, a Washington-based advocacy firm for News Corp., Ford Motor Co. and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 2009 July 21, http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/07/21/feehery.obama.matrix/, [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. The most famous example of that was Franklin Roosevelt's Hundred Days. But there are other examples.
Ronald Reagan moved his agenda very early in his administration, 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. What he failed to understand was that as soon as he won re-election, he was a lame duck in the eyes of the Congress, and he had no political capital. President Obama believes he has a lot of political capital, and perhaps he does. But each day he is in office, his political capital reserve is declining. 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.
House. They understood the principle that it is important to strike while the iron is hot. President

Cant get a win resources are more important than popularity Boulie, BA, Political & Social Thought, Writing Fellow of The American Prospect, 5/5 Political Capital, http://prospect.org/csnc/blogs/tapped_archive? month=05&year=2011&base_name=political_capital , 5/5/11, [Stolarski]
Indeed, for

liberals who want to see Obama use his political capital, its worth noting that approval-spikes arent necessarily related to policy success. George H.W. Bushs major domestic
initiatives came before his massive post-Gulf War approval bump, and his final year in office saw little policy success. George W. Bush was able to secure No Child Left Behind, the Homeland Security Act, and the Authorization to Use Military Force in the year following 9/11, but the former two either came with pre-9/11 Democratic support or were Democratic initiatives to begin with. To repeat an oft-made point, when it comes

to

domestic policy, the presidency is a limited office with limited resources. Popularity with the public is a necessary part of presidential success in Congress, but its far from sufficient.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Winners Lose Winners lose Andres et al, Dutko Group, Griffin -- Griffin, Johnson, Dover and Stewart, and Thurber, '2k American University, Presidential Studies Quarterly, 30:3) [Stolarski]

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Designing a legislative road map to success would be much less daunting if powerful presidents only had to build winning coalitions. Unfortunately, most presidential actions cause reactions in peculiar places, in the world of trade-offs. Winning in one arena may cause a major loss in another.
Presidents Bush and Clinton, for example, faced divided party government conditions during mostor in the case of Bush, throughouttheir administrations. Each could have offered legislation aimed at the median legislators policy position and bargained or offered other inducements to win a simple majority. Yet, that model was unrealistic because of the trade-offs facing both presidents. The most obvious example of this is the trade-off between forging majority coalitions and party building and winning elections. This was a constant struggle for President Bush and his team. Throughout his administration, legislation such as the Clean Air Act Amendments, the Savings and Loan Recapitalization Act, 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. Bushs own party members often met discussions with the Democratic Party leadership with apprehension and suspicion. The White Houses task during these exercises was to balance the needs of the presidents party members for consultation and attention with the demands of the majority to compromise and move legislation forward. Although President Bush could have negotiated with Democratic Party members in furthering his legislative agenda, the need to build and

promote his own partys particular policies and preferences were limiting factors. President Clinton faced similar trade-offs during the last six years of his administration, confronting a Republican majority in Congress. Trade-off problems for a president are not isolated to his own party, however. 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. The White House targeted many U.S. House districts represented by conservative Democrats as the best places to pick up additional seats. On several occasions during the height of a White House lobbying push on legislation, conservative Democrats routinely noted to presidential aides as represented in the following quote from one House member: Ill consider voting with you on this bill, but you need to talk to (an administration political representative) and tell him that he cant come down to my district and campaign against me this weekend. You guys have got to understand that you cant ask me for my vote today and then try to beat my brains in politically tomorrow.

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WINNERS-LOSE FOR OBAMA RYAN 9. [1-18 -- Selwyn Professor of Social Science at the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies, University of West
Indies. Ph.D. in Political Science from Cornell, http://www.trinidadexpress.com/index.pl/article_opinion?id=161426968] Like many, I expect much from Obama, who for the time being, is my political beast of burden with whom every other politician in the world is unfavourably compared. As a political scientist, I however know that given the structure of American and world politics, it would be difficult for him to deliver half of what he has promised, let alone all of it. Reality will force him to make many "u" turns and detours which may well land him in quick sand. Obama

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

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Losers Lose An Obama loss on health care leads to an agenda crash Washington Post 9 (7/14, On Health-Care Reform, Obama Looks to the Johnsons Model, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/13/AR2009071303342.html? hpid=topnews) "Members understand this is really the centerpiece to the president's agenda. They understand he values their input and
their concerns," said Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), who spent three days last week listening to House colleagues catalog their questions, fears and gripes about the proposed bill. "Now that health

care's front and center in both the House and Senate, he

should have even more of an impact." In sessions with Democrats, 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, costing Democrats control of both the House and Senate. "Behind closed doors, he essentially says:

If this sinks, we will have trouble in 2010," said Jim Kessler, vice president for policy at the moderate Third Way think tank. "If this goes down, they will lose a whole lot of momentum on everything else. Clinton's whole agenda went down" after the reform's defeat.

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, Obama Returns To Find Health Care Mess, http://www.nationaljournal.com/njonline/ps_20090715_6922.php)

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Like a father frustrated with children who stayed up too late and didn't do their homework, President Obama returned last weekend from a weeklong overseas trip, threw down his luggage and stormed

back into a health care debate that now threatens to derail his top domestic priority, drain his political capital and upend the 2010 midterm landscape.
"Don't bet against us," Obama said Monday in the Rose Garden. "We are going to make this thing happen." But later, Politico reported, the president joked with congressional Democrats in a closed-door meeting that he'd campaign next year for a key Senate Republican, Charles Grassley of Iowa, if he'd endorse a Democratic health care plan. In the first real sign of struggle for this young administration, Democrats are increasingly worried that the

recession, which propelled Obama into office and bolstered their congressional majorities, now could bury their biggest priority -- comprehensive health care reform. On the same day Obama issued his Rose Garden rallying
cry, his own administration placed a huge obstacle in his path, announcing that the deficit through the first nine months of this budget year hit a milestone in June, topping $1 trillion for the first time ever. That news didn't stop House Democrats, who on Tuesday unveiled a 1,000-page bill that would create a new surtax on households making at least $350,000 a year. 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 $250,000 a year or less. Still, that's only enough to pay for half of the health care plan. 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. In fact, Republicans have already started framing the debate. On Tuesday, GOP aides noted that Obama, while praising the House Democrats' overall plan in a statement, made no mention of tax hikes. "Seems like a pretty solid indication that House Democrats are going to get BTU-ed by their liberal leadership yet again," said Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner, referring to a controversial vote on a 1993 energy bill that cost many conservative Democrats their House seats the following year. "They'll vote for a massive, job-killing tax hike (like the 'cap n' trade' national energy tax) only to watch the Senate and White House ignore it. I wonder if they trust Lucy every time she offers to hold the football, too." As polls show, Democratic leaders are increasingly on the defensive. A new CBS News survey shows Obama's

popularity down 11 percentage points since late April, and voters' opinion of his economic performance is down 9 points in the
last month. Attacks from the newly revitalized GOP already are having an effect on conservative Democrats, who, if they remain united in opposing the House plan, could ensure that it goes down in flames. That is, unless Obama decides to act more aggressively -- a call being made with increasing degrees of urgency from his allies in Congress. "At some point, the White House is going to have to weigh in," Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, told Bloomberg News. "The heavy lifting will come when we get to the pay portion. That's when the White House is going to have to spend some political capital." So far, however, the White House apparently prefers to let Congress get its hands dirty. 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, Obama paused and smiled. "We're

going to get this done," he said before walking back into the Oval Office. If he does, it will be a crowning achievement for the president and his party. If he does not, 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

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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, [Marissa, WHAT MAKES A PRESIDENT QUACK?, Prepared for delivery at the 2007 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, August 30th-September 2nd, 2007, 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. If a President expends political capital on his agenda, can it be replaced? Light suggests that capital declines over time public approval consistently falls: midterm losses occur (31). Capital can be rebuilt, but only to a limited extent. The decline of capital makes it difficult to access information, recruit more expertise and maintain energy. If a lame duck President can be defined by a loss of political capital, this paper helps determine if such capital can be replenished or if a lame duck can accomplish little. Before determining this, a definition of a lame duck President must be developed. WINNERS WIN NOT TRUE FOR OBAMA. GALSTON 10. [William, Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, Brookings, President Barack Obamas First Two Years: Policy
Accomplishments, Political Difficulties Brookings Institute -- Nov 4] Second, the

administration believed that success would breed successthat the momentum from one The reverse was closer to the truth: with each difficult vote, it became harder to persuade Democrats from swing districts and states to cast the next one. In the event, 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.
legislative victory would spill over into the next.

WINNERS DONT WIN ON CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES THE HILL IS TOO POLARIZED. MANN 10. [Thomas, Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, 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 Obamas initiatives have been adopted in Congress. America has in recent years developed a highly polarised party system, with striking ideological differences between the parties and unusual unity within each. But these
parliamentary-like parties operate in a governmental system in which majorities are unable readily to put their programmes in place.

Republicans adopted a strategy of consistent, unified, and aggressive opposition to every major component of the Presidents agenda, eschewing negotiation, bargaining and compromise, even on matters of great national import. The Senate filibuster has been the indispensable weapon in killing, weakening, slowing, or discrediting all major legislation proposed by the Democratic majority.

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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. Were 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. Its 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 isnt 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. Im not sure anybody really thought that, but I think we kind of hoped the Republicans would go away. And obviously they didnt do that. Senator Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the upper chamber and Obamas 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 theres 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 Rendells 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 didnt use the president in either stimulus or health care until we had lost the spin battle. STATISTICALLY -- WINS DONT 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.

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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)

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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. Obamas 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 presidents 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

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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 ISNT ENOUGH PARTIES HAVE LOST THEIR POWER IN CONGRESS LIGHT, 1999 [PAUL C., THE PRESIDENTS 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 Presidents 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.

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Concessions result in voters unfavorably viewing failed results of compromises kills agenda Lincoln Mitchell - Assistant Professor in the Practice of International Politics, Columbia University 12/15/ 2009 (Keeping the Wheels on the Obama Presidency, The Huffington Post, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lincoln-mitchell/keeping-the-wheels-on-the_b_392416.html ty)
Obama has also failed to pass a single major piece of truly progressive legislation. This is most clear in the area of health care. 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. The White House has compromised away a compromise, expanding Medicare, which was itself a compromise from the public option idea, which was an early compromise away from a single payer approach. There is, of course, nothing axiomatically wrong with compromise and pragmatism, but a presidency driven by compromise and pragmatism must be judged by the results it produces. So far, in both foreign and domestic policy, Obama cannot really point to any concrete and positive results, only trends. Politically, pragmatism without tangible results puts Obama in danger of backing himself into a corner. Swing voters will increasingly, fairly or not, judge Obama on outcomes. If jobs do not come back and if success in Afghanistan continues to be elusive, they will not evaluate him kindly. A president can survive this if he still has a strong political base, but for Obama this base is in danger of eroding. Reports that African American members of Congress are increasingly dissatisfied with President Obama suggest that this has already begun to happen.

Concessions dont garner bipartisanship better to fight for legislation David Roberts - Writer for Grist 3/31/2010 (Democrats should stop trying to change politics with policy concessions http://www.grist.org/article/2010-03-30-post-truth-politics/) Republicans have quite cannily figured out how to manipulate voters' heuristics. No matter what
Democrats do or propose, Republicans meet it with maximal, united opposition, criticizing it as socialism, tyranny, or appeasement. They've accurately realized that all they have to do to render Democratic proposals controversial is refuse to support them. As a consequence, no matter what Democrats do or propose, they'll have to deal with the optics of their proposals appearing partisan. 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). This obviously dims any hope of reasoned legislative compromise. But in another way, it can be seen as liberating. If the political damage of maximal Republican opposition is a fixed quantity -- if policy is orthogonal to politics -- then there is little point to policy compromises. They do not appreciably change the politics. For Democrats shaping policy, this suggests a two-fold strategy. First, they should pull attention to issues and proposals where the political ground is already favorable, from broad stuff like financial reform to narrow bills on jobs and energy. Second, on those issues that are inevitably going to be controversial, aim for maximally effective policy and deal with the politics separately. In post-truth politics, attempting to change perceptions by weakening policy is a category mistake. Remember, no matter what shape a Democratic proposal takes -- 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.W. Bush -- Republican opposition will be maximal. So: fight the opposition on political grounds and concurrently craft the best, most effective policy possible. The political controversy around a bill, whether it's over partisanship, back-room deals, or procedural maneuvers, is ephemeral. It will pass quickly. In the end, the policy will be judged by its effects on voters' lives -- whether it solved the problem it was designed to solve.

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Prior political affiliation is most important: concessions have no effect. Steven S. Smith - Director of the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy - 2007, Government, and Public Policy- 7, (Steven S., Party Influence in Congress, Pg 56)
Before turning to tangible incentives that party leaders can offer as incentives for cooperation, 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. Scholars Charles O. Jones (Jones 1961) and David Truman (Truman 1959), studying the mid-twentieth century Congress, observed a widespread proclivity to support the party line when other significant pressures were not present, creating a baseline of support for the party. Studies offer at least three distinct stories about the origin of this minimum level of partisanship. First, many arrive in Congress with a strong psychological identification with their parties. Many of them have

long experience working for and with their parties in their home states, state legislatures, and elsewhere. This is reinforced in everyday life with their party collegues on Capitol Hill. A disposition to go
along with the party position, in the absence of other influences, is the product. Identification with party collegues created the opportunity for peer pressure, which political scientists may overlook but

legislators do not. Barber Conable (R-NY), once the senior Republican on the Committee on Ways and Means, observes that peer group pressure is of considerably greater significance that presidential blandishments. Leaders exploit legislators predispositions by frequently appealing to party loyalty when soliciting votes (Kingdon 1973; Ripley 1967)

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Concessions Key to Agenda Compromises are the only way to overcome filibusters and pass agenda Craig Volden - assistant professor of political science at the Ohio State University and David W. Brady -

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professor of political science and business, and Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of the Hoover Institute at Stanford University, 2006 (Revolving Gridlock : Politics and Policy from Jimmy Carter to George W. Bush, Pg 35, Westview Press, 2006) More often, however, gridlock is maintained through members from divorce districts who are very responsive to the electorate and thus at odds with their fellow legislators. In these cases, gridlock can be overcome only through legislative compromise, and only when status quo policies are outside the gridlock region. When a policy advocate suggests a change so major that supermajorities are difficult to achieve, the change will be stopped by a filibuster or veto. To build the needed coalition for cloture or a vet override, compromises will need to be struck, often taking one of two forms. First, the policy itself could be watered down. This was the main way that President Clinton overcame Republican filibusters in 1993 on issues like the job stimulus package, voter registration, and family and medical leave. A smaller change was more acceptable to moderate Senators. 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, but on other issues. Often these include distributive budgetary items, like roads, bridges, research labs, and targeted tax cuts. Riders attached to budget bills add these benefits needed to smooth out compromises on earlier bills. Quite clearly, to the extent that budget concessions are needed to build coalitions on all sorts of issues, gridlock is more likely when congress is confronting deficits than when it is ignoring them or facing surpluses.

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.washingtonpost.com/ezraklein/2010/04/are_policy_concessions_worth_i.html) This is true so far as it goes. I doubt there would be any more breathless cries of tyranny or socialism had Obama just signed a single-payer bill into law. But the problem isn't with voters; it's with Congress. Concessions like Obama's offshore oil drilling announcement, or any number of components of health-care reform, may not sway voters, but they give individual senators and representatives cover. It's easy to see this as members holding bills hostage to parochial concerns, and to
some degree that's true. But offering a minor concession to a vulnerable senator, who can then go home and say they only voted for the bill after having fought to make it better, doesn't make for a bad trade. Whipping members from ideologically diverse constituencies is tough enough with a leadership willing to broker deals; removing that tool would only make the process more difficult.

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Concessions best arm twisting results in backlash Joseph A. Pika Professor of Political Science & International Relations at U of Delaware AND John Anthony Maltese - Prof of Political Science at University of Georgia - 2004
(The Politics of the Presidency pp199-200)

On their relations with Congress, presidents follow certain modes or patterns of behavior: bargaining,
arm-twisting, and confrontation. Bargaining is the predominant mode, and occasionally the president bargains directly with members whose support is deemed essential to a bill's passage. In May 1981, 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. 78 Presidents usually try to avoid such explicit bargains because they have limited resources for trading, and the desire among members for these resources is keen. Moreover, Congress is so large and its Power so decentralized that presidents cannot bargain extensively over most bills. In some instances,
the president may be unable or unwilling to bargain. Fortunately, rather than a quid pro quo exchange of favors for votes, much presidential-congressional bargaining is implicit, generalized trading in which tacit exchanges of support and favors occur. If bargaining does not result in the approval of their proposals, presidents may resort to stronger methods, such as arm-twisting, which involves intense, even extraordinary, pressure and threats. In

one sense, it is an intensified extension of bargaining, but it entails something more - a direct threat of punishment if the member's opposition continues. Among modern presidents, Johnson was perhaps the most frequent practitioner of arm-twisting. When gentler effort failed, or when a once-supportive member opposed him on an important issue, Johnson resorted to tactics such as deliberate embarrassment, threats, and reprisals. In contrast, Eisenhower was most reluctant to pressure Congress. Arm twisting is understandably an unpopular tactic and, if used often, creates resentment and hostility. Still, judicious demonstration that sustained opposition or desertion by normal supporters will exact costs strengthens a president's bargaining position

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Concessions Key CONCESSIONS TO REPUBLICANS KEY TO THE AGENDA. Nicholas 8 (Peter, Tribune Washington Bureau, published in the Baltimore Sun, December 18, Lexis)

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But Republicans in the Senate, even with their ranks diminished, still possess leverage to tailor a package that fits certain specifications. They want public hearings on the stimulus, even if it thwarts Democratic ambitions to present the bill to Obama for his signature when he is sworn into office Jan. 20. And they insist the bill be scrubbed of projects that, in their view, are aimed more at appeasing interest groups than creating jobs. When the new Congress convenes on Jan. 6, Senate Democrats will still lack the 60-vote

majority needed to stave off Republican delaying tactics - a reality that gives Republicans some confidence that they can win concessions.

CONCESSIONS ARE KEY TO THE AGENDA -- BREAKS GRIDLOCK. BRADY AND VOLDEN 6. [David W. Brady, professor of political science and business, 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. Bush, Pg 35]

More often, however, gridlock

is maintained through members from divorce districts who are very responsive to the electorate and thus at odds with their fellow legislators. In these cases, gridlock can be overcome only through legislative compromise, and only when status quo policies are outside the gridlock region.
When a policy advocate suggests a change so major that supermajorities are difficult to achieve, the change will be stopped by a filibuster or veto.

To build the needed coalition for cloture or a vet override, compromises will need to be struck, often taking one
of two forms. First, the policy itself could be watered down. This was the main way that President Clinton overcame Republican filibusters in 1993 on issues like the job stimulus package, voter registration, and family and medical leave. A smaller change was more acceptable to moderate Senators. 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, but on other issues. Often these include
distributive budgetary items, like roads, bridges, research labs, and targeted tax cuts. Riders attached to budget bills add these benefits needed to smooth out compromises on earlier bills. Quite clearly, to the extent that budget concessions

are needed to build coalitions on all sorts of issues, gridlock is more likely when congress is confronting deficits than when it is ignoring them or facing surpluses. CONCESSIONS ARE KEY TO THE AGENDA -- COMPARATIVELY THE BEST FORM OF POLITICAL WRANGLING. PIKA & MALTESE 4. [Joseph A., Professor of Political Science & International Relations at U of Delaware & John Anthony, Prof
of Political Science at University of Georgia, The Politics of the Presidency, p. 199-200]

On their relations with Congress, presidents follow certain modes or patterns of behavior: bargaining, arm-twisting, and confrontation. Bargaining is the predominant mode, and occasionally the president bargains directly with members whose support is deemed essential to a bill's passage. In May 1981, 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. 78 Presidents usually try to avoid such explicit bargains because they have limited resources for trading, and the desire among members for these resources is keen. Moreover, Congress is so large and its Power so decentralized that presidents cannot bargain extensively over most bills. In some instances, the president may be unable or unwilling to bargain. Fortunately, rather than a quid pro quo exchange of favors for votes, much presidentialcongressional bargaining is implicit, generalized trading in which tacit exchanges of support and favors occur. If bargaining does not result in the approval of their proposals, presidents may resort to stronger methods, such as arm-twisting, which involves intense, even extraordinary, pressure and threats. In one sense, it is an intensified extension of bargaining, but it entails something more - a direct threat of punishment if the member's opposition continues. Among modern presidents, Johnson was perhaps the most frequent practitioner of arm-twisting. When gentler effort failed, or when a once-supportive member opposed him on an important issue, Johnson resorted to tactics such as deliberate embarrassment, threats, and reprisals. In contrast, Eisenhower was most reluctant to pressure Congress. Arm twisting is understandably an unpopular tactic and, if used often, creates resentment and hostility. Still, judicious demonstration that sustained opposition or desertion by normal

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

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Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11

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Flip Flops Kill the Agenda


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

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Flip Flops Kill the Agenda Flip-flops are politically devastating The Dallas Morning News, 1 (4/16/2001 (lexis))
A high number of flip-flops

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can bleed a president dry, they added, especially one who campaigned for a "responsibility era" in contrast stock-in-trade more than anything else is, 'This is a guy who keeps his commitments, even when it's painful ,' " said Norman Ornstein, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.
to the scandal-ridden Clinton era. "His Democrats said the coal companies applied pressure to Bush, forcing a decision they say ignores the threat of global warming. In mocking Bush's prior campaign pledge, many cited the chemical formula for carbon dioxide, CO2. "The president and his team have really made a 180-degree turn on their position here, suggesting now that CO2 is somehow A-OK," said Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., who ran against Bush as the Democratic candidate for vice president. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., wife of Bush's predecessor, called it "a promise made and a promise broken." "In less than eight weeks in office, President Bush has gone from CO2 to 'see you later,' " Hillary Clinton said. During a campaign speech in Saginaw, Mich., on Sept. 29, Bush outlined a clean air strategy targeting four pollutants. "With the help of Congress, environmental groups and industry, we will require all power plants to meet clean air standards in order to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury, and carbon dioxide within a reasonable period of time," Bush said. And since his inauguration, Bush's Environmental Protection Agency chief, Christie Whitman, has publicly backed the carbon dioxide restrictions. But late Tuesday, he sent a letter to Republican senators saying he was still committed to new emission standards on the first three items. "I do not believe, however, that the government should impose on power plants mandatory emissions reductions for carbon dioxide, which is not a 'pollutant' under the Clean Air Act," Bush wrote. Critics said broken promises are especially troublesome for Bush, who promised a more straightforward approach than his predecessor. During an Oct. 26 speech titled "Responsible Leadership," Bush told supporters in Pittsburgh that "in a responsibility era, government should trust the people." "And in a responsibility era, people should also be able to trust their government," Bush said. Ornstein said it may be hard for Bush to make those kind of comments in the future. "Now his opponents are going to jump up and say, 'Oh yeah?' " Ornstein said. "This is going to be used against him." White House aides said they believe most voters will understand the circumstances behind the decision. 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, thus boosting prices. "It's better to protect the consumer and avoid worsening the energy crisis," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said. If Bush has any doubt how much damage a broken promise can do, he needs only to ask his father , President George Bush, who hurt himself by reversing his nationally televised "read my lips, no new taxes" pledge. The younger Bush's carbon dioxide pledge came in an energy policy speech, and most of the attention at the time was devoted to his proposal to drill for oil in an Alaska wildlife refuge. Thomas E. Patterson, a professor of government and the press at the Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, said the damage done to Bush depends on what happens in the future. He likened broken campaign promises to "razor cuts." "If you only have a few of them, they really can get lost in everything else that's going on," Patterson said. "

It's the accumulation of these razor cuts

that starts the real bleeding."

Flip-flops kill the agenda - its the most destructive political label in America Rainey, 8 (6/25/08 (James, Staff @ LA Times, "ON THE MEDIA: Candidates Show Lack of Leadership on Iraq," Daily
Herald, http://www.heraldextra.com/component/option,com_contentwire/task,view/id,61544/Itemid,53/) The Iraq experts I interviewed agreed that one of the most problematic barriers to a real debate is -- as author and journalist George Packer said -- a culture that has "made flip-flopper the most feared label in American politics." They could point to another politician, fact averse but stalwart, who took too long to adapt once it became clear Iraq was going sideways. "It seems in

America you are stuck with the position you adopted, even when events change, in order to claim absolute consistency," Packer said. "That can't be good."

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FLIP FLOPS KILL THE AGENDA. Fitts 96 (Michael A., University of Pennsylvania Law Review, January, Lexis)
Centralized and visible power, however, becomes a double-edged sword, once one explores the different ways in which unitariness and visibility can undermine an institution's informal influence, especially its ability to mediate conflict and appear competent. In this context, the visibility and centralization of the presidency can have mixed effects. As a single visible actor in an increasingly complex world, the unitary president can be prone to an overassessment of responsibility and error. He also may be exposed to a normative standard of personal assessment that may conflict with his institutional duties. At the same time, the modern president often does not have at his disposal those bureaucratic institutions that can help mediate or deflect many conflicts. Unlike members of Congress or the agencies, he often must be clear about the tradeoffs he makes. Furthermore, 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. In short, the centralization and individualization of the presidency can be a source of its power, as its chief proponents and critics accurately have suggested, as well as its political illegitimacy and ultimate weakness.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 AT: FLIP FLOP KILLS AGENDA 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]

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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

FLIP FLOPS DONT 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,

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."

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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 womans 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 *** Concessions ***

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Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 CONCESSIONS KEY GENERIC CONCESSIONS KEY POST MIDTERM. SEIB 11-16-10. [Gerald, Washington Bureau chief, White House Renovation Calls for a Bridge Builder Wall Street Journal]

186

As the White House fills some important vacancies in coming days, it might want to include this new job: bridge builder. In his tenuous postelection condition, President Barack Obama

finds himself on a political island, no longer linked to the comfortable Democratic majorities in Congress that served as his lifeline for two years. To exit from that island, he needs to build bridges to three groups: Republican leaders in both houses of Congress, moderate Democrats in the congressional rank and file, and the business community. Such bridges don't simply materialize. They have to be built, and the White House could use a respected figure from the outside to help. CONCESSIONS TO REPUBLICANS KEY TO THE AGENDA. Nicholas 8 (Peter, Tribune Washington Bureau, published in the Baltimore Sun, December 18, Lexis)
But Republicans in the Senate, even with their ranks diminished, still possess leverage to tailor a package that fits certain specifications. They want public hearings on the stimulus, even if it thwarts Democratic ambitions to present the bill to Obama for his signature when he is sworn into office Jan. 20. And they insist the bill be scrubbed of projects that, in their view, are aimed more at appeasing interest groups than creating jobs. When the new Congress convenes on Jan. 6, Senate Democrats will still lack the 60-vote

majority needed to stave off Republican delaying tactics - a reality that gives Republicans some confidence that they can win concessions.

CONCESSIONS ARE KEY TO THE AGENDA -- BREAKS GRIDLOCK. BRADY AND VOLDEN 6. [David W. Brady, professor of political science and business, 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. Bush, Pg 35]

More often, however, gridlock

is maintained through members from divorce districts who are very responsive to the electorate and thus at odds with their fellow legislators. In these cases, gridlock can be overcome only through legislative compromise, and only when status quo policies are outside the gridlock region.
When a policy advocate suggests a change so major that supermajorities are difficult to achieve, the change will be stopped by a filibuster or veto.

To build the needed coalition for cloture or a vet override, compromises will need to be struck, often taking one
of two forms. First, the policy itself could be watered down. This was the main way that President Clinton overcame Republican filibusters in 1993 on issues like the job stimulus package, voter registration, and family and medical leave. A smaller change was more acceptable to moderate Senators. 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, but on other issues. Often these include
distributive budgetary items, like roads, bridges, research labs, and targeted tax cuts. Riders attached to budget bills add these benefits needed to smooth out compromises on earlier bills. Quite clearly, to the extent that budget concessions

are needed to build coalitions

on all sorts of issues, gridlock is more likely when congress is confronting deficits than when it is ignoring them or facing surpluses.

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CONCESSIONS ARE KEY TO THE AGENDA -- COMPARATIVELY THE BEST FORM OF POLITICAL WRANGLING. PIKA & MALTESE 4. [Joseph A., Professor of Political Science & International Relations at U of Delaware & John Anthony, Prof
of Political Science at University of Georgia, The Politics of the Presidency, p. 199-200]

On their relations with Congress, presidents follow certain modes or patterns of behavior: bargaining, arm-twisting, and confrontation. Bargaining is the predominant mode, and occasionally the president bargains directly with members whose support is deemed essential to a bill's passage. In May 1981, 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. 78 Presidents usually try to avoid such explicit bargains because they have limited resources for trading, and the desire among members for these resources is keen. Moreover, Congress is so large and its Power so decentralized that presidents cannot bargain extensively over most bills. In some instances, the president may be unable or unwilling to bargain. Fortunately, rather than a quid pro quo exchange of favors for votes, much presidential-congressional bargaining is implicit, generalized trading in which tacit exchanges of support and favors occur. If bargaining does not result in the approval of their proposals, presidents may resort to stronger methods, such as arm-twisting, which involves intense, even extraordinary, pressure and threats. In one sense, it is an intensified extension of bargaining, but it entails something more - a direct threat of punishment if the
member's opposition continues. Among modern presidents, Johnson was perhaps the most frequent practitioner of arm-twisting. When gentler effort failed, or when a once-supportive member opposed him on an important issue, Johnson resorted to tactics such as deliberate embarrassment, threats, and reprisals. In

. Arm twisting is understandably an unpopular tactic and, if used often, creates resentment and hostility. Still, judicious demonstration that sustained opposition or desertion by normal supporters will
contrast, Eisenhower was most reluctant to pressure Congress

exact costs strengthens a president's bargaining position

GOP VOTES KEY TO AGENDA CONCESSIONS KEY BAKER 10. [Peter, foreign policy reporter, author of Kremlin Rising: Vladimir Putin and Russian Counter-Revolution, In Republican
Victories, Tide Turns Starkly New York Times]

The president is somebody who knows hes not going to have his way on these things, that he needs Republicans and he has the ability to reach out to them, said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, the most prominent Republican in the administration. 2012 RE-ELECTION WORRIES MEAN DEMOCRATS HAVE TO COMPROMISE WITH THE GOP. LEXOLOGY 10. [Arent Fox LLP, 2010 midterm election analysis November 3 -- http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.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. The Democrats will have 23 seats to defend in two years, compared to only 10 Republican seats. Already, Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., has voted with Republicans on a number of important votes, and one could expect that swing-state senators up for re-election may push Reid behind the scenes to compromise more with the Republicans. Also making Sen. Reids job tougher, but possibly easing it for Minority Leader McConnell, there are several Republicans (Orrin Hatch of Utah, Olympia Snowe of Maine, Scott Brown of Massachusetts, 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. Mike Castle in Delaware, and who, as a result, may stay more in the Republican camp on key votes.

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CONCESSIONS FAIL OBAMA IS INEPT. PONNURU 11-16. [10 -- Ramesh, senior editor @ National Review, National Review: Eleven reasons 2010 is not a rerun NPR] Seventh, Obama isn't Clinton. The former president started his political career in a relatively conservative state. During his
governorship, Arkansas gave its electoral votes to Republican presidential candidates three times. Clinton also ran the Democratic Leadership Council, which sought to pull the party rightward. Obama

has had much less experience of appealing to conservative and moderate voters. He did it in the general election of 2008 only under exceptional circumstances and with a very short record. It's not clear that he is interested in "triangulating" against congressional Democrats and Republicans, much less that he is capable of it. 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. Obama has done nothing similar. NO SHIFT TO THE CENTER GOP WILL REJECT IT. BAKER 10. [Peter, foreign policy reporter, author of Kremlin Rising: Vladimir Putin and Russian Counter-Revolution, In Republican
Victories, Tide Turns Starkly New York Times] Strategists on both sides said the lessons of the past offered only limited utility. As

politically toxic as the atmosphere in Washington was in the 1990s, the two sides appear even more polarized today. The Republicans may be more beholden to a Tea Party movement that abhors deal cutting, while Mr. Obama has not shown the same sort of centrist sensibilities that Mr. Clinton did and
presides in a time of higher unemployment and deficits. I know President Clinton. President Clinton was an acquaintance of mine. Obama is no President Clinton, said former Representative Dick Armey of Texas, who as House Republican leader squared off against Mr. Clinton at the time and today is a prime Tea Party promoter. Personally, I think hes already lost his re-election. That remains to be determined, but he can expect a rough two years. If nothing else, both Mr. Clinton and Mr. Bush saw what can happen when the other side gets subpoena power. Legitimate oversight and political fishing expeditions can both take their toll. Even when carefully managed, these investigations can be distracting to senior White House officials, said W. Neil Eggleston, who was a White House lawyer under Mr. Clinton and later represented an aide to Mr. Bush during a Congressional inquiry. Still, Mr. Obama wields the veto pen, and his Democratic allies in the Senate will provide a firewall against Republican initiatives. The possibility of gridlock looms. And in the White House, there is hope that Republicans descend into fratricide between establishment and Tea Party insurgents, while Mr. Obama presents himself as above it all. Former Representative Tom Davis, Republican of Virginia, said it was hard to see Mr. Obama finding common cause with Mr. Boehner or Mr. McConnell, the Republican leaders. Obamas denigrated Boehner and McConnell by name not very presidential, Mr. Davis said. Moreover,

both sides will have to answer to partisans on the left and the right with little interest in compromise. Theres going to be a lot of posturing to the base, Mr. Davis said. I think its going to be ugly, at least at first.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 CONCESSIONS FAIL: ANGERS THE LEFT CONCESSIONS FAIL ANGERS THE LEFT. FRIEL 10. [Brian, CQ Staff, Divided Senate complicates Dem Agenda CQ Today -- November 4 -http://www.congress.org/news/2010/11/04/divided_senate_complicates_dem_agenda]

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While many Democratic senators may feel pressure from their right, Obama may feel pressure from his left. Henry Olsen, a political analyst at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, noted that both presidents
who have faced serious primary challenges when seeking a second term in recent years Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush were defeated in the general election. 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. Triangulation is not going to be on the agenda, Olsen said. CONCESSIONS FAIL ALIENATES THE LEFT. PONNURU 11-16-10 -- Ramesh, senior editor @ National Review, National Review: Eleven reasons 2010 is not a rerun NPR] Eighth, Obama has to deal with a larger, angrier, and more implacable Left than Clinton did. The Left
was chastened after three Republican presidential terms when Clinton took office. When Clinton signed welfare reform in 1996, a few of his appointees resigned but there was no revolt. Obama

cannot be so sure that MoveOn.org, MSNBC, etc., will stay in his corner if he triangulates. His freedom of action is more circumscribed.

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CONCESSIONS TO THE GOP FAILS PISSES OFF THE LEFT AND THE GOP WONT LISTEN. LIASSON 11-12-10. [Mara, national political correspondent for NPR, Democrats split on way forward after losses NPR] Going forward, 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. Green thinks reaching out won't help. "Democrats could take a lesson from what Republicans are doing right now, which is being dogged in what they believe," he says. "They're not talking about compromise. They're saying, 'We're going to fight for what we just campaigned on.' What we've seen the last week or so is a president consistently talking about compromise, consistently talking about consensus, and never laying out any blueprint by which he would actually be willing to fight the Republicans." ATTEMPTS TO TRIANGULATE FAIL UNCOOPERATIVE GOP. GANDLEMAN 11-14-10. [Joe, editor-in-chief in Politics, Is the democratic party really out for the count? Moderate Voice] But Obamas problem will be that the partys progressive wing will be clamoring for him to be a progressive Democrat while to rebrand himself as a different kind of Democrat hes 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). CONCESSIONS FAIL GOP SAYS NO. COLLINSON 10. [Stephen, AFP writer, Sun sets on Obamas era of grand reforms AFP -- October 25] Should Obama chose cooperation, it is uncertain whether his Republican foes will have the inclination -- or the political capacity -- to help. An influx of ideological conservatives from the Tea Party movement may push the party's leadership further to the right, narrowing room for compromise. And with a looming general election, Republicans have little incentive to bolster a Democratic president. Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell signaled that Republicans may be flexible, but only strictly in
their own interests.

MOVING TO THE CENTER FAILS TOO POLARIZED. SARGENT 10. [Greg, Washington Post journalist, editor of Election Central, Talking Points Memos politics and elections website,
How will Obama react to GOP gains? Washington Post] What's striking about this is how dated, and even quaint, it sounds. As Ronald Brownstein has noted,

a conspicuous move to the ideological center isn't really something we should expect from Obama after the election, even in the event of major GOP gains, because such a gesture wouldn't really be relevant to our politics today, which are even more polarized now than in Clinton's time.

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

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Democrats Key to Agenda Democrats are key to the agenda- stimulus proves Sinclair 9 (Barbara, Marvin Hoffenberg Professor of American Politics at the University of California, Los Angeles, Barack Obama and the 111th Congress: Politics as Usual?, Extensions, Spring 2009, http://www.ou.edu/carlalbertcenter/extensions/spring2009/Sinclair.pdf) A third lesson, one that Obama already knew and that contributed greatly to success on the stimulus, 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. Pelosi was and can continue to be Obamas most valuable congressional ally; 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, Appropriations Chair David Obey and Financial Services Chair Barney Frank. 11 Relying

on congressional Democrats to do much of the stimulus drafting, decried by some pundits as a mistake, was, in fact, a wise move; it assured member input and consequently gave members a stake in its success. Pelosi, like any legislative leader, has to be responsive to the various factions in the party from the Blue Dogs to the Progressive Caucus; and their demands will include policy input and not always compatible policy results. To be successful, Obama needs to be sensitive to the range of member political needs and policy views. Still, in addition to the very substantial institutional tools of the contemporary speakership, 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; such members can be given a bye so long as they do not all do it at once. Obama needs Democrats to push his agenda CQ Politics 9 (3/2, Democratic Revolt May Slow Obama Agenda, http://www.cqpolitics.com/cq-assets/eap/static/dem-revolt1.html)
The defections

could cause heartburn for Democratic leaders charged with ushering through Obama's three biggest priorities: a health care overhaul, a cap-and-trade system to curb carbon emissions and his fiscal 2010 budget blueprint. The president might also have trouble winning their votes for an anticipated second financial bailout package. "My job is not to be a rubber stamp for the president or Democratic leadership, but to be a voice for the people that elected me," Giffords said. "I voted for the stimulus, but found I
could not vote for the omnibus." She faces a tough 2010 campaign in a state that will be dominated by McCain's expected re-election to his Senate seat. For his part, Matheson echoed Giffords' concerns about an increase of $31 billion, or 8 percent, in discretionary spending in the nine bills contained in the omnibus measure. Like Giffords, he also has raised concerns about the mortgage bankruptcy bill, which many banks oppose. "A lot needs to be done to help people keep their homes. But I'm just not sure about this bill," Giffords said. John B. Larson of Connecticut, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said party

leaders would respond to recent defections by trying to slow the pace of bills to allow more time for hearings and debate.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Democrats Key to Agenda Democrats key to Obamas agenda Mahtesian, The Politicos national politics editor, 1.15.09 (Charles, previously National Journals Almanac of American Politics editor, Dem Congress likelyfor Obamas term, Politico, http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0109/17477.html)

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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. Its an advantage no president has enjoyed since Jimmy Carter, and one that would offer Obama a unique opportunity to carry out his agenda. In the House, where Democrats currently enjoy a 79-seat advantage, to regain control the GOP would need to pick up at least 40 seats, a result that has occurred just four times since 1950 and would significantly surpass the Democratic routs in 2006 and 2008. In the Senate, Republicans will likely need a 10seat pickup in a chamber where double-digit gains have occurred just twice since 1950. Complicating matters, 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. While the prospect of four uninterrupted years with his party in control of Congress is no guarantee of success, it would give Obama a luxury that Bill Clinton and George W. Bush did not enjoy in their own first terms, even though both began with their party in control of Capitol Hill. President-elect Obama has a wonderful opportunity to do what he wants as president, said former Rep. Charles Stenholm (D-Texas), who served in Congress under five presidents, beginning with Carter. Obviously the larger majority makes a lot of difference. Clinton had just two years of working with Democratic congressional majority before his party lost the House and Senate in the 1994 Republican landslide, and he was reduced to declaring that the president is still relevant. Bush lost his GOP congressional majority just six months into his presidency, when a party switcher gave Democrats control of the Senate in June 2001. 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.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Democrats Key to Agenda Democrats key in passing legislation due to perception of change Cohen, senior research fellow at the New America Foundation, 6.22.09 (Michael A., Momentum key for health care bill, Politico, http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0609/23988.html)

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Throughout the 2008 presidential campaign, the one criticism heard perhaps more than any other from Republicans was about the cult of veneration that had developed around Barack Obama. He was the second coming, the Democrats messiah, a preening celebrity, the political ads joked. But the GOP might have been on to something. For Democrats and their ambitious domestic agenda, its all about Obama. There is today a curious disconnect between support for the presidents policy prescriptions and the popularity of the man himself. Fewer than half of all Americans are on board with the presidents health care agenda (although they remain open to persuasion), a majority are uneasy about the burgeoning federal deficit, and voters remain dubious about the very notion that government can solve the countrys problems. But these concerns are not denting Obamas approval ratings, which remain in the mid-60s. Its that trust that may be Obama and the Democrats most potent political tool in the legislative battles to come. The Democrats advantage is heightened by the growing public disapproval of the opposition party. According to one recent poll, Republicans are actually less popular than former Vice President Dick Cheney. As for Democrats, 57 percent of the electorate views them in a favorable light. These polling numbers suggest a yawning confidence chasm. Even with concerns over the deficit, voters are still inclined to blame the countrys budget woes on Obamas predecessor. With the political winds at their back, Democrats seemingly have a unique opportunity to pass a robust legislative package of domestic initiatives. Yet congressional Democrats seem unwilling to push their advantage. They are increasingly skittish over Republican criticisms of the growing
budget gap and remain fearful that if economic prospects remain clouded, 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. Obviously, if the economy is performing badly a year and a half from now, Democrats will most likely pay a political price at the polls. But passage of sweeping health care legislation that insures millions of Americans would not only fulfill Obamas campaign message of change but would also serve as an effective political counterargument. 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. Indeed, a half-measure bill that leaves millions without access to care and fails to deliver on Obamas pledge to change the way things are done in Washington could be the worst of both worlds. If Democrats are serious about health reform, why adopt an incrementalist approach when the political opportunity allows for something bigger and possibly better? Unease about the deficit is even more misplaced. Voter trepidation about the budget gap is in direct proportion to the state of the economy: The worse the economy, the greater the concern over the deficit. According to a recent New York Times poll, when asked the most important problem facing the country, 38 percent said the economy and only 2 percent cited the deficit. Whatever the state of the economy in 2010, would Democrats prefer to go to the voters and say, I shrunk the deficit or would they rather say, I passed health care legislation that improves access and care for 50 million people and, by the way, my opponent voted against it? This is one argument that Cheney might have gotten right: Deficits dont matter. 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. Even if Obama is pushing an agenda that may not be fully embraced by the American people, this is no time for caution. Instead, Democrats must take full advantage of the Obamas popularity and the president must use the

bully pulpit even more effectively to make the case for change. Democrats, it is often joked, put too much focus on 10-point plans and detailed policy prescriptions. Once again, this seems to be the case. 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 Obamas presidency. 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

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Democratic Unity Key to Agenda Democratic unity key to the agenda. Gerstein 8 (Dan, political communications consultant and commentator based in New York, founder and president of Gotham Ghostwriter,
formerly served as communications director to Sen. Joe Lieberman, Forbes, December 3, http://www.forbes.com/opinions/2008/12/02/obamadefense-appointments-oped-cx_dg_1203gerstein.html)

Obama's presidency. While he tries to govern from the pragmatic center on national must manage the high expectations and inevitable disappointments of his strongest supporters. His liberal activist base may be relatively small, but its members can be extremely distracting and often destructive. Witness the successful campaign the left-wing blogosphere waged to derail the nomination of
Here, we can anticipate one of the trickiest tests of security, he John Brennan, who had been considered the leading candidate for Obama's CIA director. That squabble took place off-stage and was totally overshadowed by Clinton's appointment. But Obama won't have that luxury once he's in office. The

commentariat will be closely watching and inflating every intra-party fight, the most potent catnip for pundits. At a minimum, these spats could suck up precious time and political capital as Obama works to defuse them. At worst, they could inflame the latent divisions in Congress and sidetrack key elements of Obama's agenda. BASE UNITY IS THE KEY STARTING POINT FOR ENSURING AGENDA PASSAGE Bond & Fleisher 96. (Jon R. and Richard professor in Political Science - Texas A&M and Professor in Political Science. Fordham 1996. "The President in Legislation" p.120) For majority presidents, unity

in the party base is a key ingredient of success. When a majority president's base is unified, the chances of victory approach certainty. If the base is split, the probability of victory drops considerably. And the base is frequently split. In parliamentary systems, partisan control of the legislature virtually assures victories; in the United States, having more members in Congress who are predisposed to support the president is an advantage, but one insufficient to guarantee victories.

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DEM UNITY KEY IN POST ELECTION CONGRESS. STICKINGS 11-15-10. [Michael, assistant editor in Politics, For Democrats, 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, Wall Street reform, the stimulus, the bailouts, etc.), not by making a
show of throwing out those who helped guide the party to those successes. What, after all, would fresh new leadership signify? That the party was going in a different direction, that it was abandoning what it had done, all that it had accomplished, and that the midterms really were a rejection of the Democrats and their agenda. Changing the leadership, including forcing Pelosi out, would have been an admission of failure and an act of cowardice, an expression of fear and weakness, essentially a self-vote of non-confidence. Because, as I and many others keep saying, the result of the midterms, particularly in the House, was not an expression of popular support for the Republicans and their agenda (which is extremist and obstructionist). It was, rather, a reflection of deep public discontent rooted in the still lousy economy, with anger and frustration directed at incumbents, at the party in power. Certainly, the Democrats failed to make a convincing case for themselves, and, given the swing, failed to hang on to seats in heavily conservative districts that they won in 06 and 08, but thats hardly Pelosis fault, or hardly hers alone. And while the Democrats, both in the House and elsewhere, do have some bitter lessons to learn, there is no need to overreact and certainly no need for a purge.

Republicans will likely remain united on Capitol Hill, 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. (Its
one thing to be thoroughly obstructionist, as establishment types like Mitch McConnell want, and to end up with gridlock, quite another to turn the House into a hyper-investigative inquisition. And, 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 theyve done and what they stand for with conviction and purpose. There is certainly diversity in the Democratic House leadership, and its not clear how theyll all get along, and there are quite a few Democrats who think Pelosi should have stepped down, but there is good reason to believe that, with Pelosi at the helm and her team settled in place, the party will be effective in opposition, working constructively and productively with Obama and Senate Democrats to get things done for the American people.
draws closer and the likely candidates jockey for position.

Democratic unity key to the agenda. Gerstein 8 (Dan, political communications consultant and commentator based in New York, founder and president of Gotham Ghostwriter,
formerly served as communications director to Sen. Joe Lieberman, Forbes, December 3, http://www.forbes.com/opinions/2008/12/02/obamadefense-appointments-oped-cx_dg_1203gerstein.html)

Obama's presidency. While he tries to govern from the pragmatic center on national security, he must manage the high expectations and inevitable disappointments of his strongest supporters. His liberal activist base may be relatively small, but its members can be extremely distracting and often destructive. Witness the successful campaign the left-wing blogosphere waged to derail the nomination of
Here, we can anticipate one of the trickiest tests of John Brennan, who had been considered the leading candidate for Obama's CIA director. That squabble took place off-stage and was totally overshadowed by Clinton's appointment. But Obama won't have that luxury once he's in office. The

commentariat will be closely watching and inflating every intra-party fight, the most potent catnip for pundits. At a minimum, these spats could suck up precious time and political capital as Obama works to defuse them. At worst, they could inflame the latent divisions in Congress and sidetrack key elements of Obama's agenda. BASE UNITY IS THE KEY STARTING POINT FOR ENSURING AGENDA PASSAGE Bond & Fleisher 96. (Jon R. and Richard professor in Political Science - Texas A&M and Professor in Political Science. Fordham 1996. "The President in Legislation" p.120) For majority presidents, unity

in the party base is a key ingredient of success. When a majority president's base is unified, the chances of victory approach certainty. If the base is split, the probability of victory drops considerably. And the base is frequently split. In parliamentary systems, partisan control of the legislature virtually assures victories; in the United States, having more members in Congress who are predisposed to support the president is an advantage, but one insufficient to guarantee victories. AT: DEM UNITY INEVITABLE/PC KEY DEM UNITY

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OBAMA LEADERSHIP IS KEY TO ROUNDING UP DEMOCRATIC VOTES. SKOCPOL AND JACOBS 10. [Theda, Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard, former Director
of the Center for American Political Studies, Lawrence, Walter F. and Joan Mondale Chair for Political Studies and Director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance in the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute and Department of Political Science at the University of Minnesota, Reaching for a New Deal: Ambitious governance, economic meltdown and polarized politics in Obamas first two years Russell Sage Foundation -- October] Of necessity, Obamas

White House has repeatedly caucused with Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, looking for ways to coordinate agendas and move key bills through the many hurdles that mark todays legislative process, especially in the Senate. Even though the watching public might not understand why Democrats spend so much time negotiating among themselves, or why the President cant just tell Congress to get it done, the early Obama administration understandably devoted much effort to prodding and cajoling Congress in consultation with key Congressional Democrats. This happened not merely because Obama is a former Senator and thinks in legislative terms, and not
only because his former Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, is a seasoned wheeler-dealer from the House of Representatives (Bai 2010). More than that, Obama and his White House aides new that the 111th Congress is probably their only chance to further big legislative reforms. To take advantage of Congressional Democratic majorities that are sure to shrink, they

have had to work week by week, month by month with the Congressional leaders to assemble fragile and shifting coalitions.
Congressional sausage-making involving the President has been confusing and dispiriting for the public to watch, but the alternative would have been for an ambitious President Obama not to try for big legislative reforms. 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 CANT COUNT ON DEM VOTES. FRIEL 10. [Brian, CQ Staff, Divided Senate complicates Dem Agenda CQ Today -- November 4 -http://www.congress.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 Obamas agenda. With the presidents fading popularity no doubt contributing to several Democratic senators defeat, caucus members facing the voters in 2012 particularly those in states where Obamas public approval ratings are low could be under intense pressure to buck the White House. In the 2012
election cycle, Democrats will be defending twice as many Senate seats as Republicans. The GOP has 10 seats to protect, while the Democrats

Most Democrats up for re-election in two years hail from states Obama won in 2008, but swing-state senators from Ohio, Missouri and Virginia, and those from states such as Montana and Nebraska that tend to vote Republican in presidential elections, may be difficult to keep in line.
have 23.

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Moderate Democrats Key to Agenda Moderate Democrats key to Obamas agenda Politico 9 (7/10, Moderate Dems squeeze Obama, http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20090711/pl_politico/24790) The answer is, at least in part, because the word moderate operates differently within the context of each party. Within the GOP, the alternative to moderate is conservative a word that itself means marked by moderation or caution, and if anything, sounds more prudent than moderate does. The word liberal, 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. In
addition to suggesting broad-mindedness, it also implies generosity, and a lack of constraint notions that, in an economic recession, can sound dangerously close to ... immoderate. In addition, notes Hattaway, Because [moderate is] often used to position against liberal, by definition its saying liberal is bad. Darrell West, vice president and director of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, agrees: Liberal became a code word synonymous with bad things, so Democrats devised a new way of describing themselves, he says. Its all about the politics of language. Indeed, this may sound like little more than linguistic hairsplitting, but the

stakes are high particularly now that Democrats have a 60-vote majority in the Senate. And with battles over the stimulus, the budget, climate change and now health care playing out daily in the media, 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.

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Base Key to Agenda Base support is key- Clinton and Carter empirically prove Kornacki 9 (Steve, columnist for PolitickerNY, It's Time for Obama to Spend Some Political Capital, 6-30-09, http://www.politickerny.com/4277/its-time-obama-spend-some-politicalcapital) Perhaps, then, this would be a good time to point out what the White House may not fully appreciate: that Mr. Obama is in a vastly stronger position within the Democratic Party than the last two Democratic presidents were in their first termsmeaning that he is far better positioned to exercise clout with unruly Congressional Democrats. Mr. Clinton, dont forget, rode to office in 1992 by defining himself in opposition to his partys liberal traditions. To a country that had just soundly rejected Michael Dukakis and Walter Mondale, he proclaimed himself a New Democrat, a centrist who believed in tax cuts and free trade, viewed welfare programs with suspicion, and welcomed clashes with his partys old-guard establishment (hence his Sister Souljah diss of Jesse Jackson during the campaign). This approach, which worked great in the campaign, limited Mr. Clintons moral authority within his own party as president. Old-time liberals in Congress didnt trust him, and neither did many liberal interest groups and commentators. At the same time, Mr. Clinton had terrible personal relationships with some of his partys more popular facesspecifically, Paul Tsongas and Bob Kerrey, who had both competed with him in the 92 primaries. As a result, there were several forces within the Democratic Party that in 93 and 94 that werent invested in the presidents successand that were eager to capitalize on his failures (which proved to
be many in those first two years). Starting in the late spring of 93, Mr. Clinton was subject to steady talkmuch of it openly propelled by his fellow Democratsof a primary challenge in 1996. From the left, Mr. Jackson touted himself, arguing that Mr. Clinton had abandoned minorities and urban issues. Mr. Kerrey, who came close to single-handedly defeating Mr. Clintons controversial 93 budget, publicly flirted with running, toowith Tsongas egging him on from the sidelines. Pennsylvanias governor, Bob Casey, still miffed that Mr. Clinton had silenced his pro-life voice at the 92 convention, put his name out there, too. And when Democrats suffered a bloodbath in the 94 midterms, Bill Bradley even toyed with the idea. Those 94 midterms, of course, were actually the best thing that ever happened to Mr. Clinton, who stunningly reversed his fortunes in 1995. Still, his

presidency was nearly ruined by the personal and ideological fissures in his own party. Mr. Carters fate was worse. Like Mr. Clinton, he was elected as a centrist, rejecting the traditional, unions-first economic liberalism that had defined the Democratic Party. He, too, faced
threats of an intraparty challenge for re-nomination from the early months of his term. By late 1977, California Governor Jerry Brown, whose late-starting campaign defeated Mr. Carter in five primaries in 76, made it clear hed oppose the president from the left, and by

the end of the year the then-influential Americans for Democratic Action formally chastised Mr. Carter for failing to live up to his campaign promises. A poll in the spring of 1978 found Ted Kennedy crushing Mr. Carter in a hypothetical 80 primary match-up. In Mr. Carters case, this dissent was lethal, both to his legislative agenda and to his reelection chances, which were badly damaged when Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Brown followed through on their threats and opposed him in 80. But in the middle of his first year in office, Mr. Obama is in a far different place. There is grumbling from interest groups here and there, but the Democratic Partyboth its leaders and its rank-and-file membersare solidly behind him and committed to his (and their) success. Its true that he barely won the partys nomination
last year, but his contest with Hillary Clinton wasnt about ideology; it was about personality. Unlike Mr. Clinton and Mr. Carter, he didnt win power by repudiating his partys traditions and values. This

gives Mr. Obama something neither of those men ever enjoyed in their dealings with Democrats in Congress: real moral authority. Its probably time for him to start using it.

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AT: Dems Key to Agenda If Obama angers the left, it only boosts capital Weigant 8 (Chris Weigant is a political commentator. He has been a regular contributor to Arianna Huffingtons The Huffington Post since
June of 2006, How Will Obama Enrage The Left? Huffington Post 12/3/08 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-weigant/how-will-obamaenrage-the_b_148246.html) I hate to rain on anyone's parade, but Obama is guaranteed to disappoint. The right wing won't be terribly disappointed, of course, since they'll have plenty to complain about for the next four-to-eight years. 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. This means Obama won't be as effective a Republican fundraising tool, since he won't be doing all those things that terrify Republican donors. The

left wing, however, is going to get disappointed with a short sharp shock, soon after Obama enters office. Because newly-inaugurated President Obama is going to pick one issue and swiftly smack the left in the face, by refusing to do what they want him to do. This will be a calculated move, and will likely pay off enormous political dividends for Obama over the life of his presidency. Call it his "Sister Souljah moment," if you will. By appearing to "stand up" to the left wing, Obama will be seen as charting his own course as a strong and independent leader, beholden to no special interest group of radical progressives. That's how the news media will portray it, at any rate. His approval ratings will likely rise after he does so, since it will serve to calm fears from suburban Republicans and Independents that Obama is going to make too many radical changes too fast. But it's going to absolutely enrage the left. You can bet the farm on that one. Taking the long view, however, I believe it will actually help Obama get more progressive laws passed. It's kind of doublethink, but bear with me. 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. They didn't believe the cries of "Socialist!" in the election, and they're going to get more
comfortable with Obama as a result. It will then be up to Congress to challenge him by passing laws even more sweeping than Obama asked for. Which Obama will (perhaps with a show of reluctance) then sign. Meaning more progressive legislation actually gets passed in the end. If Obama removes his "lightning rod" target for the right wing early on, over the long run he'll be able to get better laws passed, with more support from the public than they would normally have. I could be monstrously wrong about all of this, to be sure. But from watching his campaign, and listening to what he actually said, the portrait of Obama I am left with is one of cautiousness and pragmatism, and not of some sort of progressive icon. Exhibit A in my thinking is the FISA bill he voted for. Exhibit B would have to be the numerous times he reluctantly moved left, without actually fully supporting a populist or liberal agenda. Exhibit C is his intervention with how the Senate treated Joe Lieberman. And that's without even examining his cabinet choices. All of these things point to a very centrist course for an Obama administration, with lots of compromises with political foes. A good test case will be how President Obama handles the torture question. Will he convene a commission to investigate? Will he offer blanket immunity (or even -- gasp! -- 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," while urging everyone to move on? The torture question is merely the tip of the iceberg (the best bad example, as it were) in how Obama is going to handle Bush's legacy. What Bush policies is Obama going to immediately rectify? What Bush actions will he reverse, 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, which leaves me wondering what he will actually do when he gets the chance. But it could be almost any issue, it doesn't just have to be how to deal with 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. Clinton wanted to do what was right, the military balked, and we wound up with "Don't ask, don't tell," which has been a complete disaster. But the lesson here is that Clinton started off by picking a fight with his opponents -- with a bold move that he knew they would hate. I think Obama is going to do the opposite. I think he's going to come out with some bold move that he knows the left is absolutely going to abhor. [Feel free to offer your own thoughts in the comments as to what exactly this is going to turn out to be, or even if you think I'm barking up the wrong tree entirely.] Because I simply cannot get rid of the feeling that, sometime next January or February, President Obama is going to make a point of picking a fight with some of his own most fervent supporters. They will then denounce him for his outrageous action, and go ballistic in an entirely predictable fashion. And (this is the part I'm least sure about, I have to admit) Obama

will emerge from the fray even stronger politically than ever, with more "political capital" to spend on getting the rest of his agenda done. In other words, although it will require more of a "big picture" or "long view of history" type of viewpoint, I
don't think it'll be as bad as it will first seem when it happens.

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Alienating democrats irrelevant to agenda Reagan proves Charles Krauthammer - National Magazine Award for essays and criticism in 1984, the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary in 1987. Weekly Washington Post columnist. 7/16/2010 (Washington Post, Obamas Next Act, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpsrv/opinions/biographies/charles-krauthammer.html ty)
The net effect of 18 months of Obamaism will be to undo much of Reaganism. Both presidencies were highly ideological, grandly ambitious and often underappreciated by their own side. In his early years, Reagan was bitterly attacked from his right. (Typical Washington Post headline: "For Reagan and the New Right, the Honeymoon Is Over" -- and that was six months into his presidency!) Obama is attacked from his left for insufficient zeal on gay rights, immigration reform, closing Guantanamo -- the list is long. The critics don't understand the big picture. Obama's transformational agenda is a play in two acts. Act One is over. The stimulus, Obamacare, financial reform have exhausted his first-term mandate. It will bear no more heavy lifting. And the Democrats will pay the price for ideological overreaching by losing one or both houses, whether de facto or de jure. The rest of the first term will be spent consolidating these gains (writing the regulations, for example) and preparing for Act Two. The next burst of ideological energy -- massive regulation of the energy economy, federalizing higher education and "comprehensive" immigration reform (i.e., amnesty) -- will require a second mandate, meaning reelection in 2012. That's why there's so much tension between Obama and congressional Democrats. For Obama, 2010 matters little. If Democrats lose control of one or both houses, Obama will probably have an easier time in 2012, just as Bill Clinton used Newt Gingrich and the Republicans as the foil for his 1996 reelection campaign. Obama is down, but it's very early in the play. Like Reagan, he came here to do things. And he's done much in his first 500 days. What he has left to do he knows must await his next 500 days -- those that come after reelection. The real prize is 2012. Obama sees far, farther than even his own partisans. Republicans underestimate him at their peril.

NO IMPACT TO ANGERING THE DEMOCRATS THEY WONT TURN ON OBAMA. Chicago Tribune 8. [11/7, Lexis]
O'Hanlon, a national security expert at the Brookings Institution in Washington, 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. "Obama to the left is what Ronald Reagan was to the right," O'Hanlon said. "He can do no wrong . If you're
Michael ending the war anyway, and it is a question if you're doing it in 1 1/2 , 2 1/2 or 3 1/2 years. ... He's already moving things in the direction they want him to."

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Dems control Congress but worry about midterms- unity key to Obamas agenda Sam Youngman, The Hill, 07/27/09, Analysis: July has been disaster for Obama, Hill Dems, http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/analysis-july-has-been-disaster-for-obama-hill-dems-200907-27.html The Obama administration, which was flying high a month ago after pushing through a climate change bill in the House, has since been dealt a series of setbacks and is struggling to regain its footing. After the climate bill passed 219-212 on the afternoon of June 26, there was a feeling that the White House could get much of its agenda through Congress in 2009. A month later, there are doubts that President Obama will even achieve his No. 1 priority of healthcare reform, much less cap-and-trade, immigration reform and a regulatory revamp of the financial sector. 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. The White House is frantically working to get healthcare reform back on track after missed deadlines in August. Obama had initially said he wanted both chambers to pass legislation by the August recess and sign a bill by Oct. 15. He now says he wants to enact healthcare reform by the end of the year. And while the president continues to put his critics "on notice," targeting GOP lawmakers,
the Republicans are quick to note the obvious Obama has comfortable majorities in both the House and Senate. Obama enjoyed immediate successes in office, signing into law his $787 billion

stimulus package in just 28 days. He also helped shepherd a pay equity measure and a childrens healthcare bill through Congress. But in the past few months, as unemployment rates have spiked, Republicans have increasingly found traction in lambasting Obamas agenda and fanning the flames of division within the Democratic Party. Obama did score a significant victory last week on eliminating Senate funding for F-22 fighter jets, but the triumph was overshadowed by Democratic infighting on healthcare. Despite a number of former Democratic members and aides
working in the Obama administration, Democrats on Capitol Hill have grown bolder in defying their party leader. Many centrist Democrats are worried that Republicans will have the upper hand in the 2010 elections.

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

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A2: Base Key


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

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### GOP ###

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

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Republicans Key The GOP is key to the agenda- their opposition could derail Obamas plans Reynolds 9 (Rob, senior Washington correspondent, Obama's breakneck 100 days, Al Jazeera, 4-29-09, http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2009/04/200942512943774687.html)
But the

opposition Republican Party is fighting Obama every step of the way. They spurned his and have been relentlessly on the attack - earning Republicans the nickname "the party of no". Obama's decision to shut down the Guantanamo prison, and to release the shocking Bush-era memos authorising detainee abuse, roused those on the US political right into fury. Ever quick to play the 'terrorism' card, Dick Cheney, the former vice-president, accused Obama of endangering national security and putting the country at higher risk of attack. Obama may welcome criticism from a politician as deeply unpopular as Cheney. But the growing political firestorm over torture, and whether to hold Bush administration officials accountable, could derail Obama's agenda and hopes of peeling off enough Republican politicians to get his legislation through the senate.
overtures toward bipartisanship

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

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

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

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Republicans Not Key Republicans dont matter at all anymore. Democrats have complete and total authority to pass whatever they want,

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they have the 60

votes to override a filibuster. Sirota 2009 (David is an HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_the_United_States" American political figure and HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_commentator" commentator. He is an author,
HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newspaper_column" newspaper columnist who is generally considered to be a political HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressivism_in_the_United_States" progressive. He went to HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northwestern_University" Northwestern University, where he earned his HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bachelor%27s_degree" bachelor's degree with honors in HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journalism"

journalism and HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_science" political science. The Democrats have no more excuses May 1st 2009. http://www.salon.com/opinio all power over the agenda Milligan, Globe Staff Winner, June 5, 2009 (Susan is a national political reporter for the Boston Globe in its Washington
bureau. 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., The Boston Globe Online, Congressional Republicans aim to

present a united front,


http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2009/06/05/congressional_republicans_aim_to_present_a_united _front/ ) WASHINGTON - Outnumbered by Democrats and out-shouted by personalities on the right flank of their party, congressional Republicans are struggling to present a unified front against a left-leaning agenda making marked progress on Capitol Hill. Many GOP lawmakers are skeptical of racial preferences, and are eager to question Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor about her views on the issue. But highly charged rhetoric by a few conservative commentators - including the assertion, rescinded Wednesday, by former House speaker Newt Gingrich that Sotomayor is a "racist" - are frustrating efforts by Republicans senators to appear open and civil in their inquiry. A key part of the GOP base - big business - has largely abandoned earlier fights against a healthcare overhaul and pollution emissions standards, undermining Republican efforts to thwart both pieces of legislation. And the party, too, is divided: some Republicans are working with Democrats on the healthcare package, while others are refusing to agree to any public health insurance plan. Neither the healthcare nor energy bills is assured final passage on Capitol Hill, and the Sotomayor nomination process is in its early stages. But as an opposition party, both GOP and Democratic analysts say, the Republicans are foundering - and President Obama and Democratic allies in Congress are setting the agenda. "They've got the Republicans basically rope-a-doped. We're in the corner, and we're getting punched," said Tony Fabrizio, a GOP pollster. "There's never an opportunity here; they're kind of dividing and conquering," he added, making it difficult to "come together and launch a full-scale attack on any of them."

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

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GOP Not Key The GOP isnt key- even unanimous opposition is irrelevant to passage Sinclair 9 (Barbara, Marvin Hoffenberg Professor of American Politics at the University of California, Los Angeles, Barack Obama and the 111th Congress: Politics as Usual?, Extensions, Spring 2009, http://www.ou.edu/carlalbertcenter/extensions/spring2009/Sinclair.pdf) Because a simple majority can prevail in the House, even unanimous Republican opposition is irrelevant to passage. In the Senate, a minority of 41 or more can block passage if it uses its prerogative of extended debate. When Obama and congressional Democrats were unwilling to make fundamental changes to the program, the Senate Republican leadership decided that its interests lay in opposition as well. Three moderate Senate Republicans were willing to deal; intense negotiations yielded agreements first on a Senate bill and then on the conference report. The three Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, both of Maine, and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania extracted a considerable price for their votes; but, in the end, 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.

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### Moderates ###

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

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MODERATE DEMS KEY TO AGENDA THEY GET MODERATE GOP TO MOVE TO THE CENTER. SEIB 11-16-10. [Gerald, Washington Bureau chief, White House Renovation Calls for a Bridge Builder Wall Street Journal] Second, consider rank-and-file moderates in Congress from the president's own party. The corps of these lawmakers was ravaged by this months' election, so their numbers are down. Yet their importance actually may go up in months ahead. These Democratic moderates, particularly in the Senate, worked over the last two years to nudge legislation from the left toward the political center, in ways that annoyed the White House. But now they have the ability in the new Congress to nudge legislation from the Republican right toward the center, this time in ways that can benefit the White House. MODERATE DEMS ARE A KEY SWING VOTING BLOC. RAASCH 10. [Chuck, Gannett National Writer, Noem, Herseth Sandlin embody 10 trends Gannett News Service -- October 28 -lexis] If Kristi Noem is elected to Congress by fellow South Dakotans on Tuesday, she would be a member of what may be the largest freshman class in

If Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, D-S.D., is re-elected, she would be a member of what is almost certain to be a diminished pack of centrist "Blue Dog" Democrats in the House. Those that survive could be a key swing bloc between President Barack Obama's party and Republicans, particularly if the GOP ends up with only a narrow majority in the House.
the House of Representatives since 1992.

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AT: DEMS KEY If Obama angers the left, it only boosts capital Weigant 8 (Chris Weigant is a political commentator. He has been a regular contributor to Arianna Huffingtons The Huffington Post since
June of 2006, How Will Obama Enrage The Left? Huffington Post 12/3/08 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-weigant/how-will-obamaenrage-the_b_148246.html) I hate to rain on anyone's parade, but Obama is guaranteed to disappoint. The right wing won't be terribly disappointed, of course, since they'll have plenty to complain about for the next four-to-eight years. 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. This means Obama won't be as effective a Republican fundraising tool, since he won't be doing all those things that terrify Republican donors. The

left wing, however, is going to get disappointed with a short sharp shock, soon after Obama enters office. Because newly-inaugurated President Obama is going to pick one issue and swiftly smack the left in the face, by refusing to do what they want him to do. This will be a calculated move, and will likely pay off enormous political dividends for Obama over the life of his presidency. Call it his "Sister Souljah moment," if you will. By appearing to "stand up" to the left wing, Obama will be seen as charting his own course as a strong and independent leader, beholden to no special interest group of radical progressives. That's how the news media will portray it, at any rate. His approval ratings will likely rise after he does so, since it will serve to calm fears from suburban Republicans and Independents that Obama is going to make too many radical changes too fast. But it's going to absolutely enrage the left. You can bet the farm on that one. Taking the long view, however, I believe it will actually help Obama get more progressive laws passed. It's kind of doublethink, but bear with me. 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. They didn't believe the cries of "Socialist!" in the election, and they're going to get more
comfortable with Obama as a result. It will then be up to Congress to challenge him by passing laws even more sweeping than Obama asked for. Which Obama will (perhaps with a show of reluctance) then sign. Meaning more progressive legislation actually gets passed in the end. If Obama removes his "lightning rod" target for the right wing early on, over the long run he'll be able to get better laws passed, with more support from the public than they would normally have. I could be monstrously wrong about all of this, to be sure. But from watching his campaign, and listening to what he actually said, the portrait of Obama I am left with is one of cautiousness and pragmatism, and not of some sort of progressive icon. Exhibit A in my thinking is the FISA bill he voted for. Exhibit B would have to be the numerous times he reluctantly moved left, without actually fully supporting a populist or liberal agenda. Exhibit C is his intervention with how the Senate treated Joe Lieberman. And that's without even examining his cabinet choices. All of these things point to a very centrist course for an Obama administration, with lots of compromises with political foes. A good test case will be how President Obama handles the torture question. Will he convene a commission to investigate? Will he offer blanket immunity (or even -- gasp! -- 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," while urging everyone to move on? The torture question is merely the tip of the iceberg (the best bad example, as it were) in how Obama is going to handle Bush's legacy. What Bush policies is Obama going to immediately rectify? What Bush actions will he reverse, 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, which leaves me wondering what he will actually do when he gets the chance. But it could be almost any issue, it doesn't just have to be how to deal with 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. Clinton wanted to do what was right, the military balked, and we wound up with "Don't ask, don't tell," which has been a complete disaster. But the lesson here is that Clinton started off by picking a fight with his opponents -- with a bold move that he knew they would hate. I think Obama is going to do the opposite. I think he's going to come out with some bold move that he knows the left is absolutely going to abhor. [Feel free to offer your own thoughts in the comments as to what exactly this is going to turn out to be, or even if you think I'm barking up the wrong tree entirely.] Because I simply cannot get rid of the feeling that, sometime next January or February, President Obama is going to make a point of picking a fight with some of his own most fervent supporters. They will then denounce him for his outrageous action, and go ballistic in an entirely predictable fashion. And (this is the part I'm least sure about, I have to admit) Obama

will emerge from the fray even stronger politically than ever, with more "political capital" to spend on getting the rest of his agenda done. In other words, although it will require more of a "big picture" or "long view of history" type of viewpoint, I
don't think it'll be as bad as it will first seem when it happens.

NO IMPACT TO ANGERING THE DEMOCRATS THEY WONT TURN ON OBAMA. Chicago Tribune 8. [11/7, Lexis]
O'Hanlon, a national security expert at the Brookings Institution in Washington, 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. "Obama to the left is what Ronald Reagan was to the right," O'Hanlon said. "He can do no wrong . If you're
Michael ending the war anyway, and it is a question if you're doing it in 1 1/2 , 2 1/2 or 3 1/2 years. ... He's already moving things in the direction they want him to."

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NOPE THEY ALL LOST REMAINING DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS WILL BE UNIFIED AND PROGRESSIVE. KRIEGER 11-12-10. [Hilary Leila, Washington correspondent, Analysis: The partisans are coming to Congress Jerusalem Post] But some Democrats have found a silver lining to their otherwise unwelcome results, particularly those Democrats on the farther left side of the spectrum. For them, though the party lost its majority in the House of Representatives and with it its committee chairmen, there was some small comfort in the result that most of those kicked out were moderates. 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. In vivid contrast, as liberal blogger Deborah White wrote, no Black Caucus members, and very few Progressive or Latino Caucus members, lost their House reelection bids. As a result, House Democrats in the 112th Congress will be more progressive and more supportive of the Democratic Party and Nancy Pelosis agenda than any House of Representatives in recent memory. THERES NOT ENOUGH LEFT TO MATTER ELECTION RESULTS. THOMMA 11-5-10. [Steven, White House correspondent, Extremes rule both parties, as centrists lose their seats McClatchy
Newspapers]

The center may be falling out of American politics. About two dozen moderate to conservative Democrats in the House of Representatives were defeated this week, leaving a more liberal party in Washington. Also, several moderate to liberal Republicans were turned out through the year, ousted by primary
challenges from more conservative candidates and leaving a more conservative party behind. The result is a more polarized Congress. That could complicate efforts to solve some of the country's biggest problems, such as government deficits and debt, especially as outsized voices on talk radio, cable TV and in the blogosphere pressure the parties not to compromise. All this risks driving politics farther from the American people, many of whom still stand squarely in the middle of the political road. "Bit by bit, the center in American politics is getting weaker," said William Galston, a top policy adviser in the Clinton White House and a scholar at the Brookings Institution.

In the Democratic Party, this week's elections drove out about half of the conservative Democrats in the House, mostly
from the South. Among the losers: Rep. Gene Taylor of Mississippi, who voted against the Democratic health care law, opposed "cap and trade" energy legislation and voted for Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., for president in 2008 against his own party's nominee, Barack Obama. The

remaining Democratic lawmakers, particularly in the House, will be more liberal, and under great pressure from such outside groups as labor unions not to make any compromises that would cut federal
spending, particularly for pay or benefits for government employees.

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Moderates key to the agenda. Silver 8 (Nate, Political Analyst published in the Guardian, the New Republic and CNN, and cited by the New York Times, Who Are the
Swing Senators? December 4, http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2008/12/who-are-swing-senators.html)

With Jim Martin's loss in Georgia, we now know that the Democrats will not achieve a 60-seat senatorial caucus once the 111th Congress convenes next month. In practice, however, the line between 59 (or 58) votes and 60 was never so bright as it seemed. Moderate Republicans are an endangered species these days, but there are still a few of them left, 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. Conversely, there are more than a couple of Democrats in the chamber whose votes Obama can't take for granted. In practice, 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. If Obama's approval ratings are strong, he should have little trouble whipping the couple of Republican votes he needs into shape, and should clear 60 comfortably on key issues. But, if Obama proves to be unpopular, there remain enough conservative, red-state Democratic senators to deny him a simple majority on key issues, much less 60 votes.

MODERATES KEY -- SWAY THE VOTE. Bangor Daily News 6. [Lauren Smith, Moderates Still Wield Power in Congress , 11-30-06,
http://www.bu.edu/washjocenter/newswire_pg/fall2006/conn/Moderates.htm] Despite the ouster of many moderate Republicans in the midterm elections, politicians and political experts still expect moderates to play a pivotal role in the upcoming Congress. Nearly 45 percent of Americans describe themselves as moderates and I think that speaks volumes about what the people want, what Maine people want: an independent voice building a political center, said Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), who won reelection with almost 75 percent of the vote. The Democrats will enjoy a 31-seat majority in the House come January. In the Senate, Democrats will have a slim two-seat majority in combination with the two independents who

Because of the Senate rules, it takes 60 votes to get any major bill passed, said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine). That means the moderates on both sides of the aisle will be the ones who determine whether or not legislation is approved. The slight majority in the Senate could put Republican moderates in a powerful position. The few moderate Republicans that exist in the Senate are in an influential position, said Richard Powell, political science professor at the University of Maine, Orono. They still control the swing vote in such a narrowly divided Senate. Because of the rules in the House which
have said they will be caucusing with the Democrats. allow the majority party to control the flow of legislation, Republicans in the House will have less influence, said Powell. But the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of moderate and conservative House Democrats, of which Rep. Michael Michaud (D-Maine) is a member, hopes to reach over to the Republican side of the aisle on at least some issues, said Eric Wortman, the coalitions spokesman. I think you will see a rise in bipartisanship. The leadership of the House has made that clear, Wortman said. 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. Rep. Chris Shays is not only the last Connecticut Republican in the House, hes the only Republican left in the chamber from New England. The states other two GOP representatives, Nancy Johnson and Rob Simmons, viewed as moderates on most issues, lost to Democratic challengers. 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, Powell said. The trend has been underway for quite some time now. New Hampshires two Republican House members, Charles Bass and Jeb Bradley also were defeated by Democratic challengers. In Rhode Island, moderate Republican Sen. Lincoln Chaffee was ousted from his position. In Massachusetts, a Democratic governor was elected for the first time in 16 years, putting the statehouse in line with the states entire congressional delegation. It is not healthy for Republicans to have such a small presence in an entire region of the country, Shays said. Competition makes everyone perform better. It would be better for the Republicans, the Democrats and the country to have two strong parties in New England. Shays said he would be happy to travel in New England to help rebuild the moderate wing of the party in the Northeast. Moderates

in both parties have an important role of reaching across the aisle to get things done, Shays said. Most Americans are not red or blue, they are purple.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 MODERATE GOP KEY MODERATE REPUBLICANS KEY. MAXWELL 10. [Zerlina, former Obama campaign staffer, political commentator, 5 things Obama should do after the midterm
elections -- http://theloop21.com/politics/5-things-obama-should-do-after-the-midterm-elections] The following is a list of 5 action items that President Obama

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should do in order to be successful under a new and more conservative Congress. 1. Meet with key Republicans in the U.S. Senate immediately after the midterm elections. While it is true that there will be fewer moderate Republicans left in the Congress after the midterms, there will still be a handful. They are the same ones whose names were dropped during the healthcare and financial reform debates, Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Scott Brown (R-MA). These three at the very least should be on the Presidents list of reasonable Senators who will hopefully not filibuster every single piece of legislation. 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. It is important to point out that the political calculus after the midterms changes slightly for the Republicans in Congress. Whereas between 2008 and 2010 they had nothing at all to lose by going against the Presidents agenda and everything to gain by frustrating his efforts to bring about promised change, they have to appear as though they are doing something other than saying no. Otherwise they risk losing not only
seats in Congress in 2012, but President Obama has a perfect scapegoat to blame for any lack of progress during his 2012 reelection campaign.

MODERATE REPUBLICANS KEY TO OBAMAS AGENDA. WHITTELL 10. [Giles, Washington, DC bureau chief for the London Times, Barack Obamas agenda shifts to humility, consensus
The Australian -- October 30]

Translation: he knows that even if Democrats manage to hang on to the Senate and the house, their majorities will shrink to insignificance and their ability to force through ambitious legislation will disappear. Whether Mr Obama likes it or not, 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. Guardian 8 (December 4, Lexis)
The Chambliss victory means the Democrats have 58 of the to override Republican delaying tactics such as filibusters

100 Senate seats. A majority of 60 would have allowed them that could wreck Obama's ambitious legislative programme. Instead, the Democrats will have to court Republicans to see their bills through . Chambliss' push to become a bulwark against
Obama earned him the nickname "Mr 41" - the number of Republican senators needed to thwart a 60-seat Democrat majority - from the national Republican chairman, Mike Duncan. "Republicans still know how to win an election," Duncan declared yesterday at a victory party in Georgia. The final Senate contest, in Minnesota, is being recounted and hangs in the balance, with Republican incumbent Norm Coleman clinging to a lead of about 300 votes as of yesterday. Still, 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, energy, and jobs plans.

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REPUBLICAN MIDTERM WINS CAME IN BLUE DISTRICTS CONSIDERABLE MODERATE GOP CONTINGENT. SHOR 10. [Boris, PhD, Assistant Professor, Harris School @ UChicago, political scientist, Say Hello to the Future Fightin Republican
Liberals and Moderates of the House Class of 2010 October 27 -- http://bshor.wordpress.com/2010/10/27/say-hello-to-the-future-fightinrepublican-liberals-and-moderates-of-the-house-class-of-2010/]

Republicans, in this wave election that recalls 1994, look set to win not just swing districts, but also those districts that have been traditionally Democratic, or those with strong or longtime Democratic incumbents. Naturally, just as in 2008, this has led to overclaiming by jubilant conservatives and distraught liberalsthough the adjectives were then reversedthat this portends a realignment in American politics. What do Republican inroads in traditionally Democratic areas portend for how these potential new Representatives will vote come January 2011? For a little guidance, think back to two Republicans who won special elections in deeply blue constituencies in the 111th Congress: Scott Brown in Massachusetts, and Charles Djou in Hawaiis 1st District. Ive already written a bit about Scott Brown. My prediction after his election but before his arrival in Washington was that Brown, based on his voting record in the Massachusetts state legislature, would prove to be one of the most liberal Republicans in the US Senate, for which I was vilified a bit online. Now that we have nearly a years worth of votes behind us, I feel pretty good about that
prediction. My estimate of Browns ideologyusing our NPAT common space datais that he is the third most liberal Republican in the Senate, just behind Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine. Charles Djou won a unique special election in the normally very Democratic HI-1 district, when two Democrats split the majority of votes in the district due to the lack of a primary election by law. One measure, among many, of the partisan leanings of a district is its Cook Partisan Voting Index or PVI score. HI-1, which is Barack Obamas home district and encompasses Honolulu, is D+11. I hadnt yet written about Djouto my regretthough he had previously served in the Hawaii State Assembly (District 47). While there, he compiled a conservative-for-Hawaii voting record; I estimate him in the top 10 percent of legislators for conservatism in the state. He was even right of center of his own party. Of course, the punch line is just like that for Dede Scozzafava in New York. A conservative Republican in Hawaii just aint that conservative when you look across the country. Its just that Hawaii Republicans are quite liberal. Based purely on Djous voting record in the Assembly, I would have predicted him to be more liberal than Lincoln Chaffee (RI) or Jim Jeffords (VT), the first of whom endorsed a Democrat for president, and the second of whom gave majority control of the Senate to Democrats by leaving the Republican party. In fact, he turned out to be slightly more conservative than I had expected, but not by much. Hes about as conservative as Scott Brown isthat is, not veryby the standards of congressional Republicans. In fact, the only Republican representative evincing a more liberal voting record than Djou is Anh Joseph Cao, of Louisianas 2nd District. Cao won his New Orleans district after the indictment of his predecessor. Yet even his sole Republican vote in favor of the Democratic health care reform legislation doesnt appear to be enough to save him, as polling and other data indicate a very high likelihood of a Cao loss. In short, Republican moderates in Congress are often associated with two factors: 1) a liberal voting record earlier in their career, and 2) a liberal district. Of course, both are related, in the sense that ambitious moderates choose liberal districts to run in, and liberal districts weed out conservative candidates. Still, district opinion and legislator ideology are not always mirror images, for reasons I will describe in a later post. Despite this, Republican liberals and moderates often find themselves in difficult electoral contests, as Democratic conservatives and moderates are discovering anew in 2010. Given

how competitive Republicans are in 2010, even in otherwise unfriendly territory, we should then expect a crop of moderates to emerge in the 112th Congress that will vote on the left side of the party.

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REACHING OUT TO MODERATE GOP FAILS THERES NONE LEFT. BARRON 11-4-10. [John, Inside American presenter on ABC NewsRadio, research associate @ US Studies Centre @ U of Sydney,
The Doughnut Election ABC -- http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/11/04/3056619.htm?site=thedrum] Already president Obama is being urged to "shift to the political centre" - 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.

But even some Clinton insiders, like former labor secretary Robert Reich, say the political centre just doesn't exist - shift to the centre and you'll find you are all alone. American politics is more like a doughnut. And this is clearly a problem for any attempts at bipartisanship. When the democrats enjoyed a 60-40
Senate majority, there was no need to compromise. Which was just as well because there were only one or two moderate Republicans who might have ever considered a compromise. 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. But not this time. 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. 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. MODERATES CANT COMPROMISE RE-ELECTION. FRIEL 10. [Brian, CQ Staff, Divided Senate complicates Dem Agenda CQ Today -- November 4 -http://www.congress.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. Such demands ultimately cost Pennsylvanias Arlen Specter and Utahs Robert F. Bennett their seats and helped deny nomination to several candidates initially favored by Senate Republican leaders, including Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and Rep. Michael N. Castle of Delaware. Republican senators who could face challenges from the right in 2012 include Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, Scott P. Brown of Massachusetts and Bob Corker of Tennessee. That pressure could make compromise with Democrats impossible.

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Moderate Democrats have the reigns of the political agenda, They have massive influence as well as White House Allies, this gives the key votes in both the senate and house, because of the need for two middle of the road senators for 60 votes. Fox News 2009 (Fox News is mainly a political news source with both online and television news. Moderate Democrats Flex Their Clout March 14th 2009. http://www.foxnews.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, working to add a pro-business dose of pragmatism to President Obama's plans to rescue homeowners, overhaul health care and revamp energy policy. With close ties to industry and a keen understanding of how markets work, these Democrats have taken an increasingly influential and visible role in debates over federal spending and housing. They also have powerful allies in the White House. Obama told the House's band of New Democrats during a meeting
last week that he considered himself one of them, according to several attendees. His chief of staff, former Rep. Rahm Emanuel, is one of their most prominent alumni. Among recent signs of their clout: The 68-member New Democrat Coalition temporarily sidelined a measure to let bankruptcy judges rewrite mortgages. They held out for limits on court-ordered easing of mortgages, a move lenders were demanding.

A few centrist Senate Democrats helped slow passage of a $410 billion spending bill because of its cost.
"This is a healthy reprise (of) what we had in the Clinton administration. We were go-to people on the pro-growth area and on balancing the budget, and on making sure that we were competitive in the trade environment," said California

Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher, head of the New Democrats. "We've got members strategically placed throughout all the big committees. ... We can really deliver votes." They can withhold them too, forcing Democratic leaders to bow to their demands. They demonstrated that two weeks ago when House leaders canceled votes on the bankruptcy loan modification bill, which Obama backs, because of concerns among the moderates about how it could affect homeowners struggling to make their monthly
payments. 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. In the process, the moderates took heat from liberal activists who called them "corporatists" working on behalf of banking lobbyists instead of their constituents. Tauscher, a former Wall Street investment banker, said she hasn't met with a banking lobbyist in months. But she makes no apologies for her relationships with the business sector, which she notes employs her constituents. New Democrats' ability to work with industry to find a middle ground on major issues is important now, she argued, given the wave of crises that has shaken the public's confidence. "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.

Business interests are pleased to see the moderates gaining greater prominence. Fearing a rush by Obama and a strengthened Democratic congressional majority to impose
They're also not going to get anything done," Tauscher said. burdensome new policies with little regard for how they might affect companies' bottom lines, their lobbyists say centrists can broker compromises. "A number of the New Democrats have a Ph.D. in the art of the doable," said Jeff Peck, a top financial services lobbyist.

"The more severe the crisis, the greater the desire and need for people off the Hill to find members who actually want to get stuff done, and the New Democrats have a well-deserved reputation for doing that." In the Senate, a more loosely affiliated group of Democratic centrists led by Sens. Evan Bayh of Indiana, Tom Carper of Delaware and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas plans to launch its own coalition in the coming weeks. The group of about 15 could be a critical voting bloc as Senate Democratic leaders, with a 58-41 working majority that includes two independents, search for the elusive 60 votes necessary to advance most legislation beyond the minefield of procedural hurdles. "Our group is not to be a counterweight to anyone or to obstruct anything. On the contrary, our group is to get things done," Bayh said. "You've got to get to 60 votes in the Senate most of the time, and our group will be a key to
making that happen."

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Moderate democrats rising key force to Obamas agenda bipartisan efforts Dallek, visiting scholar at the Bipartisan Policy Center, 5.11.09 (Matthew, Moderate Democrats become decisive factor, Politico, http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0509/22340.html)
One critical topic was largely lost amid the medias grading of Barack Obamas presidency at its 100-day mark, and the decibel-splitting debate about the GOPs future: As Sen. Arlen Specters party shift shows, for the first time since the mid-1990s, moderate Democrats are a rising, increasingly decisive factor in American politics. From their efforts to enact bipartisan health care reform to shaping energy and environmental legislation, Democratic moderates form a crucial bloc of votes that will define much of Obamas legislative agenda. Elected from the South, the Midwest and the interior West, they come from Republican strongholds and claim to speak for moderates and independents or swing voters.Sens. Evan Bayh of Indiana, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Mark Warner of Virginia, Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana have emerged as a formidable legislative force, following in the steps of Bill Clintons Democratic Leadership Council on economic issues. One of their greatest concerns is averting a new era of exploding budget deficits. They recall that Clinton enacted a landmark budget in 1993. It raised taxes on corporations and the wealthy, put limits on new social spending and ultimately helped cut the budget deficit and produce a budget surplus in 1998. Clintons presidency marked a profound change in the Democratic Partys direction, argued Kenneth Baer, the author of Reinventing Democrats, a history of the DLC. Before Clintons ascendance, Democrats had been seen as profligate tax-andspenders; with Clinton in power, however, Democrats had a president who championed ... fiscal restraint. Clinton helped Democrats shed their image as pro-Big-Government liberals, and his legacy of fiscal responsibility reverberates among Democratic moderates in Congress in 2009. In March, Democratic centrists in the Senate formed a moderate coalition to push for bipartisan deficit reduction, among other center-left policies. But DLC founders Al From, former Louisiana Rep. Gillis Long, and former Sens. Chuck Robb of Virginia and Sam Nunn of Georgia also sought to reorient the party toward the white middle class, as Clinton biographer David Maraniss put it. Their program offered tax cuts for middle-income families, hailed small business as Americas economic driver and held traditional interest groups organized labor, for one at arms length. In a 60-40 Democratic Senate, the influence of the DLCs heirs is going to be profound. Specter, the newest Democratic moderate, opposes the union-backed Employee Free Choice Act, while Ben Nelson has expressed disapproval of Obamas cap-and-trade energy plan. They are reluctant to buck the wishes of business and raise taxes on the middle class. These centrists also tend to be more hawkish than most of their liberal congressional counterparts. Like Al Gores and Clintons support for the 1991 Gulf War, Democratic centrists, more recently, backed George W. Bushs 2003 Iraq war and praised Obamas decision to send thousands of troops to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan. While eyeing Obamas overtures to Iran and Cuba with some trepidation, the presence of Robert Gates (a Republican), hawkish Hillary Clinton and four-star Gen. James Jones in the Cabinet is reassuring. Obama, they know, isnt another Democratic dove in the mold of Eugene McCarthy. The newly won power of these liberal centrists wont necessarily trigger a fresh round of Democratic infighting. The DLC has been eclipsed by the Center for American Progress. Bill Clinton is the secretary of states spouse. Al Gore is a hero to environmentalists and anti-war activists. It is, in short, a different era.Democrats are more cohesive politically than they were in the mid- to late-80s, when Clinton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson battled for the partys mind. (The DLC, Jackson once quipped, stood for Democrats for the Leisure Class, who
comb their hair to the left like Kennedy and move their policies to the right like Reagan.)Obama is too young to have fought in these wars; besides, as his first 100 days as president show, he is ideologically nimble and tough to pigeonhole politically. While his sweeping first budget has evoked in some memories of LBJs Great Society, his speech to Congress in February highlighted his commitment to deficit reduction. He has talked, Clinton-like, about trimming wasteful government spending, endorsed tax cuts for the middle class, vowed to withdraw deliberately from the

. While the moderates in the Senate are only one of the Democratic Partys constituent pieces, they are a rising force in Washington and in the country, especially now that Specter has brought Democrats to the brink of a filibuster-proof majority for the first time in decades.
war in Iraq and hailed such values as responsibility, family and national service.Obama has one foot planted in the moderate camp and another squarely centered in the liberal camp

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

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Blue Dogs and Moderates are showing their political strength on agenda issues. They will get their demands on the budget, which is symbolic of their political power. Associated Press 2009 (Associated Press is a American News service having newspapers, online, and radio news. Conservative 'Blue Dog' Democrats Flex Muscles as Obama Stumbles March 19th 2009. http://www.newsmax.com/headlines/conservative_democrats/2009/03/19/194047.html)
- Conservative and moderate Democrats are flexing their muscles on Capitol Hill, 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, calling for cutting more than $40 billion from domestic programs funded by Congress each year At the same time, 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. The Blue Dogs, a coalition of moderate and conservative Democrats, many of them from the South, control a critical bloc of votes needed to pass the congressional budget blueprint. It is the first legislative response to Obama's $3.6 trillion budget for next year. 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. Under such a regimen, legislation cutting taxes, establishing new benefit programs or making current programs more generous must be "paid for" with higher revenues or benefit cuts elsewhere. If the rule is broken, it would trigger across-the-board cuts in other benefit programs, with Social Security exempted. Such a statutory pay-as-you-go system, or "paygo," was in place for years in the 1990s and early this decade, though the law was simply "switched off" when Congress passed President George W. Bush's 2001 tax-cut bill. "We're trying to be constructive in a way that allows the president to get an acceptable budget," said Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-La., "but at the same time get paygo statutorily put in place." While the group hasn't drawn any lines in the sand, some of their demands are likely to be met, especially regarding global warming. 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. Under cap-and-trade, the government would establish a market for carbon dioxide by selling credits to companies that emit greenhouse gases. 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. The cost of the credits would be passed on to consumers. 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. Obama sought a $51 billion, 9 percent increase for non-defense programs, a figure that's probably too high to pass, 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. "I'm going to show that we've made many adjustments in the budget in light of CBO's re-estimates," said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, DN.D. Administration allies such as House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, D-Wis., are

pressing for budget increases well above those sought by moderates. The looming battle over how much to devote to annual domestic agency budgets is important because unlike other elements of the congressional budget planthey are often more symbolic than substantivethe
annual caps on appropriations have real impact on programs.

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Theyre key to the agendathey form key swing votes on every policy. Chaote 2009 [staff writer, Stenholm's 'Blue Dogs' show muscle in health plan debate, August 9, reporter news,
http://www.reporternews.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. Stenholm, a lobbyist who still considers himself a Blue Dog, 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. The fiscally frugal group is coming into its own as shown by its members forcing negotiations on health-care reform recently in the House. 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. Theyre bringing to heel their more liberal House leaders and bending President Obamas ear at the White House.
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 tomorrows energy needs. Stenholm, a Blue Dog founder, long represented the 17th Congressional District with Abilene as a centerpiece. After district boundaries were redrawn to favor Republicans, he was paired with U.S. Rep. Randy Neugebauer in the 19th Congressional District and lost to the Republican from Lubbock. Q. Blue Dogs seems to have suddenly jumped to the forefront on the national scene in the last few weeks. Could you summarize who they are and what they stand for? A.

They are

52 Democrats that hold very competitive congressional seats.

Most of these seats have been occupied by a

Republican in the last two,

four, six or eight years. But even those that have been occupied by long-serving Democrats as Blue Dogs, theyre 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. Q. While 52 or 51 depending who you ask Blue Dogs is a significant number, they havent been terribly prominent in the past even after Democrats gained power. Why do you think they are now? A.

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. So when you have a Democratic administration, a Democratic-controlled House, a Democratic-controlled Senate, then it
Because theres no question that the leadership of the House is considerably more liberal than certainly the people of Texas, the 19th (Congressional) District now the old 17th (Congressional) District and the other districts that were talking about.

gets down to the responsibility of being a legislator. And that is realizing that what you vote for or vote against is probably going to become law or not become law. You dont have the luxury of voting no or voting yes and expecting it to be vetoed by George Bush. Its 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. Thats what Blue Dogs are doing now and will do for the next year and a half. Q. What would you like to see them do to maintain that influence and shape the direction things are going on Capitol Hill? A. What they are doing. Blue Dogs mainly are concerned about the fiscal concerns of our country. Some of the things that we talked about five years ago, 10 years ago, are now happening. I mean, when I was first elected, our national debt was $771 billion. Today, it is $11.6 trillion. The Reagan years, $3.8 trillion was added to our debt. (George H.W.) Bush 41, $1.6 trillion was added to our debt. Clintons eight years, $1.4 trillion was added to our debt. (George W.) Bush 43, $5.8 trillion was added to our debt. And theres a big question mark with the spending that is now going on and being proposed. We cant sustain it. It just cannot be sustained. And the Blue Dogs are going to be trying to change the fiscal direction, holding the line on spending. And thats so important. Q. Do you think theyre walking a fine line politically? Theyre conservative Democrats who might be bucking, like you said, the more liberal leadership of their party. But at the same time, what about when they need to get something done in the future? Will they have the political capital? A. Well, sure. If theyve got something to get done in the future, it has to stand on the merits of what it is you want done. And, you know, at some point in time, Republicans are going to have to do something other than just vote no. Because if you vote no and something goes down that the people of your district wanted, 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, too, just to teach those Blue Dogs a lesson? Thats a question for the people to answer. Q. Blue Dogs have come under criticism for accepting contributions from that industry and then working to alter health care legislation, some think, by weakening the public health care option pushed by the administration. Do you think that criticism is deserved? A: Lets take political contributions out of our political system. If you can find a constitutional way to do that, I think it would be very, very positive. But right now, there is no constitutional way to remove contributions. 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. Business, labor union or any other organization that has a political action committee, they tend to support those who do vote their way most of the time. People do not contribute to people that vote against them.

as we started out talking about, they are the swing vote now on whether or not were going to pass center, right-of-center or left-of-center but close-to-the-center legislation on health care, on climate change, on energy policy, on agricultural policy, on health care policy, every policy. So people and political action committees are contributing to Blue Dogs in the expectation that they will vote for something that is center, right of center and not too far left of center.
Blue Dogs,

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 Moderate Republicans Key Moderate republicans are needed to allow key items on Obamas agenda to pass. Ferro & Cowan 2009 (Political Journalists at Reuters, (Thomas and Richard are political journalists at Reuters. Reuters, Congress Faces Historic Challenge, January 3, 2009. http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSTRE5020XL20090103?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=0 )

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Expectations are high that Congress will move fast, maybe by the end of January, on the economic stimulus package. But some Republicans are threatening to slow it down, citing
concerns about wasteful spending. 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." McConnell will use what leverage he has to try to win concessions that could allow the stimulus bill to pass with bipartisan support. Obama plans to meet in coming days with congressional leaders of both parties to discuss his push for a stimulus package. "I am optimistic that if we come together to seek solutions that advance not the interests of any party, or the agenda of any one group, but the aspirations of all Americans, then we will meet the challenges of our time," he said in his party's weekly radio address. Ethan Siegal of The Washington Exchange, a private firm that tracks Congress for institutional investors, said, "In the end, Republicans will not block the stimulus package. ... The country is not behind them. It's behind Barack Obama." WANTED: MODERATE REPUBLICANS Despite record federal budget deficits -- they could hit $1 trillion just for this year -- Obama has plans to extend health coverage to an estimated 46 million uninsured Americans. He is aiming for an overhaul of the U.S. health care system, a $2.3 trillion industry that accounts for about 16 percent of the U.S. economy. Some of the cost could be covered by letting Bush's tax cuts for the rich expire next year.

Democrats controlled Congress during the past two years, but Senate Republicans routinely blocked much of their agenda with procedural hurdles known as filibusters. Democrats hope that with their expanded Senate majority and help from some moderate Republicans, they will be able to pass a number of measures previously stalled. These include ones to: * Allow the government to negotiate companies' prices for drugs covered under Medicare's health program for the elderly. * Overhaul U.S. immigration policy by tightening border security while giving some illegals a path toward citizenship. * Reverse a U.S. Supreme Court decision that made it tougher for workers to sue for pay discrimination.

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Moderates are key to critical agenda issues, EFCA proves. Deveson 2009 (Max is the BBC News Website's Washington reporter. Obama Diary, Obama diary: The first 100 days March 11th 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/low/americas/7919837.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. EFCA is the American trade union movement's biggest legislative priority, but it is vehemently opposed by big business. 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"). Employers say EFCA would do away with the secret ballot, and could lead to union coercion. The unions say the deck is already stacked in the employers' favour, 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, and the House of Representatives is also likely to pass the bill. real battle will be in the Senate; if moderates from both parties baulk at it, the bill will not pass. If recent comments from Arkansas Democrat Blanche Lincoln - "the bill is divisive and we don't need that right now" - are any indication of moderates' thinking, the bill is going to encounter some difficulties.
the firm demand it. But the

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

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In the political climate post stimulus bill swing voters such as Snowe, Gregg, Murkowski, Grassley, Collins, are being targets as key to new legislation. Cillizza 2009 (Chris writes both articles for The Washington Post, and "The Fix", a politics blog for the Washington Post. He also covers the White House for the newspaper and website. House Republicans' Stand Against Stimulus Provides Fodder for Democratic Ads February 2nd 2009. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/article/2009/02/01/AR2009020102112.html) Obama's economic stimulus plan may have passed the House last week, but the political fallout from the vote is just getting started. 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. (No Republican voted for the legislation, which passed 244 to 188.) The ads are tailored to highlight specific elements of the bill that House Democrats believe will resonate with voters. Some knock the GOP members for voting against a bill that cut taxes for "95 percent of American workers," while others are tailored for specific districts, such as one that hits freshman Rep. Christopher Lee (R-N.Y.) for opposing legislation that would "immediately create and save over 390,000 New York jobs." The target list for
President the ads, which will be accompanied by 3 million e-mails and 100,000 phone calls into the districts, encompasses a broad swath of new and

In addition to Lee, freshman Reps. Tom Rooney (Fla.), Brett Guthrie (Ky.), Anh "Joseph" Cao (La.), John Fleming (La.), Bill Cassidy (La.), Blaine Luetkemeyer (Mo.) and Leonard Lance (N.J.) are all on the Democratic hit list. Several House Republican leaders will also get to hear ads in
veteran Republican lawmakers. their home districts, including National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Tex.) and Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.). Brian Wolff, executive director of the DCCC, said: "These are serious times; hardworking families are worried about keeping their jobs, health care and homes -- they want action, not House Republicans cheering about doing nothing." The DCCC ads are the latest evidence that congressional Democrats -- and their outside allies -- believe that last week's vote was a major political faux pas by House Republicans.

MoveOn.org and the Service Employees International Union are sponsoring television commercials urging five swing-state senators -- Susan Collins (Maine), Olympia J. Snowe (Maine), Judd Gregg (N.H.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Charles Grassley (Iowa) -- to back the bill, which will come up for debate in
the upper chamber this week. (Progressive groups may not have Gregg to kick around much longer; Obama could announce as soon as today that the Republican is his choice for commerce secretary.) Americans United for Change, a leading Democratic-aligned organization, is running radio ads in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Nevada asking whether the Republican senators in each state will "side with Rush Limbaugh" in opposing the bill

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### Independents ###

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

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***Specific Senators***

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A group of senate moderate democrats including Landrieu hold the power to key items on Obamas agenda such as Climate Change and Healthcare. Without them it is likely they wont pass and will create a partisan environment.
Dennis & Pierce 2009 (Steven T. and Emily are Staff Writers for Role Call. Roll Call is a site and newspaper for items on
the agenda and general news about things going on, on Capitol Hill. Centrists Flex Power of Veto March 18th 2009. 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 - climate change and health care reform. 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. Many of the same Democrats also oppose using those budget rules to prevent filibusters of health care legislation. But without those fast-track rules known

as reconciliation, the odds of passing either of Obama's top two priorities diminishes greatly. Under reconciliation, just 51 votes are needed to pass key budget priorities, rather than the 60 votes usually
Democratic moderates have been couching their opposition to reconciliation with terms like "bipartisanship" and "regular order," but when pressed, some Senators acknowledged they want to ensure their voices are heard during
required under regular order. upcoming debates on global warming and health care. Senators from energy-producing states like West Virginia and Louisiana are worried new carbon taxes could be slammed down their throats. 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. "My job here is to represent my state, but also

in a broader context, reconciliation was not intended as a way to cram down major policy," said Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), one of the eight Senate moderates to sign the letter opposing reconciliation for climate change legislation. "It was intended for deficit reduction, and it should not be used for other things." Landrieu said that if the energy issue is done right, it could unify the country, rather than divide it, but there is a concern that states like hers, which have massive petrochemical industries, could lose out under a cap-andtrade system or a carbon tax. Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), worries that if only 50 votes plus Vice President Joseph Biden are needed to pass a bill, other Democrats could be shut out of the negotiations. "That's absolutely a concern of a lot of people," she said. "We need everyone in the room. It needs to be done in a bipartisan way." But other Democrats said they were concerned that Republicans will filibuster anything Obama pushes on energy and climate change, and the recent run of near-total Republican opposition to Democratic priorities doesn't give them cause for hope. They argue that reconciliation - and the simple majority it requires - would ensure Democrats can forward their top agenda items. I think we should protect it," Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) said in support of using reconciliation. "Because of this contrary attitude that exists [among Republicans], where whatever we want to do, right or wrong, they just oppose the Democrats," he added. Landrieu, however, said Democrats should not assume the worst of Republicans. She argued Democrats should give the other side a chance to come to the table and work toward a bipartisan deal. "Just because we haven't had that much luck in the last 85 days, doesn't mean we're not going to have much luck in the next 85 days," she said. "These issues are so big and so complicated that we need to follow regular order in their development. We just simply do." The intraparty feud has Senate Democratic leaders looking to fallback positions. One possibility being kicked around is to include reconciliation rules but saying only that they intend to use them as a last resort, as sort of a club to bring Republicans and waffling Democrats to the table. "That's certainly an option," said Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), who also continues to float the idea of passing a second budget later this year if needed to bypass filibusters. Conrad has been caught in the middle of the internecine battle. Conrad maintained his opposition to using reconciliation this year for major legislation, yet he refused to rule it out. "I personally don't think it's a wise course," he said. "I find that the details of reconciliation have been lost on the people who advance it." Republicans have also warned that going the reconciliation route would poison the well for bipartisan negotiations, although they haven't been squeamish in using the fast-track powers themselves, using the maneuver to push through a series of expensive tax cuts and other legislation when they were in charge. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) didn't sign the moderates' letter on reconciliation, 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. "I'm always worried that West Virginia is going to be shut out," he said. House Democrats, meanwhile, don't want to give up the chance of being able to avoid the usual Senate gridlock. "It's a mistake to shut the door on any options," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "It's giving away the store before the negotiations begin," he said.

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Three moderate democrat senators including Landrieu, are the undecided senators that hold the power to decide the labor bill. Alpert 2009 (Bruce is a staff writer for the Washington Bureau. Washington Bureau is both an online and newspaper news
source with information about the latest issues on Capitol Hill. Landrieu a key vote in major labor bill; Balance of power is at stake for unions March 9th 2009. Lexis Nexis.)

WASHINGTON -- Armed with competing studies and tens of millions of dollars in lobbying and campaign expenditures, 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. At the cross hairs are a group of three undecided Southern Democratic senators: Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor of Arkansas -- and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana. Landrieu is a past co-sponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act. Landrieu benefited from union support in all three of her successful runs for the Senate, but in her race last year she also had the backing of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 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," Landrieu said. The legislation, a top priority for organized labor, 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. 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. Chances for enactment are much likelier than in previous years because of a new president, Democrat Barack Obama, who is considered pro-labor, and increased Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate. In the most recent election cycle, 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. To Jim Patterson, vice president of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, or LABI, the statewide business advocacy group, the labor bill would change the "balance of power" to unions, thereby increasing costs to businesses and leading to fewer jobs. Removing the requirement of a certification vote by secret ballot, he said, means that workers would feel pressure to sign organizing petitions even when they "don't want to." Helene O'Brien, president of Service Employees International Union Local 21LA in New Orleans, said it's little surprise that businesses want to keep the status quo -- given that the current system has enabled them to beat back union organizing drives with "intimidation." Giving unions a "level playing field," she said, would "rebuild the middle class by giving employees a way to advocate for higher pay and better benefits." "The additional money would be spent at local supermarkets, child care centers and other businesses throughout the state," O'Brien said. Both sides are gearing up for a fight, anticipating the introduction of the House legislation as early as this week. LABI representatives and Louisiana union members are due on Capitol Hill in coming days to lobby congressional members. --- Opposing studies released --- And both sides have released studies backing up their arguments. 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 6.9 percent more, or $1.25 more per hour in 2008, than their nonunion counterparts doing identical work. The Chamber of Commerce issued its own report, saying an increase of 1.5 million union members in one year would lead to the loss of 600,000 jobs, equal to the population of Boston, by the following year. Rep. Charlie Melancon, D- Napoleonville, one of a number of pro-business

Democratic members on the fence on the legislation, 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. For now, he accused business groups of engaging in "scare tactics" to try to block enactment. For example, he said, 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. --- Vitter among GOP critics ---But Sen. David Vitter, R-La., one of a majority of Republicans opposed to the bill, said the consequences to job creation, especially during a national economic downturn, can't be overstated. "This bill goes against the fundamental rights of our democracy," Vitter said. "By doing away with the secret ballot, it creates an environment ripe for union intimidation and coercion and places undue pressure on employees to vote along union lines. 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, large and small."

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Landrieus holds a vital role as the sole voice of the energy caucus, & she is key to climate change proposals.
Duncan 2009 (Alexander is a writer for McGraw Hill. McGraw-Hill Alaska's new senator carves out pro-gas niche as Democrats position energy bills March 30th 2009. Lexis Nexis)
Senator Mark Begich,

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

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

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McCain Key McCain will be a pivotal senator to Obamas agenda, especially now as the political climate becomes more and more partisan. Vogal 2009 (Kenneth P. has reported on politics and government for The News Tribune, The Times Leader, The
Center for Public Integrity, and The Journal Inquirer. He's won awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin. Politico, Good gov't agenda sails into headwind January 24th 2009. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0109/17852.html)

Imposing new lobbying rules by executive order was the easy part for President Barack Obama. The tougher job will be backing up with permanent reforms the sweeping good government rhetoric he made a centerpiece of his campaign. His ambitious pledges to fix Washington by bolstering campaign finance, disclosure, 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, a sense that his own campaign diminished momentum for some of his top proposals, and a political and regulatory landscape that could be more hostile to stricter rules.

The new president has shown signs that he intends to brave those headwinds to push for stricter clean government laws. Those whove worked with him are predicting hell seize the chance to remake the Federal Election Commission in his image, even though it could engender the ill wills of congressional leaders. And, during his transition, he reached out to the collection of good government groups, soliciting ideas for how to make government more open and accountable and less beholden to big-money interests. It was the first time that any of reform leaders could remember having their ideas solicited by an incoming presidents team. They responded with a host of proposals, including some that paralleled the executive orders Obama unveiled Wednesday, 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, such as pushing for an independent watchdog agency to oversee the investigation of congressional ethics violations. Yet a coalition of the leading reform groups wrote in a letter, posted on Obamas transition website, that while other issues on our reform agenda are important, their overriding priority ... is to repair the presidential public financing system and to create a new public financing system for congressional races. Without that, they wrote the way Washington works is not going to change. Public financing was not included on an initial list of Obamas ethics priorities on the White House website, though the ethics page now includes only a message that its being updated to reflect the executive orders. Obama aides did not respond to questions about whether public financing is still a priority. Obama was criticized when his presidential campaign became the first not to participate in the public financing system. The decision, which reversed a pledge to participate if his Republican opponent did, arguably provided the death knell to the program as currently configured, 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. After announcing his decision to opt out of the system, Obama, who co-sponsored a Senate bill to overhaul the system, wrote in an op-ed I am firmly committed to reforming the system as president, so that it's viable in today's campaign climate. Still, Obamas move cost him some goodwill with the reform community, which once counted him as a reliable champion. I was very disappointed, because I knew it would be devastating to the public financing program, Craig Holman, a lobbyist for the government watchdog group Public Citizen, said of Obamas move But, Holman said, Obama keeps assuring us that hes going to revisit the issue, 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, its not clear how much support there would be among Senate Republicans for a proposal from Obama, who has placed a premium on bipartisanship. His vanquished Republican rival, Arizona Sen. John McCain, participated in the
by rewarding small donations like the ones that powered Obamas record-shattering fundraising.

current public financing system. He received an $84 million grant for his general election race and wound up being badly outspent by Obama.

McCain, a leading champion of stricter ethics and disclosure laws, would be a logical congressional point man for Obamas good government agenda. Yet, while theyve had some policy conversations, the two
have not discussed working together on ethics or campaign finance reform issues, said a close McCain adviser, who did not want to be identified discussing private conversations. Even though Obamas reversal on public financing was not a happy experience for McCain, the adviser said, hes very interested in helping Obama on good government issues. But hes really going to want something that works and is fair. For instance, the adviser said, 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, whos influence at the agency has irked reformers, and give it to a new nominating panel.

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 10-11 McConnell Key McConnell is key to the agenda Reuters 2009 (Reuters is a UK-based, Canadian-controlled news service and former financial market data provider that provides

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reports from around the world to newspapers and broadcasters. News reporting once accounted for less than 10% of the company's income. Its main focus was on supplying the financial markets with information and trading products. These included market data, such as share prices and currency rates, research and analytics, 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. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to Address Congressional Agenda at National Press Club January 7th 2009. http://www.reuters.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. He will provide the latest news on the economic stimulus package. And he will discuss areas where Republicans can cooperate with the Obama administration. In 2009, McConnell is the most powerful Republican in Washington, DC. 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. In the new Congress, which began this month, McConnell will hold considerable sway. Democrats control the House and Senate but failed to win 60 seats in the Senate. As a result, they are short of the number of senators needed to overcome a filibuster by the minority. 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. Since becoming Republican Leader in 2007, he has frequently thwarted the Democratic majority's initiatives. McConnell also serves on the Committees on Appropriations, Agriculture and Rules and Administration. He has served in the
Senate since 1985. Prior to his terms in the Senate, he worked as a county executive in Kentucky, a Justice Department official, a congressional aide and an attorney.

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Senator Snowe is key to republicans and her status as a moderate makes her important to new legislation. Wolf & Jackson 2009 (Richard and David are both journalists and staff writer for USA Today. Obama tries to woo moderates in
Senate regarding stimulus February 5th 2009. http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2009-02-04-stimulus_N.htm)

WASHINGTON When Republican Sen. 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, she was surprised to find President Obama alone. Through three decades in Congress and six presidencies, Snowe had never gone one-on-one in that office before. Past presidents always had staff members on hand. Obama, she quickly realized, is more informal. He understands the Senate and the dynamics," said Snowe, whose moderate Maine politics has made her a potential ally of both liberals and conservatives. "It was clear to me that he wanted to get some Republicans." It was a day when Senate Democrats held a private retreat to discuss this year's agenda, Republicans continued to criticize the stimulus package and Obama targeted senators in the middle moderates whose votes could make the difference. Although the House
easily passed an $819 billion package of new spending and tax cuts last week without Republican votes, the Senate is different. Democrats have a 58-41 edge, counting two independents who usually vote with them, but 60 votes are needed to overcome delaying tactics. Obama knows that well from his four years there. On Thursday the debate continued, as Senate moderates worked to cut up to $100 billion in the stimulus legislation. Senate Democratic leaders said they hoped for passage of the bill on Friday. Obama would like the final product on his desk by Feb. 16, President's Day. On Feb. 24, he plans to address a joint session of Congress to discuss the economy and other issues. As only the third president to be elected directly from the Senate after Warren Harding and John Kennedy Obama

knows the

senators. He campaigned for dozens of Democrats in 2006 before launching his own presidential bid. He donated nearly $900,000 to
Senate and House Democrats during the past four years from his political action committee; 34 senators were beneficiaries. Stephen Hess, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who served in the Eisenhower and Nixon administrations, said Obama's

Senate connections give him "a modest advantage" in wooing former colleagues. "He
gets a more sympathetic audience," Hess said. So on Wednesday, Obama invited Snowe, fellow Maine Republican Susan Collins and Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson to the White House to discuss their concerns. They want to trim the spending in the bill and target it all toward job creation. Nelson, who wants to cut more than $50 billion, is working with other moderate Democrats to come up with a list that could be acceptable to party leaders. Snowe said up to $100 billion could be eliminated. Democrats already have removed funding for family planning, smoking cessation and fixing up the National Mall, but other programs remain that have given Republicans talking points. Collins cited pandemic flu preparedness and cybersecurity as examples that "may be worthwhile" but don't create jobs. The White House claims more than 3 million jobs would be created or saved under the two-year measure. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, complained that each job could cost about $300,000 to create or save.

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Snowe and Collins Key Snowe and Collins are key to Obamas agenda TIME 9 (How Maine's GOP Senators Are Key to Obama's Agenda, 2-12-09, http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1878942,00.html) In the weeks and months to come, Snowe and Collins can expect to be lavished with even more attention from the White House. Those two Maine moderates, plus Pennsylvania Republican Senator Arlen Specter, provided the margin that prevented Republicans from holding Barack Obama's stimulus package hostage to a filibuster. They also represent the sum total to date of Obama's claim of bipartisan support for his economic plans in
Congress. This is not the first time Collins and Snowe have broken ranks with their party. They have often found themselves at odds with the GOP leadership on taxes, budgets, the environment and social issues. They have both voted for stem-cell research, against a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, for giving illegal immigrants a path to citizenship and against a ban on partial-birth abortion. They also both voted to acquit Bill Clinton after he was impeached in 1998. But

what makes Snowe and Collins more powerful now is that they, along with Specter, are nearly the last survivors of a once common species of moderate Northeastern Republican. As the GOP's center of gravity moves to the right, the Democratic majority has fewer and fewer potential crossovers to choose from. That gives each woman enormous leverage in a Senate Republican caucus whose leaders cannot afford any defections if they are to sustain a filibuster. Both sides know that the math on any close vote is likely to come down to Snowe and Collins.

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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 Obamas

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 wont have the 60 votes required to end a filibuster, a tool used by the minority to delay or block votes on legislation. If Democrats cant 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 wont have 60 seats and because there are differences within the Democratic caucus, theyll 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 arent 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.

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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 peoples 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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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, released in January 2009, provided a consensus set of recommendations for how to craft carbon pollution limits from a diverse set of companies and non-governmental organizations, including NRDC. 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. This strategy worked in the House, where the Blueprint served as the basis for much of the ACES bill. But the Blueprint did not address every issue and USCAP does not include all important interests. Kerry and Lieberman spent months negotiating with utilities, oil companies, and other businesses over legislative details left unresolved in the Blueprint. These negotiations were largely successful in broadening industry support for the proposal, in some cases at the expense of environmental interests, but in many cases by tweaking provisions in ways that only mattered to the companies who would be directly affected. The problem is that broader support by business trade associations did not translate into broader support by U.S. senators. The hardcore business opposition was unmoved and neither was the political and ideological opposition of the Republican leadership. These special interests were all too happy to cynically attack the bill for including special interest concessions. In the meantime there was never an effective process to engage enough senators themselves to resolve the issues essential to garnering 60 votes.

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Harvard Debate Business Lobbies Key Business lobby important to agenda

Politics Internals 11-12

Washington Post, July 25, 2010, http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search? q=cache:IR6U4g1wY9oJ:www.denverpost.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, also has struggled to pick winners in this year's primaries. More than half a dozen chamber-backed GOP candidates have been defeated. But the chamber also has had success in blocking other pieces of Democratic legislation or, in the case of health care reform and financial regulation, shaping the final bills to the group's liking. "Playing a critical role" Thomas Collamore, the chamber's senior vice president of communications, highlighted the group's efforts against a pro-union "card check" bill, cap-and-trade climate legislation and a proposed public-insurance option. "The chamber's playing a critical role as the leading advocate for the business community in Washington," he said in a statement. In addition to victories on union and environmental legislation, the chamber has helped stall White House-backed legislation in the Senate that would require greater disclosure of political spending by corporations. "They have in fact sought to defend and act from the principles which they believe in," said Dirk Van Dongen, president of the National Association of WholesalerDistributors and a longtime GOP lobbyist. "I think that's gutsy win, lose or draw. . . . My gosh, we are not here to wind up in the Rose Garden as trees and shrubs for signing ceremonies of legislation that we oppose." While the chamber historically has favored Republicans, it also has sought accommodation with Democrats in the past. But the group's relationship with the Obama administration has been increasingly tense. The chamber's president and chief executive, Thomas Donohue, has railed against many of the administration's economic policies, and the group has nearly doubled its lobbying and political budget since 2008. 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 she added: "It is no secret that the primary focus of the Chamber of Commerce is raising money for Republican candidates."

250

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 The relationship between the administration and the chamber was not always so fraught. The business group broke with, and angered, Republican leaders at the start of Obama's term by backing the $787 billion stimulus package. Relations quickly soured as the White House forged ahead with health care reform, credit-card regulations and other Democratic proposals that were anathema to the chamber. The group emerged as one of the leading combatants in the battle over health care legislation; several major insurers contributed up to $20 million to the chamber for anti-reform advertising. Last week, 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, they vilified industries while embarking on an ill-advised course of government expansion, major tax increases, massive deficits and job-destroying regulations." Within hours, 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." 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, with intertwined and entrenched interests. Over the decades, 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 targeted F-22 fighter jet, for instance, is assembled with components built in 44 states. No matter what one thinks of the Gates budget, the military-industrialcongressional network actually undermines national security. It encourages waste, as federal funds feed military lobbies that in turn feed politicians who keep the funds flowing - regardless. Federal campaign contributions from defense-related donors have nearly doubled since 2000. Defense industry lobby key control most powerful congressional votes Priest 8 (Dana, Washington Post National Security and Intelligence Reporter, WP, 11/13) Dana Priest: Well, frankly, 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. And our equipment, generally speaking, so far out-paces any adversary you have to question why were still building so much. So, spending pressures could force the government to further transform the military into the lighter, more agile and, incidentally less expensive, force that it needs to be. That said, 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. 251

Harvard Debate Defense industry lobby key What the Papers Say, 06 (8/15)
But she will have to intervene soon. The sanctions threaten the profits of some

Politics Internals 11-12

major American corporations in the defense sector. The arms-makers have one of the most powerful lobby groups in Congress. What's more, in legal terms, the State Department's ban on
cooperation with the Russian companies can only apply to government agencies and companies. The private companies that control the lion's share of the American defense sector are not at all dependent on State Department memos.

Defense lobby most powerful controls congress Earthside.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. Nobody expects the Democrats, now in charge of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, to interfere with the lucrative deal making. With an eye toward 2008 elections, Democrats want to establish their cooperation with the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill, the "defense" lobby. "I think the Democrats will be on good behavior," commented an
analyst with JSA Securities in Newport, R.I... "as long as the war continues and we have 150,000 troops in Iraq." (NYT, December 26, 2006).

252

Harvard Debate Military Lobby Key

Politics Internals 11-12

Opposition from military and joint chiefs drains all obamas capital Zenko 9 (Micah, Ban the bomb? Ask the generals, Guardian, 2/25/09)
As any rationale for maintaining an oversized nuclear arsenal including 450 long-range missiles on hair-trigger alert further erodes, 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. One crucially important community, however, has yet to offer its expert judgment: the uniformed military.

Before the civilian leadership in the Obama administration can move toward a world without the bomb, it must initiate a clear and open dialogue with the Joint Chiefs of Staff the collective heads of the US armed services, charged with protecting the nation and providing military advice to the president. Without the overt support of the Joint Chiefs, no president much less a Democrat with little national-security experience will have the political capital to negotiate with the international community, or implement at home, an end to nuclear weapons. Cont To make the elimination of nuclear weapons a reality, the Joint Chiefs of Staff must formally acknowledge such weapons' limited utility. Fortunately,
President Obama has a ready-made forum through which to elicit the Joint Chiefs' opinion. Over the next year, 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." 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, President Obama will have the political cover to negotiate the series of multilateral treaties that will be required to account for, monitor
future United States arms control objectives and negotiating positions." completed, and the and verify the dismantlement of the 26,000 nuclear weapons stockpiled in nine countries, including America's 5,400 nuclear warheads 2,200 of which remain operational. In addition, intensive verification regimes will be necessary for the approximately 40 countries where the fissile material required to make a bomb exists.

Opposing Military Lobby Drains Capital theyre insanely powerful Gentry, 02 (John, Parameters, 12/22, Colonel, US Army) These reforms are unlikely to occur in the absence of a significant US battlefield defeat. Organizations that agree on little within the Pentagon close ranks when collectively challenged. The military services have significant lobbying clout on Capitol Hill and powerful supporters in reserve and veterans organizations. 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.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. Hundreds of lives and the associated diplomatic and domestic political ramifications of a defeat will probably be part of this awakening. We can but hope the cost will not be higher.

253

Harvard Debate Defense lobby is powerful

Politics Internals 11-12

Defense lobbying is strong Julian Hattem B.A in Anthropology, Huffington Post, 1-21-10, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/21/top-defense-contractorss_n_431542.html
The ten largest defense contractors in the nation spent more than $27 million lobbying the federal government in the last quarter of 2009, according to a review of recently-filed lobbying records. 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. All told, these ten

companies, the largest revenue earners in the industry, spent roughly $7.2 million more lobbying in the fourth quarter of 2009 (October through December) than in the three months prior. Such an increase in lobbying expenditures is
partly a reflection of just how profitable the business of waging war can be. Each of these companies earned billions of dollars in defense contracts this past year. As the U.S. ramps up its military activities overseas, and the army is stretched thin by other ventures, it stands to reason that the contracts won't dry up any time soon. In mid-December, Congress passed a

defense appropriations bill that totaled more than $635 billion. Shortly thereafter, the firm Northrop Grumman moved its corporate office to the Washington D.C. region to be closer to the heart of legislative action. Among the issues on which these ten firms lobbied, "appropriations" was the most frequently cited in lobbying forms. "We've built Rome," one longtime good-government official said of the symbiosis between contractors and the government. On a related note, the Congressional Research Service released a report on Thursday, which showed that the number of private security contractors has bulged in the wake of Obama's Afghanistan-surge announcement. Currently, contractors in Afghanistan make up between 22 percent and 30 percent of armed U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

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

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Harvard Debate Defense Lobby Key

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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, with intertwined and entrenched interests. Over the decades, 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 targeted F-22 fighter jet, for instance, is assembled with components built in 44 states. No matter what one thinks of the Gates budget, the military-industrialcongressional network actually undermines national security. It encourages waste, as federal funds feed military lobbies that in turn feed politicians who keep the funds flowing - regardless. Federal campaign contributions from defense-related donors have nearly doubled since 2000. Defense industry lobby key control most powerful congressional votes Priest 8 (Dana, Washington Post National Security and Intelligence Reporter, WP, 11/13) Dana Priest: Well, frankly, 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. And our equipment, generally speaking, so far out-paces any adversary you have to question why were still building so much. So, spending pressures could force the government to further transform the military into the lighter, more agile and, incidentally less expensive, force that it needs to be. That said, 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. Defense industry lobby key What the Papers Say, 06 (8/15)
But she will have to intervene soon. The sanctions threaten the profits of some

major American corporations in the defense sector. The arms-makers have one of the most powerful lobby groups in Congress. What's more, in legal terms, the State Department's ban on
cooperation with the Russian companies can only apply to government agencies and companies. The private companies that control the lion's share of the American defense sector are not at all dependent on State Department memos.

Defense lobby most powerful controls congress Earthside.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. Nobody expects the Democrats, now in charge of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, to interfere with the lucrative deal making. With an eye toward 2008 elections, Democrats want to establish their cooperation with the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill, the "defense" lobby. "I think the Democrats will be on good behavior," commented an
analyst with JSA Securities in Newport, R.I... "as long as the war continues and we have 150,000 troops in Iraq." (NYT, December 26, 2006).

256

Harvard Debate Defense Lobby Key

Politics Internals 11-12

Opposition from military and joint chiefs drains all Obamas capital Zenko 9 (Micah, Ban the bomb? Ask the generals, Guardian, 2/25/09)
As any rationale for maintaining an oversized nuclear arsenal including 450 long-range missiles on hair-trigger alert further erodes, 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. One crucially important community, however, has yet to offer its expert judgment: the uniformed military.

Before the civilian leadership in the Obama administration can move toward a world without the bomb, it must initiate a clear and open dialogue with the Joint Chiefs of Staff the collective heads of the US armed services, charged with protecting the nation and providing military advice to the president. Without the overt support of the Joint Chiefs, no president much less a Democrat with little national-security experience will have the political capital to negotiate with the international community, or implement at home, an end to nuclear weapons. Cont To make the elimination of nuclear weapons a reality, the Joint Chiefs of Staff must formally acknowledge such weapons' limited utility. Fortunately,
President Obama has a ready-made forum through which to elicit the Joint Chiefs' opinion. Over the next year, 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." 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, President Obama will have the political cover to negotiate the series of multilateral treaties that will be required to account for, monitor
future United States arms control objectives and negotiating positions." completed, and the and verify the dismantlement of the 26,000 nuclear weapons stockpiled in nine countries, including America's 5,400 nuclear warheads 2,200 of which remain operational. In addition, intensive verification regimes will be necessary for the approximately 40 countries where the fissile material required to make a bomb exists.

Opposing Military Lobby Drains Capital theyre insanely powerful Gentry, 02 (John, Parameters, 12/22, Colonel, US Army) These reforms are unlikely to occur in the absence of a significant US battlefield defeat. Organizations that agree on little within the Pentagon close ranks when collectively challenged. The military services have significant lobbying clout on Capitol Hill and powerful supporters in reserve and veterans organizations. 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.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. Hundreds of lives and the associated diplomatic and domestic political ramifications of a defeat will probably be part of this awakening. We can but hope the cost will not be higher.

257

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AT: Defense Contractors Obama on a mission to reduce defense contractors political clout AFP 8 [March 25, Agency French Press, http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4005316&c=AME&s=TOP]KLS He said spending on benefits for veterans would increase under his proposed budget, but he and Defense Secretary Robert Gates would focus on saving money by changing the way weapons programs are managed and approved. "Where the savings should come in, and I have been working with Secretary Gates on this and will be detailing it more in the weeks to come, 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 said. He reiterated that his administration had identified possibly $40 billion in savings through a reform of the procurement system. Defense contractors no longer influential- Obama threatening veto, public, Gates opposed Huffington Post 6/16 [2010, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/16/defensecontractors-lobby_n_233843.html] KLS The F-22 stealth fighter jets may no longer be needed, but its manufacturers, Lockheed Martin and Boeing, are lobbying aggressively to keep them in the defense budget. So far, they are succeeding. Defense Secretary Robert Gates strongly opposes the program, saying that "the F-22 is, in effect, a niche, silver-bullet solution required for a limited number of scenarios." It isn't a question of money, either. "Frankly," he said, "if my topline were $50 billion higher I would make the same decision." "This is not about national security," said Danielle Brian, executive director for the Project On Government Oversight (POGO). "Even the Pentagon doesn't want more F-22s. This is not about partisan politics -- Sen. McCain is leading the charge and President Obama is threatening to veto the entire defense authorization bill over it. "This is about breaking the cycle of a corrupt military industrial complex. This vote decides whether there will be reform in Washington or not," Brian said. Defense contractors no political clout- hearings, regulation, perception St. Petersburg Times 5/14 [2010, Lexis] KLS Once upon a time, there may have been some justification for earmarks - the pet projects members of Congress slip into the federal budget. The argument was that elected representatives know the needs of their state and district best. But that was trumped long ago by the excesses and the indefensible projects. By one estimate, the House ban on earmarks for for-profit companies would have cut about 1,000 awards worth about $1.7 billion. Such spending based on seniority and political clout sends the wrong message to voters, no matter the worthiness of an individual project. Nobody has been better at securing earmarks than Young. His 41 earmarks this year were more than any other House member and worth more than $90 million. His total over three years is $323 million, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense. And the Times' Alex Leary reported last month that in this fiscal year more than $10 million in Young earmarks went to defense 258

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 contractors whose lobbyist is Doug Gregory, a former long-time aide to Young. 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 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, and he has not been shy about defending the practice. But last week even the veteran congressman acknowledged that change was inevitable. Of course, the earmark ban is a convenient election-year ploy that may wind up being temporary. Yet it is a step in the right direction, and voters should demand that the next Congress not slide backward.

259

Harvard Debate AT: Defense Contractors Defense contractors have no political sway- Obama opposed Ackerman 9 [Spencer, American national security reporter, March 4,

Politics Internals 11-12

http://washingtonindependent.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; to rein in outsourcing of inherently governmental activities; and to, if necessary, cancel wasteful contracts outright. The crucial paragraph, even if its written in bureaucratese, 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, the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Administrator of General Services, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, and the heads of such other agencies as the Director of OMB determines to be appropriate, and with the participation of appropriate management councils and program management officials, to develop and issue by July 1, 2009, Government-wide guidance to assist agencies in reviewing, and creating processes for ongoing review of, existing contracts in order to identify contracts that are wasteful, inefficient, or not otherwise likely to meet the agencys needs, and to formulate appropriate corrective action in a timely manner. Such corrective action may include modifying or canceling such contracts in a manner and to the extent consistent with applicable laws, regulations, and policy. [My emphasis] Clearly, this has applications far beyond the Pentagon. But the list of big-ticket defense items that have experienced huge cost overruns is a long one. Future Combat Systems in the Army; the Littoral Combat Ship in the Navy; the Joint Strike Fighter in the Air Force all of these programs, near and dear to the services, have run massively over budget. If I was a lobbyist for Lockheed or Boeing, Id be dialing my contacts in the Pentagon and the Hill to figure out what the prospective damage to my company was. And then Id come up with a strategy to fight this forthcoming Office of Management and Budget review. Obama went further in remarks at the White House, calling it a false choice to say that protecting the country requires acquiescence to Pentagon waste. In this time of great challenges, he said, 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. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and former presidential rival John McCains (R-Ariz.) legislation to create new procurement oversight positions at the Pentagon. The days of giving defense contractors a blank check are over, Obama said.

260

Harvard Debate Defense Lobby Key

Politics Internals 11-12

Defense industry lobby key control most powerful congressional votes Priest 8 (Dana, Washington Post National Security and Intelligence Reporter, WP, 11/13) Dana Priest: Well, frankly, 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. And our equipment, generally speaking, so far out-paces any adversary you have to question why were still building so much. So, spending pressures could force the government to further transform the military into the lighter, more agile and, incidentally less expensive, force that it needs to be. That said, 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. Defense industry lobby key What the Papers Say, 06 (8/15)
But she will have to intervene soon. The sanctions threaten the profits of some

major American corporations in the defense sector. The arms-makers have one of the most powerful lobby groups in Congress. What's more, in legal terms, the State Department's ban on
cooperation with the Russian companies can only apply to government agencies and companies. The private companies that control the lion's share of the American defense sector are not at all dependent on State Department memos.

Opposing Military Lobby Drains Capital theyre insanely powerful Gentry, 02 (John, Parameters, 12/22, Colonel, US Army) These reforms are unlikely to occur in the absence of a significant US battlefield defeat. Organizations that agree on little within the Pentagon close ranks when collectively challenged. The military services have significant lobbying clout on Capitol Hill and powerful supporters in reserve and veterans organizations. 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.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. Hundreds of lives and the associated diplomatic and domestic political ramifications of a defeat will probably be part of this awakening. We can but hope the cost will not be higher.

Defense lobby most powerful controls congress Earthside.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. Nobody expects the Democrats, now in charge of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, to interfere with the lucrative deal making. With an eye toward 2008 elections, Democrats want to establish their cooperation with the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill, the "defense" lobby. "I think the Democrats will be on good behavior," commented an
analyst with JSA Securities in Newport, R.I... "as long as the war continues and we have 150,000 troops in Iraq." (NYT, December 26, 2006).

261

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262

Harvard Debate Agriculture Lobby Key Agriculture lobby key LA Times 9 (6/26, The farm lobby vs. the global warming bill, http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-ed-climate262009jun26,0,5647633.story)
Yet the

Politics Internals 11-12

nation's real power brokers are in plain sight, amid amber waves of grain: the farmers. The farm lobby demonstrates its awesome might every few years with the passage of a new farm bill, which invariably shovels billions in corporate welfare to agribusiness while damaging U.S. trade relationships and in many cases raising consumer prices for agricultural goods. But its power goes beyond the farm bill; it's hard to pass any legislation even tangentially related to farming without the support of a bipartisan bloc of lawmakers from Midwestern states. Which is why, when congressional Democrats bring their sweeping 1,200-page bill to fight climate change to the House floor today, the farm lobby's loamy thumbprints will be all over it. The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 from Reps. Henry A. Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) and
Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) is an ambitious effort to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 17% below 2005 levels by 2020. It would do this by capping emissions and allowing polluters to trade carbon credits; regulating cleaner fuels; investing in clean energy development; and boosting energy efficiency and renewable power. What

does that have to do

with farming? Not a lot. Although agriculture plays a key role in global warming -- clearing forest land for
farms eliminates trees that absorb carbon, and livestock generate hefty emissions of climate-altering methane -- the bill largely ignores such issues. That

didn't stop Rep. Collin C. Peterson (D-Minn.), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, 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. Peterson got what he wanted.

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Agriculture Lobby Not Key Agriculture lobby not key after cap and trade failure Denver Post 9 (7/13, Agriculture lobby blew it on cap and trade, http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_12822243)
However, the

economic illiteracy of the agriculture lobby is embarrassing. WaxmanMarkey's threat to farmers and ranchers isn't limited to the carbon emissions of trucks, tractors and flatulent livestock. In March, a dozen ag lobbying organizations including the
National Association of Wheat Growers, National Cattlemen's Beef Council, National Corn Growers Association, and National Farmers Union agreed on nine "Principles for Greenhouse Gas Legislation." Not one of those principles addressed fuel or energy costs. Yet Waxman-Markey will increase electricity rates by an estimated 90 percent and gas prices by 58 percent, according to the Heritage Foundation's Center for Data Analysis. That's in addition to $1,241 per year that cap-and-tax will add to the average household's energy bill and another $1,738 per household in lost spending power as energy costs inflate prices of essential goods and services. Farmers

recognize those costs, but agriculture lobbyists seem just as clueless as the lawmakers who think milk and bread come from the grocery store. Worse still, these lobbyists seem more concerned about "being at the table" than whether the deal they strike will hold up. Simply put, 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. The EPA's analysis sees little upside for agriculture, anticipating declining crop production due to higher input costs and fewer acres for livestock grazing if landowners are paid to plant trees instead. The agriculture compromise resulted in a 300-page amendment released at 3 a.m. on the day of the vote. How
many congressmen (or lobbyists) read the amendment or the 1,200-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." It's a little late for that now, boys and girls. These "principles" were nave from the get-go. Avoiding regulation that doesn't exist is much easier than expecting special treatment from regulators when the agriculture vote no longer matters. All

of this adds up to a rotten deal for agriculture and for everyone who consumes what we produce. Maybe these agriculture lobbyists will understand that when they're out of a job, too.

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Healthcare Lobby Key Health lobby key after stimulus success Washington Post 9 (5/16, The Machinery Behind Health-Care Reform, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/article/2009/05/15/AR2009051503667.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 -- to launch the
reform of America's costly health-care system. But it was more than a political victory for the new administration. It also

represented a triumph for an influential trade group whose members now stand to gain billions in taxpayer dollars. A Washington Post review found that the trade group, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, had worked closely with technology vendors, researchers and other allies in a sophisticated, decade-long campaign to shape public opinion and win over Washington's political machinery. With financial backing from the industry, they started advocacy groups, generated research to show the potential for massive savings and met routinely with lawmakers and other government officials.

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Healthcare Lobby Not Key


Democrats have health lobby under their thumb WSJ 9 (7/10, Democrats Hoodwink the Health Lobby, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124718217595120225.html? mod=googlenews_wsj)
Namely that, handled properly, industry

groups can be played like banjos. Democrats are

employing the same tactic this time -- only more deftly and with more muscle -- and the titans of the private sector
are rambling straight into the ambush. The old hands of the Clinton health fight know there never was uniform opposition to the government plan. Plenty of bigger players figured they could craft the regulations for bigger profits. In 1993 a number of insurance giants cut ties with their trade group, the Health Insurance Association of America (HIAA). Prudential, Cigna and others were salivating over Clinton proposals to pay for insurance for millions of uninsureds. The giants were in line to suck up these customers. They didn't appreciate the grousing of smaller association members who opposed regulations that would crowd them out. Representing many HMO biggies was a one-time AFL-CIO employee named Karen Ignagni. While the rump HIAA was running its Harry & Louise ads, others like Ms. Ignagni were running with the Clintons to craft a regulation to the big insurers' liking. The

insurers have today reunited under a group called America's Health Insurance Plans. Its CEO? Ms. Ignagni. She, along with Billy Tauzin, head of the Pharmaceutical
Research and Manufacturers of America, the American Hospital Association's Rick Umbdenstock, and others are back in Washington convinced

they can outsmart, or at least outrun, the politicians. Democrats are happy to let them think so. The industry's calculation is that by cutting deals, it can set the terms of its
contributions to "reform" and even wangle upsides. The insurers came first, promising to squeeze $2 trillion in costs out of the system. Democrats are letting Ms. Ignagni believe that in return she'll get a mandate to require all Americans to carry insurance (which her members will supply), and be spared a public option (which would decimate her industry). Mr. Tauzin came along, pledging that drug makers would cough up $80 billion to narrow a gap in Medicare drug coverage. He's been led to think Washington will forgo its plans to allow drug reimportation or give him a hand on generics. The hospital groups this week agreed to $150 billion in future Medicare and Medicaid cuts, in return for assurances it wouldn't be worse. The doctors are next, also seeking guarantees on Medicare payments. Democrats

have complemented their smiling encouragements with behind-the-scenes threats. After retaking the House in 2006, 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. These days, a meeting of health-care lobbyists is better described as a reunion of Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus's former aides. Health-care lobbying has been turned on its head: The new cabal of Democratic lobbyists does not exist to protect the industry from Congress. It exists to present Democratic ultimatums to business.

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Energy Lobby Key Energy lobby pushing efforts now AP 9 (6/19, Energy lobby cranks up, http://www.theadvertiser.com/article/20090619/NEWS01/906190329/0/rss01favic on.ico/Energy-lobby-cranks-up) Oil and gas companies have accelerated their spending on lobbying faster than any other industry, training their gusher of profits on Washington to fight new taxes on drilling and slow efforts to move the nation off fossil fuels. The industry spent $44.5 million lobbying Congress
and federal agencies in the first three months of this year, on pace to shatter last year's record. Only the drug industry spent more. Last year's total of $129 million was up 73 percent from two years earlier. That's a faster clip than any other major industry, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. From the late 1990s through the first half of this decade, the oil industry spent about $50 million to $60 million a year on lobbying. It ramped up lobbying in 2006, when Democrats retook Congress, and further as President Barack Obama took office. "They're under attack, they're ramping up their operations, and they've got money to spend," said Tyson Slocum,

who runs the energy program at watchdog group Public Citizen. "They're in much better position than other industries to draw upon financial resources for their lobbying effort."

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Energy Lobby Not Key Energy lobby has little influence due to recent shakeup NYT 8 (11/25, For Lobbyists, No Downturn, Just a Turnover, lexis)
So did Frank L. Bowman, the retired

admiral and Republican-leaning chief of the nuclear energy lobby, citing ''this period of dramatic change in Congress and the White House.'' 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. Republican lobbyists are feeling the demand for their services plummet as struggling businesses slash their lobbying budgets, 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. ''This is rather unique -- much more difficult for Republicans than in past transitions,'' said Eric Vautour, a former Reagan administration official who recruits former officials for lobbying jobs. After eight years of the so-called K Street Project -- the effort by Republican lawmakers and operatives to pressure companies, trade associations and lobbying firms to hire their fellow Republicans -- the tasseled loafer is on the other foot. Companies

and interest groups are competing to snap up Democrats. And scarcity has added to their value because so many well-connected Democrats are angling for jobs in the Obama administration, which has promised ethics rules that may block
lobbyists from certain jobs.

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Labor Lobby Key Labor lobbies prevalent in Obamas administration despite lobbyist ban WSJ 9 (4/24, Obama Pick Marks a Victory for Labor Unions, http://blogs.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. 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. In the administration,
Maxwell will work with the White House Task Force on Middle Class and Working Families, a group that is working to improve the lives and jobs of workers. Maxwell will be replaced by the organizations current board chairman David Bonior and deputy director Kimberly Freeman. American

Rights at Work is the leading labor coalition pushing Congress to enact the Employee Free Choice Act, a measure that would make it easier for workers to join 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. However, labor believes that it can still prevail. Support for the legislation is as strong as ever, said Bonior, a former senior House Democrat. Although Maxwell had spent much of her time advocating for the Employee Free Choice Act, she was not a registered lobbyist. Therefore, she was not precluded from serving in the administration by Mr.
Obamas tough anti-lobbyist employment policy.

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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, Obamas Anti-Lobbyist Policy Causing Unintended Harm, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/05/obamas-anti-lobbyistpoli_n_172244.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. The implementation of that rule, however, has led to a number of consequences that Obama could never have
intended. 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. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, for instance, barely has any deputies as the economy continues to spiral out of control. Lobbyists who for years have fought for workers' rights, environmental protection, human rights, 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. In the past, several progressive lobbyists explained, there was no reason not to register if there was a slim chance that the law might require it. Obama's new policy changes the calculus, leading folks to deregister as federal lobbyists or consider other employment while they wait out the policy's required two-year separation from lobbying. "There is now a cottage industry of deregistration. Everyone who can deregister is deregistering," said one public-interest advocate. He said that he spends too much of his time lobbying and so can't make the deregistration argument for himself. Instead, he's considering leaving his job to wait out the two years. Kelly Landis is a spokeswoman for the Alliance for Justice, which advises nonprofit groups on the regulations that govern lobbying. She said there has been a recent "uptick in calls from groups" asking about the rules surrounding registration. "There are more questions from groups specifically about whether or not they need to register," said Landis. She then looked deeper into the question and reported back that she "spoke to another person who handles these issues and regrettably, she is getting questions about deregistering. Groups and individuals are confused and concerned; it would be unfortunate if the new landscape resulted in less advocacy from nonprofits on important issues." A spokeswoman for the Secretary of the Senate, where lobbyists register, said that the office's forms and database aren't set up to tabulate deregistrations. The last official numbers, from Sept. 30, 2008, showed 13,926 registered lobbyists on the list. The lobbyist registry was created to make the practice more transparent. The rise of deregistrations undermines that purpose. Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wisc.) is about as committed a government reformer as you can find. While he said that "reasonable accommodations" should be made, he backed Obama's policy. "If the rules are made clear now and kept, people can plan their conduct accordingly in the future," said Feingold. But that's just the problem, said the liberal lobbyists:

It's counterproductive to Obama's long-term agenda to discourage people from entering into the field of progressive advocacy. "Heaven help us that there's never another antiworker, anti-poor-people administration, but my gut tells me there will be. 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, if they think they're going to be discriminated against in terms of future employment," said one nonprofit lobbyist who served in the Clinton administration and has applied, unsuccessfully, to Obama's. "Had these people who are advocates not been doing this over the last eight years, it's clear that, for those of us who agree with their positions, and I think by and large the president does, things would be worse. Not only would the economy be worse, the safety net would be worse," he said. "The Bush administration would have gotten more of their way." One progressive lobbyist said that a coworker was given an opportunity to move from statelevel to federal-level work - something she'd wanted for years - but is now reluctant for fear of getting the scarlet L around her neck. Several lobbyists said that when the new policy was announced, affecting anyone who'd been a registered lobbyist in the last two years, a horde of their coworkers deregistered. "Frankly,

if I'd have known two years ago that there would be this policy in place, I could have easily not registered," said one labor lobbyist. She deregistered in November so that she'd eventually be clean enough to work in the administration, she said.

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Environment Lobby Key Environmental lobby particularly strong with Obamas agenda Conca 9 (Ken, professor of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, An environmental agenda for Obama, Dissent, Spring, Project Muse)
As it emerges from its decades-long slumber, America's

environmental policy debate must above all else avoid archaic terms of reference. Thus, a final element of the to-do list is that it be accompanied
by a strong commitment to a principled set of "don'ts." One important don't is to avoid confusing the better and baser natures of American environmentalism. Recently,

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. Watching this battle was a reminder of the powerfully effective role the environmental lobby may still play, despite its reactive habits, its Beltway ossification, and its growing corporate ties.

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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, 5/29, http://www.alternet.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, his Interior

Department put forward a rule opening 300 million acres of coastal waters to oil drilling. According to the hastily prepared decree, the leasing was to begin by March 23. 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. The environmental lobby was given a procedural crumb, while the oil hounds still had its long-sought prize on the table for the taking.

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Teacher Unions Key Teachers unions have monopoly in Congress Washington Examiner 9 (2/26, Teachers unions say 'jump,' Congress says 'how high?', http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns/TimothyCarney/Teachersunions-say-jump-Congress-says-how-high-40384837.html) Teachers unions, through their allies in the Democrat-controlled Congress, are on the verge of demolishing the chief threat to their monopolyschool vouchers for low-income families in the District of Columbia. If they win in the end and kill this program, 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. When the House passed the $410 billion omnibus
appropriations bill this weekfunding the normal operations of government for the next seven monthsit included a provision that effectively would end the D.C. school voucher program after next school year. While there are legitimate doubts about the educational results of the D.C. voucher program, which provides $7,500 in federal taxpayer money to some low-income district parents to use on private or religious schools, the voucher program is in Congresss crosshairs because of the lobbying efforts and campaign contributions of the teachers unions, which dont want competition from private schools. Public school teachers, for the most part, are not well paid. Theirs is a noble undertaking, and in places like D.C. they do dangerous and difficult work with inadequate support. But the image of the hard-working self-sacrificing teacher is not the proper symbol for the teachers

unions in this country. They are more like huge corporations with high-powered lobbying arms and cozy connections with important politicians. Beltway bandits, defense contractors, influential industriesmost of them pale in their influence efforts compared to the teachers unions, according to data from the Center for
Responsive Politics. Take defense contractors. Lockheed Martin, the top recipient of military contracts most years, spent more on politics than any other defense firm in the 2008 elections. They still spent less than the American Federation of Teachers, which shelled out $2.8 million in the last cyclewith nearly every AFT dime going to Democrats. The top two teachers unionsAFT and the National Education Associationspent more combined, $5.27 million, than the top two defense contractors. The top five lobbying firms, combined, didnt equal the AFT and the NEA in federal contributions in the 2008 cycle. Both of the teachers unions gave more than any oil company, and the NEA and AFT combined gave more than the top four oil companies combined. These contributions give

the unions clout, and federal

lobbying records show they use this clout.

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Harvard Debate Teacher Unions Not Key Obama takes on teachers unions Politico 9 (3/10, Obama takes on teachers unions, http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20090310/pl_politico/19824)

Politics Internals 11-12

After weeks of pleasing Democrats by overturning policies set by the previous administration, President Barack Obama Tuesday for the first time confronted a powerful constituency in his own party:

teachers unions. Obama proposed spending additional money on effective teachers in up to 150 additional school districts, fulfilling a campaign promise that once earned him boos from members of the National Education Association.Good teachers will be rewarded with more money
for improved student achievement, and asked to accept more responsibilities for lifting up their schools, he said in a wideranging education speech before a meeting of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Washington. Obamas

embrace of merit pay wont go over well among a group that often provides key funding and foot soldiers for Democratic campaigns. Teachers unions say merit pay causes teachers to compete against each other, rather than collaborate, and is unfair to those who work in disadvantaged areas where it can be harder to boost student performance. But polls show the policy is overwhelmingly supported by the public, and it offers Obama a
chance both to burnish his reformer credentials and point to a split from party orthodoxy. In addition to rewarding good teachers, Obama

also said hell seek to push out those who arent getting results, another proposal that may rankle a profession that prizes tenure. Let me be clear: if a
teacher is given a chance, or two chances, or three chances, and still does not improve, there is no excuse for that person to continue teaching, he told the business group. I reject a system that rewards failure and protects a person from its consequences. The stakes are too high. We can afford nothing but the best when it comes to our childrens teachers and to the schools where they teach. The White House didnt specify how the president would like to see poor-performing teachers removed from the classroom. 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. Gone were such assurances from the campaign where he would frequently say of merit pay: Im not going to do it to you, Im going to do it with you. Instead, 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.

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Israel Lobby 1. The Israel lobby has a very strong influence on Capitol Hill Not even Obama will be able to resist. Kenes 6/28/10(Bulent, 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, but after seeing Gordons statements to the AP news agency, I do not think we have to focus on this meeting any longer in order to understand what the US administration thinks about Turkey. Gordons statements -- 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 -- were, it seems, intended to appease certain groups outside Turkish and US public opinion about the potential course of the meeting. Their message was: Relax. Obama will talk to Erdogan within this framework. 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. Remembering the arguments in the book, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy (2008), coauthored by John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt, which I luckily reskimmed recently, I realized that Obama has enough reasons for worrying about the Israeli lobby in the US and for calming it down. 2. The Israel lobby backs US presence in the Middle East They have many interests in keeping the US there; including placing friendly regimes. Weber 8(Mark, 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, John J. Mearsheimer, professor of political science at the University of Chicago, and Stephen M. Walt, professor of international affairs at Harvard University. [15] In an 81-page paper, "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy," they wrote: Pressure from Israel and the [proIsrael] Lobby was not the only factor behind the decision to attack Iraq in March 2003, but it was critical. Some Americans believe that this was a war for oil, but there is hardly any direct evidence to support this claim. Instead, the war was motivated in good part by a desire to make Israel more secure Within the United States, the main driving force behind the Iraq war was a small band of neoconservatives, many with close ties to Israels Likud Party. In addition, key leaders of the Lobbys major organizations lent their voices to the campaign for war. 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. A key part of this campaign was the manipulation of intelligence information, so as to make Saddam look like an imminent threat. For some Jewish leaders, the Iraq war is part of a long-range effort to install Israel-friendly regimes across the Middle East. Norman Podhoretz, a prominent Jewish writer and an ardent supporter of Israel, has been for years editor of Commentary, the influential Zionist monthly. In the Sept. 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, Iran, North Korea]. At a minimum, the axis should extend to Syria and Lebanon and Libya, as well as friends of America like the Saudi royal family and Egypts Hosni Mubarak, along with the Palestinian Authority, whether headed by Arafat or one of 275

Harvard Debate Politics Internals 11-12 his henchmen. Patrick J. Buchanan, the well-known writer and commentator, and former White House Communications director, 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 Americas interests. 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 peoples right to a homeland of their own. We charge that they have alienated friends and allies all over the Islamic and Western world through their arrogance, hubris, and bellicosity...

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Israel Lobby Israel has plans for the middle east It will use the Israel Lobby to sabotage Obama if it doesnt get what it wants. Escobar 6/9/10(Pepe, The Asia Times, The method in Israel's madness)AQB Let's survey Israel's possible motivations. 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 - as its success pre-empted Israel's pleas for a military strike on Tehran's nuclear facilities. Israel wants conflict between Washington and Tehran - 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. Israel wants a weak Turkey - out of the loop both in the Middle East and the European Union (EU). Turkey is an emerging, key regional power now with good, stable relations with its neighbors. Turkey is key for the US: 70% of all supplies for US troops in Iraq go through the Incirlik base in Turkey. Turkey has troops fighting the US war in Afghanistan. Not to mention that Turkey - in Obama's own terms - represents the key bridge between the West and the Muslim world. The Israeli lobby has already established dominance over Obama. Sullivan 6/15/10(Andrew, The Australian Israel not the country I once loved)AQB Israel had a choice - to join the new President to try to restart the West's engagement with the Islamic world, or to sour the atmosphere and make Obama's job much harder. In Gaza, Israel chose the latter. Even as the Israeli government knew that its main enemy, Iran, would benefit by Israel's further alienation of the Arab world, it used the last months of George W. Bush's term to make a point. Obama turned the other cheek, as he often does. He simply urged a new start to the peace process, by asking the Israelis to suspend new construction of illegal settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. After Gaza, this seemed like a way to change the atmosphere, and to prove to the world that the US was returning to its pre-Bush role of seeking a two-state solution. No one in Washington openly supported the settlements, let alone their growth. Everyone understood this constant provocation was a source of bitterness and distrust. Getting talks going by temporarily staunching this open wound was a legitimate request by Israel's ally and donor of $US3 billion ($3.5bn) a year in aid. But the new Israeli government refused to play ball. Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister, brandishing the Israel lobby's enormous sway over the US congress and media, called Obama's bluff - and exulted in his humiliation of the young American presidency. There was no freeze. Au contraire, a visit by VicePresident Joe Biden turned into a fiasco as new construction was approved in East Jerusalem the day he arrived. 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. An unarmed US citizen, 19 years old, was killed by four Israeli bullets fired at close range into the head.

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Israel Lobby The Israel lobby will help Israel thwart Obama if he risks Israels interests in the Middle East. Mearsheimer 6/30/10(John, professor of political science at the University of Chicago, The
attack on the Gaza relief flotilla jeopardizes Israel itself)AQB

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

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The Israel lobbies power will remain intact for at least another decade No politician will risk their job speaking against Israels interest in the middle east. Mearsheimer 6/30/10(John, professor of political science at the University of Chicago, The
attack on the Gaza relief flotilla jeopardizes Israel itself)AQB

Israel is facing a bleak future, yet there is no reason to think that it will change course anytime soon. The political center of gravity in Israel has shifted sharply to the right and there is no sizable pro-peace political party or movement. Moreover, it remains firmly committed to the belief that what cannot be solved by force can be solved with greater force, and many Israelis view the Palestinians with contempt if not hatred. Neither the Palestinians nor any of Israel's immediate neighbors are powerful enough to deter it, and the lobby will remain influential enough over the next decade to protect Israel from meaningful U.S. pressure. Remarkably, the lobby is helping Israel commit national suicide while also doing serious damage to American security interests. Voices challenging this tragic situation have grown slightly more numerous in recent years, but the majority of political commentators and virtually all U.S. politicians seem blissfully ignorant of where this is headed, or unwilling to risk their careers by speaking out.

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AT: Israel Lobby No Link - The Israel lobby is mostly hype Most members of congress arent die-hard supporters of the lobby. Zunes 3(Stephen, 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, financial contributions from the Jewish community, and citizen pressure on the news media and other forums of public discourse in support of the Israeli government. At times, 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 wrong, however, 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. Indeed, 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. A number of cases are often used as examples of the supposed power of the Israel lobby to defeat incumbents who dare challenge U.S. support for Israeli policies, but upon examination, these cases prove to be less clear cut than they are often presented to be. For example, Illinois Republican Congressman Paul Findley was indeed targeted by pro-Israel PACs in his unsuccessful re-election bid in 1982, but he was also targeted by pro-union, pro-environmentalist, pro-feminist, and pro-Democratic PACs. 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. Not surprisingly, a number of other Republican incumbents from the Midwest, who were not targeted by pro-Israel PACs, were also defeated that year. No Link - Its impossible to assume that the Israel lobby can control the vast spectrum of American politics. Zunes 3(Stephen, professor of politics at the University of San Francisco IS THE ISRAEL
LOBBY REALLY THAT POWERFUL?)AQB

In any case, Congress only rarely plays a crucial role in the development of America's foreign policy, and recent decades have seen international relations become increasingly the prerogative of the executive branch. During this period, Congress has played a limited, and largely reactive, role in foreign policy decisions. Indeed, it is naive to assume that foreign policy decision making in the United States sufficiently pluralistic enough for any one lobbying group, particularly one associated with a small ethnic minority, to have so much influence. Blaming the Israel lobby also assumes that U.S. 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. For example, 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.S. administrations backing Indonesia's brutal quarter-century occupation of East Timor. Unfortunately, the United States government is perfectly capable on its own of supporting allied governments that invade, occupy, colonize, and oppress weaker neighbors without a domestic ethnic lobbying group somehow pulling the strings. 280

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AT: Israel Lobby The Israel Lobby doesnt actually have dominant influence in Congress. Zunes 3(Stephen, 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. Indeed, 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. For those of us with white, Protestant backgrounds, there is a tendency to project our own failings through a usually subconscious anti-Semitism. Rather than making the effort to overcome our own timidity, we instead complain that Jews are "pushy." Rather than getting our own financial house in order, we instead complain that Jews are "moneygrubbing." Similarly, rather than successfully organizing to change U.S. policy on Israel-Palestine, we adopt this fatalistic attitude that the Israel lobby is too powerful to overcome. While the lobby may certainly make things more challenging for those of us working for a more enlightened U.S. policy toward Israel and Palestine, it is inaccurate to blame them for the overall direction of U.S. policy. In many respects, the forces pushing America's policy toward Israel and Palestine are even more powerful and entrenched. But popular movements for peace and justice have overcome such obstacles before. Current U.S. policy is not only bad for the Palestinians, who are currently bearing the brunt of it, but ultimately for Israel and the United States as well. And therein lies the hope of creating a popular movement strong enough to overcome the powerful interests that have until now led U.S. Middle East policy in such a dangerous and selfdefeating direction. No Link - The Israel lobby only seems powerful because Israels interests and ours have coincided. Zunes 3(Stephen, 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, which are routinely at odds with moral and legal concerns. 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, when and in what region has the United States ever consistently pursued policies that have supported human rights, international law, arms control, and nonproliferation? If AIPAC and its allied PACs did not exist, would U.S. policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict be any more enlightened than U.S. policies have been in recent decades regarding conflicts in, for example, Central America or Southern Africa? Furthermore, U.S. 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, President Eisenhower in 1956 during the Suez crisis, President Carter in 1978 following Israel's first invasion of Lebanon, President Reagan in 1981 over the AWACS sale to Saudi Arabia, and the first President Bush in 1991 in regard to the proposed loan guarantees for Israeli settlements. Throughout most of the 1950s and 1960s, 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." However, once President Nixon, Secretary of State 281

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," there was little the pro-Taiwan lobbyists could do about it. Similarly, if there ever came a time when those in power in Washington decided a major shift in policy toward Israel was necessary, they could effect one as well.

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AT: Israel Lobby The Israel Lobby is losing power to opposing lobbies. Chernus 9(Ira, Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Israel
Not As Powerful As You May Think August 20)AQB

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

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AT: K of Israel Lobby The concept of the all powerful Israel is based on anti-Semitic rhetoric. Zunes 3(Stephen, 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.S. policy. Indeed, like similar exaggerated claims of Jewish power at other times in history, it serves as a means of getting those who really have the power off the hook by diverting the blame to a convenient scapegoat. This is not to say that everyone who expresses concern about the power of AIPAC is an anti-Semite, but the way in which this exaggerated view of Jewish power parallels historic anti-Semitism should give pause. Another noted professor of international relations, A.F.K. Organski, observed how "The belief that the Jewish lobby ... is very powerful has permitted top U.S. policy makers to use 'Jewish influence' or 'domestic politics' to explain the policies ... that U.S. leaders see as working to U.S. advantage, policies they would pursue regardless of Jewish opinion on the matter." He goes on to note how when Arab leaders have raised concerns about U.S. policies, "U.S. officials need give only a helpless shrug, a regretful sigh, and explain how it is not the administration's fault, but that policy makers must operate within the constraints imposed by powerful domestic pressures molding congressional decisions." My interviews with half a dozen Arab foreign ministers and deputy foreign ministers have revealed that indeed U.S. diplomats will routinely blame the Israel lobby in order to get the U.S. government off the hook.

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### Theory ###

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A2: Intrinsicness 1. Intrinsicness is a voting issue. Amounts to re-planning in the 2AC, creates a moving target and makes it impossible to be neg. Aff conditionality is a VI even if they kick the argument because it makes negative strategy impossible. 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. 2. The DA is intrinsic. We read links and internal links which prove that an inevitable result of passing the plan will be to [ explain DA ]. If they cant prove otherwise, this is just a bad no link argument without any evidence. 3. Arbitrary standard. Their argument amounts to a reasonability claim, that it has to be intrinsic enough. Creates moving goalposts. They can always demand more specificity. 4. The politics DA is good for debate. Turns their logical policy maker argument - there is no single USFG there are only actors within it. And those real policy-makers have to factor in politics every day. Political calculations explain why we got the health care bill we did, why we have sanctions on Cuba, and ag subsidies. Their model of debate trains us to ignore crucial issues. - it forces up-to-date research on current issues, which is important education, and trains us to account for broader context - politics is key to being neg. We need generic DAs to counter big topics and tremendous aff flex. 5. Bad model of decision-making. The judge shouldnt pretend to be the USFG. The judge should be an academic assessing the status quo. Its their job to prove that we ought to affirm the plan not that we should imagine ourselves as the government. 6. Their advantage isnt intrinsic. 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.

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Harvard Debate A2: Bottom of the Docket

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The affirmative must defend immediate unconditional implementation of the plan -key to negative ground- every disad relies on a temporally sensitive uniqueness argument- delaying plan implementation kills all negative ground -No logical limit- every alternative to immediacy is arbitrary, allowing this choice to occur in the 2AC compounds the abuse- the affirmative gets infinite prep time to write the most strategic plan- allowing revisions after they have heard our strategy unlimits -Non topical- should is the present tense -Takes out solvency- the bottom of the docket is not guaranteed to ever get addressed, vote negative on presumption Vote Neg on Presumption- the Aff will never get passed NAACP 07
[NAACP WASHINGTON BUREAU FACT SHEET: What happens to bills when the Congress ends?, October 18, http://www.naacp.org/pdfs/Advocacy_Tools.pdf, Caplan]

A very small number of bills introduced actually become law. In the 107th Congress, which ran from 2001 to 2002, 8948 bills were introduced in the US House and Senate. Of these, 377 laws were enacted. This means that just over 4% of the bills introduced in the 107th Congress actually became law. In the United States, a Congress or congressional term lasts two years. Most recently, the 108th Congress began on January 7, 2003, and will adjourn before the end of 2004. Each Congress is comprised of two sessions; the first session, which encompasses the first year, and the second session, which is comprised of the second year. At any point when Congress is in session, 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. Once a bill has been introduced, it is alive and may be considered at any time during the Congress. Once a Congress adjourns, however, at the end of its two-year cycle, 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. 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; bills that passed one house (either the House or the Senate) but not the other; bills that were the subject of committee or subcommittee hearings but were never considered by either house; and bills that never got more action after being introduced.

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Harvard Debate A2 Vote NO

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1. Takes away the possibility for the negative to get the status quo we should always get it because of the resolution 2. No neg ground - no perception das because we have to pretend were in congress 3. politics DAs are good key to education about political process agent cps are net worse for the aff 4. this is stupid a vote negative is against the aff, not against start

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Harvard Debate AT No Link Plan Passes Unanimously

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___ Counter-interpretation: Least Amount of Fiat Fiat means that the aff passes with the least amount of fiat necessary to do the plan, which would be 51 votes in the Senate. a. Least amount of fiat good. The aff already gets to fiat that a plan passes when it wouldnt normally pass, and thats enough to let us have a debate on the plan. Letting the aff fiat that it passes with unanimous support takes away the DA, which is key to neg ground b. Most real world, rarely do bills pass with a unanimous vote, especially on issues that do not have momentum like their inherency indicates, this is not likely to happen now. A 51-49 split is more realistic than a unanimous vote, ensuring a link because the plan would trigger debate.

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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- time sensitive uniqueness forces constant updates, you cant just rely on camp files -Real world knowledge- most people wont go into poverty law, all debaters will have the opportunity to vote and can use the skills they learn from politics to make critical decisions about political affiliation

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