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Congress and the Presidency Test Two


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Central Elections Committee
A committee in Israel that decides what is and what is not propaganda and can order a particular speech not to be broadcast. States that temperate tone and factual accuracy apply not only to speeches but to campaign advertising. This would be an unconstitutional institution in the United states therefore we do not have one. An example of a proposed reform of the presidency.
"Liberated Time"
A proposed reform of the media that mandates that the media gives time for candidates to speak for free. This could apply to presidential and congressional elections. The problem is that the media would not make money off this because they would be donating air time to the candidates. This could be done without a constitutional amendment.
Preserving deniability
when the executive gives an aid the ends but does not mention the means so that he is able to evade responsibility.
Spin Doctors
the people who interpret reality from one side to another for the press so that they appeal to everyone. The president is spin doctor number one.
"Commander in Chief" Clause
Article 2 says the president is Commander in Chief while Congress declares war, so Congress could control war and the President to repel certain attacks. Presidents have expanded tis power to expand their foreign policy powers many times and ways over the years that circumvent congressional foreign policy control.
Opening to China 1970-1979
China was communist and we did not recognize them as a country. Nixon was flexible in terms of international relations. Once elected Nixon went to Romania and China wondered if the US was going to be flexible with them so China returned a subtle favor and communicated they were flexible as well. Nixon refused the conditions to derecognize Tawain. In 1979 Carter agrees to the conditions are bridges are mended with China. Congress would never have voted with Carter to derecognize Tawain (Republican of China). The constitution gave Carter the power to do that on his own will.
"Decisive and Brief Action"
Rockman cites this as presidential advantage, over parliamentary systems because in brief crisis action can usually be implemented to achieve some resolution. Most of the time the president must get congressional approval but he has the power to act when necessity calls for it, however this does not mean he will always do so, sometimes he opts to take his time to size up alternatives like during the Cuban missile crisis.
Presidentialist vs. congressionalist
Polsky provides the terms "presidentialist" and "congressionalist" to define different perspectives when observing presidential power as Commander in Chief. The Presidentialist perspective asserts that situations may arise when quick military action is needed over long congressional debate, and in this instance the only way congress can hinder him is by cutting off funding. The Congressionalist, however, believes War decisions take a lot of thought and, therefore, Congress has more influence in restraint on use of force.
Federal Elections Campaign Act of 1974. A problem initially inspired by the campaign finance uses of the Nixon Administration. Democrats passed FECA to take control of the way money was used so hopefully money wouldn't dominate elections. FECA limited hard money contributions to candidates. Soft money was not regulated so contributions were redirected from candidates to parties and organizations. Even after soft money was regulated, the flow has not been stemmed, the flow is just redirected.
An unauthorized bit of information given off the record by a government official to a reporter. Technically it's not illegal to give information to a reporter, the exception is military secrets and giving identities of any intelligence agents. Both are punishable by law because they are considered beyond repair.
War Powers Act (1973)
Congress passed to reign in presidential war-making po1937 wer during the Vietnam War. It stipulates the president must notify Congress of sending troops and garner their post 90 day approval. All presidents sine then have refused to comply, claiming it's unconstitutional. It applies only to unapproved actions .
Second Constitution
the interpretation of presidential authority by Woodrow Wilson which maintains that oration and appeals to public opinion give the president to authority to act and pursue policy, due to the malleability of public opinion. SIGNIFICANCE: unlike the the original constitution this makes extraordinary power routine for presidents and places emphasis on oration for political authority.
The last remaining inhibition
As defined by Polsky, the congressional restraint over the president on issues involving national security and war-making constantly grow weaker, and self-restraint in the Oval Office is the last remaining inhibition, albeit a weak one.
Twentieth Century Fund Task Force on the Reform of the President Election Process
In 1978 they suggests a reform of the electoral college. They wanted the winner of the popular vote to be awarded an extra two votes per very state they won in the Electoral College (plus DC). It was not adopted in 2000 because the republicans were in majority in congress and were given the advantage the way the system already worked.
Named after Dan Rather who was the CBS news anchor and 60 Minutes host. In Sept. 2004 was involved with an airing of a story that stated that while Bush was able to evade his responsibilities. Rather offered 4 documents to back up these accounts. After the segment it was determined that the documents were fake. Illustrates the superficiality and irresponsibility that time pressure cause because of the hope to scoop the story before opponents can often lead to mistake of fact.
Six-year Presidency
one term of 6 years proposed by Carter. Does not focus on reelection but on the country. Disadvantage is that is creates a lack of accountability. Hamilton says they need that fear. Example of a proposed presidential reform.
Bachelor of Journalism
The degree journalist seek. Does not require any extensive government schooling. However it requires lots of classes in skills and substance, like how to write. The problem is that they do not have an extensive understanding of what they are reporting, therefore they think conceptually about politics.
Retrospective Voting
A lot of people do not pay attention to issues. They ask themselves "are times good or are times bad?" if times are good they vote for the incumbent party, if times are bad they vote for the opposing party. Illustrates a voting theory.
Randolph Bourne
WWII journalist observing the Wilson administration taking over private industries. Wrote "War is the Health of the State" (and of the Executive Branch).
"Rally round the Flag" effect
A phenomenon in public opinion that happens when the country is attacked and patriotism rises dramatically. The population expresses support for American Institutions. 9/11 caused this effect on George W. Bush who was disliked prior to 9/11.
anticipatory influence cases
Buchanan says that although voters don't have any direct influence over policy choices, they influence policy choices insofar as elected officials are held accountable to their constituents, so they are inhibited or encouraged when they make policy decisions by the potential electoral rewards or punishments. Part of Buchanan's arguments about the indirect influence of voters on policy.
Iran-Contra Affair 1984-1986
Reagan has a problem in Lebanon and Central America. He was funding the Contras and also wants Iranians to release hostages. Oliver North was assigned to solve the problems. He sold missiles to the Iranians and from that profit we are able to fund the Contras against their war, even thought it is banned by the Congress. Regan gets away with it by evading responsibility and preserving deniability. When the president conducts a large, illegal covert operation he is often able to escape responsibility.
Harlot's Prerogative
states that in the press there is power without responsibility. The press is free to lie to the people, and are not held accountable. This is an example of how the first amendment may not be a good thing because it is impossible to hold the press responsible.
The 1st Amendment
Says that congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of the press. Founders understood that different avenues of opinion should be left free. The 14th amendment applied this to the states. The press is the only media industry that is protected in the constitution. Protection is a good thing but the press often does not fulfill its responsibilities.
Publicly-funded campaigns
campaigns funded by the public. To get these funds candidates must refuse private funds which usually allow them to get higher contributions. Since they spend less time raising money in theory they have more time to focus on government and campaigning. A proposed reform of the presidency that would opt to publicly fund campaigns.
Democratic Coalition
Consists of economic and social liberals. Formed in the 1960s. The coalition is not a majority in and of itsself although these people win when their candidate wins, he also has to appeal to independents. Illustrates a voting strategy based on ideology.
Referential Issues
technical abstract detailed issues. These issues are unknown to the public therefore it is important to avoid them.
Bush v. Gore
As stated by Yalof, the December 13, 2000 decision by the Supreme Court to stop ballot recounting in Florida. This serves as the first quality precedence in which the Supreme Court and the Executive Branch worked together in a presidential election with such influential results, in this case being Bush's victory over Gore.
A proposed reform by Bruce Ackerman that would give registered voters a $50 voucher to contribute to candidates' campaigns. Another reform utilizing public campaign funding to drown out the influence of wealthy private campaign contributors over public policy and politicians.
The Mirror
a Daily newspaper in London that in 1996 someone leaked a copy of the prime ministers budget. They returned the paper to the prime minister and wrote that they did not want to publish it because they felt it would have been reckless. Many different government have to deal with leaks which allow corruption to be exposed and drive people in the government crazy.
National Security Act
The constitution only grants the judiciary marginal powers in determining war and peace. In Polsky's example, the courts have upheld certain due process rights to those suspected of terrorism or classified as enemy combatants . These decisions, of course, don't address the core war making powers of the chief executive.
US v. Belmont
1937 Supreme Court decision that states the President has the power to make Executive Agreements with foreign Chief Executives, which essentially gave the president the power to circumvent the congressional check on president's foreign policy power through the ratification of treaties. Expanded the president's foreign policy powers.
The Committee to Re-elect the President was a Nixon White House fundraising organization. This organization was found to have employed money laundering and slush funds, and was involved in the Watergate Scandal. Nixon actually surpassed previous modern presidents in viewing the party system as an obstacle to effective governance. This committee was the final stage that weakened the bonds between the president and his party. Milkins notes that the public remembers this as a negative time in the executive.
Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission est. in 2000 through a referendum. The citizens are on the commission and are not appointed by politicians. They redraw boundaries of congressional districts. This a proposed reform of congress because it is assumed that the public would be less politically biased in redrawing lines then politicans.
Electoral College
A system of election that was created so that wise people would represent the vote of people in the public who were not capable of agreeing on a candidate for president. Each state has a certain number of electoral votes (# in the house + 2 more).
voter-driven cases
Idea by Buchanan that the most direct voter influence results when a strong majority decide that a particular problem deserves the immediate attention of the national government because the national agenda following any election that features such a consensus is largely fixed by popular demand. These cases serve as presidential marching orders that force the president to address the issue.
The Postmodern Spectacle
Bill Clinton's presidency characterized by fleeting images, fractured continuity, and surfaces without depths, that allowed him to try various styles of persona without being committed to any particular one. SIGNIFICANCE: the postmodern spectacle is not so much central around the president as it is towards delivering what Americans want in a particular moment.
Attack Ads
Began in 1964. Ads put forth by one candidate attacking the other candidate. They make the public fearful of voting for the candidate that is the subject of the Ad.
Pentagon Papers
Internal reports about the Vietnam War. Copied by Daniel Ellsberg which showed the Vietnam War would take too many resources. Nixon tried to get the courts to prevent their publication. They said no becase the documents were old and didn't threaten current national security. Courts thwart presidents also.
Head of State
A person who symbolizes the nation and embodies our patriotism. We tend to love this person as a symbol of what we share. The problem with this is that this role conflicts with Head of Government and the president represents both.
USA Patriot Act 2001, 2006
passed in 2001 after 9/11. It says that the 4th amendment does not apply when we are at war. In 2006 it was up for revision but it was again passed. Therefore there is no protection from the 4th amendment if the government things that we are 'terrorists.'
ANWR 2003, 2005
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Bush was interested in drilling for oil that was under this refuge. However it is illegal to do so, Bush needed congress to pass a law to override this issue and his party was in power in the senate. It was rejected. Illustrates how even when the same party controls congress and the senate the plan can be overridden especially when on the wrong side of public opinion.
Valence Issues
An issue in which almost everybody agrees. It is important to get on board with these issues. It is popular in politics to make your opponent look like he is against a Valence Issue. Voters pay less attention to valence issues when the economy is bad.
High Crimes and Misdemeanors
A stipulation for which a president may be impeached, meaning crimes against democracy and self-government. Neither of the president that has been impeached were any of the stipulations. Congress can remove a president with enough support if they don't like what he's doing.
Woodrow Wilson vs. The Founders
The conflicting views of the presidency as illustrated by the "2 constitutions" presented by Wilson and the Founders, in which the office of the president suffers from an ambigous constitutional station. States that Wilson Changed the Original Constitution. SIGNIFICANCE: These conflicting constitutions promise an energetic and evolutionary executive but constantly live in tension with each other and their interpretation.
Condensational Issues
Simple emotional symbolic issues that are easy to understand, easy for people to take position on, and people generally care about them. (Abortion, Peace, Crime). It is important to be simple and symbolic so most of the public can understand you.
1983 invasion of the Island launched by Reagan to protect the lives of U.S. medical students after militant marxists seized control and relations became stiff. SIGNIFICANCE: while largely an unimportant threat, this is an example of a successful spectacle put on by the President.
The strategy used by democrats to win electoral votes. It involves wining the northeast as well as California, Oregon and Washington states. By winning those states it is easy to get the majority of electoral votes, however, not all of those states are reliably democratic. The point is they don't need individual votes, they need to win the state.
Religious vs Secular Divide
In 2004 the best voting predictor was how often a person attended church. Those who attended church voted republican 61% of the time.
Clinton v. Jones
As put by Yalof, Clinton requested to move the date of ,his trial until after he'd be out of office. The court unanimously denied his request because they thought no litigation would be brought upon the president. They were wrong. This is an example of the trend towards the newer, harsher Congress of career jurists as opposed to giving him deference.
"the key to real voter policy influence"
Buchanan argues that two things must happen prior to voters having any tangible influence on policy decisions: presidential weakness and public unity. The latter is harder to achieve, especially absent a national crisis. Part of Buchanan's overall argument about the weakness of the influence voters have on police decisions.
The Function of the Press
to present the people with alternative versions of the facts, alternative opinions and interpretations. By informing the people they contribute to democracy. However they work to make a profit which often leads to telling of unimportant issues, not politics, because it is what they people want to know about. Creates an internal conflict, which pushes the media to become superficial by not noticing what is important and emphasizing interesting irrelevancy.
the President's Dilemma
Presidents are expected by the people to run the country, but they don't have the power most of the time
The act of appealing to voters worst impulses and phony issues. This should be avoided in campaigns.
Lincoln to Herndon 1846
Stated in his letter that the use of force resolution was a bad power given to the president because it allowed him open ended power to make war with no checks and balances. This means that he cannot be stopped. Lincoln thought that this was a bad thing power for the president to have.
Korematsu v. US
1944 Supreme court decision where Korematsu sued the US for taking away his rights and imprisoning him during a time where the US had been attacked. The RP said they would not second guess the actions of the president when he feels like it is necessary to protect the country. In other words, in the time of war the president can act like a dictator with no repercussion.
the people in charged of stopping leaks. In the Nixon Era they went to burgle the democrats to try to stop the leaks and were caught: Watergate.
The Transformation of George W. Bush
As soon as 9/11 happened Bush was supported even though prior to 9/11 he was considered to be unintelligent. His approval ratings sky rocked and he was seen as a great leader, although he hadn't changed at all.
a symbolic event, in which particular details stand for broader and deeper meanings, and relies upon the centrality of a character and action. SIGNIFICANCE: a large and growing portion of the presidency is devoted to the enactment of leadership as a spectacle, so that he can satisfy the needs of the public.
Reagan Coalition
Put together in 1980 and appealed to the Christian right. Consisted of economic conservatives plus social conservatives. the coalition is not a majority, the candidate must appeal also to independents. Illustrates a voting strategy based on ideology.
Presidential Success
When a president gets his domestic policy initiatives through Congress.
"energy in the executive"
A phrase from Federalist #70 by Hamilton that defends the reason the president is given so much foreign power by the constutition. Essential for the protection of the country against foreign attacks and is essential for military policy. Not needed when making law. A steady influence against the tendency of congress to be swept away by the whims of the public.
John May
Appointed by Johnson to make political recommendations to him, he had never been a political advisor. May caused friction between the presidency and the party which made it hard for Johnson to sustain enthusiasm for the 'Great Society.' However on history, because of his non-partisan appointments history will remember this as the 'era of good feelings.' Milkins cites this as an example of how despite problems between the party and the president it is possible for the public to remember an era of good times.
executive orders
A discretionary power to implement that is granted by law. Used by presidents as an expansion of their statutory powers.
U.S. v. Curtiz-Wright 1936
The president has 'inherent power' in foreign policy meaning he can forbid arms sales. No one knows the definition of 'inherent power'. Presidential power has strengthened because it is phrased ambiguously.
Original Constitution
the core structures of the presidency as established and defined by the constitution in 1789 by the Founders. SIGNIFICANCE- emphasizes that presidential authority and enegy is drawn and asserted from it's independence from the people and from rhetorical leadership
"The Great Problem of Modern Democratic Accountability"
Rockman states the problem is that the public is usually results oriented and unrealistic about what governments can achieve at what cost. This comes from two illusions: that national unity is created by presidential candidates who are trying to build electoral coalitions independent of their party and the false belief that the president is the whole of government. Because of these falsities, the public does not get the result it wants with no cost to them.
President's Public Image
The President is the Defender of the Nation, runs the country, and controls the economy. The President is realistic as as a defender, but not in terms of the economy. The President's Public Image ultimately sets them up to fail.
Landing troops 1965,1980,1983, 1989, 1994
1965 - Dominican republic under LBJ. 1980 - Turan under Carter. 1983 - Grenado under Regan. 1989 - Panama under H.W. Bush. 1994 - ½ an hour away from invading Hati under Clinton. Presidents, whether republican or democrat can invade countries and will invade without consent from the senate.
The Constitutional Position of the Presidency
The chief purpose is to grant the president the position of handling foreign policy. He negotiates treaties, and administers foreign policy and is commander and chief of the armed forces. Has some constitutional power in domestic policy. Has veto, appoints judges, and can grant, retrieve or pardon. The constitution makes him strong in foreign policy but weak in domestic policy.
Senate Rules Committee
An idea to establish a committee like the one in the house to control the agenda. It would eliminate the filibuster, among other things. Many people who support this support a constitutional amendment that would allow the president to appoint the members of both the house and senate rules committee. This would give the president more power in foreign and domestic policy. A proposed reform of congress.
Dialogue of Democracy
A relatively civil debate about public policy. A campaign should be a time in which citizens and candidates argue issues and choose their leaders based on the arguments made. These should always happen during campaigns.
Health Care Reform 1993-1994
Clintons potential health care reform. Even if there is a need in the country and he his party has control of the senate the president can still blow it domestically. It is easy to fail.
Head of Government
The person who makes the policy choices, tries to persuade legislators to vote a certain way, makes the 'deals,' and decides what they country is going to do. The head of government takes sides. The people do not love the head of government. The president represents a conflict between being head of state and head of government.
Capital gains taxes 1989-1992
taxes on the profits from investments. Republicans always want to eliminate them, democrats want the opposite. Republicans say that there will be more investment as a result of eliminating while democrats say investment is independent of how high/low capital gains taxes are. Bush had trouble lowering and eliminating them because the senate was of the opposite party. A president who faces a congress dominated by the opposition party must suggest bipartisan policy.
Swift Boat Veterans for Truth
Swift boat ads attacked John Kerry's war record even though he went to war and won medals. These ads suggested he did not deserve to win the medals and actually some how betrayed his country. They were camsmear (deliberately deceptive but not an our right lie) but they worked.
Sound Bites
the average news story is 60 seconds. The average time a candidate will have an argument televised is 7.8 seconds. Candidates and their writers know this so they often speak in slogans to get what they have to say heard on the news.
Cuban Missile Crisis 1962
October 1962 the CIA discovered that the Soviet Union was preparing to put IRBMs into Cuba. Kennedy gathered his advisors in secret, some who were members of congress and considered the options. Kennedy chose to blockade Cuba. A blockade is an act of war, Kennedy called it a quarantine which fooled no one. US threatened to sink ships w/missiles. The point is that Kennedy brought the world to the brink of nuclear war without even consulting with congress. The president often can exceed his foreign policy powers.
A good Democratic Election?
No. Prindle says the 2004 election was decided on the basis of intellectual fraud and demagoguery.
How will we know when the war is over?
Prindle says that there is really no way to know when the war is over. He argues that this is going to be a permanent war that goes on forever. Therefore we have lost some rights granted to us from the bill of rights.
Honest Leadership and Open Government Act 2007
Made a variety of changes in the rules to 'clean up' the government. For example: requires lobbyist to disclose all campaign contributions. Although changes were made to 'end corruption' the rules are not enforced by an independent bi-partisan panel therefore it is still enforced by people that are suppose to be reformed by it. One can conclude there has been no change.
Columbia School of Journalism
Lemman appointed new dean in 2003. Issued an idea to make reporters more substance qualified. This is an exception to the way reporters are generally trained.
Signing Statements
A written statement made by a president when he signs a bill commenting on provisions he deems unconstitutional so he will not enforce them. Essentially a line-item veto. Occasionally used, but mostly by W. Bush.
Unitary Executive Theory
The Constitutional theory held by many members of the Bush Administration, including Bush. Presidential decisions cannot be reviewed because of the Commander in Chief clause, Presidential actions beyond Congressional power.
A court of outsiders
As defined by Yalof, a court of political outsiders is one in which none of the members come from the typical legal background, for example a senator, attorney general, or governor. Reagan serves as an example of this, as he nominated 5 sitting judges on federal or state courts, 4 of which were judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals during his second term.
Suburban woman
caused the popular vote for Bush in 2004 in be higher than in 2000. This probably lead to his election. They voted for him because "there hadn't been a terrorist attack since 2001." They voted for Bush because they felt like their children were safe under him.
Robert Bork
Supreme Court nominee. Nominated by Reagan. He was very conservative. In 1986 the democrats had control of the senate. Liberals began an ad campaign to the senate to reject him has a nominee. In the end he was defeated by 58-42 votes. Illustrates the power senate has over the president although he is given that in the constitution. The president cannot ignore the wishes of congress.
$87 Billion
In 2003 the Bush administration asked for this amount of Monday to finance the war in Iraq. Kerry, who was entering the primary could not vote for the funding or he would be seen as too conservative. However in the general election he was pummeled and accused of not supporting the troops. An example of how the primaries cause candidates to become very extreme.
National Party System
Milkins argues that presidents have found the traditional party system too grounded and are refashioning them into highly untraditional but political potent national organizations. The question remains, therefore, whether the profound revival of the modern executive's government authority in the wake of 9/11 has brought a national party system to fruition or continued the long-term development of a modern presidency that renders collective partisanship impractical.
Thanksgiving 2003
The president secretly flew to Baghdad and served thanksgiving dinner to some of the troops. However the images we saw were actually a fake. The turkey was plastic and the time in Baghdad was 8AM. It was done for the media to make him look like a good president and make the evening news favorable to him. Superficial media create superficial politics.
Intense Minorities
a good strategy is to endorse the aims of intense minorities. They will give money on issues they feel strongly about if a candidate endorses it. However it is not a good idea to endorse minorities that have an intense majority because they are more powerful and also care about their issue just as much.
Robert Novak
a political conservative news paper columnist wrote a column and stated that Wilson (rivial) was sent to the middle east by his wife a CIA agent. He was pro bush and trying to discredit Wilson. Novak violated the Intelligence identity protection act which is a felony. In the end Scooter Libby went to prison for perjury because he had given that info to Novak. Should Novak have gone to prison?? He was not prosecuted. This a problem for democracy because on one had the press must be free to investigate but cannot out our CIA agents. Prindle offers no solution.
A Liberal Bias?
the charge by conservatives that the media is biased based on the fact that reporters are usually liberal. The basic conclusion is that the media is not biased in an ideological direction, however, are sometimes biased against candidates and in general they are hostile towards all politicians. Furthermore, there would only be biased to please the audience. Can be used to illustrate that the press is simply sloppy in reporting.
Pack Journalism
Happens when the national news corporation develops a consensus about a particular issue during a campaign and they all come to the same conclusion. The same story is written over and over with one side. This is an example of the superficiality of the press and how they are irresponsible in getting both sides of a story.
The Big L
the strategy used by republicans to win electoral votes. It involves taking the states that are central and southern. However, not all of these states are reliably conservative, but by winning them the majority of electoral votes are taken. The point is that they need to win the state and not the individual votes.
An election held within a party to nominate candidates for the general election or to choose delegates to a national nominating convention. To be elected a candidate must shift to the extreme end of the spectrum. However in the main election the candidate must appear moderate.
"The Bear"
The title of a Reagan campaign commercial (1984) that relies on images to sell a candidate, as opposed to rational argument. Represented Reagan's strong stance against the Soviet Union.
American Citizens' Foundation
Proposal by Buchanan to combat a tendency of presidents to leave the public out of policy decisions with pressure from an organization. This organization would represent the broader interests of the citizens and allow them to have access to the leverage they have over their representatives. He wants to increase the amount of direct influence voters have on policy.
Horse Race
As a result of sound bites, this is the type of reporting we tend to get. It is quick and resembles the reporting of a horse race. All we are informed about is who is ahead or behind, etc. Reporting is simple and not based on substance. This is a problem of superficiality.
The bully pulpit
Coined by T. Roosevelt. Meaning that the presidency was the national preacher, someone who could preach and be heard to people. The employees a lot of people who try to spin reality so that it becomes favorable to your side.
Imperial Presidency
A president that does what he wants and will make war when he wants to. He is powerful in foreign policy.

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