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American Government and Politics

by: Taurean Paucek

American Government and Politics PS 2010

Marketplace > Middle Tennessee State University > Political Science > PS 2010 > American Government and Politics
Taurean Paucek
GPA 3.56

Robb McDaniel

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Robb McDaniel
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Taurean Paucek on Wednesday September 23, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PS 2010 at Middle Tennessee State University taught by Robb McDaniel in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 13 views. For similar materials see /class/213128/ps-2010-middle-tennessee-state-university in Political Science at Middle Tennessee State University.


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Date Created: 09/23/15
110410 Immanuel VicerraChioco H American Government and Politics Notes Political Parties During these past midterm elections republicans mostly won because the ruling party 7the democrats 7 had been in office too long They also had a lot of funds from corporate businesses The tea party was somewhat costly to the republicans Ron Paul said President Obama was un American to criticize BP Most federal funding goes to federal pension programs like Medicare and Medicaid Nikki Haley is the first Indian American woman elected governor of South Carolina Critical Realigning Elections 0 O O O O O History7The American system historically is a two party system which is relatively stable The American Founders were suspicious of political parties and did not anticipate them parties started forming immediately Internal Mobilization occurs when political elites rally behind them a group of supporters or a party The Federalists Washington and Adams and the DemocraticRepublicans Jefferson and Madison are two examples of these early parties The DemocraticRepublicans gain the next six presidential seats 1800 7 We enter the era of Good Feelings because the Federalists eventually disappear Even Madison s son was in the Democratic Republican Party This is the first division 1828 7 We get a new division between the Democrats and the Whigs who were split on tariff issues The Democratic party is the dominant party during this time period In every new election there is usually an issue that arises meant to change the political makeup of our government Slavery is an example of this 1860 7 We get the third dividing line The Republican party emerges with Abraham Lincoln as its leader The Democratic party loses the Civil War and loses its domination The Republican party was running with the Three R s 7 Rome Romanization and Rebellion They blame the Democrats for not standing up to slavery and thereafter win every election for a generation 1896 7 The Populist party emerges running on the protection of corporations The Republican once again is the dominant party but this time they are promoting capitalism Third parties realign the major party However Democrats gain the majority with the Great Depression which started with Hoover R The Democrats win almost all elections for a while after this especially with FDR as their frontrunner VO Key 7 Argued that there are several pivotal elections that shifted the political game such as Abraham Lincoln and FDR With each of these wins you get a dividing line between the parties and this can sometimes form new parties O O O Immanuel VicerraChioco H American Government and Politics Notes Post1932 7Is there another critical realigning election It s not really clear that there is Obviously the Democrats are not the dominant party anymore The Vietnam War fragmented their party Gaining back The House of Representatives is a standard for realigning elections because it s really hard for parties to gain that sector of government back Three main reasons why there isn t a realigning election after 1932 I Perks and Pork 7 Government funding goes to different sections of the country Politicians are able to run for office with the promises that they will bring back money to their sector Polling 7 Parties develop patterns that they become entrenched in When you have advanced polling techniques parties and find out what they did wrong before n 39 39 l I I r 7 The P earlier in the 20Lh Century which was intended to weaken the major parties There is a dealignment in the party system and many people start referring to themselves as Independent There is a SLOW realignment that takes place in the South which takes about thirty years The South used to be a oneparty Democrat system but is now a oneparty Republican system Immigration gay rights gun rights etc begin dividing people in new ways The North East is now dominantly liberal The two party system 0 O O The traditional model 7Think of the American political system as a belt curve with the democrats on the left and the republicans on the right In order to gain the majority they have to gain the votes in the middle which is where both parties want to run to This is not true for midterm elections Usually big landslides in the American electoral history occur when one party spends too much time outside the middle and therefore don t reach the independent people Both parties look the same to most people and this is the downside to the model offcenter 7The traditional model starts to change in the l990 swhen Republicans come up with new strategies Carl Rove said that the traditional model is wrong and that there is actually a bimodal There are two humps in the political system with the conservatives having the bigger hump and larger support wave more people identify with them this polarizes the American political system If a party can gain the bigger hump then they can win elections by a landslide Rove loves the realignment theory but this doesn t work for Bush The landslide theory doesn t work Rove said that people must give their party everything they want in order to keep their parties behind them Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson 7 The l 39 quot 39 quot The l 39 quot party is the most loyal party in American political history Hacker and Pierson state that the Republican strategies have mostly centered about polarization Immanuel VicerraChioco H American Government and Politics Notes 0 Traditionally when parties become offcenter people complain that the parties are too weak As a result it s hard for people to know which party to blame Political scientists are starting to think that there should be stronger parties There are now clearer dividends between the conservatives and liberals 1 10910 Interest Groups Political scientists state in general that the American political party system is decentralized The result is weak parties Christine O Donnell 7 this year in the Republican primaries 7 ran a commercial about allegations of using witchcraft The weak party critique Party leaders are not required to carry out party discipline this creates an every man for himself mentality Voters can t be expected to have all the information but they are expected to have knowledge of at least some of the party standpoints and platforms 0 Collective irresponsibility 7A particular phenomenon that occurs when large groups of a certain party knowledgably do not acquire the platforms of their parties 0 The loyalty problem iElected officials in the United State unlike in Europe have do not have to act the way their parties do 0 We have moved towards a stronger party system in the last fteen years The Republican party is the most loyal party in the US political system they have started acting like the European political parties Democrats on the other hand are still working in the weak party style This suggests that the Us in moving towards a parliamentary system Interest Groups 0 Political parties differ from interest groups in several aspects A political party s primary goal is to win elections to run the government Interest groups are more focused on advancing policies no matter who wins the elections This explains why the two operate in so many different ways 0 Pluralism iAmerica is made up of a large group of interest groups it s pluralistic 0 An interest group is an organized body of individuals with some common interests who attempt to in uence public policy PETA is an example Interest group in uence increases through much of the 20Lh Century in the 1900s parties start to lose their in uence whereas interest groups rise to fill their place Parties are immune to interest groups Political scientists who support a myriad of interest groups point to Madison s Federalist Paper No 10 relating factions to interest groups though the two are different factions are less organized Dahl Polsby argues that interest groups are not evil in a society but that they are good Groups enable widespread participation in the political system and provide a O O O O O Immanuel VicerraChioco H American Government and Politics Notes broad view of what Americans think When both major parties are apathetic towards a particular issue people can often join an interest group to advance that issue Pluralists also point out that interest groups are also protected by the 1st Amendment lobbying This is also a way that people can get represented in government In the big picture everybody has a special interest In the interest group system they have to create an equilibrium of compromise and satisfaction not all groups are able to get everything they want they have to settle with what is given to them Critics argue that not all Americans are represented by interest groups According to Madison people join interest groups based upon their own economic self interest The foundation for Traditional interest groups 7 Interest groups often economically oriented organized to advance the material of their own bene t Interest groups want I Pork 7 Interest groups want money from the federal government being invested for their causes Moreover it s federal government that s given not just to a particular state of location but to benefit a certain group Policy 7 Policy changes can have a big impact eg the Wall Street Reform For decades WS had been lobbying for deregulation of their sector As a result of deregulation banking became the most sought job in America This in the end did not work well for America Interest groups usually lobby both sides of the political spectrum to get their issues advanced Groups against a particular policy want to delay its passage so that it eventually loses popularity New Politics amp PIGs 7 Interest groups are now not nancially concerned but rather with ideological rights This occurs in the era of the Vietnam War and African American civil rights Groups were not trying to advance their own personal issues but were rather lobbying for rights of the whole society These were primarily in the left of the political spectrum but later conservative groups started appearing The NRA as a result becomes very conservative This ideological factor polarizes groups on the political spectrum Today traditional groups are still dominant What motivates people to join a group Groups are easier to form around people who have a lot of income and high levels of education They have more resources to start groups This creates an Income bias 7 People who have the time money and understanding that interest groups demand are more likely to form interest groups The poor in turn resign themselves to thinking that they can t in uence policies Income bias is significant and this is not the way that political parties work A strong party system usually has to pull in the opposite direction After all parties can t simply O O O O Immanuel VicerraChioco H American Government and Politics Notes win an election based on the support of interest groups Parties instead concentrate of the working class and lower class issues Olson s collective action problem 7 Mancur Olson suggests that there are deeper organizational and institutional biases What turns a group of people into an actual interest group The primary motivator is economic self interest Olson considers the consequences there are certain groups and bene ts more likely to form I l Excludable v public goods 7 An excludable good is a good that goes to an individual directly and is intended for their private enjoyment A public good is a good that an individual cannot enjoy unless everybody enjoys it It s easier for groups to attract supporters on excludable good promises because individuals HAVE to lobby for goods that they will directly enjoy Collective action problem 7 People won t join a group because they can enjoy the public goods bene t without ever having to participate which 1s The free rider problem 7 Above 2 Divisible v nondivisible 7 Do you know what your share of the bene ts isare It s a lot easier for groups to organize around divisible results because they can know what their share is going to be 7they can see tangible results 3 Large v small 7 It s easier to organize small interest groups because there are is less con icting views and less free rider problems Olson argues these are the reasons why consumer interest groups are poorly organized Environmental groups promise public and nondivisible goods so they are hard to construct Olson also argues for a solution for large interest groups which is called Selective incentives 7 If there is a large group trying to gain support for public and nondivisible goods they have to give their members certain advantages to keep their interest ie you can t get it unless youjoin the group This does a good deal in explaining the nature of traditional groups The populist critique 7 Interest groups present the possibility of corruption in the upper class Supporters of this pick up on the Iron Triangle 7 A supportrelationship eXists between the interest groups Congressional Committees and Bureaucratic agencies The interest groups can give the Congressional Committees information on their issues as well as money for the Congressmen s campaigns The Congressional Committee can then tell the Bureaucratic agencies how to act which will then bene t the interest groups There is a problem with agency capture 7 the Congressional Committees and Bureaucratic agencies are subject to the interests of the groups that they are


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