Download The Presidency, Congress, and Divided Government: A Postwar by Richard S. Conley PDF

By Richard S. Conley

Can presidents wish to be potent in coverage making while Congress is governed through the opposite social gathering? Political scientist Richard Conley brings to this significant dialogue a clean viewpoint. He argues persuasively that the stipulations of divided govt have replaced in recent times, and he applies a rigorous technique that enables the checking out of a few vital assumptions approximately social gathering keep an eye on of the legislative approach and the position of the president.

Conley demonstrates that contemporary administrations have confronted a really diverse enjoying box than these within the past post-war years due to such severe advancements in electoral politics as lowering presidential coattails and the shortcoming of presidential acceptance in competition individuals’ districts. additionally, he identifies numerous alterations within the institutional environment in Congress that experience affected either the legislative good fortune premiums of presidents’ courses and the suggestions presidents pursue. those institutional elements comprise extra assertive legislative majorities, adjustments in management constitution, and elevated get together unity in voting.

Conley makes use of either case experiences and complicated time-series regression analyses to ascertain the ground good fortune of presidential projects, the suggestions presidents use in operating with the legislature, and using veto energy to accomplish presidential aims.

Scholars of the presidency and people attracted to the bigger American political strategy will locate during this booklet either foodstuff for inspiration and a version of analytic sophistication.

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Sample text

Democrats found that the benefits of further centralization of authority in   Introduction the Speakership outweighed the costs, particularly as the party base in the electorate grew more solidly liberal. The bolstering of the Speakership under Thomas P. 59 In the short term, heightened centralization contributed to a sharp decline in President Reagan’s legislative success rate after . 60 The reforms contributed to President Bush’s extensive use of the veto from ‒ to block Democratic legislation in a period of intense leadership and policy stalemate between the president and Congress.

The electoral realignment of the South affected dynamics within Congress and between the president and Congress by shrinking the contingent of rightward-leaning southern Democrats, dissolving the basis of the conservative coalition, and yielding more stable, partisan voting blocs. 65 As the two parties’ ideological positions grew wider, party labels became increasingly significant. The fluid coalitions of yesteryear thus grew scarce by the mid-s, leaving presidents facing divided government with far fewer opportunities to successfully engage in strong agenda leadership and cross-party coalition building.

The impact of weak electoral resources, increased congressional partisanship, and better organized governing majorities had the most visible effect on presidents’ legislative influence over floor outcomes under divided government. Presidents were far less able to attract the support of members of the opposition party, they more frequently lost on position votes, and they controlled less of the agenda in Congress compared to the early postwar era. In the rare instances of unified government since the s, presidents received consistent support from their copartisans and garnered high floor success rates, but they faced stiffer competition in their bid to steer congressional activity toward their independent policy objectives.

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