Category Archives: Legislative Politics

113th Congress: Arguably the least democratic in American history

The 113th Congress may very well go down as the least democratic in our nation’s history. Except probably not in the way you are thinking. This has nothing to do with how much money was spent in campaigns, gerrymandering, voter … Continue reading

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Can the midterm outcome “solve” Washington’s problems? No. But it can make things worse.

An old adage is that lawmakers win reelection by “running against Washington.”  According to a recent Gallup poll, just 14% of Americans approve of Congress’s job performance. So while there’s something absurd about incumbents and major party candidates running against … Continue reading

Posted in Elections, Filibuster, Legislative Politics, Polarization | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Vote Scores are hurting Vulnerable Senate Democrats

Several Senate Democrats are running their campaigns as far away from the President as possible. Democrats are defending six states that Mitt Romney won in 2012. Three Democratic incumbents find themselves in toss-up races in states Mitt Romney won by … Continue reading

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Don’t like the president’s “power grab” on ISIS? Blame Congress.

Pundits on both sides of the aisle are criticizing the Obama administration’s decision to bomb ISIS targets without seeking congressional approval.  For example, Andrew Sullivan compares Obama’s actions to those of his predecessor, George Bush, calling the president’s decision a … Continue reading

Posted in American Political Development, Legislative Politics, Separation of Powers, The Presidency | 1 Comment

Seven Numbers to Remember About the VA Compromise

According to multiple sources, Representative Jeff Miller (R-FL) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have reached a tentative agreement on a bill to overhaul the Veterans Affairs health care system.  A news conference is scheduled for 1:30 today. [edit: Confirmed.  Details … Continue reading

Posted in Bicameralism, Legislative Politics, Political Parties | 1 Comment

Why the Logic of “Throwing the Bums Out” is Wrong

As the election season ramps up, Americans offer dozens of claims about the “problems” facing our country and their purported “solutions.”  But while many of these claims are amenable to empirical scrutiny, few are ever studied. Spoiler alert: Americans are lousy … Continue reading

Posted in Elections, Legislative Politics, Polarization, Political Parties | 2 Comments

Obama, a Republican Congress, and Impeachment

Some Republicans are eager to impeach the President. Some are so eager that they go on the record saying that impeachment would probably pass the House of Representatives. Barletta (R-LA), Farenthold (R-TX) and Senator Cruz (R-TX) say the only obstacle … Continue reading

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