Perspectives on American Politics

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  • Edition: 4th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2003-07-17
  • Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing
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More comprehensive and thematically rich than any other reader available the Fourth Edition is designed for instructors who want an American politics reader that can supplement any text. This comprehensive volume includes up-to-date readings that correspond to the most frequently assigned chapters of American government texts and expand students' understanding and knowledge of how the American system works. Selections fall into four categories--classical/constitutional, historical, comparative, and contemporary--providing a range of perspectives that expand student understanding and knowledge of the U.S. governmental system. Over 50% of the selections reflect recent developments in American politics, including the war on terrorism and the elections of 2000 and 2002. Expanded International Context selections provide a global perspective on US politics.

Table of Contents

Preface xxiv
Chapter 1 The Constitution 1(47)
I Foundations
1.1 Federalist No. 10
James Madison
"A zeal for different opinions concerning religion, concerning government, and many other points ... have, in turn, divided mankind into parties, [and] inflamed them with mutual animosity."
1.2 Federalist No. 47
James Madison
"The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny."
1.3 Federalist No. 48
James Madison
"Will it be sufficient to mark, with precision, the boundaries of these departments in the constitution of the government, and to trust to parchment barriers against the encroaching spirit of power?"
1.4 Federalist No. 51
James Madison
"Ambition must be made to counteract ambition."
1.5 The Address and Reasons of Dissent of the Minority of the Convention of Pennsylvania to Their Constituents
"[W]e entered on the examination of the proposed system of government, and found it to be such as we could not adopt, without, as we conceived, surrendering up your dearest rights."
II American Politics Today
1 .6 Second Thoughts on the Second Amendment
Wendy Kammer
"The tension at the heart of the Second Amendment, which makes it so difficult to construe, is the tension between republicanism and liberal individualism."
III The International Context
1.7 How Ideas Travel: Rights at Home and Abroad
A.E. Dick Howard
"Americans have good cause to celebrate two hundred years of the Bill of Rights. They likewise have every reason to hope for the principles of that document to take root in the lands now free of tyrannical rule."
IV View from the Inside
1.8 The Founding Fathers: A Reform Caucus in Action
John P. Roche
"There is a common rumor that the Framers divided their time between philosophical discussions of government and reading the classics in political theory. Perhaps this is as good a time as any to note that their concerns were highly practical."
Chapter 2 Federalism 48(37)
I Foundations
2.1 What the Antifederalists Were For
Herbert Storing
"Federalism means that the states are primary ... and that they possess the main weight of political power. The defense of the federal character of the American union was the most prominent article of Anti-Federalist conservative doctrine."
2.2 Federalist No. 39
James Madison
"The proposed Constitution ... is, in strictness, neither a national nor a federal Constitution, but a composition of both."
2.3 Federalist No. 45
James Madison
"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite."
II American Politics Today
2.4 American Federalism on the Horizon
Ann O'M. Bowman
"The central question is; What will the first decade of the twenty-first century mean for American federalism? In other words, how will American federalism shape the next ten years or so and how will the federal system itself evolve during that period?"
III The International Context
2.5 If You Sincerely Want to Be a United States ...
The Economist
"[The job of] the people now charged with trying to create a political union in Europe ... is not different in kind from that which faced America's constitutional convention [in 1787].... Might the most mature and successful constitutional settlement in the world have some lessons for these European parvenus?"
IV View from the Inside
2.6 The Man Behind the Mayor
Amanda Griscom
"Since September 11, Sheirer has taken charge of the biggest cleanup effort in American history, coordinating 100 federal, state, and local agencies .... He's become, in effect, the CEO of a company with thousands of workers and a budget that could run up to $40 billion or, if you prefer, the mayor of the hot zone."
2.7 The Out-of-Towners
Michael Tomasky
"The narrative begins the day after the attack, Wednesday, when Senators Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton met with Governor Pataki and Mayor Giuliani, urging them to assess the scope of the damage and agree to a dollar amount they could then take to Capitol Hill. The $20 billion figure was agreed upon, and Schumer and Clinton made their way back to Washington."
Chapter 3 Civil Liberties 85(26)
I Foundations
3.1 On Liberty
John Stuart Mill
"[T]he object 'towards which every human being must ceaselessly direct his efforts ... is the individuality of power and development.' ... For this there are two requisites, 'freedom and variety of situations."
II American Politics Today
3.2 Terrorism and the Limits of Law
Michael J. Glennon
"Assume that the police capture a terrorist whom they know has planted a nuclear bomb somewhere in New York City. The police know that the bomb will explode very soon; the city cannot possibly be evacuated. The terrorist refuses to talk. Question: Should the police torture him?"
III The International Context
3.3 The Universal Declaration and the U.S. Constitution
Louis Henkin
"The U.S. Constitution, and the constitutional culture it engendered, were a principal conduit for the idea of rights later espoused by the Universal Declaration [of Human Rights], and a principal source of many-not all-of the rights recognized in the Declaration."
IV View from the Inside
3.4 Speaking Our Minds
Joseph Russomanno
"Some of our colleagues were just incensed about what we were doing, and couldn't imagine why we were spending so much time on the case .... We were never asked by any of our colleagues if we believed in murder when we represented people charged with murder, but here they were asking, 'Do you believe in cross burning?'"
Chapter 4 Civil Rights 111(31)
I Foundations
4.1 Plessy v. Ferguson
Justice Henry B. Brown, Justice John Marshall Harlan, dissenting
"The object of the [Fourteenth] amendment was undoubtedly to enforce the absolute equality of the two races before the law but ... it could not have been intended to abolish distinctions based upon color, or to enforce social ... equality."
4.2 Brown v. Board of Education
Chief Justice Earl Warren
"[I]n the field of public education the doctrine of 'separate but equal' has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal."
4.3 Bolling v. Sharpe
Chief Justice Earl Warren
"In view of our decision that the Constitution prohibits the states from maintaining racially segregated public schools, it would be unthinkable that the same Constitution would impose a lesser duty on the Federal Government."
II American Politics Today
4.4. Affirmative Action-Don't Mend or End It-Bend It
Peter H. Schuck
"I propose neither a wholesale ban on affirmative action ('ending' it) nor tweaks in its administration ('mending' it). Rather, I would make two structural changes.... First, affirmative action would be banned in the public sector but allowed in the private sector. Second, private sector institutions that use preferences would be required to disclose how and why they do so."
III The International Context
4.5 Multicultural Citizenship
Will Kymlicka
"I believe it is legitimate, and indeed unavoidable, to supplement traditional human rights with minority rights. A comprehensive theory of justice in a multicultural state will include both universal rights, assigned to individuals regardless of group membership, and certain group-differentiated rights or 'special status' for minority cultures."
IV View from the Inside
4.6 Women in the Barracks
Philippa Strum
"When Judith Keith was asked by friends and colleagues why any young woman would want to subject herself to life at VMI as it was described at the trial-or, for that matter, why any young man would choose to do so-her answer was that VMI did not attract the average guy and would not attract the average woman. But if Virginia provided that kind of education for men, it had to make it equally available for women."
Chapter 5 Political Culture and Public Opinion 142(33)
I Foundations
5.1 Democracy in America
Alexis de Tocqueville
"The social condition of the Americans is eminently democratic."
II American Politics Today
5.2 One Nation, Slightly Divisible
David Brooks
"[T]hat's the way America is. We are not a divided nation. We are a cafeteria nation. We form cliques (call them communities, or market segments, or whatever), and when they get too big, we form subcliques .... We live our lives by migrating through the many different cliques associated with the activities we enjoy and the goals we have set for ourselves. Our freedom comes from the interstices; we can choose which set of standards to live by, and when."
III The International Context
5.3 American Exceptionalism: A Double-Edged Sword
Seymour Martin Lipset
"Other countries' senses of themselves are derived from a common history.... In Europe, nationality is related to community, and thus one cannot become un-English or un-Swedish. Being an American, however, is an ideological commitment. It is not a matter of birth. Those who reject American values are un-American."
IV View from the Inside
5.4 The Other War Room
Joshua Green
"Announcing that one ignores polls... is an easy way of conveying an impression of leadership, judgment, and substance. No one has recognized and used this to such calculated effect as [President George W.] Bush. When he announced that he would 'bring a new tone to Washington,' he just as easily could have said he'd banish pollsters from the White House without any loss of effect. One of the most dependable poll results is that people don't like polling."
Chapter 6 Interest Groups 175(29)
I Foundations
6.1 The Scope and Bias of the Pressure System
E.E. Schattschneider
"Pressure politics is essentially the politics of small groups.... [It] is a selective process ill designed to serve diffuse interests. The system is skewed, loaded, and unbalanced in favor of a fraction of a minority."
II American Politics Today
6.2 Always Involved, Rarely Central: Organized Interests in American Politics
Allan J. Cigler and Burdett A. Loomis
"[I]nterest groups are ubiquitous .... [G]roups protect their interests tenaciously and effectively.... Such a conclusion might lead some to believe that organized interests lie at the center of American politics, and that some kind of group-based theory would offer a coherent way to think about our political system. But this isn't the case. Although interest groups are important across the board, no group-based theory can explain the whole of American politics."
Ill The International Context
6.3 Lobbying, Euro-Style
Samuel Loewenberg
"[A]s American companies are slowly learning, the rules of the influence trade are very different in the European Union from what they are in Washington."
IV View from the Inside
6.4 A New Form of Lobbying Puts Public Face on Private Interest
Alison Mitchell
"In their million-dollar costs and in their reliance on television, polling and grass-roots constituency building, ... [modern lobbying efforts] most resemble Presidential campaigns. And they are now so pervasive and sophisticated that it has become difficult to distinguish between a lobbying effort, an issue advocacy campaign and a citizens movement."
Chapter 7 The Media 204(23)
I Foundations
7.1 New York Times Co. v. United States
Justice Hugo L. Black
"In the First Amendment the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government's power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government."
II American Politics Today
7.2 Bias
Bernard Goldberg
"Washington journalists are far more liberal and far more Democratic than the typical American voter.... Eighty-nine percent voted for Bill Clinton. This is incredible when you think about it.... The only politicians who get numbers like that are called Fidel Castro or Saddam Hussein."
7.3 Victim Politics
Jonathan Chait
"The most famous survey, taken after the 1992 elections, found that 89 percent of Washington journalists had voted for Clinton.... But this doesn't prove quite as much as one might suspect. Reporters may hold liberal views, but not on everything.... [W]hile reporters generally hold more liberal views on social issues, they often take more conservative stances on economic questions."
III The International Context
7.4 Inside Al Jazeera
Rick Zednik
"Al Jazeera is the only twenty-four-hour Arab news station. In addition to its fast-moving, video-heavy newscasts, it has built an audience through its talk shows, which probe political, social, and religious issues previously untouched by Arab media.... The U.S., meanwhile, was introduced to Al Jazeera in the days following the September 11 terrorist attacks. And some here didn't like what they saw."
IV View from the Inside
7.5 Keeper of Secrets
Howard Kurtz
"'I like [Bush press secretary] Ari [Fleischer] and respect Ari,' says NBC's David Gregory. 'But it is virtually impossible to get something out of Ari that he doesn't want to say. Ari's very disciplined.... Sometimes we walk out of those briefings banging our heads against the wall, and he knows that and doesn't worry about it."
Chapter 8 Parties and Elections 227(30)
I Foundations
8.1 Towards a More Responsible Two-Party System
APSA Committee on Political Parties
"In brief, our view is this: The party system that is needed must be democratic, responsible and effective-a system that is accountable to the public, respects and expresses differences of opinion, and is able to cope with the great problems of modern government."
II American Politics Today
8.2 The Crabgrass Wars
James A. Barnes
"Think Ozzie and Harriet. Or, better still, think Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne. That's what the Democratic Party needs to do if it wants to understand why it lost the Senate. Want to put a label on the party's problem? Call it, 'white, married with children."
8.3 Why There's Nothing the Democrats Could Have Done
John B. Judis
"What explains the Republicans' success in the suburbs? Primarily, Bush's popularity as the leader of the war against terrorism, which carried over to the Republican Party and to Republican candidates."
III The International Context
8.4 Breaking the Two-Party Monopoly
Douglas J. Amy
"Americans have suffered under our two-party system for so long that we tend to view its problems and limitations as unfortunate but inevitable. In reality ... the adoption of proportional representation in the United States would go a long way toward addressing many of these shortcomings."
IV View from the Inside
8.5 Oh, Waiter! One Order of Crow!
Jeff Greenfield
"[A]t this defining moment in the majestic pageantry that is our national election process, forged in Valley Forge and Yorktown, in the miracle at Philadelphia's Constitution Hall... I am held by one single thought: If Al Gore concedes by 3 A.M., and Bush claims victory by 3:30, and if my car is still waiting for me outside the CNN center, then I can get back to the hotel, pack up everything, get out to the airport, catch the 6:30 A.M. flight to New York, crash for an hour or so, and meet my friends for our traditional Wednesday lunch."
Chapter 9 The Congress 257(30)
I Foundations
9.1 Federalist No. 55
James Madison
"Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob."
9.2 Federalist No. 57
James Madison
"Such will be the relation between the House of Representatives and their constituents. Duty, gratitude, interest, ambition itself, are the cords by which they will be bound to fidelity and sympathy with the great mass of the people."
II American Politics Today
9.3 What the American Public Wants Congress to Be
John R. Hibbing and James T. Smith
"The public's opinion of Congress itself can serve as an important institutional constraint on it. If the public strongly disapproves of Congress, sitting members may decide against seeking reelection and prospective candidates may decide against running for a seat in the first place. If members are sensitive to the public's opinion of them and of Congress, they may be reluctant to address new policy initiatives, especially any that are mildly controversial.... Given these important consequences of public attitudes toward Congress, it is imperative that we understand the factors that lead the public to regard the institution favorably and unfavorably."
III The International Context
9.4 Changing Perceptions of the British System
Leon D. Epstein
"Since the development of their academic discipline over a century ago, American political scientists have treated British parliamentary democracy as a benchmark in evaluating the American system.... My perspective combines respect for the British political system with a disbelief in the suitability of its parliamentary institutions for the United States."
IV View from the Inside
9.5 Dr. Feelgood
Jonathan Cohn
" [E]verybody now knows that [Senate majority leader Bill] Frist is a man of good deeds.... More fundamentally, everybody now knows that Frist is a doctor-a profession people associate with compassion and intelligence.... A major reason [President George W.] Bush touted Frist as the successor to Trent Lott was that Frist seemed to be Lott's opposite-thoughtful where Lott was hardheaded, caring where Lott was indifferent, and smart where Lott was just plain dumb."
Chapter 10 The Presidency 287(32)
I Foundations
10.1 Federalist No. 68 289
Alexander Hamilton
"Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents... to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union."
10.2 Federalist No.70
Alexander Hamilton
"Energy in the executive is a leading character in the definition of good government."
10.3 Presidential Power
Richard E. Neustadt
"A President's authority and status give him great advantages in dealing with the men he would persuade.... But outcomes are not guaranteed by his advantages."
II American Politics Today
10.4 The Changing Leadership of George W. Bush
Fred I. Greenstein
"Before the suicide bombings of September 11, 2001, even a number of Bush's strong supporters were not persuaded that he was fully up to his responsibilities. Since then, even many of his critics grant that he has become strikingly more presidential."
III The International Context
10.5 Presidents and Prime Ministers
Richard Rose
"There are diverse ways of organizing the direction of government, not only between democracies and authoritarian regimes, but also among democracies. Switzerland stands at one extreme, with collective direction provided by a federal council whose president rotates from year to year. At the other extreme are countries that claim to centralize authority, under a... parliamentary system or in a... presidential system."
IV View from the Inside
10.6 September 11, 2001
David Frum
"Even on the dullest day, stepping from the outside to the inside of the White House gate feels like crossing into a forbidden city. But never before had the line of separation felt so thick and high. The silent, patrolled city beyond the lush lawn and the still-thick greenery of the trees, beyond the sensors, the fence, and the gates, fell away behind us into remoteness and invisibility.... We stepped under the white canopy that extends from the side doorway ... and into a building that was humming back to life after the longest session of inactivity perhaps in its existence."
Chapter 11 The Bureaucracy 319(26)
I Foundations
11.1 Bureaucracy
Max Weber
"Bureaucratization offers above all the optimum possibility for carrying through the principle of specializing administrative functions according to purely objective considerations."
II American Politics Today
11.2 Bureaucracy: What Government Agencies Do and Why They Do It
James Q. Wilson
"When we denounce bureaucracy for being inefficient we are saying something that is half true.... [T]he only way to decide whether an agency is truly inefficient is to decide which of the constraints affecting its action ought to be ignored or discounted."
III The International Context
11.3 The Distinctive Nature of American Public Administration
Gerald E. Caiden, Richard A. Lovard, Thomas J. Pavlak, Lynn F. Sipe, and Molly M. Wong
"The scope of American public administration is distinct in at least... [nine] ways."
IV View from the Inside
11.4 Descent into Evil
Evan Thomas
"Top officials on the sniper task force could hardly believe that the ordeal was over. When he awoke Thursday morning, the first question that popped into [Montgomery] County Executive [Douglas] Duncan's head was: 'Has anyone gotten shot?' By evening, the state and local law enforcement chiefs and top federal officials jammed into Chief Moose's office. No one wanted to declare victory until after the ATF had made a match between the gun found in the car... and the bullet fragments extracted from 11 of the sniper's victims."
Chapter 12 The Judiciary 345(30)
I Foundations
12.1 Federalist No. 78
Alexander Hamilton
"The judiciary... has no influence over either the sword or the purse; no direction either of the strength or of the wealth of the society; and can take no active resolution whatever. It may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment."
12.2 Marbury v. Madison
Chief Justice John Marshall
"If an act of the legislature, repugnant to the constitution, is void, does it, notwithstanding its invalidity, bind the courts, and oblige them to give it effect?"
II American Politics Today
12.3 Beyond Bush v. Gore
Linda Greenhouse
"I thought I might... offer a generic road map, a template for observing the [Supreme] Court and assessing its work regardless of the particular doctrinal area involved and one's views of the merits of a particular decision. I think, that as citizens, we are entitled to hold the Court to a set of performance standards, and I will sketch these out briefly and offer some examples from the past few Terms of what I am talking about."
III The International Context
12.4 Judicial Activism in Canada and the United States
Mark C. Miller
"The legal systems of Canada and the United States share many common characteristics. Both have their roots in British Common Law. Legal training is similar, and both countries draw their judges primarily from the practicing bar. But despite their similarities, Canadian and U.S. judges have approached their policy-making roles quite differently."
IV View from the Inside
12.5 The "Accidental President"
David A. Kaplan
"Given the hard feelings, the amazing aspect of Bush v. Gore is that it just might've gone the other way. Justice Anthony Kennedy-the key swing vote, the man the Court's law clerks once dubbed 'Flipper' for his equivocations-had wavered, enough that [Justice David] Souter thought until the very end that he'd get him. If Kennedy could be flipped, the 5-to-4 ruling for Bush would become a 5-to-4 win for Gore."
Chapter 13 Public Policy 375
I Foundations
13.1 Domestic Policy Making
Roger H. Davidson and Walter J. Oleszek
"[P]olicies can be regarded as reflecting 'who gets what, when, and how' in society. A more serviceable definition of policy [is that]... policy is what the government says and does about perceived problems."
II American Politics Today
13.2 Nine Misconceptions About Social Security
Dean Baker
"In fact the demographics of the Baby Boom have very little to do with the long-range problems of Social Security. The main reason the fund will run into deficits in future years is that people are living longer."
III The International Context
13.3 America and the World
Michael Hirsh
"In terms of practical policy, it is never easy to find the right mix of unilateralism and multilateralism.... Washington must strike the proper balance, warning the world that it will permit no other power to challenge America without being overbearing about it, and reassuring the world of America's essential benignness without encouraging the idea that it has gone 'soft' or will withdraw."
IV View from the Inside
13.4 Taking the Initiative, or Risk Taking Inside Government
Kenneth Ashworth
"Dear Kim, You will by now be hearing a lot about theories and models as to how decisions and public policies are made. And you will probably have run across some criticism of these conceptual frameworks, such as that they ignore the role played by opportunity and chance events in how things get done in government.... I want to see if I can't defend to you opportunism as an effective approach to promoting government programs and policies."

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