Advertisement

Clinton and Congress

  • Michael Foley
Part of the Southampton Studies in International Policy book series (SSIP)

Abstract

One of the perennial rituals of American politics is the attribution of new beginnings to any incoming president. The personalized nature of the office, combined with the individual focus of presidential electioneering, infuses any inauguration with an evangelism of national reaffirmation and political renewal. Such an idealism of singular discontinuity is almost invariably neutralized by a subsequent and pervasive realism of multiple continuities, exemplified by Congressional unresponsiveness to presidential agendas and priorities. The disjunctions in legislative-executive relations have been particularly evident with the onset of a high incidence of ‘divided government’ where the presidency is controlled by one party, while the House of Representatives, or the Senate, or both, are controlled by the other major party. The full potential of the system’s devices for reciprocal control and mutual obstruction were thought to be realized under such conditions, producing in turn calls for ‘unified government’ under which the friction of conflict would be hugely diminished through the common denominator of uniform party control.1

Keywords

Democratic Party Republican Party Popular Vote Economic Programme Democratic Leadership 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

bibliography

  1. See James L. Sunquist, Constitutional Reform (Washington, D.C.: bBrookings Institution, 1996); Donald L. Robinson (ed.), Reforming American Government: The Bicentennial Papers of the Committee on the Constitutional System (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1985).Google Scholar
  2. See Morris P. Fiorina, Divided Government (New York: Macmillan, 1992); David R. Mayhew, Divided We Govern: Party Control, Lawmaking, and Investigations, 1946–1990 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1991); Charles O. Jones, The Presidency in a Separated System (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 1994).Google Scholar
  3. James L. Sundquist, Beyond Gridlock?: Prospects for Governance in the Clinton Years - and After (Washington D.C.: Brookings Institution, 1993), p. 28.Google Scholar
  4. See Barbara Sinclair, Legislators, Leaders and Lawmaking: The House of Representatives in the Post-Reform Era (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995).Google Scholar
  5. David W. Rohde, Parties and Leaders in the Postreform House (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991).Google Scholar
  6. Charles O. Jones, ‘Separating to Govern: The American Way’, in Byron E. Shafer (ed.), Present Discontents: American Politics in the Late Twentieth Century (Chatham, NJ: Chatham House, 1997), p. 63.Google Scholar
  7. See Gwen Brown, ‘Deliberation and its Discontents: H. Ross Perot’s Antipolitical Populism’, in Andreas Schedler (ed.), The End of Politics?: Explorations into Modern Antipolitics (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1997), pp. 115–48.Google Scholar
  8. See Stephen Wayne, The Legislative Presidency (New York: Harper and Row, 1978).Google Scholar
  9. George C. Edwards III, At the Margins: Presidential Influence in Congress (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1989).Google Scholar
  10. M. Stephen Weatherford, ‘Responsiveness and Deliberation in Divided Government: Presidential Leadership in Tax Policymaking’, British Journal of Political Science, Vol. 24, No. 1, January 1994, pp. 1–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Jon R. Bond and Richard Fleisher, The President in the Legislative Arena (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990), ch. 5Google Scholar
  12. ‘Democrats Look to Salvage Part of Stimulus Plan’, Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, April 24 1993, pp. 1001–4Google Scholar
  13. Bob Woodward, The Agenda: Inside the Clinton White House (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994), p. 174.Google Scholar
  14. Barbara Sinclair, ‘Trying to Govern Positively in a Negative Era: Clinton and the 103rd Congress’, in Colin Campbell and Bert A. Rockman (eds.), The Clinton Presidency: First Appraisals (Chatham, NJ: Chatham House, 1996), p. 104.Google Scholar
  15. BTU refers to British Thermal Unit, which is a measure of energy.Google Scholar
  16. Martin Walker, Clinton: The President They Deserve (London: Fourth Estate, 1996) [published in the United States as: The Presidency They Deserve (New York: Vintage, 1997)], p. 192.Google Scholar
  17. ‘What Went Wrong?: How the Health Care Campaign Collapsed’, New York Times, August 29 1994; ‘Health Care Reform: The Lost Chance’, Newsweek, September 19 1994.Google Scholar
  18. ‘Health Care’s Painful Demise Casts Pall on Clinton Agenda’, Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, November 5 1994, p. 3142.Google Scholar
  19. See Elizabeth Drew, Showdown: The Struggle Between the Gingrich Congress and the Clinton White House (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996).Google Scholar
  20. Dan Balz and Ronald Brownstein, Storming the Gates: Protest Politics and the Republican Revival (Boston, MA: Little, Brown, 1996).Google Scholar
  21. See Michael Foley, ‘Split Party Control: Clinton on the Defensive’, in Dean McSweeny and John E. Owens (eds.), The Republican Takeover of Congress (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1998).Google Scholar
  22. See Dick Morris, Behind the Oval Office: Winning the Presidency in the Nineties (New York: Random House, 1997), ch. 5.Google Scholar
  23. Fred I. Greenstein, ‘Political Style and Political Leadership: The Case of Bill Clinton’, in Stanley A. Renshon (ed.), The Clinton Presidency: Campaigning, Governing, and the Psychology of Leadership (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1995), pp. 144–5.Google Scholar
  24. See also, Paul Fick The Dysfunctional President: Inside the Mind of Bill Clinton (New York: Carol Publishing Group, 1995).Google Scholar
  25. ‘Clinton Can Start to Fight’, International Herald Tribune, May 22 1995.Google Scholar
  26. Quoted in Adam Clymer, ‘Clinton’s Balanced Budget Conversion Leaves Skepticism’, International Herald Tribune, August 17/18 1995.Google Scholar
  27. Robert Kuttner, ‘A President Enrages His Party’, International Herald Tribune, May 16 1995.Google Scholar
  28. Quoted in ‘Speaker Wants His Platform to Rival the Presidency’, Congressional Quarterly Guide to Current American Government, Fall 1995, p. 69.Google Scholar
  29. Quoted in David S. Broder and John. F. Harris, ‘Clinton Strategy on Budget: A High-Risk Political Gamble’, International Herald Tribune, May 16 1995.Google Scholar
  30. See ‘Harsh Rhetoric on Budget Spells a Dismal Outlook’, Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, December 9 1995, pp. 3721–5.Google Scholar
  31. ‘After 60 Years, Most Control is Passing to States’, Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, August 3 1996, pp. 2190–6.Google Scholar
  32. Michael Foley, ‘Split Party Control: Clinton on the Defensive’, in McSweeny and Owens (eds), The Republican Takeover.Google Scholar
  33. Charles O. Jones, ‘Separating to Govern: The American Way’, in Shafer, Present Discontents.Google Scholar
  34. M.S. Weatherford and L.M. McDonnell, ‘Clinton and the Economy: The Paradox of Policy Success and the Political Mishap’, Political Science Quarterly, Vol. I l l , No. 3, Fall 1996, p. 435.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Foley

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations