Unit 4

This category contains 16 posts

Will Boehner control Congress

An excellent piece in the current edition of the New Yorker examining whether or not Boehner will be able to control the Tea party faction within the Republican party. This is obviously excellent for the Unit 4 work on Congress that we will do after January but it is also good in terms of divisions … Continue reading

Election 2012

There have been so many articles published during the last 24 hours on every possible aspect of the US elections. Here are some of the articles that I have enjoyed the most: If you want to look at some electoral stats the Washington Post is an excellent place to start http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/election-map-2012/president/?hpid=z3 they also have an … Continue reading

A round up of what you missed over the summer (USA)

The election race has been hotting up with the announcement of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s running mate. Ryan was not one of the favourites for the nomination as the Veep candidate but he is a strong fiscal and social conservative who will appeal to the right wing of the Republican party who thus far … Continue reading

Incumbency in Congress

Congressional incumbency rates have been tumbling in recent years as more radical politicians challenge incumbent candidates. However, the success of Rep Charles Rangal and Sen Orrin Hatch provide good cases of the incumbent prevailing. Rangal is also an interesting case study of African- American representation although the redistricting of his Haarlem seat has seen it … Continue reading


Immigration issues have dogged the 2012 campaign as Hispanic voters are a key group in several swing states. Polling data for Hispanics can be found at http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/post/a-silver-lining-for-republicans-in-the-latino-vote/2012/06/25/gJQAQ7RD2V_blog.html The recent SCOTUS decision on SB 1070 has put Romney in a difficult position as he had previously stated that Arizona could provide a ‘model’ for other states. … Continue reading

How do you win the US Presidential Election? Be the President already.

The Economist has an excellent piece this week looking at the advantages enjoyed by incumbant Presidents. http://www.economist.com/node/21554223 Lexington suggests the President enjoys the following advantages: – Use of Air Force One – Command of the Bully Pulpit – Permanent Campaign – Fundraising – Commander in Chief- anniversary of Bin Laden’s death  

Amendment 1: North Carolina

North Carolinia has voted to pass Amendment One outlawing gay marriage in the state. A good example of direct democracy in the USA/ civil rights. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/09/north-carolina-passes-amendment-1

Veep Choices

The GOP have virtually picked their candidate- all that remains to happen is for Romney to pick his running mate. Sabato looks at the potential candidates with Rob Portman and Marco Rubio emerging as early front runners. There is even a video clip for your entertainment. http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/

The Power to Persuade

According the Neustadt the one thing a good US President needs to be able to do is to persuade people. The lack of formal powers means recourse to the dark arts of persuasion (of America or Congress) are necessary if a President is to acheive anything. This piece in the New Yorker challenges this assumption, and suggests … Continue reading

A Quantum Theory of Mitt Romney

I am afraid the blog has been a little neglected over Easter but over the next few days, I will post the plethora of articles I have spotted over the last few weeks. I thought however I would start with this amusing piece (courtesy of Mr Mitchell) http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/opinion/sunday/a-quantum-theory-of-mitt-romney.html Aside from the fact its quite amusing the … Continue reading

Balancing the Ticket

As the Republican primary battle continues apace thoughts now begin to turn to the VP nomination. Obviously in 2008 the selection of Sarah Palin added to the drama of the campaign, this piece from the Guardian looks at whether or not Rand Paul might be a good option for a Romney running mate in 2012. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/ana-marie-cox-blog/2012/feb/27/post-palin-logic-behind-gop-vp-pick

Santorum Secures Three Victories

Santorum’s success in the Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri has caused an upset to the seemingly unstoppable progress of Mitt Romney. Most of the commentators consider this to be good for Obama, the NY Times offers a good overview. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/08/us/politics/minnesota-colorado-missouri-caucuses.html?_r=1  

Good News for Obama?

Gingrich’s victory in South Carolina may have halted the straightforward march of Romney towards the Republican nomination (his tax return probably hasn’t helped either…). While the Newt’s renaissance may be halted in Florida it seems as though this has contributed to a lightening of the mood in the Obama camp… On a serious note the editorial in today’s Telegraph looking into … Continue reading

Another piece on the NDAA

If you found yesterday’s post about the NDAA interesting here is a more detailed account of the same story by the Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-signs-defense-bill-pledges-to-maintain-legal-rights-of-terror-suspects/2011/12/31/gIQATzbkSP_story.html

Civil Liberties and Signing Statements

If ever a story was made for Unit 4 this is it. You have Presidential Power, conflicting (or not) Presidential styles, broken Presidential promises on legislation and signing statements, abuse of the constitution and violations of civil liberties all rolled nicely into an NDAA shaped packaged… This has been doing the rounds of the left … Continue reading

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