Category Archives: Political Institutions

The Fallout: Does Boehner’s Absence Change Anything?

Speaker John Boehner finally succumbed to the three-year pressure campaign waged by House conservatives. As politically weak as Boehner was in his conference, he was never going to be forced out of his position. He’s powerful enough that he could … Continue reading

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Why the House is to blame for the Senate’s polarization

In the American political lexicon, the Senate is said to possess “coolness” and “wisdom.”  Words like “decorum,” “comity,” and “respect” are frequently used to describe the institution as well.  In recent years, however, cracks have appeared in the Senate’s high-minded … Continue reading

Posted in Empirical Theory, Legislative Politics, Legislative Theory, Polarization, Political Institutions, Political Parties | Leave a comment

Left or Right? Who’s further from the middle?

Polarization is commonplace in American politics. Both parties are moving away from the middle. The debate often boils down to who is polarizing the most/fastest. New York Times opinion writer Peter Wehner sparked an interesting debate when he claimed, “in the … Continue reading

Posted in Legislative Procedure, Polarization, Policy Agendas, Political Institutions, Political Parties | 1 Comment

Political parties are often too convenient an explanation

Teagan Goddard asked the question, can politics be “unbundled” from political parties? In other words, if there is a market where we can unbundle phone and internet service, why isn’t there a market to unbundle politics from parties? Hans Noel … Continue reading

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What does DHS/immigration tell us about the power of Congress and the President?

Institutional power is more of an academic topic. Nonetheless, it has enormous ramifications. The current immigration debate is a great example of that. Despite the rhetoric around the DHS debate, America has never had a dictator president – the current … Continue reading

Posted in American Political Development, Budget, Legislative Procedure, Political Institutions | 2 Comments

The Senate’s Return to Regular Order?

For the past week, Majority Leader McConnell experimented with an open amendment process in the Senate. Members offered amendments on everything from climate change, to federally protected land, to limiting the President’s ability to initiate and sign bilateral agreements with … Continue reading

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Can Republicans roll back Obama’s executive order? It’s hard but not impossible.

Republicans have rallied behind the idea of defunding Obama’s executive order on immigration either through the omnibus or a rescission – a bill passed after an appropriations bill. However, this plan ran into some speed bumps. As Jennifer Hing, House … Continue reading

Posted in Filibuster, Legislative Procedure, Political Institutions | 1 Comment