The Triumph of Campaign-centered Politics

By David Menefee-Libey | Go to book overview

the current system, citizens seeking representation or deliberating on their choices rarely know who the professionals are. And though the professionals may have mediated a citizen or group's representation to the candidate in a prior campaign, once the candidate is in office or starts a new campaign, the mediating organization may vanish completely. In the case of initiatives and referenda, the coalitions sponsoring and opposing the ballot measures almost always dissolve after the election, without even leaving an officeholder as a point of citizen contact. Thus, the transient mediators and coordinators of campaign-centered politics offer a far less promising foundation for representative democracy than the former party-centered system, even when we recognize the abuses common in that old system. If the contemporary system were organizationally candidate centered, it would at least offer a consistent practical means of gaining representation or coordinating deliberation.

This analysis suggests the leverage we gain from recognizing the campaign- centered nature of the contemporary electoral order. We can integrate what we already know from a Key-style piecemeal analysis of voters, campaigns, and government into a broader empirical and normative exploration of American politics. For example, on the empirical side, this analysis offers a more fundamental basis for explaining the fragmentation of contemporary government and policymaking. 53 If we begin with the notion that our electoral politics is candidate centered, we explain the fragmentation by looking at the incentives for each elected official to be, in Morris Fiorina's phrase, "responsive but irresponsible."54 Those incentives are indeed present, but our campaign-centered system offers no means for establishing consistent representative or deliberative relationships even if a candidate or officeholder wanted to do so.

The normative implications are also striking. In the eighteenth century, relatively few Americans were troubled by the way campaign-centered politics insulated elected elites such as George Washington from their constituents. Now the near absence of two-way communication between citizens and those elites seems understandable, but far more difficult to justify in democratic terms.


NOTES
1.
My thinking on coordination and mediation has been helped substantially by ideas raised in Robert H. Wiebe, The Segmented Society: An Introduction to the Meaning of America ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1975); Peter Berger and Richard John Neuhaus, To Empower People: The Role of Mediating Structures in Public Policy ( Washington, D.C.: American Enterprise Institute, 1977); Samuel P. Hays, "Politics and Society: Beyond the Political Party," in The Evolution of Party Systems, ed. Paul Kleppner et al. ( Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1981); and Byron Shafer, "The Notion of an Electoral Order," in The End of Realignment? Interpreting American Electoral Orders

-27-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Triumph of Campaign-centered Politics
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • 1 - Parties, Elections, and American Democracy 1
  • Notes 9
  • 2 - The Campaign-Centered Electoral Order 11
  • Notes 27
  • 3 - The Foundations of Campaign-Centered Politics 32
  • Notes 44
  • 4 - Campaign-Centered Politics Leaves the Parties Behind 49
  • Notes 63
  • 5 - Reform and the Search for a New Party-Centered Politics 66
  • Notes 86
  • 6 - Embracing Campaign-Centered Politics 92
  • Notes 112
  • 7 - The New Politics on Capitol Hill 118
  • Notes 148
  • 8 - Campaigns and Parties in the Senate 154
  • Notes 176
  • 9 - The New Conventional Wisdom, Fraying at Its Edges 181
  • Notes 204
  • 10 - The Resilience of Campaign-Centered Politics 211
  • Notes 220
  • Index 223
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 230

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.