Taking the Initiative: Leadership Agendas in Congress and the "Contract with America"

By John B. Bader | Go to book overview

8
Conclusions and Prospects for
Policy Leadership in Congress

This study began with the contention that divided government is not a well-understood political arrangement, particularly when it comes to agenda-setting. Divided government upsets the expectation that Congress will accept the president's agenda as the "starting point" for the policy dialogue. Members of the congressional majority—Democrats or Republicans—may not wish to accept priorities coming from the White House under these conditions. They may resent such dominance as insulting to the integrity and independence of the legislative branch. They may wish to advance their own priorities to strengthen their party's numbers. Or they may simply disagree with the substantive implications of the list.

These motivations for independent agenda-setting dovetail with altered expectations of party leadership. Without a president of similar partisan stripe, members of Congress turn to majority party leaders to develop consensus, to give voice to their concerns, and to help them to address issues that they think are important and worthwhile. Party leaders are in a strong position to fulfill those expectations. Leaders have a variety of institutional tools with which to gather member concerns, gauge political support, and give effective voice to a set of priorities. More than that, if members want leaders to set priorities, that task becomes significantly easier.

I concentrated on how Democratic party leaders set priorities over two decades of divided government because they had both the opportunity and the motivation to choose issues that shape the national policy debate. Those conditions have been duplicated for Republican leaders recently, which made an update both possible and potentially revealing. The focus on leadership has an added benefit. While giving us an insight into divided government, it allows us to give the concept of "agenda-setting" a physical locus. Scholars like John Kingdon have bravely struggled with the concept generally, but the results are often difficult to apply to specific settings. By examining the agenda decisions of majority party leaders, we take a small but substantive step toward understanding why certain issues become more important than others.

-206-

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
Taking the Initiative: Leadership Agendas in Congress and the "Contract with America"
Table of contents

Table of contents

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
/ 278

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.