Losing Our Democratic Spirit: Congressional Deliberation and the Dictatorship of Propaganda

By Bill Granstaff | Go to book overview

Chapter 3
The Power of Language

I will not amuse you with an appearance of deliberation, when I have
decided.

—Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 1

The question becomes: Given that full-representative-deliberation must discover and specify the national interest as well as determine whether given goals and policies are prudent, how will we know if a deliberative discourse is phony? How are we to judge whether a discourse is truly deliberative? The following chapter provides a foundation for answering this question, first, by reviewing selections from the political science literature regarding deliberation; and second, by incorporating certain of these notions into a more comprehensive understanding of deliberation, situated within our deliberative theory. We will conclude by utilizing this understanding in an operational definition of deliberation.


TRADITION

When Joseph M. Bessette wrote his 1981 article “Is Congress a Deliberative Body?” he was one of just a few political scientists to exhibit any substantive interest in congressional deliberation per se. To his credit he wrote about deliberation before deliberation was “cool.” As a result, now that we have entered “the Golden Age for research on legislative deliberation” (Lascher 1996: 501), we find that many studies borrow concep

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Losing Our Democratic Spirit: Congressional Deliberation and the Dictatorship of Propaganda
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables ix
  • Series Foreword xi
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • Chapter 1 - The Democratic Connection 1
  • Chapter 2 - Stereotypes and Conventions 15
  • Chapter 3 - The Power of Language 41
  • Chapter 4 - Tools 59
  • Chapter 5 - The Lebanon Difficulty 95
  • Chapter 6 - The Persian Gulf Difficulty 137
  • Chapter 7 - The Somalia Difficulty 165
  • Chapter 8 - The Emperor’s Clothes 189
  • References 215
  • Index 221
  • About the Author 227
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