The Triumph of Campaign-centered Politics

By David Menefee-Libey | Go to book overview

parties to campaign however they liked, with whatever policy positions they liked. They could focus on the party or issues or individual candidates, depending on whatever would work with voters in a given election. Clearly, this was not the only available alternative. The Republican National Committee under Ronald Reagan proved, after all, that party organizations can be partisan, ideological, and successful at the same time. But it was an easy alternative for Democrats weary of interminable factional battles and frightened by the growing affluence of their partisan opponents to embrace.

At the core of the Accommodationist paradigm's analysis and prescription, however, is a kind of agnosticism about the value of party as a mediating institution in electoral politics, perhaps driven by the growing indifference of voters toward parties in the 1970s and 1980s. Traditional advocates of strong parties might be troubled by the Democratic headquarters's move to embrace such campaign-centered politics, though most contemporary observers described the program itself as Manatt, Kirk, and Brown's great success.


NOTES
1.
Herbert E. Alexander, "Making Sense about Dollars in the 1980 Presidential Campaigns," in Money and Politics in the United States, ed. Michael J. Malbin ( Washington, D.C.: American Enterprise Institute, 1984). For a more complete discussion of soft money, see Anthony Corrado , "Party Soft Money," in Corrado, Thomas E. Mann, Daniel R. Ortiz, Trevor Potter , and Frank J. Sorauf, Campaign Finance Reform: A Sourcebook ( Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 1997).
2.
On the brief Republican flirtation with national committee regulation of state and local party affairs, see Charles Longley, "Party Nationalization in America," in Paths to Political Reform, ed. William Crotty ( Lexington, Mass.: Lexington Books, 1980), 175-79.
3.
The best survey of this Republican development is John C. Green, ed., Politics, Professionalism, and Power. Modern Party Organization and the Legacy of Ray C. Bliss ( Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1994).
4.
Richard Cohen, "The Making of the Congress, 1980--There's a New National Wrinkle This Year," National Journal, 5 January 1980, 20-24.
5.
See, for example, John F. Bibby, "Party Renewal in America," in Party Renewal in America, ed. Gerald M. Pomper ( New York: Praeger, 1980); F. Christopher Arterton, "Political Money and Party Strength," in The Future of American Political Parties, ed. Joel Fleishman ( Harriman, N.Y.: American Assembly, 1982); David Adamany, "Political Parties in the 1980s," in Money and Politics in the United States, ed. Michael J. Malbin ( Washington, D.C.: American Enterprise Institute, 1984); Cornelius P. Cotter et al., Party Organizations in American Politics ( New York: Praeger, 1984); Xandra Kayden and Eddie Mahe Jr., The Party GoesOn: The Persistence of the Two-Party System in the United States

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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
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