CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENCY:
Spring 2000 Requirements and Readings
Political Studies 100
Professor Dana Ward
The major goal of this course is to provide an understanding of the relationship between Congress and the presidency. To reach that goal we must first acquire an understanding of each institution, including the different constituencies served, varying organizational structures, and the often overlapping responsibilities with which each institution is charged. Particularly with Congress, an understanding of the historical roots of present organizational structures is essential. To a large extent Congress is an on-going body that remains unchanged from election to election. The presidency, on the other hand, undergoes fundamental change with each new administration (with the large exception of the executive bureaucracy), and each administration undergoes its own developmental process. Thus, the goals, values and character of each chief executive add considerable variation to the office of the president.
Given these different contexts, the course will focus on the roots of present operating procedures. We will pay considerable attention to the committee system, the electoral connection, and the legislative process. At the end of the course you should have an extensive knowledge of basic operating procedures in Congress, legislative terms, and the precise means by which a bill becomes a law. You should understand the different institutional responsibilities attached to Congress and the presidency and the basic ways in which the presidency has developed and been organized. The history of particular administrations, the personality of recent presidents, the powers of the president, executive leadership and policy making will be the major foci of our study of the presidency. Finally, throughout the course we will concentrate on the relationship between Congress and the president.
A. READINGS: The dates on the syllabus are the due dates for the readings listed under each section. It will require roughly three hours to complete each reading assignment. All readings are required and MUST be read BEFORE the date on the syllabus. This point cannot be over-emphasized. Classroom discussion is an extremely important part of this course. Therefore it is essential that you keep up with the reading requirements. This is not a course from which you will benefit if you are in the habit of putting off reading until forced to read by exam deadlines.
The following books have been ordered for sale at the Huntley Book Store and are required reading. Most of the books are also on reserve at Honnold.
- Davidson, D. and Oleszek, J., Congress and Its Members, 7th ed.
- Edwards, G. and Wayne, S., Presidential Leadership, 5th ed.
- Deering, C.J. and Smith, S.S., Committees in Congress, 3rd ed.
- Nelson, M., The Presidency and the Political System, 5th ed.
B. PARTICIPATION: All students are required to participate in the congressional simulation during the week of March 27th. The simulation will require substantial time commitments, mostly during the evening of that week. There will be no class meetings during the simulation week. FAILURE TO PARTICIPATE WILL RESULT IN AUTOMATIC FAILURE IN THE COURSE.
The simulation is a fun, but intense, experience. It will take place between March 27 and March 31. Two classes will be participating in the simulation: ours, and a class from CMC. Some of you will play the roles of Democratic Senators and/or Republican Senators, and some of you will assume various roles in the Clinton administration. Besides the roles of Senators and the administration, there will be roles for the press, lobbyists, and perhaps constituents. The lobbyists will represent different sides of issues. There may be lobbyists from other classes also. The job of the lobbyist will be to persuade the Senate to pass legislation favorable to their cause. All roles will be assigned during the third week of class and require extensive research on the particular Senator, Executive officer, lobbyist, or journalist you will play. This year's role assignments can be found here. The Simulation Rules can be found here. This year's simulation schedule can be found here.
In addition, all students will be responsible for two five minute presentations, one covering "This Week in Congress" and one covering "This Week at the White House". Each Wednesday, the first twenty minutes of class will be devoted to current events on Capitol Hill and in the Oval Office. You will up-date on-going stories in the news and keep the class informed of important pending legislation and events. There are five main purposes to this exercise: 1) To familiarize yourself with useful sources on Congress and the president, e.g., CQ's Weekly Report, The National Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, The New York Times, and The Washington Post; 2) To keep yourself and the class up-to-date on current issues; 3) to provide an opportunity to sharpen your organizational and oral skills; 4) to provide a forum for discussion of topical issues; and 5) to promote classroom cooperation. The students reporting on Congress and the students reporting on the White House will have to consult with each other to insure a coherent ten minutes and to avoid redundancy. I strongly encourage you to subscribe to The New York Times. I will pass out information on discount subscriptions during the first week of class.
C. EXAMS: There will be two graded exams. The first exam will be given March 8 in class and will constitute ten percent of your final grade. It will cover lectures and reading material up to and including the March 8 readings. The second exam will be given April 26 and will constitute ten percent of your final grade. The second exam will cover lectures and reading material from March 20 through April 26. The focus of the exams will be on basic facts and concepts. There will be short answer questions in which you will demonstrate basic familiarity with terms, concepts, operating procedures and the like.
D. PAPERS: There are three required papers. The first paper is due March 1 and will constitute 15 percent of your final grade. It should be a five to seven page paper focusing on the role you will play in the simulation. If your role is an executive role, the paper should include a history of the office, a discussion of what role the office plays in the executive branch, a brief political biography focusing on the current occupant and the occupant's issue positions, and a comparison with previous office holders. If you are playing a Senator, the paper should cover the Senator's career, voting record, positions, and the results of election races in which the Senator ran. The paper must also analyze the Senator's committee assignments with a particular emphasis on the commitee on which you will sit during the simulation, including an analysis of where that committee stands in the congressional power structure, its areas of responsibility, and history. The second paper is due April 5 and will also constitute 15 percent of your final grade. It should be a five to seven page paper on a topic of your choice (except the topic of presidential or congressional elections), but you must clear your topic with me before Spring break. The third paper is due on May 3, and should be ten to twelve pages in length. The third paper will focus on the relationship between Congress and the president during a post-war administration of your choice (i.e., from Truman through Clinton). While the paper is not due until the end of the semester, you should begin working on it tomorrow. Decide which administration you will analyze and begin reading background material now. If you wait until the last half of the course you will be too busy and will do an inadequate job. This is a paper you should be thinking about for three months, not three days. The final paper will constitute 30 percent of your final grade. For all papers, I expect proper citations of all sources. I much prefer APA style and you can find online guides to APA style, including internet citations at PsychWeb
LATE PAPERS WILL BE DOWN GRADED ONE GRADE FOR EACH 24 HOUR PERIOD THE PAPER IS LATE (e.g., from an A- to an AB). In addition, it is quite likely that I will simply grade late papers without providing my usual commentary.
E. PEER EVALUATIONS: There are two components to peer evaluations. Half the peer evaluation will be based on the simulation. By the first class after the simulation has been completed, each student will email to me (email@example.com) an evaluation of each student's performance in the simulation. Type the name of the student being evaluated, followed by a LETTER GRADE (e.g., A, A-, AB, B+, B, etc.). The evaluators will remain anonymous. The grade given should reflect your judgment of the student's understanding of the role played by the student, the student's knowledge of the legislative process and their contribution to the group effort. Some thought and consideration should be put into the evaluation. Prefunctory evaluations provide no benefit to anyone.
The second component of the peer evaluations is your evaluation of each of the other students' contribution to your understanding of Congress and the presidency. Did the student participate actively in class or outside class? How good were the students' oral presentations? In short, how effective was each student's participation in class in terms of adding to your knowledge of Congress and the presidency? Use the same format as in the simulation peer evaluations, i.e, email me the evaluation. Below the student's name and the assigned grade type as thorough and thoughtful an analysis as possible of the basis of your evaluation, emphasizing strengths and weaknesses and making suggestions for improvement. The second peer evaluations are due May 1. The combined peer evaluations will constitute ten percent of the final grade.
F. SELF EVALUATIONS: On Monday, January 24, each of you will submit a statement of your personal goals for this course. This statement should be as specific and detailed as possible. Plan your method for meeting the responsibilities of this course, set weekly goals and time schedules, or whatever will help you to think about why you are taking this particular course and how it fits in with your overall learning goals. Then, on the last day of class, you will turn in a self evaluation in which you will analyze how well you met your goals, how your goals changed, and what unforeseen goals emerged. You will then assign yourself an over-all grade based on your performance in this course and that grade will constitute 10 percent of your final grade.
G. There are a number of internet links you will find useful for preparing papers, presentations, and research on your simulation role. Over the semester more links will be added, but for now try these links:
TARGET="new"A Bill Becomes A Law
The American Presidency - Selected Resources: An Informal Reference Guide
Buying the Presidency
Campaign Finance Institute
Congressional Collections at Archival Repositories
Congress Link (Dirksen Center)
Enactment of a Law
Research Guide to Election Resources
Federal Web Locator
Forum on the Role of the White House Chief of Staff
Full Text of Supreme Court Decisions
House of Representatives Web Site
The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson
Mother Jones 400 (Election finance)
National Archives and Records Administration
News Batch (covers policies)
Political Science Research Resources
POTUS (Presidents of the United States Database)
Presidential Archives and Centers
Presidential Elections 1860-1864
Presidential Elections and the Electoral College
Presidents Resource Site
The President Web Group
Public Agenda Online (policy and public opinion)
Public Affairs Video Archives (C-SPAN)
Reference Guide to the American Presidency
Senate Web Site
ThisNation: The American Government and Politics Portal
Thomas (Library of Congress, House and Senate site)
U.S. Official Job Approval Ratings (Presidents, Senators, and Govenors)
U.S. Presidency Links (Excellent on all topics related to Presidency)
Vanishing Voter Project (Presidential Elections)
Voter Information Services
The White House
White House Transitions and Organizational Charts
Your Congress (sign up to recieve everything your Congressman says!)
GRADING WEIGHT SUMMARY
First Exam on March 8
Second Exam on April 26
First Paper due March 1
Second Paper due April 5
Final Paper due May 3
Jan 19: Orientation
Studying the Presidency
Jan 24: Edwards, G. & Wayne, S., Presidential Leadership, pp.1-20, 503-513.
Pious, R., The Presidency, pp. 1-15. (on reserve)
Nelson, M., "Evaluating the Presidency," in The Presidency & The Political
System, ed. Nelson, pp. 3-24.
The Evolution of the Presidency
Jan 26: Pious, R., The Presidency, pp. 19-80. (on reserve)
Jan 31: Pious, R., The Presidency, pp. 81-107. (On reserve)
Rockman, B.A., "The American Presidency in Comparative Perspective: Systems,
Situations, and Leaders," in The Presidency & The Political System,
ed. Nelson, pp. 62-84.
The Evolution and Study of Congress
Feb 2: Davidson, R. & Oleszek, W., Congress and Its Members, pp. 3-10, 13-39.
Deering, C.J., & Smith, S.S., Committees in Congress, pp. 1-21, 25-53.
Feb 7: Tulis, J.K., "The Two Constitutional Presidencies," in The Presidency
& The Political System, ed. Nelson, pp. 91-119.
Skowronek, S., "Presidential Leadership in Political Time," in The Presidency
& The Political System, ed. Nelson, pp. 124-168.
Congress: The Electoral Connection
Feb 9: Davidson, R. & Oleszek, W., Congress and Its Members, pp. 43-86, 89-125.
Electing The President
Feb 14: Edwards, G. & Wayne, S., Presidential Leadership, pp. 22-91.
Feb 16: Buchanan, B., "The Presidency and the Nominating Process," in
The Presidency & The Political System, ed. Nelson, pp. 251-271.
Weko, T. and Aldrich, J., "The Presidency and the Election Campaign: Framing
the Choice in 1996," in The Presidency & The Political System, ed. Nelson,
The President and the Public
Feb 21: Edwards, G. & Wayne, S., Presidential Leadership, pp. 95-137, 144-178.
Congressional Homestyle, Hillstyle, and Party "Obligations"
Feb 23: Davidson, R. & Oleszek, W., Congress and Its Members, pp. 127-160,
Congressional Committees and Procedures
Feb 28: Davidson, R. & Oleszek, W., Congress and Its Members, pp. 197-225,
Mar 1: Deering, C.J., & Smith, S.S., Committees in Congress, pp. 58-114.
The Office of the Presidency
Mar 6: Edwards, G. & Wayne, S., Presidential Leadership, pp. 184-214, 283-319.
Congressional and Presidential Decision Making
Mar 8: Edwards, G. & Wayne, S., Presidential Leadership, pp. 218-246.
Davidson, R. & Oleszek, W., Congress and Its Members, pp. 257-282.
Congress and the Executive
Mar 20: Davidson, R. & Oleszek, W., Congress and Its Members, pp. 285-308.
Edwards, G. & Wayne, S., Presidential Leadership, pp.323-366.
Inside Congressional Committees
Mar 22: Deering, C.J., & Smith, S.S., Committees in Congress, pp. 124-175.
Mar 27: Simulation: no class or readings.
Mar 29: Simulation: no class or readings.
Domestic Policy Making
Apr 3: Edwards, G. & Wayne, S., Presidential Leadership, pp. 400-430.
Davidson, R. & Oleszek, W., Congress and Its Members, pp. 355-379.
The Budget Process & Organized Interests
Apr 5: Edwards, G. & Wayne, S., Presidential Leadership, pp. 433-470.
Davidson, R. & Oleszek, W., Congress and Its Members, pp. 335-353.
The Executive, Congress and the Judiciary
Apr 10: Edwards, G. & Wayne, S., Presidential Leadership, pp. 369-396.
Davidson, R. & Oleszek, W., Congress and Its Members, pp. 311-333.
War and Diplomacy
Apr 12: Edwards, G. & Wayne, S., Presidential Leadership, pp. 473-499.
Davidson, R. & Oleszek, W., Congress and Its Members, pp. 381-404.
Lebow, R.N., "Psychological Dimensions of Post-Cold War Foreign
Policy," in Renshon, The Clinton Presidency, pp. 235-245. (on reserve)
The Psychological Presidency
Apr 17: Edwards, G. & Wayne, S., Presidential Leadership, pp. 250-278.
Nelson, M., "The Psychological Presidency," in The Presidency
& The Political System, ed. Nelson, pp. 199-219.
The Next Presidency
Apr 19: Grossman, M., Kumar, M., and Rourke, F., "Second-Term Presidencies:
The Aging of Administrations," in The Presidency & The Political System,
ed. Nelson, pp. 223-246.
Pika, J., "The Vice Presidency: New Opportunities, Old Constraints,"
in The Presidency & The Political System, ed. Nelson, pp. 527-560.
The President and the Public II
Apr 24: Miroff, B., "The Presidency and the Public: Leadership as Spectacle,"
in The Presidency & The Political System, ed. Nelson, pp. 299-320.
Cook, T. & Ragsdale, L., "The President and the Press: Negotiating
Newsworthiness at the White House," in The Presidency & The
Political System, ed. Nelson, pp. 323-353.
Judgment and Reform
Apr 26: Ginsberg, B., Mebane, W., & Shefter, M., "The Presidency, Social Forces,
and Interest Groups: Why Presidents Can No Longer Govern," in The
Presidency & The Political System, ed. Nelson, pp. 358-372.
May 1: Deering, C.J., & Smith, S.S., Committees in Congress, pp. 183-236.
May 3: Davidson, R. & Oleszek, W., Congress and Its Members, pp. 407-420.
Quirk, P. & Nesmith, B., "Divided Government and Policy Making: Negotiating
the Laws," in The Presidency & The Political System, ed. Nelson,