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Congress as Public Enemy
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  • Cited by 220
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    This book has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

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    Ansolabehere, Stephen D. and White, Ariel 2018. Policy, Politics, and Public Attitudes Toward the Supreme Court. American Politics Research, p. 1532673X1876518.

    Guenther, Scott M. and Searle, David M. 2018. Limited Time, Limited Resources: Trade-Offs in Congressional Earmarking and Policymaking. American Politics Research, p. 1532673X1876388.

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    Hamel, Brian T. and Miller, Michael G. 2018. How Voters Punish and Donors Protect Legislators Embroiled in Scandal. Political Research Quarterly, p. 106591291878104.


Book description

This timely book describes and explains the American people's alleged hatred of their own branch of government, the US Congress. Intensive focus group sessions held across the country and a specially designed national survey indicate that much of the negativity is generated by popular perceptions of the processes of governing visible in Congress. John Hibbing and Elizabeth Theiss-Morse argue that, although the public is deeply disturbed by debate, compromise, delicate pace, the presence of interest groups, and the professionalization of politics, many of these traits are actually endemic to modern democratic government. Congress is an enemy of the public partially because it is so public. Calls for reform, such as term limitations, reflect the public's desire to attack these disliked features. But the authors conclude, the public's unwitting desire to reform democracy out of a democratic legislature is a cure more dangerous than the disease.


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