I shall post videos, graphs, news stories, and other material there. We shall use some of this material in class, and you may review the rest at your convenience. You will all receive invitations to post to the blog. (Please let me know if you do not get such an invitation.) I encourage you to use the blog in these ways:
To post questions or comments about the readings before we discuss them in class;
To follow up on class discussions with additional comments or questions.
To post relevant news items or videos.

There are only two major limitations: no coarse language, and no derogatory comments about people at the Claremont Colleges.

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Congressional Party Strategy and Tactics

With exquisite timing for our class discussions, Roll Call describes an effort to coordinate party organizations and party in government:

Speaker John Boehner on Monday announced he was retooling his political operation to better coordinate with the National Republican Congressional Committee and Republican National Committee to try to expand House Republicans’ majority.

The Ohio Republican announced the formation of Team Boehner. Under it, Freedom Project, his leadership political action committee, and Friends of John Boehner, his PAC, will work more directly with the NRCC and the RNC.

“With the White House and Senate in play and our new House majority to defend, there is much at stake in 2012,” Boehner said in a statement. “Team Boehner’s goal is to make sure that American families and small businesses understand that Republicans are listening to their priorities and concerns, and fighting on their behalf.

Another article in Roll Call opens a window on minority party strategy and tactics:

House Democrats have launched a floor strategy aimed at forcing freshman Republicans to take tough votes on politically sensitive topics, mirroring a tactic that the GOP deployed when it was in the minority.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) is consulting with her leadership team, including Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.), on how to use a procedural tool known as a motion to recommit to force Republicans to take politically challenging votes.

Under House rules, the minority party is allowed to offer one motion to recommit, which functions much like an amendment, for each piece of legislation as the last step before final passage. With their return to the minority, Pelosi and her leadership team are trying to be more savvy about using the motions to put Republicans on the politically unpopular side of issues that Democrats want to champion ahead of the next election.

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