The Gingrich Senators by Sean M. Theriault
The Roots of Partisan Warfare in Congress

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Synopsis

The Senate of the mid twentieth century, which was venerated by journalists, historians, and senators alike, is today but a distant memory. Electioneering on the Senate floor, playing games with the legislative process, and questioning your fellow senators' motives have become commonplace.
In this book, noted political scientist Sean Theriault documents the Senate's demise over the last 30 years by showing how one group of senators has been at the forefront of this transformation. He calls this group the "Gingrich Senators" and defines them as Republican senators who previously served in the House after 1978, the year of Newt Gingrich's first election to the House. He shows how the Gingrich Senators are more conservative, more likely to engage in tactics that obstruct the legislative process, and more likely to oppose Democratic presidents than even their fellow other Republicans. Phil Gramm, Rick Santorum, Jim DeMint, and Tom Coburn are just four examples of the group that has includes 40 total senators and 22 currently serving senators.
Theriault first documents the ideological distinctiveness of the Gingrich Senators and examines possible explanations for it. He then shows how the Gingrich Senators behave as partisan warriors, which has radically transformed the way the Senate operates as an institution, by using cutthroat tactics, obstructionism, and legislative games. He concludes the book by examining the fate of the Gingrich Senators and the future of the U.S. Senate.
 

About Sean M. Theriault

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Associate Professor of Government, University of Texas; author of Party Polarization in Congress (Cambridge UP, 2008)
 
Published April 1, 2013 by Oxford University Press. 256 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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