ciglerCongress - Congress 10.1: Richard F. Fenno Jr. In the...

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Congress 10.1 : Richard F. Fenno Jr. In the first half of the 1970s, the author, Fenno, travelled around the country with 10 congressmen: 96 percent of all housemembers won as incumbents in the most recent election (remember this is 1970s) Higher approval of legislators over the legislature Low approval of congress as an institution o There is no official marker of such approval o Personal approval is in reelection o Standards used for gauging the approval of congress were applied inconsistently There can only be an understanding of the standards of congress if there is an understanding of the opinions within the constituencies Since congressmen are most often searching to be called "the best in America", they therefore think in terms of "a very fragmented, decentralized institution, providing maximum opportunity to individual performance, influence and credit. Member's performance lies in committee work- to love a member is to love their committee work and therefore to love congress The opinion of congress is highly individualized and depends on the work of your congressman, as seen from home o This opinion should result in a high opinion of congress but doesn't usually o It lies in how the congressmen work together CONCLUSION: incumbents almost always in elections, creating the appearance that there is a satisfied consensus with congressmen and congress. The results regarding congress as a whole are less than stellar. Congressmen need to be held to a universal standard that accounts for all manners of interaction to have a more accurate rating of congress and congressmen 10.2 Kenneth A. Shepsle What is the textbook congress?
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o 1940s-60s: division of time between Washington and home, "his work as he sees it", This changed by the mid 1960s, there were larger staff in district offices, creating a greater presence at home
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ciglerCongress - Congress 10.1: Richard F. Fenno Jr. In the...

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