The Gingrich Senators: The Roots of Partisan Warfare in Congress

Paperback | May 15, 2013

bySean M. Theriault

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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 servedin 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 otherRepublicans. 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 cutthroattactics, obstructionism, and legislative games. He concludes the book by examining the fate of the Gingrich Senators and the future of the U.S. Senate.

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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 Th...

Sean M. Theriault is Associate Professor of Government at the University of Texas and author of Party Polarization in Congress (Cambridge UP, 2008).

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Party Polarization in Congress
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Format:PaperbackDimensions:254 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:May 15, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199307466

ISBN - 13:9780199307463

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Table of Contents

Part I. An Introduction to the Gingrich Senators1. The Partisan Senate2. Newt Gingrich and the House of Representatives in the 1980sPart II. The Gingrich Senators as Party Polarizers3. The Gingrich Senators and Party Polarization in the U.S. Senate4. The Constituencies of the Gingrich Senators5. The Effect of Personal Characteristics and Proximity to Newt Gingrich on the Gingrich Senators6. Getting in and Staying in the U.S. SenatePart III. The Gingrich Senators as Partisan Warriors7. Compatriots in the Battle? The Other Republican Senators8. The Gingrich Senators as Partisan Warriors on Roll-Call Votes9. The Gingrich Senators as Partisan Warriors beyond Roll-Call VotesPart IV. The Future of the Gingrich Senators10. The 2010 Elections, the 112th Congress, and the Tea Party11. The Future of the U.S. Senate