Who Has the Ear of Your Legislators and Why They Can’t Seem to Get Anything Done

We’re six months away from one of the most consequential midterm elections in modern history, and Americans are fed up with Congress. Politicians have gotten a bad rap throughout history, but today’s legislators are setting record lows in approval ratings and public trust. What gives? Why do they disappoint us so often? Are they really ignoring our needs and demands, or are we misunderstanding the challenges they face?

In this episode, Sarah Anderson shows that it’s a little of both: politicians don’t listen to all constituents equally, but they also can’t just snap their fingers and fulfill our wishes.

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Trump Makes California Grate Again

Fox & Hounds Daily published commentary by Sherry Bebitch Jeffe of the USC Price School and Doug Jeffe on the continued tension between President Donald Trump and the majority of California voters. All in all, besides lousy traffic, Trump’s visit meant little to most Californians. And the optics of the military and the “wall” didn’t…

‘Parties & Partisanship in the Age of Trump’ symposium gathers scholars nationwide at USC Bedrosian Center

According to Bedrosian Center Director Jeffery Jenkins, “there are few issues more important today than partisanship. We live in a world today where partisan divisions run so deep that some of the most basic things we expect from government aren’t being done.  People inside and outside of Congress are more interested in skewering the other side rather than work together or find common ground.”

Parties & Partisanship in the Age of Trump Symposium

Partisan polarization has steadily increased in recent years. Democrats and Republicans in Congress have become two ideologically divided groups, with little ability to work together to solve the nation’s problems. And, citizens have increasingly used partisanship to guide their voting decisions, even as they diverge more and more on answers to the important questions of the day.

As we moved into the second year of Trump’s administration, we explored what partisanship looks like in Congress and the nation.

In Defense of Our Political Party System (Sort Of)”

Did the recent government shutdown cause your confidence in government to soar?

We thought not. Luckily, Anthony spoke with UC San Diego prof Thad Kousser about where gridlock comes from, what to do about it, and whether politicians really deserve all the blame they get.

To listen to this episode of Our American Discourse, click the arrow in the player here. Or  download it and subscribe through ApplePodcastsSoundcloudGoogle Play,  Stitcher, or your favorite podcasting app – click the links or search “usc bedrosian.”

Bedrosian Center, Jenkins convene national scholars for ‘Pivotal Politics’ symposium

By Matthew Kredell

Nearly 20 years ago, Stanford Professor Keith Krehbiel wrote a book showing that political parties are less important in legislative-executive politics than previously thought — challenging previous assumptions of American politics and influencing the work of many up-and-coming scholars. USC Price School of Public Policy Provost Professor Jeffery Jenkins was completing graduate school when Krehbiel released Pivotal Politics: A Theory of U.S. Lawmaking in 1998.

How the Senate Can Beat Gridlock—and Why That’s Not Always a Good Thing

Americans are fed up with gridlock in Congress, one of the least popular institutions in the country. You might think the solution is for legislators to pass major legislation. But what if the solution is even more controversial than the problem? If you’ve heard of “budget reconciliation,” you probably didn’t hear unanimously good things. That’s because it’s a risky game . . . a fascinating, strategic game deep in the trenches of our democratic tug-of-war.

In this episode, Molly E. Reynolds, fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Inst., teaches us how budget reconciliation works, where it came from, how it’s being wielded, and why you should care.

To listen to this episode of Our American Discourse, click the arrow in the player here. Or  download it and subscribe through ApplePodcastsSoundcloud, or Google Play,  Stitcher, or your favorite podcasting app – click the links or search “usc bedrosian.”

McCann’s new book uncovers partisanship when Congress delegates policy to states

By Matthew Kredell Ever since she worked for a state-level agency before attending graduate school, USC Price Assistant Professor Pamela McCann has been intrigued by when and why Congress chooses to delegate to the states for implementation of federal policy. In her new book The Federal Design Dilemma: Congress and Intergovernmental Delegation (Cambridge University Press),…

Letter to a Trump Supporter #5: Affirmative Action

This is the fifth in my series of “Letters to a Trump Supporter,” from correspondence with a family friend who supports Mr. Trump. Continuing our conversation about Barack Obama, he sent me a so-called “Newsweek” article blaming affirmative action for the Obama presidency. Below is my response. ~~~~~~~~~~ Dear Mr. ——, This is an interesting argument. Thank you…

Unbudging Partisanship: How it has exacerbated bad governance in Puerto Rico

I was born and raised in Puerto Rico and I grew up finding the showy, grand, and loud political campaigns of every election cycle normal. I grew accustomed to political campaigns that are unlike anything I have seen in mainland U.S., except in the context of rival sports teams and championship parades. The people rally in…