United States Congress and Congress Positions Essay

In his analysis Nelson W. Polsby discusses how although there is congressional disagreement and conflict, there shouldn’t be talk of changing the constitution framework. Polsby starts out by giving background information and how this has been going on for a century. At first it was the liberals doing most of the bashing, however more recently the conservatives have been complaining. Polsby tells us that this conflict switches often but the losing party always seems to complain about congress status and how they are achieving their goals through a lack of separation of powers.

Polsby points out that he dislikes the talk of constitutional reform to “cure political ailments”. This is what Polsby refers to as goring of the oxen. Whichever party is not in control is the party whose ox is being gored and is pushing for constitution reform. After some distrust between congress and the presidency, congress began to rely on themselves for obtaining information. He didn’t extend comity to congress and although it was not the only fuel for his impeachment it still impacted it. When Nixon was impeached it was not only his opposing party who voted him out of office.

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The complaints were “specifically related to obstruction of the discharge of congressional responsibilities”. The tensions between the presidency and congress as cause of this impeachment are now almost written in stone. It comes a as a consequence to having close presidential congressional relationships. Polsby is correct in saying that the responsibli. ity lies with the president to make amends between the branches. It is the president’s duty to restore comity because he is the leader with the power to do so.

He being one person can restore comity by his decision. I agree with Polsby by saying the president should make a strong effort to do so. Polsby believes the Bush administration has been attempting to achieve harmony between the branches and limiting conservative congress bashing. A weak congress is far short of good for a president and congress bashing will only weaken congress. The Item veto is a way to weaken congress which the congress bashing party would use to diminish the effects of congress.

The item veto would diminish the work and significance of congress which is not what the country needs. Congress bashers think congress doesn’t do enough when in reality they do more than any of us know. They have to control committees and know information on many different subjects that have an impact on our nation. Polsby is correct by demonstrating how the item veto would diminish congressional power and only hurt the American government. This idea of item veto is said to be almost unconstitutional by Polsby and that it destroys the democratic process.

The item veto will diminish congressional powers and the separation of the branches will almost disappear as congress beings to lose its individuality and identify themselves with the president. Polsby stressed the importance of separation of powers and it gives a way of representation to the mixed American nation. Polsby closes this section by stressing that an item veto is a bad idea and concurrent with Polsby I believe it will only harm congress and the American system which we are all so proud of today. Polsby brings to the table the suggestion form bashers to limit the term length of members of congress.

A congress basher would see this as beneficial so they can get more opportunities to gain control in congress, but the reality is this only further weakens the powers of congress because with such short terms constantly up for reelection it is difficult, and almost impossible to achieve anything. Polsby notes the importance and the difficutly of the jobns members of congress have. He specifies with hey manage small group offices and attempt to please ther constituents. They serve on committees that oversee executive branch activity.

They participate in general legislative work. They keep track of their own political business and they educate the people they come in contact with. These are just a few of the many duties of congress members, and there is reason things take so long in congress. Each member has to deal with all of the fore mentioned and more. One would be crazy to expect a member of congress to be successful in all of this in less than the current 6 year term. Polsby points out the reason so many members get reelected and it’s because they pay attention to the wants of their constituents.

Bashers complain about the high reelection rates but the reason is clear, and this idea of a shortened term will only harm congress. Like Polsby, I think this attempt at congressional reform is a poor idea and can do nothing but harm the governmental system. Polsby One who bashes congress would also be for lowering congressional salaries, which Polsby and I would say is ludicrous. Polsby perfectly depicts how it would be a poor decision to lower the salaries by citing that a upper middle management of a car company makes 100,000 dollars a year which is 2,000 dollars more than congress.

It seems ridiculous to say that that manager does more work than a member of congress and is more worthy of pay. One would point to the wealthy status of congressmen and that with their backgrounds they don’t need as much money. This isn’t the case with all representatives. Many are hard working Americans who he constituents voted for because they closely relate to and represent their views. If pay was lowered these kinds of people wouldn’t seek a congressional post because they’d be more concerned with finding a job that pays well to support their family.

So lowering the pay will only drive away worthy candidates for congress positions. Polsby cites another example of the underpayment of congressional members showing that first year law firm employees out of law school make a similar amount of money to a congressman. The importance and difficulty of the first year employee is minuscule compared to a congressman. A congressman needs to please his constituents and many other tasks while a first year at a law firm may be in charge of getting coffee and doughnuts for a meeting.

Being sensible Polsby realizes that talk of a pay increase will only cause controversy and stir conflict. Polsby siumilart tomy viuews is clearly against the bashing of congress and he realizes the work that congressmen do and how their jobs are misunderstood. We are against any claims for constitutional tampering just to please the congress bashers, who only seek to weaken the legislative branch by an item veto, shortening terms, and lowering salaries. These only disrupt the democratic system of government we love so much today.