C12 “Congress” Study Guide Pages 352-364
Directions: Answer the questions using complete sentences and by citing specific details from the reading and/or our discussions. Be sure to provide examples where appropriate.
Introduction (Pages 352-354)
1.) What is a pundit? Give an example of one you are familiar with.
A pundit is a Hindu wise man; TV, radio newspaper self proclaimed “expert” in politics. A pundit
has an opinion on everything and often times criticize politicians and their views.
An example would be Chris Matthews. He has a TV show and a book and he has an opinion about
issue and event that happens in politics.
2.) According to former Majority Leader Howard Baker, moving the Senate is like “trying to push a wet noodle”. What did he mean by this? Give an example from our readings, discussions or your own personal knowledge to either affirm or refute this statement.
Senators put so much hard work into their jobs everyday, rushing from meeting to meeting and from Washington to their constituencies, the constant fundraising, plus the fact that most Senators are fiercely independent. This being said it is very difficult to get anything done. Trying to move legislation through the constitutional labyrinth is complicated and a very long process, thus the statement by Howard Baker.
Example: A good example would be trying to push for gay right or marriage in a state which it is not allow. It is a process, one which is not easily accomplished because there are so many other Senators with their own possible legislation they are trying get passed.
3.) What does it mean that members of Congress are “generalists”? Why is this the case?
Congressmen have to try to please their constituents in order to get elected or reelected. In order to do this they have to know a little big about every issue and have a stance on every issue. It is hard to be a specialist when you need to know information on a broad amount of topics....