◦ Explain the different functions that the U.S. Congress performs as discussed in the film.
The Founding Fathers of this country intended for the Legislative Branch to be the most powerful branch of the government because they had an intrinsic mistrust of anything resembling the monarchy and fought hard to dissociate themselves from it. Congress is fabricated with politicians who directly represent the citizens of the United States of America. They also have the power to make laws. Most of our government agencies, such as the IRS, exist because of the laws that Congress enacted. They also have the authority to allocate funds to the military and government agencies. Since World War II, the United States of America Congress has often chosen to give more money to the army above another government agency or program. Finally, they have the power to judge and or impeach any high-ranking officials such as the President if they commit a misdemeanor or high crime. Cook, R. (Producer). (2007).
◦ Explain why some aspects of the U.S. Congress are democratic and some aspects are not democratic.
There are many different reasons as to why some aspects of the U.S. Congress are democratic and others are not. One is a strong theory of perks of incumbency in Congress, which have grown in the past two decades, which created a situation where incumbents cannot be beaten except under the most extreme of circumstances. Since the Democratic Party has more incumbents and controls the system of power and perks, it has been able, by dramatically increasing the incumbent advantage, to institutionalize its majority, insulating it from normal political pressures and, in effect, mesmerizing voters to a point where they couldn’t hear an alternative message even if they wanted to. Proof for this contention comes from success rates from incumbent House members, the growing number of House members winning elections with 60%,65%, or 70% of the vote or more (The Permanent Democratic Congress. (n.d.).
Cook, R. (Producer). (2007). Congress: How it works
(Links to an external site.)
Links to an external site.
[Video file]. Retrieved from https://secure.films.com/OnDemandEmbed.aspx?token=49121&aid=18596&plt=FOD&loid=0&w=400&h=340
The Permanent Democratic Congress. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://ashbrook.org/publications/the-permanent-democratic-congress/