Cox And Mccubbins Analysis

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The political theorists David R. Mayhew, Gary W. Cox, and Matthew D. McCubbins argue on how the US Congress functions. They focus on the members of Congress and their actions. The basis of disagreement between the theorists lies in what Congress members find of importance. Mayhew argues that members of Congress, primarily concern themselves with reelection, as such, any action taken only benefits that. Cox and McCubbins’, however, formulate that Congress functions on the basis of majority party control and unity. These arguments present different perspectives, however, they do have agreements amongst them. Overall, Mayhew presents an argument that is believable and shows the truth of members of the US Congress. Mayhew speaks about the behavior…show more content…
The ability to set the legislative agenda by the majority party does in fact create a platform to deliver on. No politician would truly experience the potential difficulty of getting their promises to the people done, just as long as it falls in line with the party. This is where Cox and McCubbins’ argument fails. Since the majority party maintains that they avoid party-splitting policies this does not allow for individual party members to enact policies radical to the party. Blind partisan policy-making is not quite persuasive in explaining the function of…show more content…
It is necessary to understand that although, it is the working of committees that creates legislation, it is the individual politician whom takes credit for it. As mentioned previously, party unity does not exist beyond the local level, and never has. Mayhew continues this with, “…Congress does not have to sustain a cabinet…” (p. 128). Members of Congress have no need to be cohesive, but can if they want to do so. In effect, the individual member leans towards individualistic policies that are beneficial to maintaining office. In Mayhew’s argument he presents the “marginal congressman”, making the point that individuals should ignore national trends and, “…treat them as acts of God over which they can exercise no control.” (p. 129). As he states further, “It makes much more sense to devote resources to things over which they think they can have some control.” (Mayhew p. 129). The individual politician is incentivized through this method to focus only on issues that will benefit themselves, and ultimately their
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