Lee Hamilton The Case For Congress Summary

614 Words3 Pages

Lee H. Hamilton, a former congressman in the House of Representatives, wrote, The Case for Congress, to share some of the criticisms he has heard over the years and to explain the effects of such opinions. Hamilton speaks of three main criticisms: “Congress is run by lobbyists and special interests”, “Congress almost seems to promote total gridlock”, and “There’s too much money in Politics” (Hamilton 2004). For each of these criticisms, Hamilton explains these thoughts and his opinion on the matter. The strongest point of Hamilton’s argument was in defending the lobbyists in Congress. Hamilton (2004) said the public opinion of lobbyists is that “Congress is manipulated by powerful wheel-dealers who put pressure on legislators and buy votes through extensive campaigns and other favors” (p. 83). Hamilton (2004) argues these opinions in saying, “ Lobbying is a key element of the legislative process- part of the free speech guaranteed under the constitution… lobbying is simply people bonding together to advance their interests” (p. 83). Instead of lobbying being manipulative, as people seem to think, Hamilton explains it as being helpful to Congress and an import part of debates. …show more content…

While he does defend this criticism, he too feels it is somewhat true. He believes the main criticism is that legislators can be bought, whether by money or by gifts (Hamilton 2004). Hamilton talks about how the money is mainly to support people who already have the same ideas rather than to get Legislators to change their opinions (Hamilton 2004). While that may be true, he is still saying that interest groups are giving money for legislators to support their ideas. He talks about how we need campaign reform because too much money is being spent (Hamilton

Open Document