Dr. Tabakian’s Political Science 1
US Government – Summer 2014
Power Point # 12
COURSE LECTURE TOPICS
• Bureaucratic Power
• Iron Triangles
• Presidential Control Of The Bureaucracy
• Congress And Its Members
• Congress Versus The Executive Branch
• Supreme Court
• Legitimacy Factor In Law Making
• Federal Court Structure
• Elite Propaganda & Cinemocracy
• Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense”
THE BUREAUCRATIC ELITE
Bureaucratic Power comes from technological advances,
information explosions, and societal growth and complexity.
1. The Washington Bureaucratic Elite is a major base of power in
2. Iron Triangles are three major power bases coming together to
decide an issue outcome.
3. Revolving Doors are public-private sector power trades of
knowledge, experience, and contacts.
4. The Power of Regulatory Commissions derives from
independence and oversight responsibilities.
5. Fiscal Responsibility is the power to establish national
priorities within the boundaries of available resources.
AMERICAN MILITARY POWER
The United States possesses the
most advanced military hardware
known to man. Here is a sample of
our overwhelming firepower.
Students will be asked the
following question following this
video presentation: “What prevents
the United States from utilizing its
full military capacity?
PRESIDENTS & BUREAUCRACIES
Presidential Control of the Bureaucracy is a power
delegated by the Constitution.
1. Appointments allow the president to manage
programs and enforce policy using loyal officials.
2. Reorganization allows the president to prioritize his
3. The Budget with Congress allows the president to
make a policy statement about the role of
MASSES & PARTIES
Activists are most likely to participate
in campaign activities. These are the
most partisan among typical voters.
Two of the most common activities
aside from voting is donating personal
labor and financial resources. Political
pandering refers to how parties cater
to their core base of activists. Those
found in the Republican Party tend to
be more conservative than the
average Republican voter.
Democratic activists on the other
hand tend to be more liberal than the
average Democratic voter.
COLD WAR MANIPULATION
Propaganda is a necessary tool.
“Make Mine Freedom” is a 1948
Cold War-era cartoon that uses
humor to tout the dangers of
Communism and the benefits of
capitalism. Various points made
in this presentation touch on
John Locke’s “Second Treatise
Of Government”. Can you pick
COLD WAR MANIPULATION
Elite manipulation has existed
in our country even prior to the
days of our founding. Masses
are susceptible to manipulation
as they are highly emotional.
Elites utilize symbolism to pull
these emotional heartstrings at
will. Enjoy this 1952
government sponsored film
COLD WAR MANIPULATION
The “Kitchen Debate” was held in
Moscow on July 24, 1959. Vice-
President Richard Nixon debates
Soviet Leader Nikita Khrushchev in a
make-believe kitchen. The day before,
Vice-President Richard Nixon had
flown to Moscow in a "cultural
exchange" program between the two
countries. The stated goal of the
exchange was to promote
understanding about the cultures of
the two superpowers. Both men were
focusing on promoting their respective
systems to the non-aligned countries.
Congress is a less representative branch than the Founding
1. Members of Congress are political entrepreneurs recruited
from the upper classes of their home constituencies.
2. Members of Congress represent the elites of their districts and
responsibly vote on their behalf with strong regularity.
3. Members of Congress have a reputation for using incumbency
advantages and consistently raising money to seek reelection.
4. Leadership procedures and structures in Congress appear to
form interlocking conglomerates of policy responders, iron
triangle members, and status quo protectors.
CONGRESS VS. THE PRESIDENT
The Constitution gives Congress an Invitation to Struggle
with the President.
1. Congress responds to policy proposals initiated by the
2. Congress and the president have engaged in highly publicized
3. Congress has used investigations and impeachment in an
attempt to control the president’s actions for perhaps purely
How can we protect
ourselves against the
threats of germs and toxins?
Cold War America gears up
to fend off threats from
This is another example of
how propaganda is utilized
to foster fear within society.
Enjoy this example.
COURTS – 1
Judicial decision making by the Supreme Court involves
most important policy questions.
1. Judicial review gives the federal court system power to say
whether actions of the two political branches are constitutional
2. Jurisdiction gives the Court the opportunity to hear and decide
a case and seek compliance with its ruling.
3. Judicial philosophy gives justices the tools to make wise
decisions about constitutional issues.
4. Politics is a useful decision making aid when a case does not
present a liberal-conservative dimension.
COURTS – 2
1. The backgrounds of all Supreme Court justices generally
reflect ties with the upper social strata that rule the nation.
2. The style of judicial policy making contributes to the power of
the Supreme Court.
3. The hierarchical structure of the federal court system and the
Supreme Court contribute to their influence in the political
4. The Court as ruler of the nation is an appropriate description
for an institution that resolves key conflicts in society and is not
Governmental elites may believe
that their national policies are so
concrete that it is necessary to utilize
various forms of propaganda to
incite specific reactions from its
citizens. Various forms of
propaganda have been utilized to
drum up mass support to better
assure elite legitimacy. Cinemocracy,
the relationship between motion
pictures and government is one way
governmental elites sell their
agenda. Enjoy this classic cartoon,
THOMAS PAINE’S “COMMON SENSE” – 1
Arguments against British rule in Common Sense:
• It is ridiculous and against natural law for an island to rule a
• Europe is unlikely to see peace for long and whenever a war
breaks out between England and a foreign power, the trade
of America would go to ruin due to the economic connection.
• It is no longer a "British nation"; it is composed of influences
from all of Europe.
• Even if Britain was originally the "mother country" of
America, that makes her current actions all the more
horrendous, for no true mother would harm her children so
THOMAS PAINE’S “COMMON SENSE” – 2
• Remaining a part of Britain will drag America into
unnecessary European wars, and keep it from the
international commerce at which America excels.
• That government is best that governs least. Society
represents all that is good about humanity, government
represents all that is bad about it.
• The distance between the two nations makes the lag in
communication time about a year for something to go round
trip. If there was something wrong in the government, it
would take a year before the colonies would hear back.
THOMAS PAINE’S “COMMON SENSE” – 3
• The New World was discovered shortly after the
Reformation. This was evidence for the Puritans that God
wanted to give them America as a safe haven free from the
persecution of British rule.
• Criticizes the English Constitution, saying that the right for
the House of Commons to "check" the king is ridiculous, as
the king is given the right to rule by God, therefore, he
needs no "checking".