tv Book Discussion CSPAN October 13, 2014 1:35am-1:54am EDT
to put that on the front of the book kind of looking like thomas jefferson and doors to the book but the idea is that "a mere machine" is what we should be thinking about to design these institutions where we stream our courts to have the power for those legislators. >> host: anna harvey professor of politics at the york university author of "a mere machine" the supreme court, congress, and american democracy". thank you.
>> host: patrick egan was a duty to your university? >> guest: in the politics department with a courtesy appointment in the wagner school. >> what classes are you currently teaching? >> five on sabbatical. i teach courses in public opinion and quantitative analysis. >> host: what is quantitative analysis? >> what has taken over how we cover politics, mainly due caracol analysis of the election. >> what do you do on a sabbatical? >> guest: you write a book. [laughter] that is what you hope to do.
>> are you encouraged to publish at york university? >> guest: absolutely. we are a research university we have improved our stature partly because we are devoted to research. >> host: what you currently working on? >> howdy participation and political attitudes of gay americans changed over the course of the last 20 years and with public policy with lgbt and what we typically don't hear is how are gay people responding to how this change to their lives? >> host: what sparked that? >> we did research on lgbt
politics and there was not much data available about what people think in politics because most never was asked if they were gay or lesbian. but that has changed now we have a lot of data what they think about all kinds of issues and one thing that is interesting is gay people stayed quite liberal and democratic even as you start to see a crack in the republican party opposition to gay-rights. so the instinct of for this is going ewell's the gay people me a part of the coalition so what they thing
can say about gay rights. >> host: so talk about your current book to talk about partisan priorities and it distorts american politics. what is issue ownership? >> guest: a term that political scientists use that unlike other terms that a lay audience would understand the two parties have long term good reputations this issue with particular issues so if i say health care which you trust you would say? >> host: i think the majority would save democrat >> guest: i am not asking for your opinion but we see that consistently over the last 30 years. >> host: and why is that? what is it about health care
that democrats own? >> that question was a series of issues and i will throw another fact that you within in the very same poll were they asked americans which party does a better job of handling health care? the majority said the democrats than a few minutes later americans were asked how do you feel about the affordable care act? they hate it. [laughter] they continue and they always have by a substantial majority so that paradox is there are incidents where it owns the issue but has a policy that seems that is too extreme.
that answer that i arrived is that voters toward ownership to parties for their efforts even if they don't agree with the efforts at all. even if they don't necessarily see results the republicans' own crime if we ask americans which you trust to handle that issue the majority say republicans and say it consistently over the last four decades. despite the fact if you look at how crime rates rise and fall it has fallen significantly farther under democratic presidents than republican our bill last to say that is a very difficult
question that i don't tackle in the book but based upon the evidence available how the conditions change when the two parties are in power there is no discernible relationship between changes of those conditions and what each party of the other and that is troubling for folks who hope democracy can keep the county -- the country accountable. >> host: doesn't this lead to a further splintering in a sense because we're all single issue voters? >> guest: there is a little bit of that. but they are consensus issues. in the midst of this polarization it can be easy to forget that every
conservative once the education system to be good and crime to be low even on the relative list of priorities. the national consensus around the goal means in a sense we're not a single issue voters everyone who walks into a voting booth once the efficient in low-cost effective health care system. they might disagree how to get there but most do agree on that goal. the claim i make is the politics of issue ownership is centered on these consensus issues they have every reason to establish a
reputation to achieve a goal like low-cost health care and clean water although they are wrapped up in polarized politics most share consensus. >> host: has there been changes the democrats' own and then republicans or vice versa? >> i make a claim it is pretty rare. on most issues since the '70s they have not changed hands any permanent way the parties presidents and nominees to make a conservative effort to steal the issues from the other party or to trespass so we can think of bill clinton or george w. bush and his
education build no child left behind it shows it leads that is significant or a temporary shift between the two parties. while no child of to behind is debated and passed republicans have a resurgence in the destination how long they can but education issue that goes back two years later and make the argument that part of the reason that is the case is rank and file republicans just don't care about education as much as others like crime or lower taxes or the deficit. the same for the democrats. they once a low crime rate but if you ask which are more important they will save the environment and
poverty and health care of of fighting crime. because of partisan priority don't shift very much ownership does not either. >> host: what happens if a politician is unorthodox does that create confusion? >> with today's polarized environment that is tough to be up against. voters of all stripes make judgments based upon the parties brandt it is difficult right now for as a democrat to run away from obamacare sova one in kentucky is trying to do that every third mitch
mcconnell it's with this policy. the same is on foreign policy during the george debut bush administration that running for congress trying to run away from that policy. because the parties have a strong brand, a much more similar than from three or four years ago is difficult for politicians to separate themselves. >> host: if you are a pro-choice republican or pro-life democrat where are you on the political spectrum? [laughter] >> guest: very unusual first of all,. we could have count on me the to hands of politicians
in congress that could be described that way. one of the problems they face is the party primary. if you are seen as being the unorthodox or a party loyalist, unfaithful they do tend to get interest groups who come after you with a primary opponent and all kinds of institutions in place and resources said place that keep them to toe a line. more and more that is quite unusual. >> host: the subtitle how issue ownership distorts american politics. what is the distortion? >> guest: what i find in the book is the theme of i
find lots of instances where the parties pay less attention to what the public wants on the issues they own and on what they don't. the affordable care act is a great example, a policy pursued by president obama and nancy pelosi when she was speaker of the house in the first term is pursued despite the fact all the polls run against this policy. it is clearly unpopular there are aspects that americans like but when it comes down to the mandate of the increased taxes to pay for the expansion of health
care coverage this is a pretty unpopular policy but the democrats pursued it anyway but they have a party loyalist that this is a once in a generation opportunity. the same thing is true on the republican side looked at george w. bush part of that policy was popular he enacted tax cuts for the middle class so that was firmly in line with the ownership of taxation but the bulk of those tax cuts came from big cuts to the most wealthy americans and poll after poll they were very unpopular and remain so poll with dash. and those of halfies loyalist to care about these
issues they push the two parties and extreme directions because day care so much. >> host: on the reverse side how to republicans with the lgbt individuals who vote overwhelmingly democratic their interests are with the republican party. >> or evangelical christians. i don't have good news for you. the way that american politics is structured makes it very difficult for herb parties to come up with credible promises. here is an example president obama of wood have a big evangelical preacher at his
first inauguration extending a gesture to evangelical christians that were not a part of the democratic party bloc. immediately that leads to an outcry to say he is against gay rights, pro-life, sure enough he is scratched from the inauguration. the same thing happens on the other side when and republican and extend the hand so senator portman his son came out as gay and then was a supporter of marriage equality faces when he made that announcement faces a big uproar from his conservative wing to say he betrayed their principles. so the extensions to the other side are risky for