1. The US political system was devised in such a way that major branches could check each other’s ambitions, and citizens could maintain popular sovereignty through legislative supremacy. A continuing theme throughout our course, however, has been the exceptional power possessed by some outside groups to intervene in disproportional ways within the American political process. In your opinion, has the democratic character of American politics been too far compromised by the wide-ranging access of special interests? Limit your answer to 500 words.
2. You are the senior advisor to a senior US Senator – a Democrat – who has just secured a third term in the 2016 elections. Wow, your career is truly taking off! There’s just one hiccup: your professional aspirations are now linked to this Senator’s successes or failures in mobilizing a significant Congressional agenda. In fact, the Senator has intimated to you that the next legislative project is the most significant one of his/her legislative career, because he/she plans a run at the Democratic Presidential nomination in two years’ time. If all goes well, this effort will dovetail into a nomination run, with a highly publicized, landmark piece of legislation that bears the Senator’s name. Your job? Well, no pressure, but you have to figure out the policy domain in which this career-catapulting legislation will reside. To this end, the Senator has requested from you (and a few other career-hungry, deeply competitive staffers) a digestible brief concerning which policy area to target in the legislation, with a rationale as to why it is both critical for the United States and achievable in the US Congress. Limit your brief to 500 words.
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