Congress and the Perpetual Campaign
University of Chicago Press 2016
Frances Lee is the author of Insecure Majorities: Congress and the Perpetual Campaign (University of Chicago Press, 2016). Lee is professor in the Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland. For much of the 20th century, Democrats were in the majority. Republicans had little chance to win back control, and Democrats had little fear of losing it. By the 1980s, things began to shift, and ever since, majority control has been on the line. The consequence of this changing political landscape is the subject of Lee’s new book. She shows how this new competition for control drives both parties to focus on undercutting the opposition. Rather than a strategy of bipartisan cooperation to win policy victories, Insecure Majorities reveals the rise of party messaging and strategic communications as the way of Congress.