Scandal!: An Interdisciplinary Approach To The Consequences, Outcomes, And Significance Of Political Scandals by Alison Dagnes and Mark Sachleben

9781472535207-261x361.jpg Author Alison Dagnes and Mark Sachleben
Isbn 9781472535207
File size 2.3 MB
Year 2013
Pages 304
Language English
File format PDF
Category politics and sociology


Scandal! Scandal! An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Consequences, Outcomes, and Significance of Political Scandals Edited by Alison Dagnes and Mark Sachleben N E W YOR K • LON DON • N E W DE L H I • SY DN EY Bloomsbury Academic An imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Inc 1385 Broadway New York NY 10018 USA 50 Bedford Square London WC1B 3DP UK Bloomsbury is a registered trade mark of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc First published 2014 © Alison Dagnes, Mark Sachleben, and Contributors 2014 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publishers. No responsibility for loss caused to any individual or organization acting on or refraining from action as a result of the material in this publication can be accepted by Bloomsbury or the editors. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Scandal! : an interdisciplinary approach to the consequences, outcomes, and significance of political scandals / edited by Alison Dagnes and Mark Sachleben. pages cm Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-1-4725-3520-7 (hardback) 1. Political corruption. 2. Political ethics. I. Dagnes, Alison. II. Sachleben, Mark, 1965JK2249.S22 2013 364.1’323 – dc23 2013029942 ISBN: HB: 978-1-4725-3520-7 ePub: 978-1-6235-6608-1 ePDF: 978-1-6235-6222-9 Typeset by Integra Software Services Pvt. Ltd. Contents Acknowledgments Contributors Introduction  Alison Dagnes vii viii xi Section I Congress Preface: Counting and Classifying Congressional Scandals  Scott Basinger, Lara Brown, Douglas B. Harris, and Girish J. “Jeff ” Gulati 3 1 2 3 Sack the Quarterback: The Strategies and Implications of Congressional Leadership Scandals  Douglas B. Harris 29 Spending More Time with My Family: Scandals and Premature Departures from the House  Lara Brown and Girish J. “Jeff ” Gulati 51 The Electoral Effects of Congressional Scandals  Scott Basinger 67 Section II Historical Accounts, Modern Implications Introduction  Mark Sachleben 4 5 6 7 Tom Clark under Fire: The Consequences of Congressional Investigations of Supreme Court Justices  Craig Alan Smith 83 87 Sherman Adams’s Fall, and the Scandal behind the Scandal  Michael J. Birkner 127 The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same: Explaining the Persistence of Scandal in the Pennsylvania General Assembly  George E. Hale 155 Sex, Scandal, and Catholic Politics during Italy’s Dolce Vita  Roy Domenico 179 Section II Conclusions Paralleling History: Scandal and the Lessons of the 2012 Election  Neal Allen 201 Contents vi Section III Shaping the Perceptions of Scandal Introduction  Stephanie Jirard 8 209 Scandal in the Politics of Race: From Martin Luther King Jr. to Barack Obama  Neal Allen 211 He “Can’t Say with Certitude”: Framing the Anthony Weiner Scandal in Political Cartoons  Joan L. Conners 231 10 Shattered Dignity: The Apologia of John Edwards  Misty L. Knight 251 Conclusions Index 275 9 278 Acknowledgments The editors would like to thank our Shippensburg University colleagues for their continued help, advice, and support. Special thanks go to the Political Science Department faculty and staff. Contributors Neal Allen is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Wichita State University. He studies American political history, law and courts, Southern politics, and the politics of race. Scott Basinger is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Houston. He teaches courses in statistics, mathematics, and game theory. He holds a PhD in political science from the University of California at San Diego. Michael J. Birkner is Professor of History at Gettysburg College and Benjamin Franklin Professor of Liberal Arts. He has taught at Gettysburg since 1989, chairing the department from 1993–2003. Birkner is the author or editor of twelve books, including two books on the presidency of James Buchanan and a young adult biography on Dwight D. Eisenhower. He is currently completing a book titled Electing Ike: Sherman Adams and the Making of the President, 1952. Lara M. Brown is Associate Professor and Program Director of the Political Management Program, Graduate School of Political Management, the George Washington University. She received her PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles. Along with journal articles and invited essays, she is the author of Jockeying for the American Presidency: The Political Opportunism of Aspirants and a co-editor and contributor to The Presidential Leadership Dilemma: Between the Constitution and a Political Party. Prior to completing her doctorate, she served in President William J. Clinton’s administration at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C. Joan L. Conners (PhD, Mass Communication, University of Minnesota) is Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Randolph-Macon College in Virginia. Her research on portrayals in political cartoons has been published in American Behavioral Scientist, PS: Political Science and Politics, and Harvard International Journal of Press and Politics. Contributors ix Alison Dagnes is Professor of Political Science at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. She is the author of Politics on Demand: The Effects of 24-Hour News on American Politics (2010) and she frequently speaks on the topic of the modern media. She has already edited one book on political scandal, and her current research examines ideology and political satire. Her new book A Conservative Walks into a Bar was published in 2012. Prior to receiving her doctorate in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Dr. Dagnes was a producer for C-SPAN in Washington, DC. Roy Domenico is a professor at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, where he is also chair of the History Department. He is the Executive Secretary of the Society for Italian Historical Studies and is working on post–World War II Catholic cultural politics in Italy. Girish J. “Jeff ” Gulati is Associate Professor of Political Science at Bentley University and earned his PhD from the University of Virginia. Dr. Gulati’s areas of expertise are on the U.S. Congress, campaigns and elections, scandals, e-government, and telecommunications policy. His recent work has appeared in New Media & Society, Telecommunications Policy, Social Science Computer Review, Electronic Government, An International Journal, and Human Rights Quarterly. He is also an elected member of the Executive Board for the Informational Technology & Politics section of the American Political Science Association and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Information Technology & Politics and Journal of Political Marketing. George E. Hale joined Kutztown University of Pennsylvania in 2009 following a 30-year career in federal, state, and local government. He is the author of the book The Politics of Federal Grants and several articles on state budgets and intergovernmental relations. Douglas B. Harris, PhD, Johns Hopkins University, is Associate Professor of Political Science at Loyola University Maryland. His research on Congress, political parties, and media politics includes articles in numerous scholarly journals and edited collections. He is co-author of The Austin-Boston Connection: Fifty Years of House Democratic Leadership and co-editor of Doing Archival Research in Political Science. x Contributors Stephanie Jirard is Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at Shippensburg University where she specializes in teaching criminal law and procedure, evidence, mock trial, and criminal justice policy. Her academic research and publications focus on the connection between law, political science, and history. Misty L. Knight is Associate Professor of Human Communication Studies at Shippensburg University. Her primary research involves strategies in teaching the basic communication course, political rhetoric, self-defense rhetoric, and humor in communication. She teaches courses such as Human Communication Theory, Interpersonal Communication, Public Speaking, and Political Rhetoric. Mark Sachleben is Associate Professor of Political Science at Shippensburg University. He teaches courses on international relations, comparative politics, international law, and European politics. He is the author of Human Rights Treaties: Considering Patterns of Participation 1948–2000 and World Politics on Screen: Understanding International Relations through Popular Culture; he is also the co-author of Seeing the Bigger Picture: American and International Politics in Film and Popular Culture. In addition to his published work on international politics, he regularly researches and writes in the field of pedagogy. Craig Alan Smith teaches history and political science at California University of Pennsylvania. His first book, Failing Justice: Charles Evans Whittaker on the Supreme Court, won the best book award for Missouri History. He has previously written about the law clerks of Supreme Court Justices Charles Whittaker (In Chambers) and Tom Clark (Journal of Supreme Court History), and he is currently working on a new biography on Justice Tom Clark. Introduction Alison Dagnes The examination of political scandal is enticing to undertake because there are so many facets to explore. The very word “scandal” implies something far more tantalizing than just “politics” or “current events” or “news.” Scandal portends shame, humiliation, outrage, disgrace: the mother lode of schadenfreude. As an audience, we gasp when we hear the word “scandal” and then collectively clap out hands together and think: “Oh goodie.” There are, however, serious consequences when political scandals occur, and these aftereffects are as far-reaching as they are important. Americans already have a dreadful image of politicians: In general we think they are awful. A 2011 poll showed Congress had a 9% approval rating, lower than Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal, lower than Paris Hilton, and lower than the IRS. The IRS! Although we need them and although Americans drag ourselves to the polls to vote, we do not like politicians, nor do we trust them. As a result, when politicians are caught in scandal, the presumption that our elected leaders are corrupt grows exponentially. The nation was founded in no small part thanks to a healthy skepticism toward power, and embedded in our Constitution are checks against authority rooted in the assumption that men are not angels. When scandals occur, there are mechanisms in place to address the wrongdoing, and consequently, rarely is the security of the union called into question due to a political indignity. But that said, the lasting effects of scandal linger because the failures of our elected leaders play into our distrust of the powerful and our closely held belief that those elected to office are vain, pusillanimous, and easily fouled. These consequences of scandal are the most pernicious because the loss of public trust is dangerous to a democracy. And yet we pay more attention to scandal than to policy because it is clearly more entertaining, it plays into our most base of emotions, and because at its root scandal is easy to understand. This book takes a hard view of political scandal to more thoroughly understand its consequences and the costs of public outrage. There are a wide variety of scandal types, because man has come up with so many different ways to screw up. Our previous work examined political sex xii Introduction scandals in depth, which inevitably led to both spurious jokes and reasonable questions: Why is the book so small? Why no pictures? And most importantly: What about other sorts of political scandal – why limit it to the prurient? We took the serious queries into consideration and determined that more research was necessary in order to tackle the sheer magnitude of the broader topic. Hence, this volume follows our last, and here we discuss the consequences, implications, and perceptions of political scandal writ large. We have moved from a sole examination of the sexual and broadened our scope to the financial and the programmatic in order to hone our focus on the politicians and institutions that are most affected by political scandal. We acknowledge the limits here as well. Certainly, as we explore the institutional, historical, and cultural implications of scandal, we know we are only scratching the surface. We continue this effort here while we recognize there is more to discover and address. One of the more interesting facets of the American political system is our legislative branch that brings 535 men and women (but mostly men) to Washington to represent us. This branch could be looked at as a sizable petri dish in which to examine the behavior of elected officials, and thus the first section of this book looks specifically at Congress. Arguably a hotbed of American political scandal, Congress as an institution is not in itself scandalinducing. Rather, when you get this many elected officials together in one place, the odds are that scandal will occur. The causes of congressional scandal are not addressed here as much as the players and the outcome: What happens to lawmakers as scandals unfold, and what happens after the fact? Chapter 1 of the book, from Douglas B. Harris, examines congressional leadership who have themselves been embroiled in scandal. This chapter argues that three factors – the nature of a scandal, the institutional importance of the member involved in scandal, and the context of other scandals – determine whether or not a personal scandal becomes institutionally consequential. Harris begins with a macro view of the outcome of scandal to see how Congress reacts to internal failure. The second chapter, from Lara Brown and Girish J. “Jeff ” Gulati, examines how the specifics of a scandal affect the electoral impact afterwards, on how a congressional incumbent’s party affiliation, type of scandal, and media coverage vary and sometimes converge, so as to produce different patterns of incumbent resignations, retirements, or primary election losses. In other words, while much of the literature on congressional scandals investigates the effects of scandals on general election outcomes, this chapter examines how scandals impact incumbents earlier in the electoral cycle. The third chapter in this section, Introduction xiii written by Scott Basinger, continues this examination of electoral consequence and demonstrates that scandals directly impacted election outcomes, subtracting nearly 2% of the vote from a House incumbent and nearly 5% of the vote from an incumbent senator. Scandals also increase challenger expenditures, which subtracts an additional 2% of the vote from a scandal-tainted incumbent. All put together, the first part of this book takes the largest American political institution and explores the varying consequences of scandal on our legislative body and on the body politic. Section II looks back and moves on to several historical accounts of political scandal, because although the ubiquity of the news media makes it seem that scandals are big, new, and exciting things, we know they are not. The concept of political scandal is as old as the first idea of government, and so we review several important political scandals and their impact on the development of the American political system. This section of the book surveys historical accounts of scandal, including one from outside the United States (Italy). Chapter 4, from Craig Smith, examines the causes and consequences of congressional investigations of sitting Supreme Court justices, particularly the controversy surrounding Tom Clark’s refusal to testify before Congress regarding his position as attorney general. After four years as President Harry Truman’s attorney general, Clark was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, where he came under fire for his handling of certain high-profile cases once a congressional committee began investigating the Justice Department. Using contemporary news coverage and archival records in the Tom Clark papers, this chapter examines the media’s role in reporting on this political scandal while analyzing whether Clark’s defense of separation of powers was convincing. Our historical examination continues in Chapter 5, written by Michael Birkner, with a peek into the Eisenhower administration and the Sherman Adams scandal. In 1958 revelations came forth about Adams’s relationship with a shady New England industrialist, Bernard Goldfine, and his acceptance of gifts from Goldfine, on whose behalf Adams made inquiries to various federal regulatory agencies investigating Goldfine’s enterprises. This chapter examines both the unfolding of the famous “vicuna coat” scandal and the scandal beneath that scandal, Adams’s ongoing acceptance of cash during his service in the White House, gifts that led to tax troubles, and ultimately to a remarkable deal struck between Eisenhower and his two successors to keep Adams from being indicted. The next chapter from George Hale turns its gaze to Pennsylvania, examining the long history of political corruption and scandal in the Pennsylvania legislature. It demonstrates that as standards xiv Introduction and regulations to combat corruption evolve, this corruption is redirected and takes on new forms. In the current era, some conventional cures to legislative corruption, such as competitive two-party politics and a professional legislature, are found to actually raise the stakes of political combat, giving rise to systematic scandals aimed at the preservation of political power. The persistence of scandal results from the interaction of the state’s individualistic political culture, the insulation of the General Assembly from public control, and the latent functions of corruption that allow the legislature to function without fundamental change decade after decade. Finally, in Chapter 7 Roy Domenico goes international and historical, as he examines a scandal over moral issues in a nation dominated by a political party, the Italian Christian Democrats, which is closely identified with the Catholic Church. Recently liberated from Fascist dictatorship, the nation’s press, particularly its tabloids, played a novel and uncharted role in the Montesi Affair. There are many other major historical scandals to examine, but these four case studies take one step in the consideration of the lasting impact of scandal on the public. There are significant consequences that emerge from perpetuating the narrative that our politicians are corrupt. When scandal occurs, the legitimacy of the entire political system is called into question. It is rare in the American federal system that political corruption poses such an institutional threat. In the United States there are myriad mechanisms in place to right a ship that seems to steer off course, and we have repeatedly found solutions in these institutional remedies. The Watergate scandal notwithstanding, U.S. government has been tested and found sufficient to handle crisis. You would not know this from the media, both popular and news. For example, Chicago is so uniformly considered a haven of corruption that a TV show called Boss airs with the Windy City’s corruption as its basic premise. More to the point, a show actually called Scandal centers on a corrupt White House and a DC “fixer” who solves the problems of the scandal-laden denizens of DC. This attention to scandal makes sense: Scandal is a juicy topic, one that begets attention, both fictional and documentarian. As a result, the third section of this book looks at the perception of scandal and how this assessment reaches well beyond the immediate crisis. Chapter 8, from Neal Allen, analyzes the effect of scandal on the politics of race, focusing on the Civil Rights Movement and minority candidates running for office. It demonstrates how the FBI unsuccessfully sought to eliminate Martin Luther King Jr. as a movement leader by investigating his sexual behavior and ties to leftist groups. It also examines the role of scandal in the process of African American Introduction xv candidates running for president, focusing on the effect of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright scandal on the campaign of Barack Obama in 2008. In Chapter 9, Joan Conners moves to the impact of modern technology on scandal and on its coverage. The unfolding of the Twitter-photo scandal involving Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY) is analyzed in its portrayals in political cartoons in U.S. newspapers in Spring 2011. Given the nature of political cartoons to provide a commentary in visual form, typically in the form of a criticism, it is no surprise the representations are unsympathetic toward the congressman. A framing analysis of the representations of Anthony Weiner in the work of more than 50 American political cartoonists found themes that implicated Weiner using his own words, that associated this scandal with previous political sex scandals, and that raised questions about the use of technology in contemporary politics. Finally, Chapter 10 from Misty Knight examines the delicate art of saying sorry. This chapter analyzes the self-defense rhetoric, or apologia, of former U.S. senator John Edwards in regard to accusations of marital infidelity and legal charges of campaign finance violations. B. L. Ware and W. A. Linkugel’s (1973) critical method of generic criticism as applied to apologia, W. L. Benoit’s (1995) theory of image restoration, and K. M. Hearit’s (2001) prescriptive tools of crisis management through apologia are applied to Edwards’s attempts at self-defense rhetoric since 2008. The analysis of Edwards’s statements suggests that his attempts to create apologetic discourse to rebuild his credibility were unsuccessful and implications for political rhetoric and apologia are discussed. The final section of the book observes how scandal is perceived by the public, and the consequences of these perceptions. All told, this multidisciplinary examination aims to approach the singular topic of scandal from diverse angles. Both the blessing and the curse of studying scandal is that there is an abundance of material to cover: On the one hand, each angle allows a fresh perspective on this important and yet salacious subject. On the other hand, we know there is more to cover from many more perspectives. Additionally, as man continues to behave with devilish intent, instead of angelic purpose, there is always a new scandal to examine. Researching scandals is like playing a gigantic round of whack-a-mole: There is always another one popping up, just begging to be thumped down. And so this book continues our previous examination of scandal, and we look forward to continuing this interesting and provocative conversation as time marches on. We would especially like to thank those elected to offices who fail to see the possible consequences of their crooked actions as they wrap themselves xvi Introduction in entitled, sanctimonious, righteous indignation. To these gentlemen, we say, “Thank you. You make our jobs easier and more fun. Keep up the bad work. We will continue to watch with bated breath, just to see what happens next.” Yet at the same time, we caution against lumping all politicians into the category of “scandal” and remind Americans of the good done by our leaders. By examining the causes, consequences, and costs of political scandal, we hope to shed light on a topic that demands inquiry and thoughtful consideration in a political climate that occasionally falls short of this mark. Section I Congress Preface: Counting and Classifying Congressional Scandals Scott Basinger, Lara Brown, Douglas B. Harris, and Girish J. “Jeff ” Gulati From Preston Brooks’s beating of Charles Sumner with a cane, and Daniel Sickles’s killing of Philip Barton Key, to Edward Kennedy’s traffic accident on Chappaquiddick Island, the personal animosities, poor decisions, and deep personal failings of members of Congress have affected their lives and careers throughout American history, and have had tragic consequences for others. In the contemporary Congress, barely a month passes without a member of the House or Senate being publicly accused of violating some law, rule, or social norm. Subsequent chapters in this volume address the consequences of scandals for members of Congress. As straightforward as this subject seems, scholars have faced significant hurdles both in identifying scandals and in differentiating between scandals. The lack of an established database of scandals has impeded systematic study of their properties and effects. We dedicate this chapter to conceptualizing scandal, providing a taxonomy of scandals, and then listing 250 scandals involving members of the U.S. House of Representatives since 1973. A good starting point for this chapter is to draw a boundary around scandals, separating them from other forms of congressional news making. The Oxford American English Dictionary defines a scandal as, “an action or event regarded as morally or legally wrong and causing general public outrage.” We believe this definition is too broad, however. Use of the term “political scandal” should identify a distinct category of misdeeds that obviously includes criminal behavior and official malfeasance, but that excludes gaffes, controversial statements, hypocrisy, and broken campaign promises. The most systematic attempt to define political scandals is that of Thompson (2000), who identifies their four essential components. First, there must be a transgression. Second, the transgressor must engage in concealment, attempting to keep the transgression a secret, because

Author Alison Dagnes and Mark Sachleben Isbn 9781472535207 File size 2.3 MB Year 2013 Pages 304 Language English File format PDF Category Politics and Sociology Book Description: FacebookTwitterGoogle+TumblrDiggMySpaceShare There are many types of political scandals: sex, corruption, and election scandals are but a few. Political scandals are public events that have tremendous consequence on citizenry and can undermine democratic institutions-when we pay attention to scandal, we risk ignoring weightier matters. This volume brings together an array of academics to explore the impact of political scandals. What makes this book different from others is the wide spectrum of perspectives brought together to help analyze a single subject.     Download (2.3 MB) Al Jazeera And Democratization: The Rise Of The Arab Public Sphere Corruption in America: From Benjamin Franklin’s Snuff Box to Citizens United Gender, Politics, News: A Game of Three Sides Defending Democratic Norms: International Actors And The Politics Of Electoral Misconduct The First Primary: New Hampshire’s Outsize Role in Presidential Nominations Load more posts

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