AP Gov Buzzwords and Other Important Terms

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This is a Quizlet containing all of the buzzwords that I've made all year for AP Gov (as well as other terms that I've deemed important). Please note that any words which would making figuring out the term too easy (including the term itself) have been blanked out with a "____." Each "____" stands for one, individual word. Also, please note that the words are designed to be figured out with the "Ignore stuff in parentheses" option checked. STUDY!

Hyperpluralism

To define ____, ____ must first be defined. ____ is the idea that numerous different non-governmental groups with unique, distinct interests all influencing government will produce the best governmental situation for all (through compromises, agreements, etc.) The idea of ____ extends this, stating that if there are too many competing non-government factions, all progress will grind to a halt and nothing will actually get accomplished. Many people state that the U.S. government has often entered states of "____," in which nothing of important was accomplished because of the existence of far too many points of view.

Interest group

An ____ ____ is any organization whose goal is to promote the interests/ideas of its members/constituency within the framework of the United States government and its associated processors. A political party has one goal: to elect candidates. An ____ ____ (typically smaller than a political party) has more general goals, which could involving supporting the election of a candidate, or lobbying for a specific bill to be passed, and more.

Jack Abramoff

____ ____ is a famous (former) American lobbyist who was convicted in 2006 of mail fraud as well as conspiracy. He was a corrupt official who took lobbying to a level of illegality not previous seen before (or caught), manipulating and defrauding both those who he was working for (certain American Indian tribes) as well as public officials in Washington, D.C.

Lobby

To ____ is to attempt to influence the decisions made by certain officials within the government of the United States. ____ can involve voicing an opinion en masse, to donations of money and gifts (essentially "legal bribes"), to some sort of promise, and more. Congressmen are typically the ones who are ____, although sometimes other branches of the government and their associated staff members are ____ as well.

Fat cat

A ____ ____ is a term used to describe a rich person, especially one who donates a large amount of money to a political campaign. ____ ____ are important within the context of American politics because they demonstrate the idea that the amount of money someone has is often positively correlated with their relative influence in politics (especially through the utilization of interest groups).

ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union)

The ____ is an organization whose goal is to defend and preserve the ideas contained with the Constitution (especially the Bill of Rights). The organization often protects racial/religious/etc. minorities, and is very uncompromising in most of its idea (except, controversially, with those related to the right to bear arms).

AFL/CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Relations)

The ____ is a national trade union center that is comprised of 56 different national (and sometimes international) workers/laborers; its primary goal is to promote, preserve, and defend the rights of the unions and laborers that it represents.

AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee)

The ____ is a lobbying interest group that has the simple goal of promoting and advocating for pro-Israel policies.

AARP (no longer an official acronym but the actual name itself, although it used to be known as the American Association of Retired Persons)

The ____ is an interest group whose goal is to protect and defend the rights of the elderly (defined as people above the age of fifty) in relation to ideas like the quality of life and other important issues.

Christian Coalition of America

The ____ ____ ____ ____ is a group comprised of mostly fundamentalists, evangelicals, and more whose goal is to promote Christian social values (such as abortion and its clearly pro-life stance).

John Birch Society

The ____ ____ ____ is a right-wing organization that supports libertarian ideas (limited government), Constitutionalism, and specific ideas against anti-communism.

NRA (National Rifle Association)

The ____ ____ ____ is an interest group whose main goal is to advocate for the right to bear arms (in accordance with the Second Amendment). It is not a strictly conservative group, although most of its members would probably define themselves as being a part of the right.

US Chamber of Commerce

The ____ ____ ____ ____ is a lobbying group that is mainly meant to represent business and trade associations, lobbying and advocating for favorable bills in Congress for the member organizations. It is generally considered to be a more conservative, right-wing organization.

Pundit

A ____ is a person who is a party of the mass/mainstream media who offers his commentaries and opinions on a subject which they are knowledge about. Often times, these "____" are said to have more polarizing opinions (i.e. they're not normally moderate). It is a term that is often used to describe Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and other popular media personalities.

Hack

Within the context of politics and the mass media, a "____" or "____ ____" is a term used to negatively describe a writer who pushes low-quality, rushed articles/books/etc. in order to express the specific opinion of a politician/political candidate/etc. For example, a writer paid to churn out articles every day discussing and supporting the opinions of Michelle Bachmann could be considered a "____" or "____ ____."

Credibility gap

The idea of a "____ ____" comes from a time when people often trusted exactly what politicians were saying about a situation. People normally believed what the government told them about a situation; however, with the onset of the mass media, television journalism, etc., it has become apparent in numerous situations that the government is not accurately reporting a situation. This difference between what the government says is going on and what is actually going on (according to the mass media) is the "____ ____."

Daisy Spot

The "____ ____" advertisement was one of the most controversial advertisements in the history of the United States, despite the fact that it only aired once. Essentially, it exploited the prospect of nuclear war in order to drive home a specific point about Lyndon B. Johnson's campaign and attack that of Barry Goldwater. Although Johnson did ultimately win a landslide victory over Barry Goldwater (perhaps as a result of this ad), the fact that he used the prospect of nuclear war remains controversial to this day.

Face time

Within the mass/mainstream media, "____ ____" is considered any time someone gets time to be seen on the television. For example, if John Huntsman went on Jon Stewart's show and was interviewed, that would be an example of ____ ____. Politicians/political candidates value ____ ____, because it helps to spread awareness of their campaigns and garner support.

Movers and shakers

In the mass/mainstream media, the idea of "____ ____ ____" refers to people who hold tremendous influence over the general public. The opinions and ideas of the "____ ____ ____" are mimicked and talked about by many millions of people every day. Pundits could be examples of "____ ____ ____" in that their satirical opinions could often sway people to one side of the political spectrum or the other.

Freedom of Information Act (1974, abbreviated as FOIA and pronounced "foy-uh")

The ____ ____ ____ ____ is a federal law which allows for citizens of the United States to request the release of certain types of documents. The act adds transparency to the political process and allows the mass media (as well as individual citizens) to gather any information they want about the internal workings of the government. In 1974, the original act was extended with the Privacy Act amendments which allows for judicial review of executive secrecy claims, increased freedom to see more secretive documents, and more.

Anti-federalists

The opposite of ____, ____ were a more internally diverse group composed of people who were generally against a more ____ form of government. Instead of wishing for a centralized, national-level of government, ____ generally wished for the majority of the power in the nation to be invested into the people (through state governments). Obviously, the founding fathers were split between ____ and ____, and the conflict between the two groups and the compromises that they made together ultimately shaped Constitution as we know it today.

Bicameral

In terms of the Constitution, the term "____" refers to the idea of having a split Congress. The Senate comprises one-half of the legislature while the House of Representatives comprises the other half; the reason that the U.S. has a ____ system is due to a disagreement that was solved through the "Great Compromise." Basically, back when the Constitution was being written, larger states wished for a legislature with representation based on population, while smaller states wished for a legislature with all states represented equally, regardless of population - ultimately, these two ideas were combined into the modern day ____ congress with the House of Representatives full of representatives based on state size and with the Senate with two representatives per state, regardless of their size.

Elastic clause

The "____ ____" of the U.S. Constitution (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 18), also known as the "necessary and proper clause," gives the government of the United States the power to create whatever laws it needs to; this has been interpreted to mean that the Constitution is actually a flexible document that is subject to change as time goes on. Because the world is not static, the Constitution shouldn't be either, and this clause is basically saying that it is within the government's power to create new laws that help to run the government more properly/efficiently depending on global, cultural/societal, and technological changes and/or advancements.

Enumerated power

Within the context of the U.S. Constitution, an ____ ____ is one that has been explicitly given to Congress; a list of said ____ ____ can be found within Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. Congress has the ability to exercise the powers which it has been granted, and nothing more (although the ____ ____ are often interpreted very broadly), with any powers not listed being given to the states/people (through the "Reserved Power Amendment").

Ex post facto law

An ____ ____ ____ ____ that retroactively changes the legal consequences/status of something that existed before said law was enacted. For example, if someone painted their car red in 1999, but it was made illegal to paint cars red in 2001, that person could be punished for something that was legal when they did it under an ____ ____ ____ ____. Under Article 1, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution, this type of law is explicitly prohibited for all types of governments within the United States (federal, state, local, etc.) - this is important, as making ____ ____ ____ ____ illegal helps to prevent the government from abusing its power.

Federalist Papers

The ____ ____ were a series of papers written by Publius (the pen name for Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay) which explained many federalist ideas and opinions. However, the ____ ____ themselves were not written merely for the point of expositing federalism - rather, they were written in an attempt to help convince New York to ratify the Constitution. The three co-authors of the novel believed that by openly describing federalism to a group of people, they would be able to convince them of its merits and in turn get them to support the ratification of the Constitution.

Federalist

A ____ is one who supports a ____ government, which is essentially a government in which one national-level (federal) government governs over smaller constituencies (typically states or provinces). The founding fathers were split between ____ and ____, with ____ justifying their position by arguing that having a national-level, centralized government was the best way to handle the sort of representative democracy that the founding fathers were trying to create through the Constitution.

Full faith and credit

This clause (Article IV, Section 1) is similar to the "privileges and immunities" clause which is described below. Basically, this law means that states have to respect the laws of every other state within the U.S. - i.e., if someone broke a law in Pennsylvania but fled to New York, the New York police would have an obligation to return that someone to Pennsylvania even if the action that person took was actually legal within the state of New York. Obviously, this clause is important to the anti-Federalists because it gives more legitimacy to the idea of a state having its own laws, while at the same time Federalists could also consider it to be important in that it supports a sort of national unity through the uniform respect of laws that it encourages.

Limited government

The term "____ ____" refers to the idea that a government should not interfere in a nation's economy or its citizens' basic rights; basically, under a ____ ____, the states/people would essentially have all the power. Obviously, then, this was an idea that was greatly supported by the anti-federalist movement while simultaneously being looked down on by the federalists. The conflict over how much of a "____ ____" the Constitution should provide for was one that would influence nearly all of the decisions that the founding fathers made in regards to the document.

Natural rights

____ ____, also known as unalienable rights, are rights which are thought to be "self-evident" and "universal," meaning that they are inherent rights that all human beings permanently possess, no matter the situation. These rights are protected under the United States Constitution through the Bill of Rights and were even mentioned (through the phrase "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" in the Declaration of Independence). Moreover, while the idea of inalienable rights was considered at least somewhat important to all of the founding fathers, it was the Anti-Federalists who really supported them and pushed for the Bill of Rights.

Privileges and immunities

This clause (Article IV, Section 2, Clause 1) is designed to prevent one state from discriminating against citizens of another state; in fact, the exact wording of the clause refers to the idea of a citizen from one state being allowed the same "____ ____ ____" in every state that he or she travels to. This idea both supports the federalist and anti-federalist movements, in that federalists want national unity (which this clause helps to provide) while anti-federalists want states to be able to set their own laws and rules (which this clause helps to allow as long as no state establishes laws that directly discriminate against citizens of another state).

Reserved power amendment

The term "____ ____ ____" refers to the tenth amendment to the United States Constitution, which contains within it the idea that no powers explicitly granted to the federal government are reserved for the states/people. This idea one again comes from the initial conflict between the federalists and anti-federalists, with this being one of the compromises between the two groups: while the federal government of the United States may be given a lot of power, the states are given all of the other power, without exception (this was found to be a good balance between the national government and the state governments).

Second Treatise of Civil Government

Also known as the "Two Treatises of Government," this philosophical work by John Locke greatly influenced the writing of the Constitution (perhaps more than any other document). The ideas of "natural rights" and the "social contract," both of which were written about by John Locke in this treatise, were put into the Constitution by the founding fathers. "Natural" or "unalienable rights," rights which no human should ever be denied, are assured to everyone within the Constitution. Moreover, the idea that the government is meant to serve the people (the idea of the "social contract") is ever present within the Constitution as well.

Separation of powers

The term "____ ____ ____" refers to the idea of splitting up a government into different branches in order to keep the entire government in check and to prevent one person or group of people from gaining too much power. Basically, a "balance of power" is the desired outcome of a government that is separated into different branches. Of course, this is an idea present within the United States Constitution, as the founding father separated the American government into the judicial, legislative, and executive branches.

Supremacy clause

The ____ ____ (Article VI, Clause 2) of the Constitution establishes the idea that no law can supersede those found within federal laws. This idea was added to the Constitution as a result of the initial conflict between the federalists and anti-federalists (this is an example of a compromise between the two groups). In other words, while states can have their own laws and rules, the federal government will always have the final say in the matter.

Shay's Rebellion

____ ____ was an uprising in Massachusetts of farmers who were unable to pay their debts and were protesting the upcoming foreclosures of their land (the group was led by one Daniel Shay, hence the name of the rebellion). It took several days for the rebellion to be controlled, thereby showcasing one of the many weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation, the weakness of course being the inability for the government to act decisively in a time of crisis. This event was among several that triggered within the minds of the founding fathers the need to perhaps rethink the structure of the American government.

Unalienable (inalienable) rights

Also see "natural rights." Note: based on my research, many websites (including Wikipedia) make no distinction between ____ and natural rights; rather, they make a distinction between ____/natural rights and "legal rights," legal rights being any rights bestowed upon a person based on a legal document that aren't necessarily inherent in a person, such as the right to bear arms or the right to a trial by jury (which are protected within the Bill of Rights just like the ____ ____ described above).

Block grant

A ____ ____ is a federal grant that has been given to a state government with relatively few restrictions on how the money should be spent. This more general type of grant is typically associated more with "New Federalism," a movement that aims to take powers away from federal government and give said powers to the states (a process known as "devolution").

Categorical grant

A ____ ____ is a federal grant that has been given to a state government with a relatively specific purpose in mind; sometimes, for a state to receive a ____ ____, it must completely or partially match that grant's funds. This type of grant is typically associated with regulated federalism, in that it gives the federal government more direct control over the states.

Competitive federalism

____ ____ is one flavor of federalism which refers to the idea of competition between different governments (i.e. local governments competing with one another or with regional governments) for businesses, residents, and etc. ____ ____ is a type of federalism typically associated with states' rights, as the federal government has no other government on its level to compete with - it is only the governments of the states and the states' local governments that can be involved in so-called ____ ____.

Cooperative federalism

____ ____ is the term that can be used to categorize the U.S. government between the 1930s and 1970s, before which came traditional federalism (dual federalism) and after which came regulated federalism. ____ ____ is a sort of balance between the two; it is a system in which the federal government is supposed to work ____ with the state governments to solve problems. Instead of going head to head and making conflicting legislation, state and national governments are supposed to create legislation "together" in a mostly non-competitive fashion.

Creative federalism

____ ____ is similar in concept to cooperative federalism, in which the federal and state governments are supposed to work together to solve a common problem. However, during the period when this type of federalism was popular (1960-1980), the state and federal governments "over-cooperated" in that they made regulations and laws that consistently contradicted each other.

Dual federalism

____ ____ is the type of federalism that predominated in the United States until the 1930s - when someone mentions "traditional federalism," he or she is most likely talking about ____ ____. Basically, in this type of federalism, the state governments and federal governments operate in their own separate, independent spheres and really only deal with their reserved and expressed/enumerated powers, respectively. There are more limits on the federal government in this type of federalism than in other types.

Fiscal federalism

The term "____ ____" refers to the study of how money should be spread out within a system of government; i.e. whether some amount of money should be allocated to the federal government or to one or more state governments. "____ ____" not only refers to expenditures, however - it also refers to the income that a system of government earns (i.e. whether taxes should come from the state or federal level of government, or both).

Funded mandate

A ____ ____ is one characteristic of regulated federalism; it is a national standard imposed on the states that comes with federal funding. It is a way of regulating states/state governments easily, as no state would refuse "free money," as that is what federal grants essentially are (at least, to states).

Layer cake federalism

Simply put, "____ ____ ____" is another name for "dual federalism" (already defined above), as dual federalism provides for two very explicit spheres of government (federal and state) that are similar in concept to the ____ of a ____ ____.

No Child Left Behind

The "____ ____ ____ ____" act was an act passed by Congress and signed into law by George W. Bush in 2001. It provides for standards (set by each state) in regards to the educational levels of students all across the United States of America - however, it is an unfunded mandate, meaning that any participating states must fund this act with their own money.

Marble cake federalism

Simply put, "____ ____ ____" is just another name for "cooperative federalism", as cooperative federalism provides for an system of government in which the federal and state governments work together closely to solve common problems; this is similar to a ____ ____, as in a ____ ____, the flavors are closely intermixed (and not explicitly divided into their own layers), just like federal and state governments in cooperative federalism.

Unfunded mandate

An ____ ____ is another characteristic of regulated federalism; despite the fact that it is a national standard imposed on the states, it is not something that comes with federal money. Basically, an ____ ____ is an order for a state to do something without any money for the state to do it, and one example of this type of mandate is the "No Child Left Behind" act.

Bully pulpit

This phrase refers to a public office whose holder can speak out and be listened to on any matter because of the position of high rank or great authority that the position provides for. Within the context of the U.S. government, the term "____ ____" is used to refer to the presidency; whoever is president of the United States can advocate for a specific agenda very successfully because of the position that he or she is in. In fact, this term was first coined by Theodore Roosevelt, a former president of the United States of America.

Cabinet

Within the context of the United States, the term "____" refers to the group of senior official with whom the president regular confers. These senior officials are the secretaries (i.e. the chief administrators) of the major federal departments (e.g. the Department of Homeland Security) - they are appointed by the president with the consent of Congress. Other members of the ____ include the White House Chief of Staff and the Vice President. Over time, the ____ has grown from just four people (under George Washington's presidency) to well over fifteen today (under Barack Obama's presidency).

Chief Executive

Currently, the ____ ____ of the United States is Barack Obama - in other words, the phrase "____ ____" is just a fancy way of saying "president." Specifically, the president is not only the leader of the executive branch of the federal government as well as the commander-in-chief of the U.S. Armed Forces. As ____ ____, the president has many powers, including, for example, the power to grant federal reprieves and pardons.

Executive Office of the President

Created in 1939 by Franklin D. Roosevelt, the ____ ____ ____ ____ (abbreviated as ____) consists of the immediate staff who report directly to the president as well as the president's many levels of support staff. Basically, the purpose of the ____ is to help the president govern as effectively as possible. The leader of the ____ is the White House Chief of Staff, and includes such departments as the Office of Administration and the Office and Science and Technology Policy.

Imperial presidency

The term "____ ____" (in reference to the president of the United States) became popular in the 1960's, and is meant to imply that the office of the president has gained too much power and/or has exceeded its constitutional bounds. More broadly, it is implying that the executive branch has become the dominant branch in the United States government (which was not the intention of the founding fathers at all). For example, over time, both the president's cabinet and the number of executive agencies have increased in size.

Line item veto

A ____ ____ ____ and a traditional veto are almost exactly the same; the only difference is that the phrase "____ ____ ____" refers to the nullification of a specific provision (or provisions) of a bill by the president of the United States, whereas a traditional veto occurs when an entire bill is nullified by the president. In fact, just like a regular veto, the ____ ____ ____ can be overridden by Congress. Furthermore, ____ ____ ____ are most commonly used to veto portions of a budget appropriations bill without having to veto the bill in its entirety.

National Security Council

The ____ ____ ____ is the main forum used by the president of the United States for considering and discussing national security (including cyber security) and foreign policy matters. Members of the council include the president's cabinet officials as well as his or her national security advisors. Started under the presidency of Harry S. Truman, the ____ ____ ____ is also the way policies related to national security/foreign policy are coordinated among various government agencies.

Pocket veto

The phrase "____ ____" refers to one way by which the president of the United States can veto a bill. Essentially, if a president does not sign or explicitly veto a bill for ten days (excluding Sundays), one of two things can happen: if Congress is in session, the bill will become a law. However, if Congress is not in session after ten days, the bill will be vetoed ("____ ____"), and obviously will not become a law. A ____ ____, unlike a traditional veto, cannot be overridden, as Congress must be in session in order to override a veto. This type of veto has been used by quite a few presidents throughout the history of the United States, and the first president to use one was James Madison in 1812.

Senatorial courtesy

The idea of "____ ____" refers to an unwritten rule within the government of the United States: If the president is in a position to appoint someone to a federal vacancy within a specific state (referring specifically to federal district court judges, U.S. attorneys, and federal marshals), and the senators of that state are of the same political party as the president, the president will confer with the Senior Senator of that state before making any appointments. The president does not grant ____ ____ if he and the senators of a state are of differing political parties (except in a few very rare cases).

Trial balloons

"____ ____" are packets of information specifically sent out to the public and the media in order to gauge their reaction; essentially, within the context of the U.S. government, a government official will "leak" a bit of information to the open world in order to see if there is a favorable reaction to it or not. Such "____ ____" are chiefly used when a bill or other sort of governmental idea are proposed.

White House staff

The phrase "____ ____ ____" refers, essentially, to the high level officials within the Executive Office of the President who occupy more managerial positions. For example, the ____ ____ ____ under Obama include the Chief of Staff, the Deputy Chiefs of Staff, the Counselor to the President, and the Senior Advisors, all of whom are very important officials within the executive branch of the U.S. government.

Baker vs. Carr

In this case, the Supreme Court ultimately decided that the judicial branch could intervene and affect the act of reapportionment, if and when such an action was deemed necessary. Those who were arguing against this believed that since reapportionment was purely a "political question," it is not something that the courts should have a say in. However, this point was argued unsuccessfully, and the aforementioned precedent occurred as the defendants were unsuccessful in arguing their point.

Bread-and-butter Issue

A ____ ____ is an issue that affects the daily lives of millions of Americans in some way; typically, this term is used to refer to money (especially in terms of inflation, economic "bailouts," budgets, taxes, etc.). These are often seen as more important than other issues due to the extent of their large, noticeable effect on the American population.

Cloture

A ____ is some sort of action meant to quickly close debate/voting/etc. Within the context of the United States government, it refers to what happens in the Senate when three-fifths of the Senators leave (especially during a filibuster). When that occurs, the filibuster and/or current Senate session has to be over (at least, temporarily) due to the number of Senators who have left their seats.

Conference committee

A ____ ____ is a group of congressman from both the Senate and the House of Representatives who come together to resolve disagreements on a particular bill. Normally, the people who make up this committee are senior Members of the committee in each part of congress under which the bill in question is categorized.

Congressional oversight

____ ____ is a term which refers to the ability (within the context of the government of the United States) of the Executive Branch to basically oversee various activities of the Legislative Branch. One notable example of this deals with the yearly budget - the Executive Branch sends in what basically amounts to a budget proposal/suggestion, which the Legislative Branch is supposed to refer to and use carefully.

Demagogue

The term ____ refers to a politician who gains power/garners support for a bill/etc. by playing on the emotions/fears of the American public. Normally, a ____ accomplishes this through the use of powerful rhetoric in speeches, television commercials, and more. ____ often use nationalist, populist, and religious themes in order to strengthen the power of their appeal.

Devil is in the details

This phrase refers to the idea that while an idea may look good when viewed "at a distance" (i.e. on a more general level), it isn't actually a good idea, specifically because many of its details are actually quite bad, for whatever reason. In the context of the U.S. government, the phrase "____ ____ ____ ____ ____" refers to a bill, for example, that seems good (based on its title, a summary, or some other news/information source), but is actually quite bad because of the details contained within it.

Entitlement

An ____ is a guarantee of some sort based on some sort of legislation or inherent set of rights (within the context of the government of the United States). For example, people are ____ to the right of free speech, and are ____ to the right of a trial by a jury. In the modern era, there are lots of debates about what people are really ____ to - two examples include whether or not members of the higher tax bracket should really be ____ to the Bush tax breaks and whether the people of the United States are ____ to government-provided healthcare.

Filibuster

A ____, within the context of the United States government, occurs when a Senator attempts to obstruct something from being voted upon by holding the floor and doing some sort of stalling tactic (like reading very long literature, such as an entire book by Charles Dickens). A ____ ends when the Senator currently holding the floor decides to end the ____, or when three-fifths of the Senators leave; in the latter case, a cloture occurs, and the floor becomes closed to debate/voting/etc. ____ cannot occur within the House of Representatives, however, due to a different set of rules.

Gerrymandering

____ is the act of redrawing the congressional districts of a specific state in order to skew the state's representation towards one political party or the other. Districts are typically redrawn every ten years (when new census data comes out), and there are two common techniques when ____ occurs: packing and cracking. Packing is when all of the support for one political party is crammed into as few districts as possible in order to minimize the number of total votes that party receives from that state. Cracking is when the support for a specific party is divided up between districts in such a way that the support for the other party is maximized and earns said party as many districts as possible.

Gridlock

A ____ occurs when there is much difficulty in passing any sort of legislation. A ____ can occur in any number of scenarios; if the legislative houses are evenly divided, then a ____ can basically occur. However, if the legislative houses and/or the Executive Branch are occupied by different political parties, a ____ can occur as well. This can make it especially hard for either party to get anything done, as each side will just be vetoing/stalling/etc. the other.

Incumbent

If a candidate in an election is an "____," it means that said candidate already holds that position and is merely up for re-election. The ____ often gets more votes simply out of virtue of already having the job - people often do not want change when said change does not have to occur, and it is easier to believe the positive promises of someone in office (who has actually accomplished something, most likely) than someone who has not yet held that office. Moreover, ____ can directly take advantage of already holding that office in the election process through such actions as "franking" in which an elected government official can send out mail to all of his or her constituents.

Lame duck

A ____ ____ is an elected official (and, within the context of the U.S. government, typically the president) who is approaching the end of his term for whom a successor has already been elected. ____ ____ presidents, for example, will not receive as much cooperation with outside sources, as their time in office is coming to a close, so most people don't want to make commitments with a man/woman who will not be in office for much longer. However, this gives ____ ____ presidents the freedom to undertake unpopular actions, like pardoning people who many people think are guilty.

Logrolling

____ is a term that, within the context of the United States government, refers to the idea of two different elected officials (likely Congressman) exchanging favors. Now, this is not a directly corrupt or illegal practice, as one Senator could convince another Senator to vote for his bill simply by saying that he will vote for his. Basically, it's a way of "scratching each other's backs."

Pork barrel legislation

____ ____ ____ is a term which refers to legislation that is loaded with earmarks/____. Basically, if a certain piece of legislation is "____ ____" ____, it is full of sections which do not have much (if anything) to do with the actual purpose of the bill - said sections are only put into legislation when trying to obtain extra votes from the Congressman who support the newly-added sections of the bill (who perhaps personally asked for them to be put in).

President pro tempore

The ____ ____ ____ of the United States Senate is actually the second highest official of the Senate, right behind the Vice President himself/herself. When the Vice President is not president to run Senate sessions, the ____ ____ ____ takes over for him/her. However, the ____ ____ ____ is often not there himself, and for that reason, other senators are often appointed to complete the job the Vice President/____ ____ ____. However, only the Vice President may cast a tie-breaking vote.

Reapportionment

____ is the act of assigning to each state a certain number of representatives (in the House of Representatives) based on the census data taken once every decade. As there are only 435 seats in the House of Representatives, each state is assigned a certain number of seats based on the size of its population relative to the population of the rest of the states/country as a whole. This allows for each state to be fairly represented according to relative populations within the House of Representatives, as a direct contrast to the Senate (in which each state receives a two senators, which is a fixed amount).

Regulatory policy

____ ____/____ deals with the way that bureaucracies themselves are regulated as well as the regulation that a bureaucracy is tasked with implementing. For example, a bureaucratic agency could be tasked with making sure that the zoning laws in a city were actually followed, making people fill out applications for building on different plots of land with said city and accepting/denying them based on the assigned "zone" of said land.

Alternate description: A ____ ____, especially within the context of the government of the United States, is any policy which directly imposes some sort of rule (not necessarily a restriction) of the people of the United States. One example of regulation would be the monopolization of utility companies in specific areas, or the illegality associated with dumping huge amounts of chemicals into protected lakes and other water sources.

Rider

A ____ is a portion of a bill that has little to do with the main/expressed purpose of said bill. The most famous types of ____ are earmarks/pork, which are one of the most debated aspects of politics today - people appreciate earmarks when they're just "earmarks," implying that said earmarked additions are their own, but don't appreciate pork, which isn't necessarily something that he or she wanted to agree with.

Select committees

____ ____ are temporarily (although they can become permanent committees) established for a very specific purpose, such as debt reduction.

Speaker of the House

The ____ ____ ____ ____ is a representative within the U.S. House of Representatives who is chosen to essentially administer and run the House. Similar to the President pro tempore, the ____ ____ ____ ____ often assigns other people to do the majority of his work for him (especially in regards to running meetings), as the ____ ____ ____ ____ still has the responsibility of looking after/representing his or her own congressional district.

Standing committees

Once again, there is no much to say about ____ ____. This type of committee has already been established and has therefore existed for a very long time; one example of such a ____ ____ would be the committee on budget, since the government needs a budget (regardless of its quality) every year.

The Hill

____ ____ is a congressional newspaper that is published on a daily basis when Congress is actually in session. ____ ____ has a special focus on business and lobbying, political campaigns, and more, which allow it to remain as a relatively interesting piece of literature despite the inherent boredom that might be contained within (based on the typically mundane daily activities of those within Congress).

Whip

A ____ is a member of a political party, within each house of Congress, who is supposed to complete/administer certain functions based on what party he or she belongs to/whether he or she is a majority/minority ____.

Bureaucracy

A ____ is an institution established by the U.S. government in order to implement established laws. ____ are located within the Executive Branch of government, and can be characterized as implementing the laws effectively and efficiently, or by implementing them rigidly or in an incredibly inefficient way, through "officialism" (the rigid, literal adherence to rules/duties) or "red tape." One example of a ____ is the Department of Indian Affairs.

Civil Service Reform Act (1978)

The Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 reformed the idea of "civil service" within U.S. government. To clarify, a person working in "civil service" is someone working for the government as a non-elected employee (i.e. someone working in a bureaucracy). This act reformed civil service within the U.S. federal government, creating three new agencies (the Office of Personal Management, the Merit Systems Protection Board, and the Federal Labor Relations Authority).

Division of labor

Within the context of an American bureaucratic institution, the idea of a "____ ____ ____" refers to the splitting up of an institution into an ever-smaller number of positions. Essentially, it refers to the process of a bureaucracy getting larger and more complicated; bureaucracies that have an efficient ____ ____ ____ are characterized as good, while those with an inefficient ____ ____ ____ are often characterized as being "red tape" agencies.

Government corporation

A ____ ____ is essentially a type of bureaucratic agency. It is the duty of a bureaucratic agency to implement the laws, and a ____ ____ is sometimes deemed the best way to do this. Two examples of such a corporation were Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two ____ ____ that were critically important to the financial industry.

Independent regulatory agency

A ____ ____ is a bureaucratic institution that is essentially in charge of managing/regulating some aspect of the private or public sector. Moreover, an ____ ____ ____ is essentially the same type of organization (as described above), but an ____ ____ ____ is independent of other arms of the government. This means that such an organization is less susceptible to being biased or influenced by any other bureaucratic institutions that are within the same arm of government.

Iron triangle (network)

The "____ ____" of U.S. politics deals with the relationship between Congress, Interest Groups, and Bureaucratic Agencies. For example, between Congress and the Interest Groups, there exists an exchange of electoral support for friendly legislation and oversight. Between Congress and the Bureaucratic Agencies, there exists an exchange of funding/political support as well as policy choices/execution. Lastly, there exists an exchange between the Bureaucratic Agencies and Interest Groups that consists of low regulation/special favors as well as congressional support via lobbying.

Pendleton (Civil Service Reform) Act

The ____ ____ is a federal law from 1883 that established the idea that government jobs should be award on merit. Basically, everyone seeking to hold a position within a governmental bureaucratic agency must take a standardized civil service exam; the results of this exam are crucial in determining who should be award a government job, as those people who score higher on the exam should in most cases be given the job over those who scored lower than them.

Red tape

The term "____ ____" refers to an overregulation and strict rigidness of a government bureaucratic agency; an agency characterized as being a "____ ____" agency is normally considered to be useless and inefficient, as the amount of paperwork and effort involved in deal with said agency does not correlate at all with the agency's purpose/effects/etc. An example of this would be a DMV that requires over thirty forms just to take a permit tess (an exaggerated, unrealistic example, but it gets the point across).

Amicus curiae

An ____ ____, which means "friend of the court" in Latin, is someone who provides information to a court in order to help the court decide a case. An ____ ____ cannot be someone involved in the case in some way, and within the context of the United States Supreme Court, the ____ ____ helps the nine justices make their decisions about whatever case is at hand.

Civil law

The term "____ ____," which is essentially the opposite of "criminal law," refers to the body of law dealing with disputes between individuals and organizations and crime that does not deal with threats/actual harm to the safety/welfare of the general public. An example of a ____ case could occur when an employee breaks his employer's contract; if the employer sues his employee, then the resulting case will involve "____ ____" rather than "criminal law."

Blue slip

Within the context of the federal American government, the term "____ ____" has two meanings, of which only one relates to the judiciary system. Essentially, when a someone has been nominated for a federal judicial position, the two Senators from the nominees state can give opinions on the nominee on ____ known as "____ ____."

Bork (as in Robert H. Bork)

____ ____ is an American legal scholar who greatly the supports the idea of an originalist interpretation of the United States Constitution (an idea known as originalism). Although he was nominated to the Supreme court in 1987 by Ronald Reagan, his nominated was rejected by the Senate. He has served as a judge for the Washington D.C. Court of Appeals, as well as the acting Attorney General and the Solicitor General.

Common law

The phrase "____ ____" refers to laws that are developed through the decisions of courts within the United States. When a court sets a "precedent," is participating in the "____ ____" system. Laws created through the ____ ____ system hold as much weight as those created in the legislative and executive branches. Within most of the United States, the phrase "____ ____" also refers to private law, an idea which refers to laws/judicial decisions involving different individuals (i.e. people or corporations).

Constitutional court

The idea of a ____ ____ is one that deals primarily with cases involving constitutional law. Within the context of the United States, the Supreme Court is somewhat of a ____ ____ (as it deals with many issues relating to the constitution), but unlike many other countries in the world, it is not solely devoted to matters of the constitution, meaning that the U.S. does not have a separate, specifically defined "____ ____."

Criminal law

The term "____ ____" refers to the body of law that deals with crimes/criminal activity (the opposite of "civil law"). Although any action that breaks a law is called a "crime," the term is used here to refer to breaches of law that deal relate to threats/actual harm to the safety/welfare of the general public ("crime" already has a connotation of dealing with this type of law breaking anyways).

Judicial activism

The term "____ ____" refers to the idea that judges should be able to include their own ideas, preferences, and policies into their judiciary decisions. Within the context of the United States government, this term refers to judges/justices who are more "liberal" when it comes to interpreting the constitution and inserting their own ideas into the judiciary decision-making process; basically, "____ ____" often times go beyond the strictly set bounds and create their own laws in a way that no judicially restraining/constitutionally conservative judge would.

Judicial restraint

The term "____ ____" refers to the idea that judges should limit the exercise of their own power, meaning that unless there is an obvious/sufficient reason to do something (such as declare a law to be unconstitutional), then that judge should not be in favor of doing such an action. Within the United States Supreme Court, the idea of ____ ____ has been used to avoid declaring a law unconstitutional unless it clearly is so. Moreover, within the context of the United States government, "____ ____" refers to the idea that the constitution should be interpreted in a very strict, conservative manner (and the policies/personal preferences of the individual justices should play no part in the judiciary process) - basically, the judges should not be too "liberal" with their decisions.

Judiciary committee

The term "____ ____" refers to the ____ ____ in the House of Representatives and the one in the Senate. In the Senate, this committee is responsible for conducting hearings before the Senate votes on the confirmation of federal judges. In the House of Representatives, this committee is responsible for overseeing the administration of justice within the federal courts as well as federal law enforcement entities and administrative agencies.

Marshall Court

The term "____ ____" refers to the Supreme Court as it was under Chief Justice John ____, who was the Chief Justice between the years of 1801 and 1835. He played a significant role in the initial development of the legal system of the United states, most notably establishing the idea of "judicial review" and repeatedly confirming (through the decisions of the court) the superiority of federal law over state law.

McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)

This Supreme Court case is one of the most important cases to ever occur, as it established two important principles for the United States government. At its heart, it was a case between the state of Maryland and the Second Bank of the United States (whose leader was ____) - ____ was refusing to pay a tax that was being mandated on the state of ____ on any notes not chartered/created in ____. In the end, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of ____, establishing the idea that Congress has certain implied powers for implementing the Constitution's express powers and also that state action may not impede the valid, constitutional exercise of power by the Federal government of the United States.

Public law

The idea of "____ ____" refers to any set of laws/judicial decisions that deal with the relationship between an individual (i.e. a citizen or a corporation) and the government (at a local, state, or federal love). This is different than private law, which itself deals with the relationships between different individuals. Within most of the United States, the phrase "common law" is used to refer to the idea of private law.

Stare decisis

This phrase, "____ ____," refers to the idea that judges are obligated to respect the precedents set by prior judicial decisions. Essentially, this term refers to the idea that after a "common law" has been developed, all judges in the future must respect and honor the ideas contained within said "common law."

Writ of certiorari

The term "____ ____ ____" refers to the actions taken by the Supreme Court within the United States to review a decision or decisions made by a lower court. Essentially, the Supreme Court asks to review a lower court's case, most often to review such a case for any judicial/legal errors or to review a case involving an appeal when no appeal is actually available (in such an instance, the Supreme Court is essentially allowing a repeal to occur when no appeal is available as a matter of right).

Affirmative action

The phrase "____ ____" refers to the idea of increasing the representation of minority groups (e.g. blacks) in employment, student populations, and etc. The advantages of ____ ____ are quite obvious; for example, minority students, who would otherwise not necessarily be given the opportunity to work and possibly succeed in a given field, are now given that opportunity. However, there are a number of disadvantages and criticism that go along with ____ ____. For one, there have been a number of court cases limiting the extent to which employers/admissions directors/etc. can take race into account, in terms of quantitatively or holistically looking at a given group of people. One major criticism/disadvantage of ____ ____ is that it takes away opportunities from "non-minority" people who otherwise would have been able to take advantage of said opportunity.

Americans with Disabilities Act (1991)

The ____ ____ ____ ____ was a civil rights law enacted by the U.S. Congress that limited discrimination of those with disabilities (except in certain circumstances). In fact, it limits the discrimination to a point where legal discrimination can only be determined on what is essentially a case-by-case basis. The so-called "original intent" of the bill was to create sweeping civil rights protections for people with disabilities that could only be strengthened (rather than weakened) by future laws/court decisions/etc. Over time, the law has been amended and allowed for broader protections for disabled people within the United States of America.

Civil liberties

The idea of "____ ____" is one that refers to the rights of individuals within the United States to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" on a variety of levels - for one, one subclass of ____ ____ deals with civil rights and the idea that an individual should not be needlessly infringed upon by the government/a private organization/etc. But, on a broader level, the idea of "____ ____" refers to the ideas of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and several other ideas contained within the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights as a whole. ____ ____ do not simply include civil rights that limit the infringement of one entity upon another, but rather contain ideals that allow a person to live a life of freedom, safety, and security, following his or her own path from birth until death; in short, ____ ____ are not about limiting infringement (as civil rights specifically are meant to do), but are rather about allowing people to create their own lives for themselves within the bounds of what is considered ethical/moral.

Civil rights

The idea of "____ ____" refers to a certain class of ____ (a subclass of "civil liberties") that are meant to protect the freedom of individuals from unwarranted, arbitrary infringement by other people, private organizations/corporations, and the government. Within the United States, the fourteenth amendment protects the ____ ____ and liberties of American citizens, and the ____ ____ it protects are primarily those contained within the Bill of Rights amendments and mainly deal with, for example, the right to a fair trial and due process.

Clear and present danger doctrine

The idea of the "____ ____ ____ ____ ____" refers to the government's ability to regulate certain types of speech that could possibly provoke "imminent lawless action." It is to be distinguished from "fighting words" in that fighting words specifically refer to situations in which speech is used to incite hatred or violence from a specific target, typically an individual or group of individuals. Fighting words can vary by region/community/etc., whereas the idea of a "____ ____ ____ ____" refers to a more generally-accepted idea; for example, a good analogy is the act of shouting fire in a crowded theater (where no such fire exists). People will react the same everywhere, and will all cause a stampede that could possibly result in the injury or death of one or more individuals. The term "____ ____ ____ ____" was coined during World War I by a Supreme Court Justice in regards to a case in which anti-draft materials were distributed during a time in which conscription was deemed to be vital to the success of the United States.

Cruel and unusual punishment

The phrase "____ ____ ____ ____" is one that refers to punishment that inflicts suffering/humiliation beyond what is considered ethical/moral. For example, in the modern era, while executing someone through a lethal injection could be considered a terrible punishment, it would not be considered as ____ ____ ____ in the same way that the Medieval act of "drawing and quartering" would be. Within the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ____ ____ ____ ____ is expressly forbidden through the statement "No one shall be subjected to [...] inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." Basically, within the United States, when people deserve to be punished, they deserved to be punished justly and in a relatively humane fashion.

De facto segregation

The phrase "____ ____" refers to something that occurs in practice (i.e. "naturally" or "inherently"). With this in mind, the idea of "____ ____ ____" refers to segregation that occurs on its own without specific influence from any laws or regulations. For example, a school within a predominantly black neighborhood will contain a predominantly black student body, and a school within a predominantly white neighborhood will contain a predominantly white student body. While one could call these two schools "racially segregated" between blacks and whites (which they assuredly are), the segregation is not directly because of any specific laws or regulations, thus making it "____ ____ ____."

De jure segregation

The phrase "____ ____" refers to something that occurs in accordance with a law. Keeping this in mind, within the context of the United States, "____ ____ ____" can be used to refer to all of the segregation that occurred from the Plessy v. Ferguson case of 1896 (that established the "separate but equal" principle in regards to legalized racial segregation). The obvious example would then be the establishment of separate water fountains for white and black Americans; this is segregation that was allowed and specifically provided for within the laws of the United States of America, hence making it "____ ____ ____."

Double jeopardy

The idea of "____ ____" refers to the idea that a defendant cannot be tried more than once for the same or similar charges if such a defendant has already been legitimately convicted or acquitted of said charges. Within the Fifth Amendment, protection against being tried twice for the same claim is specifically provided for. Since its inception, the United States has valued the idea of disallowing "____ ____" to occur within its judicial system.

Establishment clause

The "____ ____" of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution refers to the idea that the United States government shall not establish a state religion. Combined with the "Free Exercise Clause," the idea of "freedom of religion" within the United States was established within the Constitution. Over time, however, the ____ ____ been interpreted to imply a separation of church and state, in that the government shall not only establish a religion but be protected from and not become directly intertwined with religion.

Exclusionary rule

The idea of "____ ____" is a legal principle within the United States of America that is protected under constitutional law. Essentially, the idea of ____ ____ states that evidence gathered in violation of a defendant's constitutional rights (e.g. through an illegal/warrantless/unreasonable search and seizure) can be deemed inadmissible within a court of law. Basically, if a police officer illegally obtained a piece of evidence, it likely cannot be used against the defendant in court (barring a few specific exceptions).

Fighting words doctrine

The "____ ____ ____" refers to the idea of illegal speech that could "incite an immediate breach of the peace" by inciting hatred or violence from their specific target. For example, going into a room full of people and taunting them with racial slurs and other terrible words is an example of a situation in which "____ ____" exist, as such words are likely to invoke an altercation of some sort (in other words, a breach of the peace). "____ ____" are a type of speech not protected by the U.S. Constitution, as established the 1942 Supreme Court case of Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire that resulted in a 9-0 decision upholding the idea of a "____ ____ ____."

Immigration Act (of 1991, abbreviated IRCA)

The ____ ____, more formally known as the "____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____," was an idea that made more stringent the rules around illegal immigrants within the United States. Essentially, it increased discrimination against a group of non-citizens within the United States, by making it illegal for employers to hire illegal immigrants and by making them responsible for the immigration status of their employees. However, it did provide amnesty to illegal immigrants who had resided in the U.S. from on or before a certain date as well as to certain groups of season agricultural illegal immigrants.

Incorporation (of the 14th amendment)

The idea of "____" one is an interesting, albeit confusing one. Basically, over time, the 14th Amendment has been incrementally "____ against" the states within the U.S. Initially, the Bill of Rights only applied to the federal government; the state governments did not have to follow the ideas contained with the amendments of the Bill of Rights. However, after the ratification of the fourteenth amendment, which specifically protects the rights of all citizens within the Unites States, the Supreme Court has made a number of rulings ____ the Bill of Rights amendments against the states. In layman's terms, this simply means that, over time, discrimination within the United States has decreased as more states have been forced to follow the ideals contained within the Bill of Rights.

Indictment

The idea of ____ refers to an accusation that an entity (e.g. an individual) has committed a serious crime/felony. Within the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which protects the civil rights of individuals through "due process," it is stated that a person must be ____ by a Grand Jury (or through a special type of hearing) in non-military cases before the rest of the court proceedings can occur.

Miranda rights

The idea of "____ ____" refers to a specific warning that all police offers must give to criminal suspects who are being arrested/interrogated/etc. Stemming from the ____ v. Arizona Supreme Court Case, the police officer must make the suspect aware of his or her constitutional rights (such as the right to remain silent). Lawyers often say that a suspect should never to police (except to give them basic, required information) before first consulting with a lawyer, as any information given to the police "can and will be used" against the suspect in any number of sneaky ways.

Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)

The case of ____ ____ ____ ____ is a very important case within the history of the United States. Essentially, at the time, the case upheld the constitutionality of state laws pertaining to and often requiring racial segregation within private businesses. The decision dealt with the idea of private businesses being "separate but equal," in that segregation was legitimate and fine and as long as the services, facilities, and products for those in the segregated groups were equal in quality.

Procedural due process

When one thinks of the idea of "____ ____," he or she is most likely referring to what is specifically known as "____ ____ ____." This occurs in criminal and civil cases that follow a specific procedure (the "____ ____") that is meant to protect the civil liberties and rights of the involved individuals and/or entities. Basically, people are entitled to a jury, are protected against "double jeopardy," and more. This "____ ____" is guaranteed under the Bill of Rights and has been mostly incorporated against the states through the Fourteenth Amendment.

Substantive due process

The idea of "____ ____ ____" refers not to the idea that the rights of individuals are protected through "due process," but rather to how courts (and the judicial branch) as a whole can enforce limits (i.e. "checks and balances") on the legislative and executive branches (in regards to their powers and authority). While the idea of "procedural due process" is meant to protect individuals, the idea of "____ ____ ____" is meant to limit the power of government (in this way, the two terms are actually quite opposite in their meanings).

Symbolic speech

The phrase "____ ____" refers to actions that convey a particular message or idea to through a non-auditory method. For example, while a person talking at a rally would simply be engaging in "speech," a person burning a flag at a rally would actually be engaging in "____ ____." Within the United States, "____ ____" is protected under the First Amendment just as much as "traditional speech." While the first amendment only explicitly discusses actual, auditory speech, the Supreme Court has since interpreted the amendment to include both traditional, auditory speech as well as ____ ____.

Brokered convention

A ____ ____ occurs when there is no definitive majority after the presidential primaries/caucuses for a specific political party, and no candidate is selected at that party's nominating convention. In a situation like this, when no candidate has a clear majority of the delegate's votes, the party nomination is then decided through other means, like allowing regular delegates a re-vote.

Cult of personality

The idea of a "____ ____ ____" occurs when an individual (in the context of this chapter, a presidential candidate) uses the mass media, propaganda techniques, and other methods in order to establish an idealized/heroic public image. The term "____ ____ ____" is synonymous with the idea of "hero worship" in all ways except in the method by which public admiration of the individual is established (in the case of a ____ ____ ____, mass media and the above methods are used).

Grass roots

The idea of a ____ ____ movement refers to a political movement (e.g. a movement to support and help the campaign of a presidential candidate) that is mostly driven by a large amount of locally-based, decentralized volunteers. In contrast to a traditional power structure of an organization, a ____ ____ movement is focused on the power of the individual to garner support and help the organization (although there are likely some leaders within the organization). For instance, the Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party movements both contain characteristics of a ____ ____ movement, in that both groups are comprised of many locally- and community-based volunteers.

Matching funds

The idea of ____ ____ refers to how an entity (normally a large organization of some sort) will donate some amount of money based on the amount that is donated by individuals and other entities. Within the context of American politics, the term specifically refers to how the federal government gives as much money to each candidate as they have raised privately, up to a maximum of two-hundred and fifty dollars per individual/entity that donates to them.

Mudslinging

The term "____," more specifically known as "negative campaigning," refers to actions taken by a candidate to gain an advantage that focus on the negative aspects of an opponent rather than the positive aspects of the candidate himself. One common example of ____ is push polling, in which a question about a political opponent is phrased in such a way as to give the listener a negative impression of the candidate; in this case, the truth value of the question is not important (and is often completely false), since the information is being stated as an uncertain question and not as a certain, verifiable fact.

Political action committee (PAC)

The term "____ ____ ____," often abbreviated as ____, refers to any private entity/group (regardless of its size) that is organized to either elect political candidate or to advance a specific outcome for some specific political issue/legislation. For example, if a group of people form an entity to gather donations for some presidential candidate, it is technically a ____ ____ ____. Specifically, under the Federal Election Campaign Act, this group is legally a ____ if its finances, both contributions and expenditures, exceed one-thousand dollars (if said money is being used to influence a federal election).

Pressing the flesh

The term "____ ____ ____" refers to actions taken by politicians to network among their supporters/colleagues/etc. in person. Specifically, the term "____ ____ ____" refers to the act of shaking one's hand - which can obviously only occur when two or more people meet in person.

Slate

Within the context of politics, the idea of a "____" refers to a group of candidates running together in a multi-seat/multi-position. Within a ____, the candidates all share a common platform and similar ideals. One example of when a ____ could occur is during school board election, in which a group of four people run together on a common platform to reduce district-wide spending.

Spin

Within the context of politics, the idea of "____" refers to a type of propaganda in which an event or campaign is interpreted in a specific, biased fashion in order to influence public opinion of an organization or a public figure. The term ____" refers to a variety of techniques utilized in order to "____" a news story in some specific way, such as selectively presenting facts and quotes, making use of euphemisms, and more.

Split ticket

The idea of a "____ ____" refers to a ballot in which a voter has selected candidates from one or more different political parties (when multiple offices are being decided by that single election). For example, someone could vote for a Democrat for one office and for a Republic for some other office. Within the context of American politics, it was often not possible to cast a ____ ____ ballot in the past, as ballots were often entirely comprised of singular political parties (leaving the voter in a position wherein he or she has to pick and vote for only one political party for a number of offices, assuming multiple offices are being decided by that single election).

Stump speech

Within the context of American politics, the term "____ ____" refers to a standardized speech utilized by a candidate at multiple speaking engagements. The term is derived from a time when political candidates would often go from town to town, speaking to that town's citizens while standing on top of a tree ____. A ____ ____ is often used because a candidate likely will not have time to write a new speech for every place he visits, so he must utilize a standardized ____ ____ (perhaps with a few customizations/tweaks for each place he visits) in order to efficiently utilize his time.

Super Tuesday

In the United States, the term "____ ____" refers to a specific date (a Tuesday) in February or March of a year with a presidential election in which the greatest amount of states hold their primary elections/caucuses. It is through these primary elections that delegates are chosen to be sent to national conventions that year in order to pick that party's presidential candidates.

Swing Voter

The idea of a "____ ____" refers to a voter whose voting patterns cannot be predicted with much certainty. Such voters may or may not be affiliated with a specific political party (i.e. making them independents), and are likely near the center of the political spectrum. A ____ ____ is not hesitant to vote across party lines, and will vote for whichever candidate he thinks is best (regardless of political party affiliation).

Waffle

Within the context of American politics, ____ refers actions taken by a politician or political candidate in which he or she frequently and easily switches sides on a topic; such a politician or political candidate is said to "flip-flop" on issues, either because he is unsure himself of his stance on the issue or because he is trying to constantly appease the changing opinion of the public majority, sometimes successfully, sometimes not.

Bandwagon effect

The term "____ ____" refers to the idea that as more people come to support an idea, many people will join them (a form of "groupthink"), simply because of a desire to support whatever other people are thinking; basically, people who "hop on the ____" are those who follow trends or vote a specific way simply because a large amount of people are already doing so. In politics, the term is often used to refer to people who try to vote for the candidate who will likely be the winner in election. For these people, they are simply voting for whomever they think other people are going to vote for.

Illusion of salience

The idea of "____ ____ ____" refers to an idea that appears to be very relevant to the voters around election time when it actually isn't. Through surveys, sampling, interviewing, and data analysis, an issue can appear to be salient (especially when surveys and other data-collecting techniques are quite scientific and therefore credible in nature) when it is actually of relatively minimal importance compared to other, more actually salient issues. Politicians, in their electoral campaigns, like to discuss salient interests, as it is important for them to "connect" and appeal to the interests of their voters. However, if they are talking about something they think is salient when it actually isn't, it can possibly be a detriment to their campaign as a whole.

Photo op (photographic opportunity)

A "____ ____" in politics refers to an opportunity for a politician to have a memorable photo taken of himself that is meant to enhance public opinion of him or her. For example, one of the most common types of "____ ____" occurs when a politician takes a photo with a soldier and/or with his family, which is supposed to indicate the politician's support for the troops and thereby enhance public opinion of him or her.

Political socialization

The idea of "____ ____" refers to how people (primarily children) acquire their political beliefs and their attitude towards politics in general. For example, children are usually heavily influenced by their families; most children share at least one political idea/belief with their parents. People are also influenced heavily by schools, the mass media (especially "talking heads"/pundits), religion, political parties themselves, and their workplaces.

Push poll

A "____ ____" is a political campaign technique in which a poll is conducted with little attempt to actually gather or analyze data. Instead, by polling large amounts of people, "____ ____" attempt to spread political propaganda and influence people through carefully crafted poll questions. For example, a poll about abortion might not ask whether someone is pro-choice or pro-life, but rather if he or she supports the "pro-choice policies of candidate X." This type of question not only informs the viewer but also has a chance of subtly influencing them, all under the guise of a simple poll question.

Salient interests

The term "____ ____" refers to those interests most relevant in the minds of the voters during election time. For example, if the economy is doing well, then it will likely not be a ____ ____ of the average voter; however, if the economy is doing poorly, it will almost definitely be a ____ ____ of the average voter. For politicians, it is important to know what the ____ ____ of the voters are, as they can then tune their campaigns to specifically focus on these specific attitudes/views.

Sound bite

A "____ ____" is a short audio clip from a speech/interview/etc. that either highlights an important, positive aspect of a candidate or highlights an especially one of his or her negative characteristics. For example, in a recent speech, Rick Perry couldn't remember the third government department that he wanted to cut; this has become a sound bite used by critics of Perry to highlight his incompetence. However, it could also become a sound bite used by his supporters to highlight his "normalcy" and "humanness." Basically, regardless of one's interpretation, it cannot be denied that this short clip from Perry's speech is a ____ ____ that has spread rapidly over the mediums of the internet, television, radio, and etc.

Talking heads

The idea of a "____ ____" normally refers to a television pundit who spreads his or her ideas on a particular subject through the mass media (in this case, television). Basically, these pundits are called "____ ____," as most people simply see the upper half of their body on television, talking and spreading some sort of political idea; since the majority of the population only knows their head and how it talks (not even in person), the term "____ ____" started to become more prevalent. An example of a "____ ____"/pundit could be Jon Stewart, who spreads his normally liberal ideas by satirizing the conservative party; one of his political counterparts is Bill O'Reilly, who spreads conservative ideas through televised media as well.

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