Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Gridlock Has No Aisle

Top Republican sources have noted that Wisconsin GOP freshman Senator Ron Johnson has not been diligent in building relationships with other Senators and has alienated himself by not reaching out more frequently to colleagues, according to Roll Call.

"He’s an interesting case study of someone who has talked more than he has listened, lectured more than he has developed relationships with his colleagues, and now he’s having a tough time because of that behavior in advancing his policy goals," one senior GOP aide said. "The Senate is still about relationships, and he doesn’t seem to get that."

Sources in the Roll Call article pointed out that even though Johnson has only been in the Senate for just over a year, his behavior now could have lasting effects on his influence in Washington.


  1. This is a rather interesting post in my opinion. I always think about how a lot of what politicians do has political motives, in that their actions are usually an effort to remain popular with their constituency and form a relationship with the people who vote for them. This article makes it seem as if that isn't the only constituency that they need to be popular in. Now you have to be popular with other members in order to get your ideas heard. I'm not sure that this has always been the case. American politics hasn't always been a popularity contest. A lot of prominent early political theorists used pseudonym when they wrote. For instance, the Federalist Papers was written under the pseudonym "Publius."

  2. This is interesting in the context of all of our conversations in class about "the culture of Washington" and whether it is more beneficial to have politicians in touch with their constituencies or in touch with each other. I would like to think that the two ideas are not mutually exclusive and that Senator Ron Johnson is an outlier. Stories like this, however, make me wonder if there is a medium to be found or whether new policy is necessary to create better relationships between both constituents at home and colleagues in Congress.