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The Resource Madison's metronome : the Constitution, majority rule, and the tempo of American politics, Greg Weiner

Madison's metronome : the Constitution, majority rule, and the tempo of American politics, Greg Weiner

Label
Madison's metronome : the Constitution, majority rule, and the tempo of American politics
Title
Madison's metronome
Title remainder
the Constitution, majority rule, and the tempo of American politics
Statement of responsibility
Greg Weiner
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
In the wake of national crises and sharp shifts in the electorate, new members of Congress march off to Washington full of intense idealism and the desire for instant change - but often lacking in any sense of proportion or patience. This drive for instant political gratification concerned one of the key Founders, James Madison, who accepted the inevitability of majority rule but worried that an inflamed majority might not rule reasonably. Greg Weiner challenges longstanding suppositions that Madison harbored misgivings about majority rule, arguing instead that he viewed constitutional institutions as delaying mechanisms to postpone decisions until after public passions had cooled and reason took hold. In effect, Madison believed that one of the Constitution's primary functions is to act as a metronome, regulating the tempo of American politics. Weiner calls this implicit doctrine "temporal republicanism" to emphasize both its compatibility with and its contrast to other interpretations of the Founders' thought. Like civic republicanism, the "temporal" variety embodies a set of values - public-spiritedness, respect for the rights of others - broader than the technical device of majority rule. Exploring this fundamental idea of time-seasoned majority rule across the entire range of Madison's long career, Weiner shows that it did not substantially change over the course of his life. He presents Madison's understanding of internal constitutional checks and his famous "extended republic" argument as different and complementary mechanisms for improving majority rule by slowing it down, not blocking it. And he reveals that the changes we see in Madison's views of majority rule arise largely from his evolving beliefs about who, exactly, was behaving impulsively - whether abusive majorities in the 1780s, the Adams regime in the 1790s, the nullifiers in the 1820s. Yet there is no evidence that Madison's underlying beliefs about either majority rule or the distorting and transient nature of passions ever swayed. If patience was a fact of life in Madison's day - a time when communication and travel were slow - it surely is much harder to cultivate in the age of the Internet, 24-hour news, and politics based on instant gratification. While many of today's politicians seem to wed supreme impatience with an avowed devotion to original constitutional principles, Madison's Metronome suggests that one of our nation's great luminaries would likely view that marriage with caution. -- Book jacket
Member of
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Weiner, Greg
Dewey number
973.5/1092
Index
index present
LC call number
E342
LC item number
.W44 2012
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
Series statement
American political thought
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Madison, James
  • Madison, James
  • Madison, James
  • USA.
  • United States
  • Majorities
  • Republicanism
  • Federal government
  • Federal government
  • Majorities
  • Political and social views
  • Politics and government
  • Republicanism
  • United States
Label
Madison's metronome : the Constitution, majority rule, and the tempo of American politics, Greg Weiner
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 175-181) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Madison on majorities -- Time and tranquility -- Time and the tenth Federalist -- Constitutional metabolism -- Politics and patience
Dimensions
24 cm.
Extent
xiii, 194 pages
Isbn
9780700628957
Lccn
2011042402
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • ocn757935775
  • (OCoLC)757935775
Label
Madison's metronome : the Constitution, majority rule, and the tempo of American politics, Greg Weiner
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 175-181) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Madison on majorities -- Time and tranquility -- Time and the tenth Federalist -- Constitutional metabolism -- Politics and patience
Dimensions
24 cm.
Extent
xiii, 194 pages
Isbn
9780700628957
Lccn
2011042402
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • ocn757935775
  • (OCoLC)757935775

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