The Commander's Sword & the Executive's Pen: Presidential Success in Congress and the Use of Force.

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Post-force congressional rally effects are presented as a new incentive behind presidential decisions to use diversionary behavior. Using all key roll call votes in the House and Senate where the president has taken a position for the years 1948 to 1993, presidents are found to receive sharp decreases in both presidential support and success in Congress shortly after employing aggressive policies abroad. Evidence does suggest that presidents are able to capitalize on higher levels of congressional support for their policy preferences on votes pertaining to foreign or defense matters after uses of force abroad. But, despite these findings, diversionary behavior ... continued below

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Ragland, James Deen August 2007.

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  • Ragland, James Deen

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Post-force congressional rally effects are presented as a new incentive behind presidential decisions to use diversionary behavior. Using all key roll call votes in the House and Senate where the president has taken a position for the years 1948 to 1993, presidents are found to receive sharp decreases in both presidential support and success in Congress shortly after employing aggressive policies abroad. Evidence does suggest that presidents are able to capitalize on higher levels of congressional support for their policy preferences on votes pertaining to foreign or defense matters after uses of force abroad. But, despite these findings, diversionary behavior is found to hinder rather than facilitate troubled presidents' abilities to influence congressional voting behavior.

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  • August 2007

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  • Jan. 14, 2008, 11:16 p.m.

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  • July 1, 2015, 1:06 p.m.

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Ragland, James Deen. The Commander's Sword & the Executive's Pen: Presidential Success in Congress and the Use of Force., thesis, August 2007; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3926/: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .