Friday, 19 October 2007

Liar, liar

I ended up doing more of a book overhaul than I planned for the spring. The least change: American Government got all four books I mentioned in the previous post.

I ended up with a net add to Congress, bringing the grand total up to seven books. I will probably emphasize Analyzing Congress as the primary readings for the subjects it covers and demote the overlap in Congress and Its Members to supplemental readings, but I couldn’t get rid of the interbranch and policy stuff from the latter. Other than edition updates, I added a new CQ book, All Roads Lead to Congress, as a complement to Sinclair’s Unorthodox Lawmaking. Never before have my professional interests and hobbies intersected so well.

Southern politics ended up with a net loss in the requirements column and a hold on the total book list length. Jettisoned are Woodard’s The New Southern Politics—I could justify it in a course on contemporary southern politics, but my class isn’t quite that, instead being more of a “REP + parties in the south” syllabus—and Bullock and Rozell, the latter just simply because the group presentations make their readings redundant. Added to the required readings is Black and Black’s Rise of Southern Republicans, because I realized this semester that my readings really didn’t cover anything between 1985 and 2000, especially with Woodard ditched. Bass and de Vries’ Transformation of Southern Politics makes the “recommended” list, joining Key, since I decided to add some reserve readings from it.

Next stop: syllabus tweaks.

QotD, current student edition

One of my southern politics students recently penned her thoughts on the gubernatorial contest for the student newspaper; perhaps it’s my inner “proud professor” coming out, but I thought this passage was amusing:

The other Democrat in the race is Foster Campbell, whose platform consists solely of eliminating the Louisiana income tax and replacing it with a tax on oil and gas companies. Campbell claims that this will result in “the greatest economic [boom] in Louisiana history.” However, Campbell may have taken his populist message a bit too far. Hilarity ensues whenever Campbell compares himself to Huey P. Long. And not in a “I wouldn’t be corrupt like him,” way, but a “he was on the Public Services Commission, too, so I’m qualified to be governor” way.

When Huey Long is held up as the paragon of gubernatorial virtue, you know you may have a problem.

The big drama in these parts is whether or not Bobby Jindal gets over the 50% threshold tomorrow; if he does, I’ll probably need to bring a book or two with me when I work the polls next month (alas, I’m pretty sure we’re going to have down-ballot runoffs anyway).