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Can someone explain Morris P. Fiorina's essay "The Rise of the Washington Establishment"?

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Philip Arrington eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The essay "The Rise of the Washington Establishment" by Morris P. Fiorina is a deeply cynical, although troublingly realistic, look at the United States government's congressional establishment. According to Fiorina, the overriding motivation of politicians, bureaucrats, and voters concerning Congress is self-interest. He does, however, preface his remarks by stating that he is offering nothing more than an unproven theory.

Fiorina opens by establishing what he terms his "cast of characters." By this he means the various groups that he will discuss in his essay. He summarizes how each of these groups promotes their own welfare through the congressional system. The congressmen themselves, for instance, enjoy their high salaries, additional perks, prestige, and power. For these reasons, their overriding motivation and what propels them in their decision-making is reelection. Whether their goals are oriented toward selfish acquisition or assisting the public, reelection is foremost in their...

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