Believe It Or Not, US Senate Was Once Where the Action Was, and Where the People’s Business Was Accomplished

To my high school friend Bruce Johnson: How TRULY WEIRD young people today would think our interest in and obsession as teenagers in the US Senate was, competing to see who could name the most senators and reading the Congressional Record, and going to Washington to sit in on Senate debates, as a form of … Continue reading Believe It Or Not, US Senate Was Once Where the Action Was, and Where the People’s Business Was Accomplished

‘The Last Great Senate: Courage and Statesmanship in Times of Crisis’

"Journalists have called the U.S. Senate an empty chamber; politicians have lamented that the institution is broken?yet the Senate was once capable of greatness. Senators of the 1960s and '70s overcame southern opposition to civil rights, passed Great Society legislation, and battled the executive branch on Vietnam, Watergate, and its abuses of power. The right's … Continue reading ‘The Last Great Senate: Courage and Statesmanship in Times of Crisis’

Who Are the Greatest US Senators in History?

As an amateur student of the United States Senate, I wonder who the greatest Senators in history are likely to be? It's a little easier to determine the greatest senators if they have been out of power a long time. Back in 1957, Senator John F. Kennedy headed a committee that selected these five senators … Continue reading Who Are the Greatest US Senators in History?

Senate Filibuster: A Blight on American Democracy

On news that Senate Republicans are promising to block Obama's appointments, Bruce Johnson writes: I wonder if the Republicans will get really intransigent and try to block WHOEVER Obama names to the Supreme Court just on general principles. If they do, it'll be interesting if the Dems exercise the "nuclear option" they despised so much … Continue reading Senate Filibuster: A Blight on American Democracy

Worst Senator in U.S. History, Theodore Bilbo, Ruled Over DC Like Plantation Overseer

Overwhelming Senate passage of legislation giving DC residents a voting representative in the U.S. House of Representatives reminds me of the long history of the struggle for DC Voting Rights. It was, or should have been, an integral part of the civil rights movement, because of the historic disenfranchisement of African Americans in the district. … Continue reading Worst Senator in U.S. History, Theodore Bilbo, Ruled Over DC Like Plantation Overseer

Unquestionably, One of America’s Most Consequential Senators

Ted Kennedy Is, Surprisingly, In Deeds if Not Words, a Master of Bipartisanship Despite Ted Kennedy's reputation as a doctrinaire liberal, his long and substantial legislative accomplishments have required a strong belief in bipartisanship. He is especially effective at "finding Republicans to work with and sharing the credit, or even letting them have it all," … Continue reading Unquestionably, One of America’s Most Consequential Senators