What’s happened to the United States Senate?

February 24th, 2012

It was once referred to as "the world’s greatest deliberative body."  A body who can claim as its members, Daniel Webster, Abe Lincoln, Everett Dirksen, Ted Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Robert LaFollette, Robett Taft and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, just to name a few. Where once great issues like civil rights and war and peace were debated, today it’s become the epicenter of partisan gridlock. What happened and were the halcyon days really as good as we remember?  This is the world into which Ira Shapiro takes us in his book The Last Great Senate: Courage and Statesmanship in Times of Crisis. My conversation with Ira Shapiro: