The U.S. Senate Today
Hailed as "the world's greatest deliberative body," the United States Senate long enjoyed a reputation for high-minded debate and legislative achievement. But the upper chamber of Congress has lost much of its luster in recent years. The Senate's traditional norms of respect and comits have given way to repeated displays of contempt and finger pointing. Cooperation and consensus building have fallen victim to routine obstructionism. In an escalating war for partisan advantage between Senate Republicans and Democrats, the nation's best interests often seem like an afterthought. As this book shows, much of the dysfunction in today's Senate can be linked to a broader trend toward political polarization. Fewer and fewer senators occupy the ideological center, making compromise between Republicans and Democrats increasingly difficult. If that situation persists, it's unlikely that the Senate will regain its reputation as the world's greatest deliberative body.