In the Library of Law and Liberty, James Wallner describes the shift in the American public’s understanding of the Senate’s proper function and responsibilities.
What Is the Purpose of the Senate?
At what point does an observation become a cliché?
When it comes to politics, this matters because it is in those moments when the way in which we think about an issue becomes settled.
That is, the transformation of a telling comment into an uninteresting statement reflects a deeper shift in how we understand the world around us. When what was once considered insightful is treated as banal, the transition from one way of thinking to another is complete.
Consider, for example, how we think about the Senate today. It’s broken. On that, at least, virtually everyone can agree.
James Wallner is a senior fellow of the R Street Institute and member of R Street’s Governance Project and Legislative Branch Capacity Working Group teams. He researches and writes about Congress, especially the Senate; the separation of powers; legislative procedure; and the federal policy process. James joined R Street in July 2017 from the Heritage Foundation, where he was group vice president for research. He also serves as an adjunct professor in the politics department and the Congressional and Presidential Studies Program at the Catholic University of America as well as in the Department of Government at American University.
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