American Democracy Hanging by a Thread: The Senate's Crucial Role
Speaker: Ira Shapiro
The Founding Fathers gave the Senate many functions, but it had one fundamental responsibility--its raison d'etre: to provide a check against a dangerous president who threatened our democracy. Offering an alternative lens on the tumultuous Trump presidency in his new book, The Betrayal: How Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans Abandoned America, Ira Shapiro describes how McConnell's Senate failed catastrophically to protect the American people and American democracy.
Ira Shapiro, a former Senate staffer, Clinton administration trade ambassador, and Pulitzer-nominated author, recently completed his third book about the Senate. Robert Reich called The Betrayal "a gripping narrative and a must read." Lawrence O'Donnell declared it to be "the most important book out there setting the stakes for this year's Senate races."
His previous books about the Senate include The Last Great Senate: Courage and Statesmanship in Times of Crisis, about the Senate during its most effective and consequential period---the 1960s and 1970s, and Broken: Can the Senate Save Itself and the Country?, which describes the Senate’s long decline from its zenith and analyzes the first ten months of the polarized Senate dealing with former president Donald Trump.
Ira’s twelve years as a Senate staffer spanned six years when the Democrats were in the majority, and six when they were in the minority. His legislative accomplishments included playing prominent roles in the Inspector General Act, the Presidential Records Act, and the Foreign Intelligence Act, and work on Democratic task forces to improve America’s competitiveness. After leaving the Senate, he focused his law practice on international trade, focusing later primarily on issues in and with Japan.
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