Coffee and Conversation: What You Need to Know About American Politics

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When President Obama signed the $1.1 trillion government spending bill on Jan. 17, it was lauded as a sign of progress where there often is none. Spending bills are supposed to be non-controversial, but in the age of Obama, everything is controversial; the mere suggestion of a judicial nominee or cabinet post is a reason to shut down the government and cry about fascism. Congress has reshaped itself so that Republicans and Democrats are more divided by representation than ever. It’s gotten so that during the last national election, Democrats received millions more votes than their Republican counterparts, yet still held only a small proportion of seats in the House.

State legislatures have become carbon copies of one another, taking their cues from bills picked up at the American Legislative Exchange Conference—a group that helps connect lawmakers to lobbyists and corporate interests, which write legislation themselves and simply hand it out to legislators from New Hampshire to Arizona.

And so, we ask ourselves: Does government still even work? That’s the conversation Pulitzer Prize-winning former New York Times reporter Linda Greenhouse, Senate historian Donald Ritchie and political science professor Richard Valelly will engage in at the National Constitution Center’s next “Coffee and Conversation” talk, entitled “What You Need to Know About American Politics.” It’s sure to be a great primer for politics newbies, yet challenging enough to satiate the wonkiest among us. / RANDY LOBASSO

Noon. Free, but reservations recommended. National Constitution Center, 525 Arch St. 215.409.6700. constitutioncenter.org

 

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EVENT DETAILS

WHEN
Friday, January 24, 2014
Recurring: ONCE

TIME & PRICE
- Price: Unknown

FOR MORE INFO
constitutioncenter.org

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