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Well I think that the most significant change . . . I mean there have been many of them. But the most significant change is that historically in this city, there have been political issues, and there have been issues that have been recognized as having enough significance for the country that they have been dealt with on a different level. To take a recent example, it’s hard for me to think that in the old days of the United States Senate, when the issue of immigration – which has been tearing the country apart – came to the floor finally, that the Senate as an institution would allow that bill to be sidetracked – hijacked, if you will – by the obstinance of a relatively few number of backbench Republican members of the Senate minority. There would have been a sense, I think, in times past that the Senate as an institution was there in order to deal with that kind of an issue, and they weren’t going to let go of it until they had dealt with it. That’s a kind of a deterioration and a loss, in a sense, of institutional responsibility that is so pervasive now. Nothing gets handled except on the basis of “Is it gonna help our side, or is it gonna help their side?” Recorded on: 9/13/07
 

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