David Broder
Journalist, The Washington Post
01:51

Re: How has Washington changed?

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Broder remembers a time when Congress wouldn't leave an issue alone until it was fixed.

David Broder

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David S. Broder is best known for the twice-weekly political column he writes for the Washington Post, where he has been on staff since 1966. Before joining the Post, he worked at the New York Times, the Congressional Quarterly,the now-defunct Washington Star and the Bloomington, IL Pantagraph. Broder appears as a frequent pundit on television programs such as Washington Week and Meet the Press. In addition to the Pulitzer, which he received in 1973, Broder was the receipient of the 1990 Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Colby College. He is the author and co-author of six books, most recently The System: The American Way of Politics at the Breaking Point, with Haynes Johnson(1996). Broder taught at Duke University from 1987-88. Since 2001, he has held a tenured professorship at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park. After receiving his AB in 1947 and his AM in 1951, both in Political Science, from the University of Chicago, Broder served in the United States Army for two years. Ideas recorded on: 9/13/07
Transcript
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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