A conversation with Hendrik Hertzberg, The New Yorker, and John Carey, Chair of the Government Department, on "Our Messed-up Constitution."
Suddenly, everyone agrees that our government is “dysfunctional.” But nobody agrees on who or what is to blame. Tea Party Republicans? “Both sides”? Partisanship itself? “Washington gridlock”? Harry Reid? The Koch brothers’ cash? Obama’s aversion to LBJ-style schmoozing? Maybe it goes deeper. Maybe the fault is not in ourselves but in our constitution, broadly understood: not just the written document but the whole ramshackle structure and perverse incentives of the way we govern ourselves, or try to—everything from the separation of powers to the hydraulics of elections.
Hendrik Hertzberg is a senior editor and staff writer at The New Yorker. According to Forbes magazine, he is one of “The 25 Most Influential Liberals in the U.S. Media.” He is a six-time finalist for the National Magazine Award for Columns and Commentary, which he won in 2006. He is the author of Politics: Observations & Arguments, named as a best book of the year by The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times, and ¡Obamanos!: The Birth of a New Political Era. Hertzberg originally joined the New Yorker in 1969 after serving as an officer in the U.S. Navy. He later worked as a White House speechwriter under President Jimmy Carter and as editor of The New Republic before returning to The New Yorker in 1992. Hertzberg, a Harvard graduate, has also been a fellow of Harvard’s Institute of Politics and its Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy.
Co-sponsored by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center and the Dartmouth Government Department.
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