"Kill Switch: The Rise of the Modern Senate and the Crippling of American Democracy"

Jan 14, 2021

Our guest on ST is Adam Jentleson, the public affairs director at Democracy Forward and a former deputy chief of staff to Senator Harry Reid. Jentleson joins us to discuss his new book, which argues that far from reflecting the intent and design of the Founding Fathers, the U.S. Senate -- from John C. Calhoun in the mid-1800s up through Mitch McConnell today -- has been transformed by a tenacious, often extremist minority of white conservatives. Per The New York Times: "An impeccably timed book.... Jentleson explains how 'the world's greatest deliberative body' has come to carry out its work without much greatness or even deliberation, serving instead as a place where ambitious legislation goes to die.... [Jentleson's] intimacy with the Senate turns out to be his book's greatest strength. [He] understands the inner workings of the institution, down to the most granular details, showing precisely how arcane procedural rules can be leveraged to dramatic effect."