What's happened to the longstanding traditions of civility and decorum within the world's greatest deliberative body? While the Senate hasn't yet become as rancorous as the House, over the past three decades it has grown noticeably less collegial. In Esteemed Colleagues, leading congressional scholars address the extent to which civility has declined in the U.S. Senate, and how that decline has affected our political system. The contributors analyze the relationships between Senators, shaped by high levels of both individualism and partisanship, and how these ties shape the deliberation of issues before the chamber. Civility and deliberation have changed in recent decades, up to and including the Clinton impeachment process, and the book sheds light on both the current American politics and the broad issues of representation, responsiveness, and capacity within our governmental institutions.
Burdett A. Loomis is professor of political science and program coordinator of the Robert J. Dole Institute for Public Service and Public Policy at the University of Kansas, USA. He is the author of The Contemporary Congress (St. Martins, 2000) and co-author of Interest Group Politics (CQ Press, 1998), now in its fifth edition, and The Sound of Money: How Political Interests Get What They Want (Norton, 1999).