56 minutes | Oct 23rd 2020

Should the Democrats play hardball in 2021?

In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Matt Green joins Julia, Lee, and James to consider whether Democrats should play constitutional hardball if they control Congress and the presidency in 2021. Matt is a professor (and chair) of the Department of Politics at the Catholic University of America. His research focuses on political institutions (especially Congress), state and local politics, and federalism. Matt is the author of numerous books and articles on Congress and is currently working on a research project examining cases of legislative hardball at the state and federal levels. He is also a staff writer at Mischiefs of Faction.

What is constitutional and legislative hardball? Is it a bad thing in and of itself or does that depend on what Democrats use hardball to accomplish? Is it possible to undermine the political system by using the rules authorized by that system? These are some of the questions Matt, Julia, Lee, and James discuss in this week’s episode.

Show Notes

Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, How Democracies Die (New York: Broadway Books, 2018).

Mark V. Tushnet, “Constitutional Hardball,Georgetown University Law Center (2004).

Lee Drutman, Breaking the Two-Party Doom Loop: The Case for Multiparty Democracy (New York: Oxford University Press, 2020).

Keith E. Whittington, Political Foundations of Judicial Supremacy: The President, the Supreme Court, and Constitutional Leadership in U.S. History (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009).

Jacques Derrida, Negotiations: Interventions and Interviews, 1971-2001 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2002).

David Hume, Political Essays, ed. Knud Haakonssen (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994).

Hannah Arendt, Between Past and Future (New York: Penguin Books, 1977).

James Madison, “Federalist 58,” in The Federalist Papers.