William Connelly believes many of the “flaws” in Congress identified by critics arise from the Constitution.

John Samples directs Cato’s Center for Representative Government, which studies campaign finance regulation, delegation of legislative authority, term limits, and the political culture of limited government and the civic virtues necessary for liberty. He is an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University. Samples is the author of The Struggle to Limit Government: A Modern Political History and The Fallacy of Campaign Finance Reform. Prior to joining Cato, Samples served eight years as director of Georgetown University Press, and before that, as vice president of the Twentieth Century Fund. He has published scholarly articles in Society, History of Political Thought, and Telos. Samples has also been featured in mainstream publications like USA Today, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times. He has appeared on NPR, Fox News Channel, and MSNBC. Samples received his Ph.D. in political science from Rutgers University.

Featuring the author William F. Connelly, Jr., John K. Boardman Politics Professor, Washington and Lee University; with comments by W. Lee Rawls, National War College; moderated by John Samples, Director, Center for Representative Government, Cato Institute. Critics argue that Congress has become the “broken branch,” marked by extreme partisanship and few achievements. They prescribe nostrums ranging from campaign finance regulation to redistricting reform to foster compromise rather than conflict on Capitol Hill. Yet the American founders, especially James Madison, believed “ambition must be made to counteract ambition” as a way to limit the power of government. The Constitution itself favors broad consent to laws over an efficient implementation of the will of a majority. William Connelly believes many of the “flaws” in Congress identified by critics arise from the Constitution. Please join us for a lively discussion of how and why the Constitution created a Congress marked by conflict, polarization, and partisanship and why that might be a good thing.