American democracy in peril: The US Senate's crucial role



23 August 2022




Washington DC time: Monday, 22 August, 9.00-10.00pm EDT

Ira Shapiro's recent book, The Betrayal: How Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans Abandoned America, chronicles the US Senate during the Trump presidency. As a veteran scholar and former Senate staffer with bipartisan experience, Shapiro determines that the Senate and its Republican members, led by Mitch McConnell (R-KY), ultimately abandoned late Senator John McCain's (R-AZ) guiding principle 'Country first'. Can the Senate recover its purpose and help resolve legislation to address America's fundamental challenges? What does the future hold for Mitch McConnell, arguably the most powerful Republican Senate leader ever, in the context of the upcoming midterm elections in November? What do the US midterms mean for Australia?

To discuss these issues, the United States Studies Centre hosted a webinar featuring Ira Shapiro and Bill Kristol, editor-at-large of The Bulwark, Director of Defending Democracy Together, former chief of staff to Vice President Dan Quayle and one of the most incisive Republican intellectuals and commentators, in conversation with USSC CEO Dr Mike Green and Non-Resident Senior Fellow Bruce Wolpe.


  • Ira Shapiro
    Ira Shapiro

    Ira Shapiro’s forty-five year Washington career has focused on American politics and international trade. Shapiro served twelve years in senior staff positions in the US Senate, working for a series of distinguished senators: Jacob Javits, Gaylord Nelson, Abraham Ribicoff, Thomas Eagleton, Robert Byrd and Jay Rockefeller.

  • Bill Kristol
    Bill Kristol
    Editor-at-large, The Bulwark

    William Kristol is editor-at-large of The Bulwark. He was a founder of The Weekly Standard. Previously, Kristol led the Project for the Republican Future, an organisation that helped shape the strategy that produced the 1994 Republican congressional victory. From 1985 to 1993, Kristol served as chief of staff to Education Secretary William Bennett in the Reagan Administration and as chief of staff to Vice President Dan Quayle in the George H. W. Bush administration.

  • Dr Michael J. Green
    Dr Michael J. Green
    Chief Executive Officer, United States Studies Centre

    Dr Michael Jonathan Green is chief executive officer at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. Previously Dr Green was senior vice president for Asia, Japan Chair, and Henry A. Kissinger Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and director of Asian Studies and Chair in Modern and Contemporary Japanese Politics and Foreign Policy at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He served on the staff of the National Security Council (NSC) from 2001 through 2005.

  • Bruce Wolpe
    Bruce Wolpe
    Non-Resident Senior Fellow, United States Studies Centre

    Bruce Wolpe is a Senior Fellow (non-resident) at the United States Studies Centre. Bruce is a regular contributor on US politics across media platforms in Australia. In recent years, Bruce has worked with the Democrats in Congress during President Barack Obama's first term, and on the staff of Prime Minister Julia Gillard. He has also served as the former PM's chief of staff.