Tag: Donnajean Ward

January 16, 2020
January 30, 2018
July 25, 2016

This month’s book is both poetry and criticism, Citizen: An American Lyric. Rankine’s piece is a revolution. A political, a poetic, complex revolution in 169 pages. We look at it through an unusual lens – what should we take away from works of art as we think about governance in America?

January 25, 2016

What is the great tragedy in The Tragedy of Richard II? What makes a good leader – a king, a president? Can Shakespeare inform political discussions today? Listen and see what our guests think.

October 26, 2015

What I Saw at the Revolution is a political memoir for those who don’t usually read political memoirs, a testimony to the power of language in politics. Noonan was a speechwriter for President Reagan, in both of his terms. Join us for a conversation on the power of language in politics and for a look at how our Federal government works.

September 17, 2015

by Donnajean Ward Last year the Bedrosian Center started a new initiative called Policy at the Playhouse as a way to discuss and explore public policy and governance through the lens…

August 18, 2015
July 1, 2015

Written in 1968, Do Androids Dream of ElectricSheep is set in a near-future San Francisco amid vast desertion to off-world colonies. Those remaining on Earth contend with nuclear fallout dust and other dangers. Dick asks fundamental questions in the novel and our discussion touches on just a few of these.

June 5, 2015
June 1, 2015

by Donnajean Ward Last month, from May 17-23, 2015, I was a member of a team taking a group of 15 undergraduates from USC Price to the City of Detroit as…

January 27, 2015

by Donnajean Ward A new initiative, Policy at the Playhouse, at Bedrosian Center recognizes that conversations about governance take place in many different fora and are voiced by many different communities. We said an…

June 16, 2014

by Donnajean Ward At our most recent Bedrosian Center board meeting we talked about the disappearance of civics from school curricula.  So I wasn’t surprised when I typed “civics” into Google…

December 12, 2012

by Donnajean Ward Landmark: The Inside Story of America’s New Health-Care Law and What It Means for Us All By The Staff of the Washington Post In about 200 clear and concise pages,…

November 21, 2012

by Donnajean Ward

Steven Spielberg’s latest film, “Lincoln” may sound like a biopic tracing the life of our 16th president from boyhood to assassination, but instead, it is a film about governance and policy implementation – specifically, the race to pass the 13th amendment to the Constitution which abolished slavery and involuntary servitude. Director Spielberg and screenwriter Tony Kushner (of “Angels in America” fame) dig deep into the minutiae of lawmaking, vote chasing, and diplomacy that went into the passage of the amendment and there is no lack of drama. Because the Emancipation Proclamation was an executive order issued under the war powers act without the consent of Congress, Lincoln had serious doubt that it would survive legal challenges after the war ended –and he wanted the war to end and the union restored. Lincoln held out the 13th amendment to Congress as the straw to break the back of the Confederacy even while hiding the fact that surrender was in the works. So with the clock ticking, the race to pass the amendment was on and the film does a masterful job showing the complex, mundane, and suspect processes that get you to a 2/3 majority. Lincoln began his push for the 13th amendment soon after his re-election and you can’t help but think about President Obama’s re-election and the challenges he faces with his own recalcitrant congress. The Economist magazine sums up nicely the film and the lessons for our own newly re-elected president:

“Sometimes the mundane and messy bits of politics cannot be transcended and instead must be mastered. If Mr Obama missed this lesson during his first term in office, he can sit through it again in Steven Spielberg’s new movie “Lincoln.”