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It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American by Thomas E. Mann, Norman J. Ornstein

By Thomas E. Mann, Norman J. Ornstein

Acrimony and hyperpartisanship have seeped into every thing of the political technique. Congress is deadlocked and its approval rankings are at checklist lows. America’s major political events have given up their traditions of compromise, endangering our very process of constitutional democracy. And the sort of events has taken at the function of rebel outlier; the Republicans became ideologically severe, scornful of compromise, and ardently against the tested social and fiscal coverage regime. In It’s Even Worse Than It Looks, congressional students Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein establish overriding difficulties that experience led Congress—and the United States—to the edge of institutional cave in. the 1st is the intense mismatch among our political events, that have develop into as vehemently hostile as parliamentary events, and a governing approach that, not like a parliamentary democracy, makes it tremendous tricky for majorities to behave. moment, whereas either events perform tribal war, each side will not be both culpable. The political method faces what the authors name “asymmetric polarization,” with the Republican celebration implacably refusing to permit whatever that may aid the Democrats politically, regardless of the cost. With disorder rooted in long term political traits, a coarsened political tradition and a brand new partisan media, the authors finish that there's no “silver bullet” reform that could remedy every thing. yet they provide a panoply of precious rules and reforms, endorsing a few strategies, like larger public participation and institutional restructuring of the home and Senate, whereas debunking others, like autonomous or third-party applicants. specially, they name at the media in addition to the general public at huge to target the genuine factors of disorder instead of simply throwing the bums out each election cycle. until eventually electorate learn how to act strategically to gift challenge fixing and punish obstruction, American democracy will stay in critical danger. 

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Additional info for It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism

Sample text

What caused the party polarization? It would be nice if we could boil it down to a single root cause. The pundits’ favorite cause, in spite of impressive evidence to the contrary,16 is the gerrymandering of legislative districts. Redistricting does matter somewhat. It contributes to party polarization by systematically shaping more safe districts for each party, thereby helping to create homogeneous echo chambers, to make party primaries the only real threat to representatives, and to enhance the power of the small number of activist ideologues who dominate in primaries.

Toomey’s insistence that 0465031337-01_Mann+Ornstein 2/29/12 1:54 PM Page 29 T HE N EW P OLITICS OF H OSTAGE TAKING | 29 the maximum marginal tax rate be lowered well below the Bush levels made the offer even worse, meaning an even greater loss of revenue. That made the offer a non-starter. Despite the fact that forty-five senators and a hundred House members from across the partisan and ideological spectrums called for the grand bargain, it was not to be. The presumed Republican deal makers put party fealty ahead of problem solving, showing that near-religious anti-tax cant continues to rule.

S. on review for a possible downgrade. That warning did not faze Cantor or his followers, who continued to push for deeper spending cuts with no taxes. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell weighed in on July 13 with his own reflections on why Congress needed to avoid default, not because it would cause serious economic hardship, but because it could damage the Republican brand, just as the blowback from the government shutdown at the end of 1995 had done: I refuse to help Barack Obama get re-elected by marching Republicans into a position where we have co-ownership of a bad economy.

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