Patt Morrison for May 21, 2012

How bad is hyper-partisanship in the US government?

Basic Books

Of the two major political parties in the United States, which one is more “scornful of compromise; unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of legitimacy of its political opposition”?

If you guessed the Republican Party, Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein would say you are correct. In their book “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism,” from the left and the right, Mann and Ornstein explain how our existing political system is operating in a state of adversarial culture war that threatens the very fabric of American society.

The authors also put forth a plan to reform what they deem to be a deadlocked and dysfunctional government, which necessitates reeling in extreme Republicans in order to balance out the two major parties.

It's Even Worse Than It Looks - Excerpt
Excerpted with permission from It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism, by Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein. Available from Basic Books, a member of The Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2012.

WEIGH IN:

Has political hyperpartisanship brought the U.S. to the brink of institutional collapse? How fair is it for Mann and Ornstein to place more blame on Republicans for the nation’s increasingly extreme adversarial political culture? Are Democrats genuinely more willing to compromise than Republicans?

Guest:

Thomas Mann, senior fellow, The Brookings Institution; former executive director, American Political Science Association; co-author, “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism”


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