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Author Mann, Thomas E

Title It's even worse than it looks : how the American constitutional system collided with the new politics of extremism / Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein

Publ Info New York : Basic Books, [2012]
 CCRI-Warwick  JK275 .M27 2012    DUE 03-25-15
 PC  JK275 .M27 2012    AVAILABLE
 PC  JK275 .M27 2012    IN PROCESS
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Descript xiv, 226 pages : illustrations, graphs ; 22 cm
text rdacontent
unmediated rdamedia
volume rdacarrier
Note Includes bibliographical references (p. 205-219) and index
Contents Part 1. The problem -- The new politics of hostage taking -- The seeds of dysfunction -- Beyond the debt ceiling fiasco -- Part 2. What to do about it -- Bromides to avoid -- Fixing the party system -- Reforming US political institutions -- Navigating the current system
Note From the publisher. Acrimony and hyperpartisanship have seeped into every part of the political process. Congress is deadlocked and its approval ratings are at record lows. America's two main political parties have given up their traditions of compromise, endangering our very system of constitutional democracy. And one of these parties has taken on the role of insurgent outlier; the Republicans have become ideologically extreme, scornful of compromise, and ardently opposed to the established social and economic policy regime. In It's Even Worse Than It Looks, congressional scholars Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein identify two overriding problems that have led Congress -- and the United States -- to the brink of institutional collapse. The first is the serious mismatch between our political parties, which have become as vehemently adversarial as parliamentary parties, and a governing system that, unlike a parliamentary democracy, makes it extremely difficult for majorities to act. Second, while both parties participate in tribal warfare, both sides are not equally culpable. The political system faces what the authors call "asymmetric polarization," with the Republican Party implacably refusing to allow anything that might help the Democrats politically, no matter the cost. With dysfunction rooted in long-term political trends, a coarsened political culture and a new partisan media, the authors conclude that there is no "silver bullet" reform that can solve everything. But they offer a panoply of useful ideas and reforms, endorsing some solutions, like greater public participation and institutional restructuring of the House and Senate, while debunking others, like independent or third-party candidates. Above all, they call on the media as well as the public at large to focus on the true causes of dysfunction rather than just throwing the bums out every election cycle. Until voters learn to act strategically to reward problem solving and punish obstruction, American democracy will remain in serious danger
LC subject Intra-party disagreements (Political parties)
Political parties
Political science -- Political process -- Political parties
United States -- Politics and government -- 21st century
Add Author Ornstein, Norman J
Alt Title It is even worse than it looks
How the American constitutional system collided with the new politics of extremism
ISBN 9780465031337