It's Even Worse Than it Looks

It's Even Worse Than it Looks : How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism

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Description

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.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 139.7 x 210.82 x 25.4mm | 340.19g
  • The Perseus Books Group
  • Basic Civitas Books
  • Washington, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0465031331
  • 9780465031337
  • 175,773

Review quote

Paul A. Volcker, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve "More than anytime in my lifetime, the United States is challenged at home and so is our place in the world. When Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein get together to sound a loud alarm about the way our political system is being torn apart, it's time to listen--and listen hard. Then the tough part--how do we restore some sense of common purpose, of working together to make our government work? Mann and Ornstein set out ways to rebuild political bridges, beginning right now. We better get to work." Chuck Hagel, U.S. Senator (1997-2009), Distinguished Professor, Georgetown University "This is an exceptionally important and cogent analysis of America's breakdown in self-governance. It is an urgent warning of the consequences of our intolerant politics and governing paralysis, and ways to fix it." Tom Daschle, former Senate Majority Leader "One doesn't have to agree with every one of Mann and Ornstein's proposals to appreciate the extraordinary contribution to improving governance that they make in this important book. We could do no better than to use it as a compelling blueprint for urgently needed reform. If every member of Congress would read just one book on the subject, my wish is that it would be this one."E. J. Dionne, author of "Our Divided Political Heart"" ""The phrase 'essential reading' does not begin to get at the importance of this passionate warning by two of our very best political scientists about our nation's capacity to govern itself. Mann and Ornstein sweep aside the timid conventional wisdom to inform Americans that our problems are even worse than we think they are. It is absolutely vital that this book's findings and message enter the consciousness and consciences of journalists, politicians and citizens who care about the future of our republic."show more

About Thomas E. Mann

Thomas E. Mann is the W. Averell Harriman Chair and senior fellow in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution. He is a former executive director of the American Political Science Association. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland. Norman J. Ornstein is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and the author of a weekly column for "Roll Call," called "Congress Inside Out." He lives in Washington, D.C. Both are fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. They are coauthors of "The Broken Branch: How Congress is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track."show more
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