It's Even Worse Than It Looks
- How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism
- Narrated by: William Hughes
- Length: 6 hrs and 46 mins
- Unabridged Audiobook
- Release date: 06-04-12
- Language: English
- Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Regular price: $17.47
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Here, 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, with a governance 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 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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Scott on 09-03-12
A No-Nonsense Look at our Current Political Crisis
If you REALLY care about this country, regardless of party affiliation you should get this book. Filibusters and secret "holds" are being put on perfectly decent Senate legislation just to gum up the works by both parties. It is all for partisan or personal gain and has already caused a downgrade of the U.S. credit rating for the first time in history.
It's not all doom and gloom. The authors offer some powerful ideas to get us out of this mess including ways to get MORE of us to vote, not less. Required reading for anyone who puts country before party as they should.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
By Catherine on 10-12-12
but better than the title makes it sound
two old hands at political observation and analysis present a detailed story of what those of us who follow politics with interest and increasingly with despair have noticed. their analysis is cogent and convincing. despair is mitigated by their suggestions for reform, most of which would only take a congress where the republicans agree to cooperate to implement (!!!). a very pleasing narration by William Hughes helps the medicine go down.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful