When two of Washington’s political veterans, two of America’s most respected political observers, write that the political paralysis in American politics is the Republicans’ fault, you need to sit up and pay extra attention. Such clarity is rare in the American capital.
“We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party. “
The two are Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein, from the venerable Washington think tanks Brookings Institution and American Enterprise Institute. On Tuesday they will come out with their book, “It’s Even Worse than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism.” Although Brookings leans towards the Democrats and the American Enterprise towards the Republicans, neither one of the authors can be accused of being partisan.
In an excerpt from the book in today’s Washington Post, they write that it is no longer so that the fault can be found in both political parties.
“The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition. When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges.”
The Republicans are now more conservative than in a century and for American democracy to regain its health and vitality, the Republican Party has to change. However, they note, that is unlikely to happen. Instead, the ideological divide will probably grow after the election this fall.
Sad, but true, words. Read for yourselves!