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

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9780465074730: It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism

Hyperpartisanship is as old as American democracy. But now, acrimony is not confined to a moment; it's a permanent state of affairs and has seeped into every part of the political process. Identifying the overriding problems that have led Congress—and the United States—to the brink of institutional collapse, It's Even Worse Than It Looks profoundly altered the debate about why America's government has become so dysfunctional. Through a new preface and afterword, Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein bring the story forward, examining the 2012 presidential campaign and exploring the prospects of a less dysfunctional government. As provocative and controversial as ever, It's Even Worse Than It Looks will continue to set the terms of our political debate in the years to come.

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About the Author:

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 a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is also the author of a weekly column for Roll Call called ''Congress Inside Out.''He lives in Washington, DC.

Review:

''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.'' --E. J. Dionne, National Book Award nominee

''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.'' --Chuck Hagel, former US senator and distinguished professor, Georgetown University

''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.'' --Tom Daschle, former Senate majority leader

''More than any time 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'd better get to work.'' --Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve

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