Letters and Politics

A History of Republican Party Insurgencies

With Thomas Mann, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a resident scholar at the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

Mann is co-author with Norman Ornstein of the book It’s Even Worse than it Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism.

About the book: 

Hyperpartisanship has gridlocked the American government. Congress’s approval ratings are at record lows, and both Democrats and Republicans are disgusted by the government’s inability to get anything done. In It’s Even Worse than It Looks, Congressional scholars Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein present a grim picture of how party polarization and tribal politics have led Congress—and the United States—to the brink of institutional failure.

In this revised edition, the authors bring their seminal book up-to-date in a political environment that is more divided than ever. The underlying dynamics of the situation—extremist Republicans holding government hostage to their own ideological, anti-government beliefs—have only gotten worse, further bolstering their argument that Republicans are not merely ideologically different from Democrats, but engaged in a unique form of politics that undermines the system itself. Without a fundamental change in the character and course of the Republican Party, we may have a long way to go before we hit rock bottom.

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