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America’s Dysfunctional Politics: Why Now? What Can We Do About It?

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America’s Dysfunctional Politics

Acrimony and hyper-partisanship have seeped into every part of the political process. Congress is deadlocked and its approval ratings are at record lows. America’s deeply polarized political parties appear unable to function constructively in a governing system that makes it extremely difficult for majorities to act. And the Republican Party has taken on the role of insurgent outlier – ideologically extreme, scornful of compromise, and ardently opposed to the established social and economic policy regime.

On May 9, Brookings hosted a conversation with Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein on their new book, It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism (Basic Books, 2012). Brookings Senior Fellow E.J. Dionne moderated the session; former Republican Congressman Mickey Edwards and USA Today’s Susan Page offered their reactions.


After the panel, participants took audience questions.

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America’s Dysfunctional Politics: Why Now? What Can We Do About It?

On May 9, Brookings hosted a conversation with Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein on their new book, It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism (Basic Books, 2012). The authors, with Brookings Senior Fellow E.J. Dionne, former Republican Congressman Mickey Edwards and USA Today’s Susan Page, discussed how acrimony and hyper-partisanship have seeped into every part of the political process, deadlocking Congress and hampering the parties from functioning constructively in a governing system that makes it extremely difficult for majorities to act.

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