The public rating of Congress has dropped to a near record level. Signs of a possible electoral tsunami abound. In their book, The Broken Branch: How Congress is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track (Oxford University Press, 2006), Thomas E. Mann of the Brookings Institution and Norman J. Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, present evidence that the public’s disapproval is rooted in a highly dysfunctional Congress.
On October 31, they discussed the outlook for November 7 and prospects for post-election improvements in a Congress where party and ideology routinely trump institutional interests and responsibilities. They were joined by Vin Weber, managing partner of Clark & Weinstock’s Washington office and chairman of the National Endowment for Democracy. Brookings Senior Fellow E. J. Dionne Jr. moderated the session.