American democracy was never supposed to give the nation a president like Donald Trump. We have never had a president who gave rise to such widespread alarm about his lack of commitment to the institutions of self-government, to the norms democracy requires, and to the need for basic knowledge about how government works. We have never had a president who raises profound questions about his basic competence and his psychological capacity to take on the most challenging political office in the world.
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Hyperpartisanship has gridlocked the American government. Congress' 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.
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Congress is the first branch of government in the American system, write Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein, but now it is a broken branch, damaged by partisan bickering and internal rancor. The Broken Branch offers both a brilliant diagnosis of the cause of Congressional decline and a much-needed blueprint for change, from two experts who understand politics and revere our institutions, but believe that Congress has become deeply dysfunctional.
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"Republicans Created Dysfunction. Now They're Paying for It." is from the March 08, 2016, Opinion section of The Washington Post. It was written by Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein and narrated by Sam Scholl.
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Congressional scholars Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein identify two overriding problems that have led Congress—and the United States—to the brink of institutional collapse. But they offer a panoply of useful ideas and reforms, endorsing some solutions, like greater public participation and institutional restructuring, while debunking others, like independent or third-party candidates. Above all, they call on the media as well as the public to focus on the true causes of dysfunction rather than just throwing the bums out every election cycle.
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Why does our political system make it impossible even to consider solutions to gun violence? After the massacre in Las Vegas that has so far taken nearly 60 lives and left more than 500 injured, the first reaction of the many politicians who carry water for the gun lobby was to declare it “premature” to discuss measures to keep guns out of the wrong hands.
"Why the Majority Keeps Losing on Guns" is from the October 04, 2017 Opinion section of The Washington Post. It was written by E.J. Dionne Jr., Norman J. Ornstein and Thomas E. Mann and narrated by Sam Scholl.
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