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261 of 298 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing Verity, Sad and Dangerous Message, May 1, 2012
This review is from: It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism (Hardcover)
Two respected policy analysts, one from a liberal think tank, the other from a conservative one, have stated for us news junkies a verity which is obvious, yet not well understood in its implications for conducting future sane policies.

As a former Republican when moderate Republicans were uncricified in that Party, I can well appreciate their concerns as stated in their May 1, 2012 Washington Post article: "It is clear that the center of gravity in the Republican Party has shifted sharp0ly to the right. Its once-legendary moderate and center-right legislators in the House and the Senate---think Bob Michel, Mickey Edwards, John Danforth, Chuck Hagel--are virtually extinct."

The implications for that extremism are dramatic. Inability to compromise or to make any connections with the other party means (again from the Post piece) "When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country's challenges."

In short, they write, "The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in Americn politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of is political opposition."

They mention the charge reminisent of Joe McCarthy from Congressman Allen West (R-Fl) who stated that "78 to 81" Democrats in Congress are members of the Communist Party, regretting that virtually no Republican challenged that absurd comment.

This situation produced almost complete gridlock, as issues such as our obscenely huge debt, health care reform and climate change are lost in Republican embrace of ideologies which lead to no decisions.

This stark book needs wide embrace by independent voters who will determine the next election.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 6, 2012 9:41:46 AM PDT
Mitch says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on May 6, 2012 2:12:23 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 6, 2012 2:13:20 PM PDT
Mad Dog says:
Possibly the most moronic of your many posts. What is your alternative to "government"? Anarchy? And who exactly are those who put us on the precipce whom you will never forget? Tell me...do you like paved roads, electrical power, reasonably safe food and water, medicare, the chance to vote? The way the government runs, and the way elections are decided are the problem. Read Robert Caro's books and you'll see what I'm talking about. But as foul as politics was in LBJ's days legislation was written and passed and there was a degree of statesmanship (did I say that about the Kennedys and LBJ? My bad!) which no longer exists. Independents might save America (I'm not sure from what) if they could put together a remotely realistic program and find a credible candidate.

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 4:14:14 PM PDT
G. Gerard says:
Right. Yea, sure. Whatever.

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 11:40:47 AM PDT
Susan B. says:
The Govt is the people, not a separate entity with a life of it's own. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE study your civics. When you elect people to office that tell you time and time again they hate government because it's broken, then they put people in to do more damage, you should not be surprised when they turn to you and say, "see, told you it was broken."

In reply to an earlier post on May 23, 2012 8:51:20 AM PDT
Susan B. says:

"The Govt is the people, not a separate entity with a life of it's own. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE study your civics. When you elect people to office that tell you time and time again they hate government because it's broken, then they put people in to do more damage, you should not be surprised when they turn to you and say, 'see, told you it was broken.'"

The government is the people only in theory. In fact, elected representatives need MONEY to get elected, which makes them beholden, not to the people in general, but to large donors.

Posted on Dec 24, 2012 11:28:10 AM PST
Somehow, people seem to think that only the Republicans are leaning to the extreme right. What they DON'T see is that the Democrats are leaning to the Extreme LEFT and that is far worse. Also, bi-partisanism is not a great thing - for if everyone agrees, we will be lost. The sides shouldn't agree; they should try to come to an agreement, but the Democrats always want the Republicans to be the side that moves (gives in).

Posted on May 20, 2013 7:02:57 PM PDT
M. Prior says:
If you liked "It's Even Worse Than It Looks," please consider my newly released book "Couch Potato Politics: Why America Is Screwed Up And Why It's Our Own Damn Fault."

Couch Potato Politics

I would be happy to email you a free copy for your review. Please email at: infoATcouchpotatopolitics()net

Posted on Sep 16, 2013 4:52:28 PM PDT
Enigma says:
>>>Two respected policy analysts, one from a liberal think tank, the other from a conservative one,

Ummmm, okay but both Mann and Ornstein are liberals. They are registered Democrats, support democratic politics, Hell Mann from the "conservative think tank" used to work for two liberal congressmen. So let's drop the pretense that this is somehow a balanced book it isn't. It's a highly partisan book.

>>>As a former Republican when moderate Republicans were uncricified in that Party, I can well appreciate their concerns

There really is only one problem with their concerns, they don't comport very well with reality.

Just take a look at these positions:

Lower taxes on the Wealthy
Increased Defense Spending
Pro-Life
Pro-Abstinence
Lower corporate income tax
Increase Spending on hi-tech weaponry
Partial Privatization of Social Security
Decrease Capital Gains

Sounds pretty right-wing doesn't it - the funny thing is that was the Democratic Platform in 1960 when JFK ran for president. The Republicans haven't been pulled to the right, that's a talking point that is repeated over and over but it's BS. The fact is the Republicans of today would fit very nicely in the 1960 Democratic Party. The Democrats of today would be considered hard left radicals, so yes the parties have moved but they both have moved to the left.

Think about it rationally, Senator Joe Liebermann was kicked out of the Democratic Party because his life-time voting record dropped to 89% for the Democrats. John McCain's lifetime voting records is around 73% while Mitt Romney's record, if you just look at his governorship would be closer to 50%. There are moderates in one party but they are not allowed in the other.

>>>The implications for that extremism are dramatic.

I agree but we need to look at this from a realistic viewpoint and not a partisan one.

>>>"The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in Americn politics.

Proof please - of that's right there is none. Gallup runs polls twice a year and the majority of Americans are center right to right wing while the minority is left wing.
When UCLA boils down party positions without the flowery BS, Americans pick the GOP side 70% of the time, 30% of the time they say equal and only 20% they pick the Democrats side. So again, let's look at this realistically, who is the insurgent outlier and who represents Americans ideals more closely.

>>>This stark book needs wide embrace by independent voters who will determine the next election.

As an independent (I actually used to be a Democrat and used to work for the Democratic Party) I found this book to be to hyper-partisan. I agree there is gridlock and that the parties won't compromise but simply demanding that one party accept what the other one wants is not the answer. If it is let's agree that the Democrats should stop what they are doing and give the Republicans what they want.

Cheers

Posted on Jan 21, 2014 9:45:26 AM PST
It is clear that there is a concerted effort to paint the GOP as "extreme" but I am not buying it. You say that issues such as "our obscenely huge debt, health care reform and climate change" are not addressed because of "Republican embrace of ideologies which lead to no decisions." This is just a brazenly dishonest charge.

Even acknowledging Bush's propensity to spend, the "obscene debt" is almost entirely due to lack of spending restraint among Democrats. If you want to argue for deficit spending for economic reasons like Paul Krugman does, then do so. But don't point to "obscene debt" and blame the Republicans when the ONLY place you find any resistance to the debt is among Republicans. And no, raising taxes has very little effect: the vast bulk of our debt comes from the spending side of the ledger.

I am also getting *so* tired of the whole "Republicans are anti-science because...climate change!" meme. Seriously, you can count me in the camp that understands and is concerned with AGW - it is real and will offer challenges. But it should be *painfully* obvious that there is essentially nothing that Washington can do to change this. The sum total of their efforts so far have been 1) to enrich a few insiders with custom-made laws for their benefit and 2) to slow down economic growth and leave us less capable of adapting to the challenges. It is also painfully clear that the AGW Extremists aren't only the Republican side - the Left is filled with them as well. Any reasonable reading of the science (including the latest IPCC report) indicates that the dire predictions of "environmental collapse" are nothing more than fabrications meant to drive politics in the direction favorable to Democrats. Again, there *are* challenges - but they won't be met by simply enriching a few Carbon-traders with Beltway connections.

And health care reform? You dare to point to health care reform as an example of Republican obstructionism? Isn't it again *painfully* obvious that obstruction of the implementation of the ACA is exactly what rationality demanded? And what happened when the Republicans did just that? They were painted as extremists!

In the end, you - and the authors - are simply engaged in a smear campaign. This entire effort is exactly the kind of "motivated reasoning" that you accuse Republicans of pursuing.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2014 10:22:23 AM PST
MyMeMine says:
I see what you did there. Lying and making stuff up as you go. Well played angry republican, well played.
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