The longish read for the weekend is this piece by Norman J. Ornstein of the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute and Thomas E. Mann of the Brookings Institute, which mostly leans a bit right of center. Breaking from the usual jaundiced “both sides do it” narrative, they come right out and say Republicans have broken our government:
We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.
The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.
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.
And they also have some very good advice for Big Media:
Our advice to the press: Don’t seek professional safety through the even-handed, unfiltered presentation of opposing views. Which politician is telling the truth? Who is taking hostages, at what risks and to what ends?
Also, stop lending legitimacy to Senate filibusters by treating a 60-vote hurdle as routine. The framers certainly didn’t intend it to be. Report individual senators’ abusive use of holds and identify every time the minority party uses a filibuster to kill a bill or nomination with majority support.
This last point is especially important. A 60 vote requirement to pass legislation in the Senate is not normal procedure. It breaks with over 200 years of precedent and has literally destroyed effective governance. I also strongly urge to read the entire article at the link. They do a good job of not only detailing what’s broken, but also offer useful advice about how to fix it.