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Scot Lehigh

The fallout of US extremism

There’s a tendency among voters disgusted by the discord in Washington to declare a pox on both parties, blaming them equally for the partisan rancor and gridlock. Because both sides offer up periodic examples of stubbornness and stupidity, it can be difficult for a casual observer to sort out who is most blameworthy.

And that’s why a new book by Thomas Mann, a senior fellow in governance studies at the center-left Brookings Institution, and Norman Ornstein, a resident scholar at the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute, is an important contribution to understanding today’s politics. Mann and Ornstein are widely respected, even-keeled, non-polemical observers who have studied the ways of Washington for decades, so their observations should carry significant weight with serious people.

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