It's hard to believe that "the American people" are so upset about the mild reforms contained in the ACA that they're demanding a government shut down and a default on the national debt to stop it. No wonder Congress' approval rating is the lowest in decades.
If you're interested in figuring out the roots of our current economic, social and political crisis, what it will take to fix it, and how you can be part of the solution, here's a list of 15 recent books you might want to take with you.
America's current predicament is not caused by the depth of our policy challenges but rather the intransigence of extreme elements in one party, exploiting a political system that is poorly suited for effective action absent cooperation between our two parties.
Fearful of appearing biased, the elite political press failed to call sufficient attention to the Republican Party's radical agenda and disdain for facts. The result is that in the name of balance, the press actually put its thumb on the scale, and prevented a true reckoning.
Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann write that much of the blame for the dysfunction in Congress lies with the Republican Party. Sounds like fighting words to me, but the traditional press doesn't seem to want any part of this showdown.
One could almost think treason to describe such behavior, but that firecracker term would distract from the substance, which is: that as loyalty and patriotism go, the Republicans who crow so much about both are, in truth, not much for either.
Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann are well-known in the Beltway. They work at big-time think tanks, appear on television chat shows, and write books and op-eds that powerful people pay attention to. Lately, though, it seems they've become dangerous men.