July 31, 2012

Yeah! What They Said; or I Can Stop Now, Right?

I was recently reminded that Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute and Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution got together a while back and wrote a book about how truly f@*%ked up Washington is right now.  Their editor chose an appropriate title for the book, and it says it all:
It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism

The book lines up quite closely with the general thesis of this blog.  At least the more politically minded posts, anyway.  (I don't think messrs Ornstein and Mann have a lot to say about Quantum Mechanics, or fart jokes in their book.)  So, if you are looking for reasonable solutions to the morass that we find ourselves in, but want it in book form written by actual writers with actual things to say, this is the book for you.

What I, and surely many of you, find somewhat comforting, is the fact that these two gents are employed by the favorite think tanks of both the left - Brookings - and the right, AEI.  Maybe there is hope yet that calmer, more rational minds can come together to find the areas of common ground between D's and R's.

Here they are being interviewed by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, or you can get a distilled version of the book from their eminently reasonable May 14th op-ed in the Washington Post (Note that they dismiss the idea that a third party can save us, too.  Though, I probably like the idea of four parties a lot more than they do.)

So, I can stop bemoaning how awful Congress is, right?  This book will trigger a wave of reasonableness and cooperation, right?  Does publication of this book mean and end to DI? When, however, I step back and observe that Mann and Ornstein are of a certain age, are life-long pundits, and have been tight with lawmakers for decades, it occurs to me that their book won't get a lot of traction among the readers of RedState.com nor DailyKos.com, let alone regular viewers of Fox News and MSNBC.

I suspect, therefore, that there will be a few windmills left to tilt* at, even if these guys stay at the top of the Amazon and NYT best sellers lists for months.

*Those of you at home playing the fun new DI drinking game: Trav Makes a Don Quixote Reference can now raise your shot glasses and toss one back.

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