Why Congressional Republicans shut down the government

Why Congressional Republicans shut down the government

Ezra Klein boiled down the current situation in one sentence:

“The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics — it is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.”

He’s quoting Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein in their excellent book “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism.” Mann and Ornstein (a Republican and a Democrat) went on to say:

“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.”

Klein says, “the Republican Party’s problem is not that all or even most of its members are so extreme, but that the “silent majority” that knows that governing-by-crisis is bad for the country and bad for the GOP is too scared to take on the party’s activist base.

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