Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann on Wednesday's Access Utah

Hyperpartisanship is as old as American democracy. But now, acrimony is not confined to a moment; it’s a permanent state of affairs and has seeped into every part of the political process. So say political scientists Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein. When their book “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism” was published a few years ago, it stirred up considerable controversy and altered the debate about why America’s government has become so dysfunctional. Now, at the end of the Summer of Trump, we’ll check back in with Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann. We’ll talk about political extremism and polarization, another possible government shutdown, Utah’s caucus and convention system, the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling on Arizona’s redistricting commission, Australia’s carrot and stick approach to increasing voter turnout, and much more.

Norm Ornstein is a contributing writer for The Atlantic, a contributing editor and columnist for National Journal, and a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. Ornstein served as codirector of the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project and participates in AEI's Election Watch series. He also serves as a senior counselor to the Continuity of Government Commission. Ornstein led a working group of scholars and practitioners that helped shape the law, known as McCain-Feingold, that reformed the campaign financing system. He was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004.

Thomas E. Mann is Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution and Resident Scholar, Institute of Governmental Studies, University of California, Berkeley.  He held the W. Averell Harriman Chair at Brookings between 1991 and 2014 and was Director of Governmental Studies between 1987 and 1999.  Before that, Mann was executive director of the American Political Science Association.


Their books include The Permanent Campaign and Its Future; The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track, and, most recently the New York Times bestseller, It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism.