What caused the dysfunction in Washington? What has changed, if anything, since the 2012 elections? What we can learn from recent Utah political developments, including the defeat of Senator Bob Bennett and re-election of Senator Orrin Hatch? What should we do to fix our political system? The book by Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein: “It’s Even Worse than It Looks--How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism” caused quite a stir when it was published last year. Mann and Ornstein said that the dysfunction in our government is the result of a mismatch between increasingly parliamentary-style parties and our constitutional separation of powers.
They pinned more of the blame for increasing polarization on Republicans. Their proposed solutions were provocative as well, including mandatory attendance at the polls, changing the political culture through restoring public shame, and restoration of full disclosure to campaign financing. Norman Ornstein is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. He came to Utah for the Sundance Author Series in March. We’ll revisit our conversation with him.