Politics to the Extreme: American Political Institutions in the Twenty-First Century (BOK)
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Contemporary American politics have produced levels of ideological conflict not seen since the Civil War. Congressional voting records especially illustrate the increasing ideological polarization between Democrats and Republicans in the Senate. In the 95th Senate, conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans overlapped in the center of the political spectrum. A decade later, the degree of ideological overlap had plummeted, and by the 109th Congress it had all but disappeared. The result is the near-complete gridlock the country has experienced over the last decade, resonating from the fiscal cliff to the debt ceiling. Politics to the Extreme brings together leading scholars and experts to examine how ideological warfare infects and affects American political institutions, hindering the ability on our institutions to respond to pressing policy challenges. This incisive and approachable analysis also identifies solutions for bridging the partisan divide and restoring courtesy to Congress.