Examples Of Partisan Polarization

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The extreme partisan polarization and the hostility between Democrats and Republicans that we see in Congress is the product of a long evolution starting in the mid-1960s that has rendered the system a low-functioning machine. In her examination of how the ideological gulf now separating the two major parties developed, Sinclair offers some insights into how today 's intense partisan competition affects the political process, lawmaking and national policy. As Sinclair (2006) describes, the atmosphere in contemporary Washington is intensely partisan and highly conflictual. Congressional Republicans are more uniformly conservative and Democrats more uniformly moderate and liberal than at any time during the past half century. The result is that most important policy and political fights pit most Democrats against more Republicans. Combine that with narrow margins of party control, and the result is highly…show more content…
Sinclair also argues that unorthodox lawmaking in the hyper partisan House now is the norm. Special rules and new floor procedures have been institutionalized. The external political environment of the Senate is essentially the same as that of the House, but those external forces impinge on a body with very different basic rules. She shows, the individualist Senate, a body in which senators aggressively exploited the great prerogatives the rules gave them to further their own individual ends. Sinclair then examines how partisan polarization affects the politics and the process of lawmaking in a chamber with non-majoritarian rules and with members accustomed to exploiting those rules fully. What has been the impact of partisan polarization on the relationship between the president and Congress in the policy-making process? Does the president do better or worse at getting bills in a form he likes from Congress when congressional partisanship is high or low? What has been the effect of increasing partisan polarization on whether the president and Congress
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