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Archive of posts published in the tag: Jonathan Rauch

Reduced to Spectators

From The Atlantic, How American Politics Went Insane by Jonathan Rauch Starting in the 1970s, large-dollar donations to candidates and parties were subject to a tightening web of regulations. The idea was to reduce corruption (or its appearance) and curtail the power…

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Politiphobes

From The Atlantic, How American Politics Went Insane by Jonathan Rauch Using polls and focus groups, Hibbing and Theiss-Morse found that between 25 and 40 percent of Americans (depending on how one measures) have a severely distorted view of how government and…

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Restraint and Accountability

From The Atlantic, How American Politics Went Insane by Jonathan Rauch The Founders knew all too well about chaos. It was the condition that brought them together in 1787 under the Articles of Confederation. The central government had too few powers and…

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The Upside of Pork

From The Atlantic, How American Politics Went Insane by Jonathan Rauch Congress has not passed all its annual appropriations bills in 20 years, and more than $300 billion a year in federal spending goes out the door without proper authorization. Routine business…

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Reformed to Death

From The Atlantic, How American Politics Went Insane by Jonathan Rauch Chaos syndrome is a chronic decline in the political system’s capacity for self-organization. It begins with the weakening of the institutions and brokers—political parties, career politicians, and congressional leaders and committees—that…

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Highly Motivated Extremists

From The Atlantic, How American Politics Went Insane by Jonathan Rauch The use of primary elections instead of conventions, caucuses, and other insider-dominated processes dates to the era of Theodore Roosevelt, but primary elections and party influence coexisted through the 1960s; especially…

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The Upside of a Little Corruption

From The Atlantic, How American Politics Went Insane by Jonathan Rauch Parties, machines, and hacks may not have been pretty, but at their best they did their job so well that the country forgot why it needed them. Politics seemed almost to…

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Political Middlemen

From The Atlantic, How American Politics Went Insane by Jonathan Rauch The informal constitution’s intermediaries have many names and faces: state and national party committees, county party chairs, congressional subcommittees, leadership pacs, convention delegates, bundlers, and countless more. For purposes of this essay,…

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The Unwritten Constitution

From The Atlantic, How American Politics Went Insane by Jonathan Rauch The Constitution makes no mention of many of the essential political structures that we take for granted, such as political parties and congressional committees. If the Constitution were all we had,…

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Political Nihilism

From The Atlantic, How American Politics Went Insane by Jonathan Rauch Of course, Congress’s incompetence makes the electorate even more disgusted, which leads to even greater political volatility. In a Republican presidential debate in March, Ohio Governor John Kasich described the cycle…

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Neutralizing Political Institutions

From The Atlantic, How American Politics Went Insane by Jonathan Rauch Moreover, recent research by the political scientists Jamie L. Carson and Jason M. Roberts finds that party leaders of yore did a better job of encouraging qualified mainstream candidates to challenge…

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The Downside of Reform

From The Atlantic, How American Politics Went Insane by Jonathan Rauch Party-dominated nominating processes, soft money, congressional seniority, closed-door negotiations, pork-barrel spending—put each practice under a microscope in isolation, and it seems an unsavory way of doing political business. But sweep them…

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