Conservative Think Tank: Mess Is the GOP's Fault
Newt Gingrich, Grover Norquist slammed for radicalizing Washington
By Mark Russell, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 28, 2012 8:00 AM CDT
Newt Gingrich gets blamed for much of the GOP's current radicalism, according to Thomas Mann and Normal Ornstein.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Washington is more dysfunctional than it has been in 40 years, and while Democrats have deserved their share of the blame over the years, today "the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party," write Thomas E. Mann and Norman Ornstein in the Washington Post. What makes their column particularly interesting is that Ornstein is not liberal, but a resident scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, and Mann is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Together, they call the GOP an "insurgent outlier in American politics" because of the party's extremism, antagonism to facts and science, hatred of compromise, and complete opposition to the Democrats' legitimacy.

The biggest two culprits of the Republicans' radicalization over the past 30 years, according to Mann and Ornstein, are Newt Gingrich and Grover Norquist—Gingrich for deliberately making the Capitol dysfunctional in order to stoke and use anti-Washington rage around the country, and Norquist for creating an anti-tax pledge that makes compromise impossible. In response to the GOP's nuttiness, Mann and Orstein call on journalists to stop trying to present "both sides" on the issues, and instead concentrate on "truth," focus on who is "taking hostages, at what risks and to what ends," and to stop treating filibusters like they are routine. Ultimately, though, if democracy "is to regain its health and vitality, the culture and ideological center of the Republican Party must change," they write. And the only way that will happen is if voters start "punishing extremism."

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Apr 30, 2012 3:58 AM CDT
Upon reading the WP article I was struck by the irony - this was the conclusion of a 'think tank'. My only printable reaction was to quote a Jeff Dunham character. Achmed responds to Dunham with a sarcastic "seriously?...seriously?" That made me laugh. This 'think tank' conclusion that the current paralysis in gov and downgrading of the USA's cherished credit rating is the GOP's fault is so obvious one wonders why it needs to be printed.Then,of course, I remember....facts need constant repetition to the GOP as they seem to have so much difficulty grasping them. "seriously?"
Apr 30, 2012 3:10 AM CDT
Scumbag Newser: bananana suggests Washington Post story via Newser's Suggest a Story button ... No "suggested by" credit for bananana C'mon, bros, you're making bananana speak in the 3rd person