The Republican Party has become increasingly unwilling to compromise on legislative questions, leading in many cases to gridlock and dysfunction. Last summer's debt limit debacle and the Republican Party's increasing use of cloture motions in U.S. Congress collectively emphasize the lengths to which the party will go to force its agenda.
In the June installment of the American Enterprise Debates and in partnership with AEI's Election Watch series, AEI's Norman J. Ornstein argued that the Republican Party has morphed into an extremist group that employs parliamentary tactics to marginalize its competition, without any regard for problem solving. In so doing, Republicans have forsaken the views of traditional GOP figureheads like Ronald Reagan, Calvin Coolidge and Jeb Bush.
Steven Hayward, also of AEI, countered by pointing out that, for most of its congressional history, the Republican Party would cede ground on pivotal issues to Democrats, who now feel they are entitled to a permanent legislative majority. Republicans recognize that we are at a tipping point in our national history, and they are simply using the historical tools of the Democrats to try to restore their party's principles and to reverse the growth of government.
In the next American Enterprise Debate and Election Watch event, Norman J. Ornstein, resident scholar at AEI and co-author of “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks” will face AEI fellow and Reagan biographer Steven F. Hayward in a spirited debate about whether the Republican Party has become too extreme. Ornstein will argue that Washington, D.C.’s intractable gridlock results from an unbending and increasingly immoderate GOP, while Hayward will respond by claiming that a go-along-to-get-along GOP strategy is a recipe for disaster.