Is the Republican Party too extreme?
The American Enterprise Debates and Election Watch

Video

Event Summary
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.
--Daniel Hanson

Event Description

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.

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About the Author

 

Steven F.
Hayward
  • Steven F. Hayward was previously the F.K. Weyerhaeuser Fellow at AEI. He is the author of the Almanac of Environmental Trends, and the author of many books on environmental topics. He has written biographies of Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan and of Winston Churchill, and the upcoming book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Presidents. He contributed to AEI's Energy and Environment Outlook series. 

 

Norman J.
Ornstein
  • Norman Ornstein is a long-time observer of Congress and politics. He is a contributing editor and columnist for National Journal and The Atlantic and is an election eve analyst for BBC News. He served as codirector of the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project and participates in AEI's Election Watch series. He also served as a senior counselor to the Continuity of Government Commission. Mr. Ornstein led a working group of scholars and practitioners that helped shape the law, known as McCain-Feingold, that reformed the campaign financing system. He was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004. His many books include The Permanent Campaign and Its Future (AEI Press, 2000); The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track, with Thomas E. Mann (Oxford University Press, 2006, named by the Washington Post one of the best books of 2006 and called by The Economist "a classic"); and, most recently, the New York Times bestseller, It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism, also with Tom Mann, published in May 2012 by Basic Books. It was named as one of 2012's best books on pollitics by The New Yorker and one of the best books of the year by the Washington Post.
  • Phone: 202-862-5893
    Email: nornstein@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Jennifer Marsico
    Phone: 202-862-5899
    Email: jennifer.marsico@aei.org

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