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May 04, 2012


When There Was Too Much Consensus

Ron Brownstein: "In the Washington of the early 1960s that Robert Caro so vividly recreates in his latest volume on Lyndon Johnson, political scientists' greatest concern was not too much difference between the two parties but too little. It's worth recalling the flaws -- and advantages -- of that era as we confront a political order whose greatest challenge is very much the opposite: too much distance between the parties."

"The most common complaint about this period's politics was that it promoted too much consensus. Political analysts argued that the fractures in each party denied Americans a clear choice in elections and made it impossible for either side to implement 'coherent programs,' as a celebrated 1950 commission lamented."














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