The Second Civil War by Ron Brownstein

November 27, 2007 on 12:25 pm

This book is just out and I am about half through it. Really good so far. It tracks the level of partisanship in the Congress from McKinley (1896) to the present. The subtitle is “How extreme partisanship has paralyzed Washington and polarized America.” Brownstein recently left the LA Times and is now political director of the Atlantic Media Co, publisher of the National Journal and the Hotline.

The rise of partisanship is regarded by some as the root cause of the growth in Independents. It would hard to say there’s not a link, but I personally believe there’s a lot more going on and will be exploring this issue in future articles. I am looking forward to whatever Brownstein might say about this and will report on it when I’ve finished the book. Any comment/reaction/thoughts on the book for IDn Blog would be most welcome. NOTE: David Border (WP) gave the book high praise in his Sunday, Nov 23 article.

Future Elector articles: Independents and the Primaries, Survey Says… and Spectrum. Spectrum will be up on Thursday, Nov 29 and debunks the notion that Independents are all political moderates, as well as offers thoughts on how the Rs and the Ds came to their currrent profiles. Survey Says… will be the first of a number of articles built on a Washington Post/Kaiser Family Foundation/Harvard University survey on Indpendents completed in May of 2007. Independents and the Primaries will be out next week. The skinny on this is that Independents may want to consider registering as of one party or another in order to have a voice in the candidate selection process… Just a thought. Look for the article on Monday, December 3.


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