Review: The Broken Branch–How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track (Institutions of American Democracy)

5 Star, Congress (Failure, Reform), Corruption, Politics

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Amazon Page

Helpful to Anyone Planning to Vote in November 2008,

August 9, 2006
Thomas E. Mann
I have long understood the original terrible sin of Congress, the obscene corruption. I did not understand party line corruption (forcing Members to vote the party line instead of for their constituents until I read Tom Coburns Breach of Trust: How Washington Turns Outsiders Into Insiders.

This book helped me understand that the third sin is that partisan politics have turned Members into (the author's term) “footsoldiers for the President” and thus a complete abdication of their role as the Article 1 (i.e. first) branch of government.

This book helped me understand that it is the long-serving Members who are often shaking down lobbyists and extorting funds from people, not the other way around, where bribes are offered by the lobbyists.

I read this book after reading David Broder's article in the 8 August 2006 issue of the Washington Post, an article entitled “Contempt for Congress” and summarizing the utter disdain that the Governors–both Republican and Democratic–have for most Members. The Congress is indeed broken and dysfunctional. There is a tide sweeping against all incumbents, regardless of party, in this year.

Hence, as Congress reconvenes on 5 September for one last session ending in early October, it could be quite fruitful for as many voters as possible to read this book and Tom Coburn's book, and demand of Congress two things in this next session: Electoral Reform, and a Public Intelligence Agency independent of both the President and Congress. We have a window for reform. This book is one of two pillars for those who wish to “raise the roof.”

See also, with a review, Running on Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It.

It is vital that the 100 million voters who have “dropped out” of the broken partisan political scene come back in 2008.

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