Forty years ago the Watergate scandal deeply wounded Americans’ faith in government. Since then, good-government reformers and big-government opponents have been on a shared mission to make everything transparent. The problem is that too much light is scaring Congressmen away from making the tough choices necessary to govern in the national interest. It’s no secret that the backrooms are where things get done and where politicians can collaborate without reprisal. In City of Rivals, Grumet boldly argues that the answer lies in harnessing partisanship, not spinning in its mud.
America is once again gripped by fear that we are falling behind and fast. Unlike the Soviet threat that shook our nation a half century ago, the menace today is homegrown. On issues of national importance, the two parties in Congress appear incapable of working together. Whether the threat is competition from China, crumbling infrastructure, or rising debt, Washington’s legitimacy to govern and capacity to solve problems are in doubt.
The Bipartisan Policy Center’s president, Jason Grumet, tackles this issue head-on by challenging the conventional diagnosis of the current gridlock. Rather than lamenting our differences, Grumet offers practical steps to govern a polarized nation, and he explores the unintended consequences of past reform movements. It’sa must-read for all who care about our country’s future.