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In April of 2012, two highly respected political scientists published one of those rare op-eds that gets the political community talking.

The thesis of the piece was contained in the title:

"Let's just say it: The Republicans are the problem."

Media response? Total Denial.

The piece drew its authority from the authors' identity: Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein, two of Washington's most veteran watchers of Congress. Both men have hard-earned reputations for nonideological independence of mind despite their institutional affiliations: Mann works at the liberal Brookings Institution, Ornstein at the conservative American Enterprise Institute.

In case their initial statement was not clear enough, the authors elaborated:

"We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. "In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party. "The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition. "When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country's challenges."


"Hopefully, exposing the connection between the Ku Klux Klan and the Tea Party will alarm and anger decent Americans enough that [Tea Party] candidates and their racially motivated policies will be shunned. However, with the mood of the country becoming more hateful and bigoted toward minorities and non-Christians, it looks like very dark days ahead for everyone in America."
"[Tea Party] groups mask their bigoted philosophy with notions of protecting liberty and returning to the strictest interpretation of the Constitution"

Statesville, North Carolina: "With Memorial Day coming up, what better way to celebrate than by a burning cross of hate. With the decision to constitutionally ban same-sex marriage and civil unions (marrying your sister is still cool so long as you’re her brother), as well as a far-far-right wing radicalized preacher with a penchant for genocide for homosexuals and offering parenting advice to parents of gay children that makes Sharia Law look like the buddy system, North Carolina is just step away from being a combination of Mississippi and Texas. Now it seems residents in Reidsville, North Carolina are getting inundated with fliers inviting them to a May 26th Ku Klux Klan cross burning, which is intended for “white people only.” Apparently the fliers don’t break a single law. Just in case you were curious, it’s evidently perfectly okay and legal to throw a whites-only cross burning party in North Carolina. Just remember to bring your own white sheets and a totally discredited and incoherent manifesto of a formerly imprisoned lunatic. Flyer found in a local resident's driveway: "Join us, the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, for a rally and cross lighting, Saturday, May 26, Harmony, North Carolina. Free Admition [sic]-White People Only. No alcohol, drugs, fighting, glass bottles or weapons. Free on site camping-all major motels in area. Souvenirs. Vendors. Food and beverages for Sale. Cross lighting at dusk-a white unity event. Live country band. Security provided by LWK. Wow, they call it a cross-lighting now? If only the Taliban had this type of PR. And vendors and souvenirs will also be available, just in case anyone was dying to get their hands on a limited edition crotched swastika tea cozy or a bullet that pierced the organs of an innocent black person." --Addicting Iinfo

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