This was the question I asked right after the 2020 election in a blog post for TPM Cafe. It was also the subject of a 2015-2016 sabbatical book project titled I Call Bullshit: Four Fallacies That Keep Our Politics From Being Reality-Based.
I spent most of my career with nongovernmental organizations—philanthropies, advocacy groups, and think tanks—whose mission is to affect governmental decisions.. And for much of that period I built relationships with Republican counterparts, including leading or taking part in initiatives that looked for common ground. In fact in a previous book that I co-edited, Bridging the Foreign Policy Divide, that's exactly what we did. As time went on, though, I came to share the diagnosis of eminent Congress-watchers Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann: that the Republicans' drastic lurch to the right led to an asymmetric polarization of our politics.
Because I'm a policy advocate by profession, I place a lot of importance on the debate and discourse that is the path to policy decisions. Yet on so many vital issues—from voting rights to healthcare, the economy, and foreign policy—Republicans have clogged the system with utter bullshit.
Political scientists Ornstein and Mann offered prescriptions for our system of governance, fixes for the legislative and electoral processes. As an advocate, I wanted to combat asymmetric polarization by cutting through Republican bullshit arguments and proposals, revealing how divorced from reality they were.
It was my good fortunate that the intellectual forerunner of this project was also a crucial source of guidance and encouragement. Norm Ornstein reviewed my initial concept paper and offered suggestions for how to couch my argument. He also kindly provided a blurb endorsement (see below).
I wrote I Call Bullshit as a policy wonk's book for political junkies. It explains why Republicans never came up with an Obamacare replacement and how they're gaming the election system with voter suppression.
Copyright © 2023 David Shorr -- Policy Advocate & Evaluator - All Rights Reserved.
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