National Journal, who you should be reading anyway, has a wonderful piece talking about the decline of the center. Even given the choice of all I wrote in the last week, I’d recommend this one if I had one to offer. This is how it opens:
Not that long ago, Washington used to be a place full of individual, and individualistic, lawmakers who were both capable and willing to defy party labels and the party orthodoxy to make things happen. That was also a world, paradoxically, where party infrastructure mattered more; a place and time when local, state, and national party machinery exerted at least some influence over candidate selection, fundraising, endorsements, and field operations. The irony is that in that era of greater party influence, lawmakers acted less predictably and with less partisan zeal.
Oh how times have changed. Their tracking put moderates from both parties at a near supermajority thirty years ago, then tracks the decline from there over the years… along with several other declining indicators that have coincided with the growth of polarization over the last generation or so.
Check it out at National Journal »