The implication of this trend? Americans may want to check the power of their Congress but this division makes the types of compromises necessary for any agreement even more unlikely–with extremes on both sides dominating even more:
“We don’t have a Congress anymore, we have a parliament,” said Representative Jim Cooper of Tennessee, one of the last Blue Dogs. “We moderates are an endangered species, but we are also a necessary ingredient for any problem solving.”
The House is more polarized than at any time in the last century, according to models built by Keith Poole, a professor of political science at the University of Georgia, and Howard Rosenthal, professor emeritus of social sciences at Princeton. The last time the Senate was this divided, according to the joint research, was a century ago.
While Americans say they want an end to partisan bickering in Washington, Mr. Cooper said, they vote to maintain the system that has created it. “It’s like Hollywood movies,” he said. “Most people say there is too much violence and sex, but those are the only tickets that sell.”