Crisis Point: Why We Must—and How We Can—Overcome Our Broken Politics in Washington and Across America

Trent Lott and Tom Daschle, with Jon Sternfeld. Bloomsbury, $28 (304p) ISBN 978-1-63286-461-1
Lott and Daschle (Critical: What We Can Do About the Health Care Crisis), two former Senate majority leaders from different parties, pool their combined insights as Washington elder statesmen, to unimpressive effect. They propose to provide a map for escaping a Darwinian political system that has made governing all but impossible. The book is on target when identifying some of the chief factors behind current hyperpartisan dysfunction: an unending campaign season, the corrupting power of money, and the relentless news cycle. In a populist spirit, Lott and Daschle also abhor low voter turnout. They have an admirable vision, but stick to safe, bland themes and comforting examples of past effective leadership. This well-meaning volume overflows with bromides like “freedom is an American value” while minimizing the aggressive lobbying and combativeness that exemplify political life in the nation’s capital. Its calls for public service, collective responsibility, and sacrifice will not halt the vicious pursuit of power or foil the red-toothed political carnivores that both Lott and Daschle know all too well. However sensible and benign, their reflections fail to offer any concrete steps to change the status quo. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/12/2015
Release date: 01/19/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-1-63286-462-8
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