A Divided Union delves deep into ten pressing political challenges that former US Representatives Patrick Murphy (D) and David Jolly (R) have identified over their multiple terms in Congress and that continue to plague the American electorate today. In an introduction describing their unique paths to Congress, Murphy and Jolly focus in detail on key institutional barriers they faced in Washington in attempting to do the job voters elected them to do. They introduce us to geographic challenges, demographic change, a polarized media, gerrymandering, the role of money in politics, the structure of primary elections, and several other aspects of political life on Capitol Hill. The core of the book is original analysis by experts who tackle these topics in a manner relevant to both the seasoned political science student as well as the general reader. From the commercials we see on TV to the city council districts in which we live, these concerns shape every facet of our public lives and are distilled here in a careful synthesis of years of experience and research. Contributors include former federal elected officials, political science professors, members of the press, and scholars immersed in their fields of study. While other textbooks may examine similar issues, few have been edited by former members of the U.S. House who have walked the halls of Congress and directly experienced political dysfunction at so many levels – and are willing to address it. A Divided Union is appropriate for all political science students as well as the general public frustrated and alarmed by political gridlock.
Table of Contents
List of Editors and Contributors
Eduardo Gamarra and Dario Moreno
Dario Moreno, Eduardo Gamarra, Rep. Patrick E. Murphy, Rep. David Jolly, and Anthony Kusich
Rep. Patrick E. Murphy and Rep. David Jolly
Chapter One: The Geography of Polarization
Patrick J. Villalonga and Dario Moreno
Chapter Two: Demographic Change
Susan A. MacManus and Anthony A. Cilluffo
Chapter Three: The Polarization of the Media
Chapter Four: Gerrymandering
Chapter Five: Money in Politics
Sean D. Foreman
Chapter Six: The Structure of Primaries
Steve Vancore, Glenn Burhans, Dario Moreno, Anthony Kusich,
and Patrick J. Villalonga
Chapter Seven: No "Regular Order"
Nicol C. Rae
Chapter Eight: Cameras and Legislative Committees
Chapter Nine: The Demise of Relationships in Washington, D.C.
Thomas B. Langhorne
Chapter Ten: The Disappearance of Bipartisan Representation
Rep. Patrick E. Murphy, Rep. David Jolly, Dario Moreno, Eduardo Gamarra,
and Anthony Kusich
Dario Moreno is an Associate Professor in the Department of Politics & International Relations at Florida International University.
Eduardo Gamarra is a Professor in the Department of Politics & International Relations at Florida International University.
Rep. Patrick E. Murphy represented Florida's 18th district, covering the Treasure Coast and northern Palm Beach County, from 2013 until 2017. He is now Executive Vice President of Coastal Construction Group and a Senior Fellow at Florida International University's Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs.
Rep. David Jolly represented Florida's 13th Congressional District, including the communities of St. Petersburg, Clearwater, and surrounding beaches, from 2014 until 2017. He is now Executive Vice President of Shumaker Advisors Florida and a political analyst for the networks and media platforms of NBC Universal.
Praise for A Divided Union
"Over the past several decades, the institutions and norms that our political system had come to depend on have deteriorated as hyper-partisanship has taken an even greater hold. It is vital that Congress – and indeed, the American electorate – rededicates itself to comity and compromise before these necessary principles are lost forever. A Divided Union investigates the deep-rooted causes of our political dysfunction, and proposes solutions that all students of American politics should heed."
-- Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (D-ME)
"The strength of the American character has long derived from our ability to forge consensus and rise to the challenges before us. Yet the growing divide between the parties has hastened the deterioration of our political discourse, as well as prevented us from addressing the vast number of urgent issues we face as a country. It is my hope that the root causes addressed in A Divided Union reignite a much-need discussion on the state of our politics, and that our elected leaders soon rise to the occasion this moment demands."
-- Former Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL)
"This is an immensely readable book that is familiar with the scholarly literature yet doesn’t get bogged down in academic debate that would be superfluous in a reader for undergraduates. The chapter on the impact of the media on Congress is the best short treatment of the subject I’ve seen. In sum, this is one of those rare textbooks that would actually be fun to read."
-- Ross Baker, Rutgers University