Is Bipartisanship Dead? is a status report on the condition of bipartisanship in the U.S. Senate and includes material from candid, on-the-record interviews with a dozen Democrats and Republicans. The book explores the distinct differences in bipartisanship in Senate committees and on the floor of the chamber and highlights the role of party leaders in promoting or discouraging bipartisan efforts. The book also asks the important question--Is bipartisanship necessarily a good thing?--and provides examples of flawed bipartisan legislation along with the views of critics of bipartisanship. Finally, the book delivers a dispassionate analysis of the vital signs of bipartisanship in the U.S. Senate and examines the constraints on bipartisan action in an era of polarized politics.
“Ross Baker, one of the premier scholars on the Senate, has written a sharp-eyed assessment of today’s legislative process. Through close observation and numerous interviews, Baker shows how hard it has become to find bipartisanship these days, and where there is still hope to find it again.”
—Harry Reid (D-Nevada), Senate Majority Leader
"The only way our system functions is when members of both parties check their partisan hats at the door and work together on behalf of the nation. No one understands the Senate better than Ross Baker. His book provides valuable insight to understand how the Senate has changed and what's needed to fix it."
—Senator Mark R. Warner (D-Virginia)
“This book offers everything one expects from Ross Baker: pithy insight, deep institutional knowledge, and unique access to the Senate. The writing is accessible and downright entertaining. Delving beneath the surface of roll-call votes, readers will come away with a more complete understanding of how and when bipartisanship shapes contemporary legislation, as well as a more nuanced appreciation of the value of bipartisanship itself.”
—Frances E. Lee, University of Maryland
“Ross Baker–a keen observer of the U.S. Senate–has peeled back the layers of the legislative process to reveal whether bipartisanship still has a chance in an era of polarized politics.”
—Donald A. Ritchie, author of The U.S. Congress: A Very Short Introduction
“Fun to read and instructive, not only as an examination of bipartisanship in the Senate but as a guide to how the Senate actually works. . . .The book is particularly useful in illustrating the competing pressures on Senators--balancing electoral, party, and policy objectives in navigating particular issues.”
—Judith Feder, Georgetown University