Crackup

English | 2022 | ISBN: 0190913827 | 359 pages | epub | 793.51 KB

A consistently surprising analysis of how and why the Republican Party imploded in the last decade, setting the stage for the rise of Trump and extremist candidates more generally. In Crackup, the eminent American politics scholar Samuel L. Popkin tells the story of how the Republican Party fractured into uncompromising groups with irreconcilable demands. Changes in campaign finance laws and the proliferation of mass media opened the way for newly energized groups to split the party. The 2002 "McCain-Feingold" campaign finance reform bill aimed to weaken the power of big corporations and strengthen political parties by ending corporate donations to the parties. Instead, it weakened legislative leaders and made bipartisanship toxic. Popkin argues that moving money outside the political parties fueled the rise of single-issue advocacy groups and Super PACs funded by billionaires with pet issues. This allowed self-promoting politicians to undermine colleagues with an…