Synopses & Reviews
The function of the U.S. House of Representatives is to serve as the body of government closest to ordinary citizens, reflecting their needs and desires. Yet, over the past decade, the House's drift from its roots has given rise to Republicans' ability to capture control of the chamber from a 40-year Democratic rule. Factors including House rules that have curtailed dissent and more powerful party leaders perpetuate this national divide This book shows how average Americans have little say over what happens in the House, and what can be done about it.
"In this lucidly written and thoroughly researched first book, Washington Post reporter and D.C. native Eilperin posits that, beginning with Newt Gingrich's nomination as House Speaker in 1994, warlike tactics, manipulation and strategic takeovers have replaced compromise within the House of Representatives, consequently polarizing America's two major parties and leaving the views of its ordinary citizens underrepresented. Eilperin portrays Gingrich as an intimidating, conflicted and sometimes disturbing figure who consolidated Republican power early in his tenure, strong-arming committee chairmen and even soliciting political advice from friend Joe Paterno, the Penn State football coach. To maintain control, the Republican leadership uses loopholes in the system, such as introducing bills so late that representatives don't have time to review them before voting. And the Democrats are shown responding in kind, sticking with their own and ranting bitterly about the Republican House majority. Eilperin's years of experience as a House reporter show in her well-chosen and insightful quotations from lawmakers and commentators, her buoyant prose and the wide scope of her argument. Her portrayal of the fallen House is utterly convincing, but Eilperin ends hopefully, with a look toward what's necessary to restore balance. This exemplary volume is a good bet for anyone wanting an insider's view of America's corridors of power." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The House of Representatives - the people's House - is supposed to most closely reflect the needs and desires of ordinary citizens. But over the past decade, House leaders fearful of losing power have torn the House from its roots. The creation of politically safe, more ideologically-tilted congressional districts through redistricting has cemented this shift and seated more politicians from both the extreme left and right. Fight Club Politics will show how we have come to the point where average Americans have little say over what happens in the House, and what can be done about it.