Working Across the Aisle: Stories from the California State House

By Daniel Weintraub

Is bipartisanship dead in California? If it's alive, it is definitely on life support. Lopsided political districts, term limits and highly partisan primaries have combined to create a Legislature in which the two parties stare each other down like warring nations on either side of a disputed border.

The Great Divide

"You Lie!"

These words shouted at President Obama during a fall 2009 health care speech to Congress raised the hackles of legislators on both sides of the aisle and prompted a call for greater civility in our national political debate.

And for a while, it seemed like things were calming down.

Can We Talk?

For some time now our national discourse has grappled with the tone and intractability of sharply opposing worldviews. Pundits and legislators occupy hardened positions, lobbing insults and dire warnings across a razor-wired divide that seems too deep and treacherous to cross.

Some characterize this state of affairs as a culture war.

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Saint Mary's College of California
1928 Saint Mary's Road
Moraga, CA 94575
(925) 631-4000
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