I finally got the nerve up to read It’s Even Worse than it Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism by Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein. It required nerve because it looks so bad that the idea that anything could be even worse than that, well… I’ll do a little reporting on some of the findings, starting with this:

“America also needs a concerted effort to ameliorate the impact of the partisan media. The country no longer has a public square where most Americans shared a common set of facts used to debate policy options with vigor, but with a basic acceptance of the legitimacy of others’ views. Little can be done to change the new business models, driven by technology and global economics, that make Fox News’s apprach a clear winner over the old network news apprach. But a semblance of a new public square, one that might never have the reach or audience of the old one, could be a model for civil discourse and intelligent, lively debate.”

Find our argument for why we think The Village Square fits the bill here (published February 2012 in the Tallahassee Democrat).