What Ever Happened to Our Transpartisan Future?

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Media Outlet: Vox

Heather Hurlburt wrote for Vox’s Polyarchy about transpartisanship:

A year ago, a growing movement of advocates and analysts declared that a new model of policy change had the potential to break gridlock and scramble partisan alliances at the federal level, and indeed was already doing so at the state level. Partisan polarization, and the rise of issue-based purity tests for party leaders, had reduced incentives for centrist establishment leaders to reach across the aisle for coalition building. With the parties closely matched, however, the opportunity to build winning cross-party coalitions still existed — and so that opportunity would be seized by outsider factions in both parties, through a form of cross-party organizing that got the wincingly awkward name of transpartisanship.
Community organizers and think tank types alike predicted a transpartisan future in which weakened party establishments would cede initiative to empowered coalitions on a growing range of issues, perhaps leading to broader political realignments or a new golden age of dealmaking, civility, and public engagement.

Author:

Heather Hurlburt is director of the New Models of Policy Change initiative at New America's Political Reform program.