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Tom Daschle and Trent Lott are two of the most prominent senators of recent time. Both served in their respective parties' leadership positions from the 1990s into the current century, and they have almost sixty years of service between them. Their congressional tenure saw the Reagan tax cuts, a deadlocked Senate, the Clinton impeachment, 9/11, and the Iraq War. Despite the tumultuous times, and despite their very real ideological differences, they have always maintained a positive working relationship, one almost unthinkable in today's hyper-partisan climate.
In their book, Daschle and Lott come together from opposite sides of the aisle to sound an alarm on the current polarization that has made governing all but impossible; never before has the people's faith in government been so dismally low. The senators itemize damaging forces--the permanent campaign, the unprecedented money, the 24/7 news cycle--and offer practical recommendations, pointing the way forward. Most crucially, they recall the American people, especially our leaders, to the principles enshrined in the Constitution, and to the necessity of debate but also the imperative of compromise--which will take leadership, vision, and courage to bring back.
Illustrated with personal stories from their own eminent careers and events cited from deeper in American history, Crisis Point is an invaluable work that comes at a critical juncture. It is a work of conscience, as well as duty, written with passion and eloquence by two men who have dedicated their lives to public service and share the conviction that all is far from lost.
Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle co-founded the Bipartisan Policy Center and serves as Chair of the Center for American Progress Board of Directors. His books include Like No Other Time, on the 107th Congress, and Critical, on the health care crisis.
Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott is Senior Fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center, co-founder of the Breaux-Lott Leadership Group, and now Senior Counsel at Squire Patton Boggs. Herding Cats is his political memoir.
Jon Sternfeld is a writer and editor living in New York.