NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- As long-time centrists, congressional scholars Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein have leveled plenty of criticism at both Democrats and Republicans over the years.
Their new book, It's Even Worse Than It Looks, places the lion's share of the blame for Washington dysfunction in the past few years with Republicans and "the new politics of extremism." (Related: What you need to know about the 'fiscal cliff')
They acknowledge that it is "awkward and uncomfortable, even seemingly unprofessional," to place so much blame on one party over the other.
But, Mann and Ornstein write, "we believe our case for asymmetric partisan polarization is strong."
Beyond Republicans, they criticize the press, which they say has wrongly treated the behavior of both parties as equally responsible for Washington dysfunction.
And the authors take the electorate to task for supporting politicians who present themselves as Washington outsiders, without ever questioning whether such candidates simply reject the "essential norms of the republican form of government."
Such norms include having respect for opposing views, acceptance of the opposition party's legitimacy and a willingness to compromise, they write.
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