Norman Ornstein, USA TODAY

Norman Ornstein


Washington, DC, United States

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  • AEI
  • National Journal

Recent articles by Norman:

The Capitol attack could have crippled America's government. We need a backup plan.

After 9/11, our ideas for how our government could survive through crisis were ignored. COVID and the Capitol riot show we need them more than ever. → Read More

Enlist George W. Bush and Al Gore to help us prevent a Trump-Biden nightmare in 2020

We don't want to relive the Bush-Gore election debacle of 2000. Bring them back to lead a commission that will make sure America doesn't have to. → Read More

Republicans are hobbling Congress amid the coronavirus so Trump can keep abusing power

Republican resistance to operating remotely leaves us without a Congress just when we need it most, to fight coronavirus and look into Trump failures. → Read More


Alan Krueger, Birch Bayh, and AEI

The deaths of two individuals this week remind us of some important things in life. → Read More

Turn Election Day into Election Weekend. We need more voter turnout, not less.

Our right to vote is under siege. Fight back by ending the Tuesday tradition. We're no longer a nation of farmers worried about Market Day. → Read More


The constitutional crisis that almost was

Our government’s vulnerabilities have been starkly evident since the attacks on September 11, 2001. The horrific shooting last week on a group of Republican lawmakers should be a wake-up call for Congress to act and ensure the continuity of our constitutional framework. → Read More


Vital statistics: Providing data on Congress for over 30 years

Less than one week into the 115th Congress, questions abound about the institution’s rules, procedures, and membership. Fortunately, Brookings released today an updated version of Vital Statistics on Congress, a collection of data covering a wide range of topics related to our first branch of government. → Read More

Slashing IRS Budget Carries a Heavy Price

Cutting the agency's funding will result in a serious drop in revenue due to fewer audits and less oversight—which will worsen our federal budget deficits. → Read More

Obama's Challenge: Building a Bridge Over America's Racial Divide

It is now possible to see a future where the GOP is clearly and distinctly a white party, while Democrats are a majority-minority party. → Read More

The Pernicious Effects of Gerrymandering

If the Supreme Court decides to stop letting voters take control of the redistricting process away from partisan legislators, polarization can only get worse. → Read More

Will Congress Use Executive Order on Immigration as Excuse for More Gridlock?

I hope President Obama issues his order but delays its effective date until early next year, giving the House one last chance to do something on the issue. → Read More

'Alpha House' Blends Its Political Satire With Humanity

I come away from the show feeling not naked contempt for the pols but sympathy for the pushes, pulls, and pressures that come with their jobs. → Read More

Plunging Oil Prices Set Off a Global Chess Game

Huge implications of a lower cost per barrel will make John Kerry's job even tougher. → Read More

If Republicans Win the Senate, GOP Factions Could Battle for Soul of Party

The tension between setting out a positive agenda for governing and the pressure to continue to block and obstruct will be very, very high. → Read More

What If Independents Keep Senate Majority Status in Flux?

Imagine if they aligned to form a Centrist Caucus, providing the votes needed to top 50 percent in return for commitments on a list of priorities. → Read More

Our Downward Spiral Since Citizens United

The corrosive influence of unlimited money in politics continues to grow. → Read More

Trust Is Not Enough to Break Through Washington Gridlock

Reality check: The bigger problems aren't because individuals don't get along; they're because of larger factors in the political culture. → Read More

It's Time for Congress to Treat Football Like the Business It Really Is

Lawmakers need to reconsider both the NFL's antitrust exemption and the farcical nonprofit status of the league. → Read More

Balancing Power Over Life and Death

Michael Brown and Ferguson, Mo., have put questions about police misconduct and unrestrained power squarely in the public eye. → Read More

Congress Returns to Doing Nothing

It is no great surprise that with elections looming, Congress will avoid the big issues, keep up its scandal focus, and be in Washington as little as possible. → Read More