Editor's note: David Frum is a contributing editor at Newsweek and The Daily Beast and a CNN contributor. He is the author of seven books, including a new novel, "Patriots." The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of David Frum.
Last month, two political scientists published one of those rare op-eds that gets the political community talking.
The thesis of the piece was contained in the title: "Let's just say it: The Republicans are the problem."
In case that was not clear enough, the authors elaborated: "We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional." ...
The piece drew its authority from the authors' identity: Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein, two of Washington's most veteran watchers of Congress. Both men have hard-earned reputations for nonideological independence of mind despite their institutional affiliations: Mann works at the liberal Brookings Institution, Ornstein at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. (Ornstein is a friend of mine, and was a colleague until I was given the heave-ho from AEI in March 2010.)
Now they have backed their provocative op-ed with a new book, "It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism."
Read more from David Frum about why he thinks radicalization of the GOP is a function of changes, not only in U.S. politics, but also in the U.S. economy.