Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives
By Robert Draper
Free Press, 2012. 327 pgs. Nonfiction
In this book, the author examines the state of the People's House and follows a number of members of the House of Representatives following the 2010 election. The addition to the House of a number of people who had never held office before, many of whom identified with the Tea Party movement, resulted in a definite shift in the atmosphere of the chamber and the tone of the debate. The author did a good job of describing the individual members as persons with complex motives and worldviews. Freshly minted representatives, hell bent on imposing a rigorous fiscal discipline on the federal government, quickly discover just how hard it is to make change happen, even within the ranks of the Republican Party. The passions of the Tea Partiers both motivate and blind them to the perspective of others or the realities of divided government. I liked the fact that neither party were demonized. Individuals are treated as flawed but sincere in their desire to fulfill their goals and advance the public good as each defined it. For anyone who is fascinated by politics and government, this is a good choice.