“Some of what the Gingrich Republicans did was simply smart political positioning, as when they developed and trumpeted their Contract with America as a coherent agenda and set of shared talking points for congressional candidates to rally around. The gambit helped them wrest control of the House of Representatives from the Democrats in 1994. But some of what they did was based on exaggerated charges of dishonesty, immorality, and corruption, using Washington’s scandal culture as a weapon to attack Clinton and his allies.”
And McClellan's solution?
“Congress could help us move beyond partisan warfare and the culture of deception. Today, members are too consumed with raising money, appeasing special interests, and outmaneuvering the opposition to win the next election – all elements of the permanent campaign. A lot of good ideas have been proposed for changing the system in Congress. They are worth pursuing, but leadership can make a change in tone and attitudes happen now. Unfortunately, leaders of both parties are trending away from statesmanship and toward partisanship.”