My new column at CJR examines the claim that members of Congress are so divided because they don't spend time together and shows how an excellent story in the Boston Globe illustrates the problems with that hypothesis. Here's how it begins:
Why can’t members of Congress just get along? Critics of polarization often suggest that a key reason for the decline of bipartisanship is the lack of social connections across party lines. If legislators could get to know each other as people, these accounts suggest, they would be able to put aside their disagreements and work together.
It’s an attractive idea—but one that has little empirical support.
Read the whole thing for more.