Ron Brownstein, one of the speakers at next week's AWB Policy Summit, thinks so.
Crosscut's David Brewster heard Brownstein speak recently in Seattle on the subject of political polarization, and he wrote about it this week.
Brewster lays out Brownstein's "sobering" perspective on the history of bipartisanship in Congress, its post-1988 demise and what it means for the future.
Brownstein believes that a purging of moderates from both major parties plus the end of the seniority system in Congress -- replaced by a system in which the party caucuses elect chairs -- contributed to a drift into a quasi-parliamentary system of government in which members are required to stand with their parties.
The good news is that this type of hyperpartisanship has occurred before in America and the country has broken out of it.
The bad news is that one time it took the Civil War to end it, and the other time Teddy Roosevelt bolted from his party and created a new one.
On a lighter note, Frank Luntz, another speaker at next week's Policy Summit, was quoted yesterday in a Washington Post article that took note of the way both political parties used deeply personal stories during their conventions.
"It humanizes and personalizes the politics, that it's not just about policy, it's also about people" Luntz said. "Whenever policy is put in people terms, that's when it succeeds."