Lee Op-Ed in New York Times: There’s a Curse in Washington, and the Party in Control Can’t Seem to Shake It

Oct. 13, 2021

Frances Lee, with her co-author James Curry, penned an op-ed in The New York Times on the Democrats' difficulties moving their legislative agenda forward, There's a Curse in Washington, and the Party in Control Can't Seem to Shake It. Bringing their research to bear on the question of why Parties with unified control in Washington routinely fail to enact many of their highest priorities, they conclude that the filibuster and internal party division are the main factors undermining legislative progress.

The devil is in the details. If Democrats somehow avoid large-scale agenda failure and pass both the bipartisan infrastructure bill and a sweeping reconciliation bill, they will have done something rare — they will have outdone all the other recent episodes of single-party control of national government.


Frances E. Lee is professor of politics and public affairs and CSDP faculty associate at Princeton University. James Curry is associate professor of political science at the University of Utah. They are the authors of “The Limits of Party.”