With budget reconciliations, filibusters, and supermajorities making headlines, In Praise of Deadlock explains the legislative process and its checkpoints, while maintaining a noncomformist respect for the hurdles and hang-ups inherent in the American system. As a practitioner who served for 14 years as chief of staff to Senators Bill Frist and Pete Domenici, W. Lee Rawls offers unusual insight into partisan struggle, which he sees as essential to advancing new policy and generating consensus. Such grappling, Rawls concludes, results in a nuanced, durable machine, producing better laws that have benefited from minority input.
W. Lee Rawls was chief of staff to the director of the FBI and an adjunct professor at the Thomas Jefferson School of Public Policy at the College of William and Mary. He was a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in 2007. Mr. Rawls died in 2010.