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Why is American politics so dysfunctional?

29 October 2013 Last updated at 00:18 GMT

Earlier this month the US federal government began a partial shutdown after the Republican-led House of Representatives attempted to delay President Barack Obama's healthcare reform - dubbed Obamacare - as a condition for passing a new budget.

The BBC's North America editor, Mark Mardell, asks why the US president is so often thwarted in Washington.

He speaks to politicians and historians and finds evidence of a deeply divided America.

The Editors features the BBC's on-air specialists asking questions which reveal deeper truths about their areas of expertise. Watch The Editors on BBC One at 23:25 BST on Monday 28 October (except in Wales and Northern Ireland) or catch it later on iPlayer.