Trump’s greatest success so far is exploding three persistent political myths.
1. Politics is easy and politicians are lazy fat cats.
2. Outsiders will clean up politics and run the system better than insiders.
3. Government should be run like a biz.
Republicans are bragging a lot about Gorsuch’s qualifications, which are legitimate. But this debate isn’t really about qualifications. If it were, Gorsuch wouldn’t have been nominated, because Garland would be on the court.
How to End the Politicization of the Courts https://nyti.ms/2nS2GBi
Obamacare never was a good plan, but it always was a severe compromise.
Tasked with fixing a plan that was disfigured to meet their needs Republicans have stepped in it now.
This debacle does suggest that planned revisions of government healthcare every 5 years could improve it. It could also show our politicians as the tools they are.
The Original Lie About Obamacare https://nyti.ms/2niqu3K
Great summary by Brooks:
By 2010, however, both the Obama administration and the Tea Party opposition were out of step with the times. They both still thought the big political issues in American life were universal health care and the size of government.
In fact, another set of problems had magnified and come to overshadow the old set. This new set included:
First, the crisis of opportunity. People with fewer skills were seeing their wages stagnate, the labor markets evaporate. Second, the crisis of solidarity. The social fabric, especially for those without a college degree, was disintegrating — marriage rates plummeting, opiate abuse rates rising. Third, the crisis of authority. Distrust in major institutions crossed some sort of threshold. People had so lost trust in government, the media, the leadership class in general, that they were willing to abandon truth and decorum and embrace authoritarian thuggery to blow it all up.
If President Obama had made these crises the center of his administration, instead of the A.C.A., Democrats wouldn’t have lost Congress and the White House. If the Tea Party had understood the first two of these crises, there would have been no opening for Donald Trump.
The Republican Health Care Crackup https://nyti.ms/2msqBYT
We need to end the practice of Gerrymandering.
As President Obama put it in his State of the Union speech this year, “we’ve got to end the practice of drawing our congressional districts so that politicians can pick their voters, and not the other way around.”
A permanent fix for partisan gerrymandering would be to take redistricting entirely out of the hands of self-interested lawmakers and give it to independent commissions. In California and Arizona, both of which have adopted such commissions, legislative races have become more competitive than the national average as measured by the smaller margins of victory. That’s good for voters, and for democracy.
Where Unfair Voting Practices Begin http://nyti.ms/2gzRSpQ
We now have a kakistocracy — rule by the worst. We have the least qualified president ever followed by cabinet members whose qualifications make them the exact opposite of what the country needs.
Calling into question the legitimacy of this government is our patriotic duty.
Is it O.K., morally and politically, to declare the man about to move into the White House illegitimate?
Yes, it is. In fact, it’s an act of patriotism.
By any reasonable standard, the 2016 election was deeply tainted.
Remember, saying that the election was tainted isn’t a smear or a wild conspiracy theory; it’s simply the truth.
Now, anyone questioning Mr. Trump’s legitimacy will be accused of being unpatriotic — because that’s what people on the right always say about anyone who criticizes a Republican president. (Strangely, they don’t say this about attacks on Democratic presidents.) But patriotism means standing up for your country’s values, not pledging personal allegiance to Dear Leader.
With All Due Disrespect https://nyti.ms/2jPeHnO
Our political dysfunction is causing real and lasting problems.
Is American democracy broken?
There are precedents around the world for the kind of political jolt the United States experienced in November. They usually include a political firebrand who promises to sweep away a system rigged to serve the powerful rather than the interests of ordinary people. They usually end badly, when the popular champion decides to read electoral victory as an invitation to bend the institutions of democracy to the force of his will.
A system of political finance in which many candidates are funded by deep-pocketed single-interest groups like gun rights advocates and environmentalists will increase political polarization, even as it reduces public confidence in the system. So will electoral districts gerrymandered so narrowly for partisan benefit that even holding elections can seem pointless.
move the drawing of electoral districts out of partisan hands, as California has done, would greatly improve the nature of political contests.
A Threat to U.S. Democracy: Political Dysfunction http://nyti.ms/2hOIUFx