What happens now? What happens now is that—a few bitter-enders aside—Republican politicians, especially in the states, begin the slow and belated process of entering the next era of health-care politics. Contrary to Paul Ryan’s bleak vision of a political “tipping point” after which the nation declines into “dependency and passivity,” Americans will continue to find plenty to argue about—and possibly more than ever.
For all the talk from Ryan’s faction about how Trump is “the ultimate closer,” and from Sean Spicer about how the President had been making calls from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. to try to sell the bill, the critical errors came earlier, in the decision to present such an obviously insufficient plan, and to rush the vote. That, and Trump’s inability to move either wing of his party, suggests a different kind of problem. The President does not need a clearer sense of his enemies. He needs more friends.
McSweeney’s does it again.
Chris Cillizza at The Washington Post reports on the deep disagreement between Democrats and Republicans over what it means to be an American. Democrats largely think it’s based on ideas (belief in “the mixing of cultures and values from around the world” and immigration), while Republicans largely think it’s based on identity (“a culture grounded in Christian religious beliefs”, etc.). While obviously not something that shows up in day-to-day politics, this lies at the heart of a lot of modern American political hair-tearing, I think. We don’t agree on what this country is supposed to be.
Well, among others, this guy:
[Pfc. Miguel Perez Jr.] is one of many veterans, some of whom sustained injuries and emotional trauma during combat, who have been decorated for service, then confronted with the possibility of deportation after committing a crime. As with many others, Perez mistakenly thought he became a U.S. citizen when he took an oath to protect the nation. He discovered that was not the case when he was summoned to immigration court shortly before his release from a state penitentiary, where he had served seven years for handing over a bag of cocaine to an undercover police officer.
A letter like the one sent by Middlebury alumni assailing Mr. Murray does not help. “The principle” — of free speech — “does not apply, due to not only the nature, but also the quality, of Dr. Murray’s scholarship.”
Hey, hey, ho, ho — heck no. The principle does not distinguish between great minds and mediocrities. Mr. Murray is an academic with an argument to make about class in America — from his 2012 book “Coming Apart” — and maybe it is flawed. But Middlebury students had no chance to challenge him on any of his views. Thought and persuasion, questions and answers, were eclipsed by intimidation.