Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: The erosion of norms… and decency

EJ Dionne, Norm Orenstein, Thomas Mann/Atlantic with excerpts from a new book:

How the GOP Prompted the Decay of Political Norms

The Republican Party laid the groundwork for dysfunction long before Donald Trump was elected president.

Norms are defined as “a standard or pattern, especially of social behavior, that is typical or expected of a group.” They are how a person is supposed to behave in a given social setting. We don’t fully appreciate the power of norms until they are violated on a regular  basis. And the breaching of norms often produces a cascading effect: As one person breaks with tradition  and expectation, behavior previously considered inappropriate is normalized and taken up by others. Donald Trump is the Normless President, and his ascendancy threatens to inspire a new wave of norm-breaking.

This is a theme i have written about, along with shared values.

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Abbreviated pundit roundup: Republicans try again to take health care away from millions

We begin today’s roundup with The New York Times and its take on the latest attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act:

It is hard to overstate the cruelty of the Graham-Cassidy bill. … [T]he formula for determining state grants would penalize the 31 states that expanded Medicaid under the A.C.A. so as to provide more money to the 19 states that did not. This is a cynical attempt to win votes by taking money from generous states that are more likely to be governed by Democrats and giving some of it to representatives of stingier states that are more likely to elect Republicans. The block grants would disappear entirely in 2027, and it is by no means certain, given the pitched partisan battles over health care in recent years, that Congress would be inclined to reauthorize them.

Graham-Cassidy would further cripple Medicaid by putting a per-person

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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: ACA repeal back on the table. Maybe. Perhaps. If it gets 50 votes.



Senate GOP tries one last time to repeal Obamacare

McConnell and his lieutenants will gauge support for the bill this week in private party meetings.

Republicans say McConnell won’t bring up the bill if there is any chance of failure, given the dramatic collapse in the summer.

“McConnell would like something to pass. But he also knows that getting 50 to vote for that is a challenge,” said a Republican aide tracking the bill. “They show him it has 50, he’ll schedule a vote.”

What’s driving them? Fear of failure. Why does that matter? Because at this point they do not care what is in the bill. At all.

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: When someone asks you if climate change is the cause …

In a year that’s already seen Hurricane Harvey drown Texas under record rains, and Hurricane Irma rip through the Caribbean with record winds, its easy to go one of two ways. For much of the media, interest in the storms and their aftermath already seems to be waning. After all, there’s only so many pictures of waterlogged homes and haggard people waiting for badly needed relief that can be run before the ratings start to fall.

On the other hand, there can be the temptation to view every forecast with trepidation and every possible storm as the next coming disaster. That’s pretty easy when you see an image like this one.


Hurricane Jose, which had been expected to dissipate by now … didn’t. Instead its wandered around in the space between the Bahamas and Bermuda, and held onto its strength much longer than predicted. It’s unlikely that any of these storms will grow into

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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Youth vote, single payer, 2016 election results

G Elliot Morris/NY Times:

How Much Can the Youth Vote Actually Help Democrats?

As important as it would be for Democrats to unite and to keep left-of-center voters from straying, it would be even more helpful to win Republican converts. A recent report from Pew Research Center found that 23 percent of young Americans who identified as Republican or independent-leaning-Republican switched to identifying as Democrat or independent-leaning-Democrat from 2015 to 2017.

The same report estimated that just 9 percent of young Democrats or those who lean Democratic switched to the G.O.P. My analysis of survey data from the 2010-2014 C.C.E.S. panel survey finds that these recent levels of Republican-to-Democrat switching are around 11 percentage points higher than past levels.

The 2016 C.C.E.S. data corroborates this story, showing that about 75 percent of young Republicans voted for Donald J. Trump

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Abbreviated pundit roundup: Potential DACA deal leaves Trump’s base seeing red

We begin today’s roundup with Robert Costa and Michael Scherer at The Washington Post and their analysis of Donald Trump’s DACA position:

Trump’s agreement this week with Democratic leaders on a more moderate approach to immigration legislation has sparked bitter talk of betrayal among some of his staunchest defenders on the right — and forced many of them to rethink their loyalties amid confusion over what the president favors.

[…] “Amnesty Don,” declared a bright-red headline on Breitbart News, the website run by former White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon — one of many political fire alarms set off by die-hard supporters following the sudden breakthrough Wednesday at a White House dinner.

Damon Linker at The Week thinks any potential DACA deal with have an effect on the GOP base:

Never Trump Republicans can gloat all they want about the inevitability of the president betraying his base on this

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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: On White Presidents, destroying the GOP, and sham commissions

Greg Sargent/WaPo:

Ta-Nehisi Coates’ powerful new essay, “The First White President,” offers up an indictment of white America — and white punditry — that is more sweeping than it first appears. Coates’ argument is not just that Donald Trump’s ascent was fueled by the racism of much of his white electorate. It’s also that Trump’s candidacy, election, and presidency, coming in the first election following two terms of the nation’s first black president, represent nothing less than an effort to eradicate the very fact that America elected a black president in the first place.

Coates argues that we must forthrightly confront the wretched reality that Trump won because he framed his candidacy, overtly, as a “negation” of the first black presidency — as a promise to cancel it as a kind of historical accident. Trump launched his rise with the “birther” charge that Barack Obama’s

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