Wednesday, March 28, 2018


Mike Konczal is good here:

I’m not bringing this up to litigate it (again). The point, instead, is that there was a critical conversation among left-liberals about what happening under united Democratic government. This wasn’t from some adolescent need to complain, or navel-gazing purity politics, as it is sometimes portrayed. Instead, it was the left trying to articulate the tradeoffs being made, the choices, decisions and potential consequences of how Obama and the Democrats were governing. It forced people to articulate what they were thinking and how they justified their answers in a public manner. It also gave those on the left a sense of how power worked, and how it didn’t, lessons they are incorporating now as Democrats look to 2020.

So…How’s Your Unified Conservative Governance?

We are now 14 months into united conservative governance. Conservatives came into power with a clear plan to rip out Obama’s achievements and overhaul the whole modern state. Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell planned on running everything through reconciliation. They also had a President who would sign anything. So how is it going?

I’d like to know, because I can’t find any actual debate of what has gone right and wrong in their plans. I’m still thinking through this point, and since this could be misread I want to state it clearly. There’s a lot about how bad Trump is. There’s also a ton bitching and moaning about Republicans messing things up. But I see very little among the network of conservative publications and institutions in terms of strategic discussions of how their conservative agenda is unfolding as it meets political power. This is notable as liberals usually think of the conservative infrastructure as disciplined and powerful. I think this lack of discussion has consequences, because the implosion of conservative policy is just as important of a story to our moment as anything Trump does.