“Inaction” is not “malfunction”

I remain a part of the dissenting minority who argue that our system isn’t broken. Action on a number of thorny issues — ranging from immigration to education reform — is stymied because of big disagreements on what should be done. Our experience with the Affordable Care Act illustrates the peril of making big changes in the absence of substantial majority support.

Continue reading “Inaction” is not “malfunction”

Follow the Leader (or not)

On the one hand we’re told that politicians cautiously hold a finger to the wind before acting and lack the courage to get ahead of their constituents. On the other, when politicians step forward—as Obama did on the TPP or ACA or David Cameron did on EU affiliation or Angela Merkel on immigration—their positions are deemed proof of the growing gulf between the governing elite and the masses who would be impacted. Continue reading Follow the Leader (or not)

Parties Search for a Theme

One of the most valuable gifts Donald Trump has given the Democratic Party is a postponement of the need to define itself. Right now it looks like running as the anti-Trump is an adequate winning strategy.

Continue reading Parties Search for a Theme

Is Campaign Finance Political Porn?

Campaign Finance ReformThe predictable media stories linking donor industries with candidates are the soft porn of the political press, promising incredible titillation and delivering lists of meaningless, largely predictable numbers.

The real reasons people give donations are pretty basic and intuitive: They give to people who agree with them. Continue reading Is Campaign Finance Political Porn?

The Silent Healthcare Revolution

AmbulanceThe presidential campaign is far enough along to confidently conclude that the health delivery revolution will not be televised. Instead, it will continue its quiet progress, remaking nearly a fifth of the economy without political, media or public awareness. Such is the course of American revolutions. Continue reading The Silent Healthcare Revolution