Early Returns

Artists' Choices and Repeal, Replace, Delay

Jonathan Bernstein's morning links.

1. Rick Hasen on attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions.  

2. Philip Klein at the Washington Examiner wants Republicans to simply state that they are against a federal guarantee of health insurance for everyone. Honest! The problem is that federally guaranteed health insurance is wildly popular among voters (or at least it polls extremely well), and I'm not even sure how many Republicans in Congress share a small-government principled opposition to it. The truth is that many voters who dislike the Affordable Care Act -- and perhaps a fair number of Republican politicians -- mistakenly believe there are cost-free ways to deliver that guarantee (and, yes, that applies to many single-payer supporters, too). 

3. Jonathan Cohn at the Huffington Post on how Republicans have handled Obamacare "repeal and replace" so far.

4. Reihan Salam at Slate on "repeal and delay." 

5. Alyssa Rosenberg on the Golden Globes and choices artists make

6. Greg Sargent at Plum Line on Donald Trump's wall

7. And Brad DeLong on what kind of president Trump will be. A lot here I agree with, but I think DeLong undervalues Ronald Reagan's appreciation of his audience -- his real audience, not just the one in his mind. Reagan (and not just the mythical Reagan, but, as DeLong says, the real one) was willing to back off on plans going wrong. For all of his considerable ability to believe stories that were not true, he was willing to accept that things he did could go wrong. I'm not confident Trump has that ability, and (unlike Reagan) unfortunately everything in Trump's brief political career has given him excuses for rejecting cautions from anyone. 

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