Early Returns

The End of American Exceptionalism

Jonathan Bernstein's morning links.

1. Elizabeth N. Saunders at the Monkey Cage on what the organization of the National Security Council tells us about Donald Trump's administration.

2. Dan Drezner on Trump and the end of American exceptionalism

3. Lynn Vavreck at the Upshot on partisanship and voting in 2016.

4. Rick Hasen on the Democrats and the Supreme Court confirmation choices they face.

5. Anna Edney, Billy House and Zachary Tracer at Bloomberg on the new Republican word for health care: Is "repair" replacing "replace"

6. The Washington Post's Karen Tumulty on the Trump administration's attacks on dissent

7. Greg Sargent at the Plum Line on how Democrats can use Neil Gorsuch's confirmation hearing to press questions about Trump.

8. Must-read from Brian Beutler at the New Republic giving advice to Trump opponents about setting realistic goals and fighting effectively. Excellent item. As I've said, fights for purely symbolic value (knowing opposition will lose but fighting anyway) aren't necessarily worthless. Not at all. But realistic assessment of the alternatives is always worthwhile. And so is some generosity in interpreting the actions of allies; an opposition that is quick to turn on its leaders for selling out or spinelessness is an opposition that will be a mess, even if it winds up winning. And, yes, liberal Trump opponents may be able to learn a thing or two from Tea Party opponents of Barack Obama -- but it's a serious mistake (which I see constantly these days) to conclude that everything Trump or the Tea Party or Mitch McConnell did must have "worked." Life and politics don't work like that.

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This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.