Early Returns

Confirmation Wars and Struggling to Govern

Jonathan Bernstein's morning links.

1. Must-read from Josh Huder on why congressional Republicans are struggling with what should be a routine appropriations bill to keep the government running. 

2. Seth Masket on everything that's going wrong for Republicans attempting to legislate

3. At the Monkey Cage, Thomas Wood finds that racism among voters helped Donald Trump more than authoritarian attitudes. Interesting, although remember this is just a first cut at the data, and there will be more.

4. Anne Joseph O’Connell at Brookings on executive-branch confirmation wars over time

5. Very good piece from Mark Schmitt about the choices congressional Republicans face if they're scared of the 2018 midterms.

6. Paul Waldman on what the Republicans are likely to do on taxes. I agree for the most part -- but I expect them to call whatever they do "comprehensive reform," not tax cuts, and they may try to close a loophole or two as a fig leaf. Whether they can actually succeed on a simple tax-cut bill, however, is still difficult to predict. Real tax reform, on the other hand, appears to be as unlikely as ever. 

7. And E.J. Dionne on patriotism as a virtue.

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