Early Returns

Optimism, Normalcy and Playing President

Jonathan Bernstein's morning links.

1. Seth Masket at Pacific Standard on how Donald Trump is demonstrating how false three myths about American politics really are. Masket is far more of an optimist than I am about the durability of these myths, though. In my view, they're not going anywhere, no matter how badly things might go for Trump -- and remember, at least a quarter of the nation and perhaps more than half of it will wind up thinking Trump was good at his job. 

2. Excellent Lynn Vavreck item at the Upshot explaining how 2016 was a normal presidential election

3. Had enough "100 days" Trump coverage? Yes? Then maybe what you want is Julia Azari at FiveThirtyEight looking back at coverage of earlier presidents -- and how well (or not) it predicted the rest of their presidencies. 

4. Amanda Hollis-Brusky and Jerry Yan at the Monkey Cage on federalism, "sanctuary cities" and conservative legal doctrine

5. Ezra Klein: "Trump wants to be president in the way children want to be astronauts." Exactly. Klein also understands just how bad last week was for Trump, something I commented on sort of in passing back on Friday but apparently a lot of people missed. I have to say, though: If Klein really thinks Trump would be a good head of state, he really needs to go back and watch "The Princess Diaries" again. Maybe a couple of times.

6. Brian Beutler has an excellent point about (potential) health-care-reform implementation, but I doubt any Republicans are thinking that far ahead. 

7. Great reporting from Sarah Kliff on what has gone wrong (and what could go wrong) for the Affordable Care Act in Tennessee.

8. My Bloomberg View colleague Matt Levine on cartoon villains and labor costs at American Airlines

9. And a baseball link: Rob Neyer at FiveThirtyEight on how the first Macmillan Baseball Encyclopedia happened

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