Some Democrats, justifiably happy with the legislative productivity of the 2021–2022 session of Congress, have gotten a little carried away lately when describing its supposed transformational importance. In today's column for Bloomberg Opinion, I draw on data showing that the last Congress was not historically exceptional in its lawmaking acoomplishments, and suggest that Biden's perceived achievements were made possible by the previous success of Barack Obama in enacting major health care reform in 2010. The piece is also available on the Washington Post site.
Friday, February 03, 2023
Monday, January 23, 2023
The Democratic Party is more unified these days than it was in the past—and is certainly less openly divided than the Republicans, who just took five days to select a Speaker of the House. The main reason for this newfound internal harmony is the evolving behavior of the American electorate: the moderate/conservative dissident bloc of Democrats representing rural constituencies has mostly disappeared from office, replaced by more ideologically orthodox Democrats from the suburbs. This change has made party leaders' job easier and has eased the chronic factionalism that is now more evident on the Republican side of the aisle, as I explain further in my latest column for Bloomberg Opinion.
Monday, January 09, 2023
The extended process of electing a House speaker last week put Republicans' internal divisions on public display. Democrats and leadership-aligned Republicans had ample opportunity to attack or mock the band of holdouts, many affiliated with the House Freedom Caucus, who prevented Kevin McCarthy from becoming speaker until the 15th round of balloting. But for all their grandstanding, the holdouts have a point about how Republicans fail to deliver on their government-cutting promises—which portends more conflict ahead, as I explain in today's column for Bloomberg Opinion.