Read Republicans are less divided on cultural issues than Democrats are (The Economist)
The party turned Trumpy before the 2016 election, not after
DONALD TRUMP is not a traditional Republican. His breaks with the party’s orthodoxy on several issues, and above all on free trade, have caused many Republican officials and conservative intellectuals to denounce his leadership. But although most party officials have embraced the president only half-heartedly, Republican voters seem to have far fewer reservations.

🎧 I Don’t Think I Can Do Anything to Fix It | The Daily – New York Times

Listened to Listen to ‘The Daily’: ‘I Don’t Think I Can Do Anything to Fix It’ by Michael Barbaro from nytimes.com
Representative Tom Rooney, a Florida Republican, talks about the Russia investigation, gun control and his decision not to run for re-election.

This gives me some interesting ideas about how things might be fixed via game theory. In some sense it may also help if we all (both parties) had a common enemy to fight against. During the Cold War it was Communism we fought against which helped us be on the same side, and as a result we were more united. Now with nothing to “fight against” we’re fighting each other.

This is one of the most interesting episodes of this podcast I’ve come across yet.

👓 I’m Glad I Got Booed at CPAC | New York Times

Read Opinion | I’m Glad I Got Booed at CPAC by Mona Charen (New York Times)
I spoke the truth for the sake of every conservative disgusted by what has happened to our movement.
I saw this article pop up over the weekend, but didn’t have a chance to read it. I circled back around to it after listening to The Daily episode from this morning which covered it. Ultimately I think the podcast version was more interesting and valuable.

I appreciate more and more of these dyed-in-the-wool conservatives who are sticking to their guns on the message that the emperor has no clothes. It gives me more hope for the future.

🎧 Jonah Goldberg | The Atlantic Interview

Listened to Jonah Goldberg by Jeffrey Goldberg from The Atlantic Interview
Writer Jonah Goldberg talks with The Atlantic's editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg about being a conservative without a party in the age of Donald Trump. Jonah says there are many factors contributing to the dysfunction and paralysis in the Republican Party, and that thinkers and leaders on the right may have a very small window to fix these problems before the party disintegrates. Jeffrey and Jonah also discuss the experience of waiting in television green rooms.

Maybe I’m reading to or listening to all the wrong sources because I feel like I’m missing candid and open discussions like this one. Here Jonah Goldberg does an excellent job of discussing many of the unspoken problems within the Republican party right now. I wish there was more reporting on issues like these, though the problem is the way people providing their opinions are being vilified by some at the far right of what we used to know as the Republican party.

I’ll have to sample a bit of Jonah Goldberg’s podcast The Remnant for some additional insight to what is happening here. The sad and painful title of the show gives me a good idea of what I might expect.

Game theory gives me some hope that a centrist party may come out of the ashes of the 2016 election to provide some better pragmatic leadership.

👓 Republican-led Congress passes sweeping tax bill | NBC

Read Republican-led Congress passes sweeping tax bill (NBC News)
Congress approved a sweeping $1.5 trillion tax bill on Wednesday that slashes rates for corporations, provides new breaks for private businesses and reorganizes the individual tax code.

📺 Divided States of America, Part 2 | Frontline

Watched Divided States of America, Part 2 from FRONTLINE | PBS, aired January 18, 2017
FRONTLINE investigates the partisanship of the Obama era, and the polarized America that Donald Trump inherits as president.
The second part of this wasn’t as fraught as the first half, but both are simply scintillating and well worth watching.

📺 Divided States of America, Part 1 | Frontline

Watched Divided States of America, Part 1 from FRONTLINE | PBS, aired January 17, 2017
FRONTLINE investigates the partisanship of the Obama era, and the polarized America that Donald Trump inherits as president.

Ahead of Donald Trump's inauguration, "Divided States of America" looks back at events during President Barack Obama's years in office that revealed deep divisions in our country. The documentary offers an in-depth view of the partisan gridlock in Washington, the rise of populist anger on both sides of the aisle, and the racial tensions that erupted throughout the country.
What a stunning overview of the last eight years of partisan politics. In particular I had forgotten about a lot of the rancor and racism stemming from the far right when Obama took office. This two part documentary does a terrific job of reminding us where we’ve all been and puts a lot of our current situation into perspective. The first part here was particularly brutal in its coverage. It seems almost too balanced to the point that the subtext of the documentary is that politicians need to find a better way to get along to do more good for their constituents.

The Republican Fausts | The New York Times

Read The Republican Fausts (nytimes.com)
They struck a deal with the devil, Donald Trump, that comes at too high a price.
President Trump at a retreat last week in Philadelphia for congressional Republicans. Doug Mills/The New York Times

Many Republican members of Congress have made a Faustian bargain with Donald Trump. They don’t particularly admire him as a man, they don’t trust him as an administrator, they don’t agree with him on major issues, but they respect the grip he has on their voters, they hope he’ll sign their legislation and they certainly don’t want to be seen siding with the inflamed progressives or the hyperventilating media.

Continue reading The Republican Fausts | The New York Times

The Daily 202: Key dates to put on your calendar for 2017 | The Washington Post

Read The Daily 202: Key dates to put on your calendar for 2017 by James Hohmann (Washington Post)
Summits, elections, anniversaries and other momentous dates for Trump’s first year