The TV in Slate’s New York office is usually silent, but someone has turned up the volume so we can all hear Rep. Paul Ryan mourn the death of his lifelong dream of taking health insurance away from 24 million people. It’s a little hard to write while one is in the throes of a powerful admixture of relief and schadenfreude, but here I am giving it my best shot for you, the subscribers to the Slate Plus Digest.
If you want to share my relief, read Michelle Goldberg: “Before it went down in flames, the Republican attempt to repeal Obamacare showed us how total disregard for women’s lives translates into policy.” And listen to Jamelle Bouie talking with Abby Phillip of the Washington Post on Trumpcast.
Also in Trumpcare takes this afternoon:
- Jonathan Chait: “The cause of repealing Obamacare, a right-wing obsession for seven years and a day, has died. … And it is dead for the best possible reason, the reason that undergirds all social progress: because a good idea defeated a bad one.”
- Ezra Klein blames Donald Trump, who is “extremely bad at making deals.”
- Whereas Brian Beutler blames Paul Ryan: “The failure of Trumpcare—which would have kicked millions of people off health insurance, while delivering a tax cut to the wealthiest Americans—underscores the shortsightedness of the idea that major social change can be created with the will to power alone.”
- Next on the political agenda are hearings for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. Some background: Dahlia Lithwick on his religious bias; Mark Joseph Stern on the significance of his sexist comments; Jed Shugerman on the “arrogant and cold judicial personality” reflected in one Gorsuch dissent. Should the Democrats filibuster his nomination? Slatesters disagree!
- What’s going on with Trump and Russia? Republicans in Congress don’t want to know, because they care more about loyalty to the president than their principles, or the law, or anything really.
- This line from Jack Hamilton’s obituary for Chuck Berry blew my mind: “Berry possessed many geniuses as a songwriter, but the most consequential was his ability to write songs about being black in America that could double as allegories for being a teenager in America, an audacious bit of rhetorical alchemy that altered popular culture and reverberates to this day.”
- Earlier this week, Katy Waldman pointed out that Donald Trump does not appear to be having any fun. Presumably the problem has only gotten worse today!
Not From Slate
- American farmers are hacking their tractors with pirated firmware from Ukraine to get around John Deere’s onerous licensing restrictions, because we live in a cyberpunk dystopia in which everything you think you own is someone else’s intellectual property.
- Speaking of which: “You can make a quick buck with Lyft anytime, even when your cervix is dilating.”
- This week in “bizarre new forms of sexual harassment”: India’s “phone Romeos”; allegations against underwear startup CEO Miki Agrawal.
- The NBA is addicted to peanut butter–and–jelly sandwiches.
Well, this has certainly been the most enjoyable news day in a while. Enjoy your weekend, and thanks for your support.
Editorial director, Slate Plus