What We’re Following
Repeal and Delay: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is pushing forward on a vote to repeal Obamacare without a plan to replace it. McConnell called last night for the vote after three more Republicans pulled their support for his replacement plan and killed its chances of passing—yet the “repeal-and-delay” proposal is likely to be just as unpopular due to the negative impact it would have on patients and the insurance market. For his part, President Trump has been largely absent from the process—a bad sign for his reputation as a dealmaker. But the members of his party seem to be blaming each other instead of him.
Sanctions Abroad: The U.S. Treasury Department placed new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic-missile program. Trump also threatened Venezuela with sanctions if the country’s president, Nicolas Maduro, creates a “constituent assembly” that could help him maintain control of the country by rewriting its constitution. Meanwhile, South Korean President Moon Jae In is handling North Korea with a combination of pressure and dialogue—which may be just the right set of skills to defuse the crisis in the region.
Political Philosophies: Both at home and in his foreign policy, Trump’s decision-making style has been chaotic and unpredictable—qualities that highlight the president’s authority, but pose serious risks when it comes to implementation. Still, one oft-noted piece of his advisers’ and supporters’ philosophy is an affinity for the Greek historian Thucydides, who, ironically, chronicled the destructive tendencies of populism.