Five Best Friday Columns

Alec MacGillis on nuking the filibuster, Greg Sargent on the long road to reform, Brian Beutler on Boehner's great Obamacare deal, Jonathan Chait on the GOP's flawed playbook, and Nicholas Dawidoff on how to save the NFL. 

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Alec MacGillis at The New Republic on why nuking the filibuster is great. "The Senate Democrats’ 52-48 vote Thursday [to allow a simple majority vote on presidential appointments] was met with predictable laments about the resulting loss of bipartisan comity," MacGillis explains. "Such laments willfully overlook that we have long since entered an era of total partisan warfare that would be difficult to escalate any further – it’s as if a moral philosopher showed up at the Second Battle of the Marne in 1918 fretting about the use of automatic weapons." He insists, "bipartisan comity not only left the barn long ago; it had been tracked down and shot behind the woodpile." Maria Bustillos, a contributor to The New Yorker and The Awl, tweets, "really great, wide-ranging, thoughtful."

Greg Sargent at The Washington Post on the long road to filibuster reform. On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid "finally went nuclear and changed the rules by simple majority — after a years-long campaign in which [Sen. Jeff] Merkley and other Senate liberals were instrumental." Merkley told Sargent, “Neither a Democratic president or a Republican president should face this level of obstructionism in exercising their Constitutional responsibility. They have a right to get an up or down vote on staffing the administration and on judges." Merkley and other Senate liberals have been pushing reform since before Obama was elected. Sargent concludes, "Dem leaders had to be pushed to this point, but from the point of view of liberals, they did the right thing." Salon contributor David Dayen tweets, " victory lap."

Brian Beutler at Salon on Speaker John Boehner's great Obamacare deal. "As a 64-year-old heavy smoker, it’s a marvel that Boehner will be able to purchase individual market coverage at all. I wonder what crazy law guarantees that he can?" Beutler jokes. "It turns out, Boehner, who as speaker makes $223,500 a year, has a lot of affordable options to choose from." Beutler lays out the very affordable options Boehner has through the D.C. health exchange. "Congratulations, Speaker Boehner," he writes. "To your health." New York political columnist Jonathan Chait tweets, "John Boehner is a huge Obamacare winner, shows ."

Jonathan Chait at New York on the GOP's flawed playbook. The New York Times reported that the House GOP is running a football play to defeat Obamacare, but technically it's a bad play. "The diagram [of the play], meant to instill confidence in the House GOP's tactical acumen, actually implies that it is run by idiots," Chait argues. "The play is a naked bootleg to the left, running straight into the defensive back who isn't guarding anybody. That is to say, imagining they'll face an outnumbered and horribly misaligned defense, the offense proposes to attack the only part of the field where the defense has an unblockable defender." Even Eric Cantor's spokesman Rory Cooper admits it's a dumb play. SB Nation's NFL editor Ryan van Bibber tweets, "Leave it to the House GOP to design a play only Brian Schottenheimer & Tim Walton could love." Justin Green, online editor of the conservative Washington Examiner, responds, " obviously just hasn't had a good quarterback in a while. Naked boot to one on one is gold."

Nicholas Dawidoff at The New Yorker on how to save the NFL. "For all its present popularity, trouble has been lurking for football. Recent glimpses into the insular culture of the game have revealed bounties promised in New Orleans for injuring opponents, a tight end charged with murder in New England (he’s pleaded not guilty), and particularly abusive hazing in Miami," Dawidoff explains. Further, research about head injuries in the NFL does not look good — especially when the league tries to suppress it. To fix the sport, the NFL just needs to be more transparent. "As the governing body for such a beloved team game, the NFL ought to exemplify the desire to show affection and concern for those who place themselves in harm’s way for other people’s enjoyment," he writes. Bloomberg features reporter Mina Kimes tweets, "how to save the NFL: make all doctors work for the league, embrace the effects of new rules, increase transparency."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.