Tevi Troy
Tevi Troy
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Articles

How GOP Intellectuals' Feud With the Base Is Remaking U.S. Politics

April 19, 2016  •  Politico

One of the most spectacular fissures of this already dramatic political season has been the messy, public divorce of the Republican intelligentsia from the party's suddenly energized populist voter base. As Donald Trump grips crowds and racks up delegates with a blunt nationalist message of jobs, protectionism and "winning," true-believing conservatives—from dean of the conservative commentariat George Will, to Pete Wehner, who has worked for every GOP administration since Ronald Reagan, to Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol—have peeled off in anti-Trump directions. When National Review, the flagship magazine of modern conservative thinking, devoted an entire issue to rejecting the GOP front-runner, it felt like a separation being finalized. Trump, of course, was unfazed, saying, "You have people that are in National Review—they're eggheads. They're just eggheads."

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Taking Trump Seriously On Health Care

April 15, 2016  •  Commentary

Donald Trump has been extraordinarily vague on health care. To begin with, his standard line has been that he was going to repeal Obamacare and replace it with "something great." On other occasions, he chose a more modest approach and instead promised to replace President Obama's Affordable Care Act with "something very good." As his campaign has progressed, he's added a few details, such as allowing individuals to purchase health insurance across state lines and expanding the use of health savings accounts. Both are well within the mainstream of the best conservative reforms for health care. Ted Cruz lists both on his campaign website, and most conservative alternatives to the ACA include them. But these alone are insufficient, to put it mildly. Marco Rubio mockingly pointed this out during the late February Houston debate by saying: "So, you're only thing is to get rid of the lines around the states. What else is part of your health-care plan?" In his response, Trump seemed to confuse insurance plans, which would be affected by his proposal, with an overall health-care plan, in which purchasing across state lines should be part of a larger whole. He concluded his argument with Rubio by saying: "You get rid of the lines, it brings in competition. So, instead of having one insurance company taking care of New York, or Texas, you'll have many. They'll compete, and it'll be a beautiful thing."

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review of Off Script

April 15, 2016  •  The Wall Street Journal

It is widely regarded as the worst photo op in the history of presidential campaigning: The 1988 video of Gov. Michael Dukakis, sporting an oversize helmet and an entirely misplaced grin while riding in a tank. Instead of making him look tough—the clear intention—it made the candidate look weak and out of his depth. How any semi-competent staff could have allowed such a thing to happen has long been a mystery. Mr. Dukakis himself still refuses to talk about it.

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When Merle Haggard Played at the Nixon White House

April 7, 2016  •  Observer

In 1973, Merle Haggard, who died this week at age 79, came to sing at the Nixon White House. Mr. Haggard was not there because Richard Nixon was a country music fan—far from it. He came on the basis on the song for which he is best-known—Okie from Muskogie—which the Nixon team saw as an expression of frustration from the so-called silent majority. Mr. Haggard's event was an attempt by the Nixon team to capitalize on frustration with the pro-drug, anti-Vietnam and anti-establishment counterculture of the early 1970s.

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Where Are the 2016 Candidates on Health Care?

February 29, 2016  •  Observer

In three of the last four election cycles, health care has been a major issue. In 2008, Senator Barack Obama advocated for health care changes on his way to the presidency. Then, Republicans scored historic congressional gains by successfully pushing back against the president's Affordable Care Act in the 2010. And in 2014, Republicans took the Senate in part because of public disaffection with the rollout and implementation of the ACA. (In 2012, health care receded into the background behind such pressing issues as Big Bird, binders full of women and whether President Obama had called Benghazi a terror attack). It is unclear whether health care will be a defining issue in the November election, but it will likely rise to the fore once again.

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Books by Tevi Troy

Cover of What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted Cover of Intellectuals and the American Presidency

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