* By now you all know that Senate Republicans are keeping their health care bill secret in order to shield it from criticism. It now seems that the White House is adopting the same strategy more broadly.
— Brooke Baldwin (@BrookeBCNN) June 19, 2017
* Tomorrow we’ll learn the outcome of the race in Georgia’s 6th District. Nate Cohn brings us some interesting perspective on the district.
Across the country, there are only 15 congressional districts where at least half of adults have a college degree.
The list includes plenty of caricatures of the liberal elite: “limousine liberals”; “Hollywood liberals”; “latte liberals”; “San Francisco liberals”; “Massachusetts liberals”; and the “D.C. establishment.”
It also includes Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District, where a special election on Tuesday has been held up as the first big litmus test of Democratic strength in the Trump era. Education explains why the race is competitive at all…
Of the 15 best-educated districts in the country, this is the only one Mr. Trump won in November.
* Rebecca Traister brings us a look from on the ground in Georgia’s 6th.
Especially surprising is that the closeness of the race can largely be attributed to the obsessive energies of the sixth district’s women, an army of mostly white, suburban working mothers who had until now lived politically somnambulant lives. In the wake of Donald Trump’s November defeat of Hillary Clinton, many of these Georgia women have remade their lives, transforming themselves and their communities through unceasing political engagement. To visit Georgia’s sixth in the days before the runoff is to land on a planet populated by politically impassioned women, talking as if they have just walked off the set of Thelma & Louise, using a language of awakening, liberation, and political fury that should indeed discomfit their conservative neighbors, and — if it is a harbinger of what’s to come — should shake conservative America more broadly.
The candidate is very well aware of who is leading this charge.
“No matter the outcome on Tuesday, the real story of this campaign is the story of women organizing, standing up, fighting,” Jon Ossoff tells me from his campaign’s Chamblee office two days before the runoff. “There’s something of a renaissance of civic engagement and political activism afoot, and it’s being led by women.”
* The Washington Post weighs in on an emerging story in the Trump administration.
The array of legal and political threats hanging over the Trump presidency has compounded the White House’s struggles to fill out the top ranks of the government.
Trump’s firing of FBI Director James B. Comey last month and the escalating probe into Russian interference in the presidential election have made hiring even more difficult, say former federal officials, party activists, lobbyists and candidates who Trump officials have tried to recruit.
Republicans say they are turning down job offers to work for a chief executive whose volatile temperament makes them nervous. They are asking head-hunters if their reputations could suffer permanent damage, according to 27 people The Washington Post interviewed to assess what is becoming a debilitating factor in recruiting political appointees.
* A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the bill that had passed the Nevada legislature to make Medicaid available as the “public option” in that state. On Friday, Republican Governor Brian Sandoval vetoed the bill, but Paul Waldman still thinks the program might be the best option for a next step towards universal coverage.
Let’s imagine for a moment that the current Republican health-care effort fails. In attempting to undo the ACA, they managed something Democrats tried and failed to do for seven years: They made the law’s benefits clear, and made Americans (justifiably) fear what would happen if those benefits were taken away. More than ever, there’s a desire in the public for simple, secure, affordable health coverage.
Which is exactly what Medicaid can offer, if it is expanded beyond its current status as a program for the poor. In fact, it could be the gateway to something like the highly successful hybrid systems in place in countries like France, in which there’s a government insurer that covers everyone’s basic health-care needs, and then everyone is free to buy private supplemental insurance that offers more benefits. In theory anyway, that’s a system that even conservatives could find at least somewhat appealing, since it allows rich people to have fancier coverage than the rest of us. Medicaid could be that basic program, or at least a backstop for anyone who doesn’t get insurance through their employer, regardless of their income.
* Finally, since I’ve taken up gardening lately, this one from Amos Lee is a bit of an anthem.