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The State of Reform
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Government Ethics
Balance of Power
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The proposal unveiled by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and seven committee leaders was assembled without any Republican input.

Democrats unveil plan to rein in the presidency once Trump's gone

House Democrats on Wednesday unveiled a democracy reform plan, focused on a rebalancing of power to bolster Congress at the expense of the presidency, signaling it will be an early priority if their party wins control of both the White House and the entire Capitol this fall.

The legislative outline was compiled without any input from Republicans, underscoring its purpose at least in the short term as a campaign messaging manifesto.

But the plan nonetheless makes clear that Democrats would seek to move swiftly in a Joe Biden administration to reverse many of what they see as a sweeping collection of checks-and-balances abuses by President Trump.

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Government Ethics
After news first broke about the revelations in Bob Woodward's new book, "Rage," President Trump's numbers dipped slightly but quickly recovered.

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Why Trump's lies aren't the sort this democracy usually tolerates

Sarat is associate provost, associate dean of the faculty and a professor of jurisprudence and political science at Amherst College.

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Big Picture
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

During their own presidential bids, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris emphasized their commitments to different pieces of the fix-the-system wish list.

While ticking the boxes, Democratic ticket hasn’t pushed the reform agenda

Americans are getting their most extensive and unfiltered look this week at the national Democratic ticket, whose election could set in motion the tackling of a democracy reform agenda that's been totally stalled for four years.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, the marquee speaker Wednesday at the party's unprecedented virtual convention, have embraced almost all of the most prominent ideas for fixing the country's political system — although with different and complementary areas of focus.

The big question, in the minds of advocates focused on restoring democracy's credibility, is where such proposals would fall on a Biden administration's list of priorities. Except for a recent burst of talk about ensuring a credible and mostly vote-by-mail election, the two candidates have not emphasized improving democratic governance all that much, and the topic received only sporadic mention during the convention's first two nights.

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Big Picture
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Total bipartisan rejection of Trump’s idea the election be postponed

President Trump took his crusade against voting by mail to a whole new level Thursday, suggesting for the first time that "delay" of the election is the best way to prevent his re-election from being stolen from him.

The idea was either castigated, dismissed as impossible or disregarded as a silly trial balloon diversion by senior members of Congress from both parties as well as legal scholars.

But it nonetheless intensified the president's efforts to sow doubt about the reliability of the November result — which, if he ends up contesting and refusing to concede defeat, could produce a constitutional crisis posing an unprecedented challenge to democracy.

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