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The State of Reform
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Who would have thought: A bold Trump idea unites both parties

Who says there's division in this country? That we can't see eye to eye? Find common ground?

This was a week that saw lots of agreement.

Everyone agreed — well, maybe everyone except the one person with "president of the United States" as his title — that delaying the presidential election in November is not at all a good idea.

The unified reaction, ranging from outrage to dismissal, came in response to a tweet from President Trump suggesting that a mostly mail-in election was headed for such disaster that maybe we should just call the whole thing off until the coronavirus had passed. Or not.

The next example of the new unanimity came in a report from the Bridge Alliance on the diversity (actually, a lack thereof) in the senior staff and boards of democracy reform groups. The group released evidence they are disproportionately old, white, and liberal — and vowed to work on that.

The final example of the new togetherness came in the practically simultaneous shriek of "No!" from every election advocacy group when the Senate Republicans released their proposal for the next round of coronavirus relief. That's because the roughly $1 trillion package included exactly zip, zero, nuthin' for making sure the fall election comes off smoothly.

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Not all is without disharmony, however.

Two unrelated studies of Congress found that televising every last word of debate may not be such a hot idea and the troubled institution might actually run better if members knew more than to say "Hey, you" when trying to get the attention of the folks from the other party.

But let's end of the week on a good note, or at least a hopeful one, which comes from the fact that reformers are still working hard in Arkansas, North Dakota and Oregon to try to put in place independent commissions to draw the new legislative boundaries based on the ongoing census.

Closing pose. Namaste.

— Bill Theobald

We’re all about the issues that have broken American democracy — and efforts to make governments work again for you, your family and your friends.
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