Quoctrung Bui | Claire Cain Miller | Kevin Quealy
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From The Upshot:
It’s understandable if President Trump’s first month in office has left your head spinning, given the pace of news, the middle-of-the-night Twitter posts and the vows to upend Washington.
To help us get our bearings, we asked experts across the ideological spectrum — people who have served in government or studied the way governments work — to rate 20 news events for importance and abnormality. More often than not, the administration’s actions have been both highly unusual and highly consequential, The Upshot’s 15 survey panelists said.
We asked our panelists: Was the event normal, like the veto of a bill in a prior administration? Or was it highly unusual in contemporary American democracy, like ordering newspapers to suspend publication of the Pentagon Papers? Also, was it unimportant, with limited or no consequences for federal policy, like the menu for a state dinner? Or was it important, creating lasting and significant changes in policy, like the establishment of Social Security?
On average, more than half the events were rated abnormal and important. The most extreme instances, they said, were the immigration ban; the use of falsehoods; and the president’s business conflicts of interest. The Supreme Court nomination and immigration raids were on average considered normal but important. The experts thought just two of the events would have limited or no policy consequences: the firing of the acting attorney general and Kellyanne Conway’s promotion of Ivanka Trump’s products.Click here to review all 20 items, grouped by their quadrant on [the NYT's] reality-check matrix.